Contact: Mark Mahoney Associate
Director, Media Services and Public Affairs Mmahoney@nysba.org
January 21, 2013
STATE BAR ASSOCIATION PRESIDENTIAL SUMMIT TO
VETERANS ISSUES, NEW YORK’S LOW VOTER TURNOUT
Helping recent veterans readjust to society and boosting New
York’s historically low voter turnout rates will be the dual focus
of the New York State Bar Association’s 2013 Presidential
The summit, the centerpiece of the Association’s weeklong
Annual Meeting, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday,
January 23, in the Grand Ballroom West at the Hilton New
York in Manhattan.
“We rely on our men and women in the armed services to protect
our democracy,” said State Bar President Seymour W.
James, Jr. (The Legal Aid Society in New York City).
“So it’s altogether fitting that our Presidential Summit
this year focuses on assisting our returning military veterans and on
finding ways to increase New Yorkers’ participation in the
The first panel discussion, “Attorneys Honoring
Veterans Through Service” will be held from 2 to 3:30
p.m. to discuss a variety of issues faced by veterans when they return
to civilian life. Those issues include combat-related physical and
psychological disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic
brain injuries, unemployment, consumer debt, family stress, substance
abuse and homelessness.
Col. David W. Sutherland (Ret.) will deliver the
keynote address. He is a veteran of two wars during his 29 years in the
U.S. Army. His last military assignment was as special assistant to the
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with principal focus on Warrior
and Family Support. He is executive director of the Dixon Center for
Military and Veterans Community Services in Chicago.
• Col. David W. Sutherland (Ret.);
• Army National Guard Col. Gary
Yaple, President and Chief Executive Officer, Veterans
Outreach Center, Inc., Rochester;
• Hon. Robert T. Russell, Jr.,
Presiding Judge, Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court, Buffalo;
• Carol Davidson, Veterans Program
Director, Samaritan Village, Queens;
• John Powers, Partner, Hancock
• Vincent E. Doyle III, Immediate
Past President, New York State Bar Association
In November, the Bar Association’s House of Delegates approved
a report by the Special Committee on Veterans that called for providing
veterans of the U.S. military with better access to quality legal
services and the creation of more specialized veterans courts.
The second panel discussion, “Access and Integrity: Enhancing
Democracy Through Voter Participation,” will be held from 3:30 to
5 p.m. It will explore barriers to voting throughout the country,
as well as proposed policy changes in New York that might improve voter
turnout while protecting the integrity of the electoral process.
New York consistently ranks near the bottom of all states in voter
enrollment and turnout. A State Bar committee has recommended changes in
New York’s laws to modernize the state’s electoral system,
including same-day registration, early voting, improved ballot design
and enhanced policies to prevent deceptive election practices.
• Michael Waldman, President, Brennan
Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, New York City;
• Juan Cartagena, President and
General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, New York City;
• Jeremy Creelan, Special Counsel to
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on public integrity and ethics reform, Albany;
• Professor Theodore “Ted”
Shaw, prominent civil rights attorney and professor of
professional practice at Columbia Law School, New York City;
• Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal
Fellow and Manager, Heritage Foundation’s Civil Justice Reform
Initiative, Washington, D.C.
• John R. Dunne of Albany (Whiteman
Osterman & Hanna), co-chair, State Bar’s Special Committee on
• Daniel F. Kolb of New York City
(Davis Polk & Wardwell), co-chair, State Bar’s Special
Committee on Voter Participation.
The State Bar’s 136th Annual Meeting will take place from
January 21-26 at the Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New
The New York State Bar Association, with 76,000 members, is the
largest voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993