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August 6, 2009

STATE BAR ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT GETNICK CALLS FOR SENATE APPROVAL OF MORE THAN $5 MILLION IN CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUNDING

Letter to Senate Leaders Urges Immediate Action to Fund Vital Programs in New York

In a letter sent yesterday to State Senate leaders, New York State Bar Association President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick, Livingston, Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City) urged the State Senate to approve a resolution, which would allow for distribution of more than $5 million in civil legal services funding, when the Senate reconvenes for a special legislative session today in Albany.

"In the best of economic times, the needs of low-income New Yorkers for civil legal services have far outpaced available resources," Getnick wrote. "State funding for providers of civil legal services remains critical in helping to address the needs of homeowners who are facing foreclosure or the parents trying to obtain child protection services for their children. In today's economy, these funds are even more essential.

"When the Senate reconvenes, I will again request that it take immediate action to approve any resolution necessary to release and distribute this important funding, so as to help the indigent and vulnerable people who rely on these civil legal services," concluded Getnick.

The more than $5 million in funding includes $4.4 million from the Department of State's budget for legal services and $609,000 from the Division of Criminal Justice Services' budget, both of which were approved as part of the 2009-10 state budget adopted by the State Legislature in April.

To view a full copy of President Getnick's letter to Senate leaders, please visit http://www.nysba.org/CLSFundingLettertoSenate.

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The 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.