June 17, 2010


ALBANY - The Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York received the New York State Bar Association's 2010 Citation for Special Achievement in Public Service for its extraordinary work in creating the New York Pattern Jury Instructions - Civil edition. Sponsored by the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service, the citation recognizes the special achievements of public service attorneys in projects or events that have had a significant positive impact on the community. The award was given on June 16th at the State Bar Center in Albany.

Chaired for more than 30 years by Hon. Leon Lazer of Melville, the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions published the Third Edition of its work in December 2009. The Third Edition, like its predecessors, is considered the standard for charging juries in New York. It provides a comprehensive yet comprehensible reference source on the general principles governing civil trials and the law, touching on every aspect of civil litigation where a jury could make the ultimate decision. Committee members are all volunteers who developed more than 2,000 pages of carefully researched charges and commentary on New York State Law.

"There is not a trial lawyer or judge in New York who has not benefitted from the work of the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions. Its distinguished members put in countless hours to produce the Instructions. Their work gives all our courts access to a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the law and helps ensure a fairer and more consistent justice system," said Hon. Peter S. Loomis of Albany (New York State Department of Transportation), chair of the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service. "Every jurist and attorney in the civil trial system owes the Committee a tremendous debt of gratitude. This Citation is long overdue and is an appropriate recognition of the efforts of Judge Lazer and his colleagues."

Lisa Burianek of Albany, deputy bureau chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau in the New York State Department of Law and assistant attorney general for the State of New York, also received a Citation for her work protecting New York's natural resources.

Last year's inaugural winners were Amy Pitcairn Barasch of Albany (executive director, New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence) and Erin Noelle Guven of White Plains (Legal Services of the Hudson Valley).

Founded in 1876, the 77,000 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. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.