June 5, 2018: Michael Miller Sworn in as President of the New York State Bar Association, Announces Priorities

Michael Miller of New York City (Law Office of Michael Miller) has become the 121st president of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).

Miller was sworn in at a ceremony June 4 in New York City with NYS Chief Judge Janet DiFiore administering the oath. Some 160 distinguished members of the judiciary and bar were in attendance, along with other colleagues, family and friends. 

After being sworn in, Miller announced the Association’s priorities for the coming year.

“Our emphasis will be on a broad range of topics relevant to the effective administration of justice in the 21st century,” said Miller. “We will focus on important criminal justice issues; explore the criteria and best practices for screening candidates for election to judicial office; discuss important law practice management matters; and address America’s scourge of mass shootings, assault weapons and related legal issues.”

To accomplish these goals, Miller has formed numerous task forces and working groups including:

Rapid Response Advisory Group to respond quickly and effectively when judges are unfairly attacked or other matters that require prompt response during the 24-hour news cycle.

Task Force on the Evaluation of Candidates for Election to Judicial Office to propose best practice guidelines and make recommendations to assist local bar associations, good government groups and others in developing new effective non-partisan judicial evaluation efforts and improve existing ones.

A newly empaneled Task Force on Wrongful Convictions to update NYSBA’s groundbreaking 2009 reportand make affirmative recommendations based upon new developments to reduce the likelihood of wrongful convictions.

Task Force on Incarceration Release Planning and Programs to investigate and recommend state and national policy changes and best practices in order to help better prepare those released from incarceration to re-enter the community and reduce the rate of recidivism.

Task Force on Mass Shootings and Assault Weapons to consider the connection between mental health and mass shootings, the relationship between domestic violence and mass shootings, whether assault weapons belong in civilian hands and will make appropriate recommendations.

Other endeavors include a task force that will review best practices for the use of paralegals in the context of the modern 21st century law office and a working group to explore ways to help those in Puerto Rico still devastated by last year’s Hurricane Maria.

Professional Background

Miller has been a solo practitioner for more than 30 years in Manhattan, with a general civil practice focusing primarily on estate and trust work, including planning, administration and litigation.

Prior to becoming NYSBA President, Miller spent the previous year as president-elect and chair of the House of Delegates. He has also served on the Executive Committee as vice-president of the First Judicial District.

Miller is a past president of the New York County Lawyers Association, a past chair of the NYS Conference of Bar Leaders (NYSCBL), and has been a member of the House of Delegates of both NYSBA and the American Bar Association (ABA).

Last year, Miller served as co-chair of the President’s Committee on Access to Justice. Among many other NYSBA activities, Miller was a founding member of the Elder Law Section, serving as its first newsletter editor, executive committee member and chair of several committees. 

Over the years, Miller developed award-winning pro bono programs recognized by NYSBA, NYSCBL and the ABA. Among his many awards, Miller received the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico Award, its highest award for pro bono service, for his leading role in the legal relief efforts in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

In addition to his bar activities, Miller served as an election supervisor in war-torn Bosnia and interviewed Kosovo refugees for evidence of war crimes.

Miller is a graduate of New York University and New York Law School.

“This is the greatest honor of my professional life,” said Miller.  “Words are inadequate to fully express how very deeply honored I am to serve as the president of the New York State Bar Association.” 

Miller, who will serve a one-year term as president, succeeds Sharon Stern Gerstman of Buffalo (Magavern Magavern Grimm). Henry M. “Hank” Greenberg of Albany (Greenberg Traurig) is president-elect. 

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.

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Contact: Christian Nolan 
Senior Writer
cnolan@nysba.org
518-487-5536