About the Business Law Section

The Business Law Section, with a membership of approximately 4,500, is one of the largest Sections of the New York State Bar Association. Its members consist of attorneys whose practice involves some aspect of commerce or finance although the focus of the practice of the members is quite diverse – ranging from securities to consumer finance. To accommodate this breadth of practice, the Business Law Section is composed of committees which offer the practitioner with commercial clients information in such diverse areas as: Bankruptcy, Banking, Corporations Law, Consumer Finance, Franchise Distribution and Licensing, Derivatives and Structured Products, Insurance, Securities Regulation and the constantly evolving area of Information and Technology Law. These Committees hold separate meetings for the purpose of reviewing current developments in their areas. Members enjoy the benefits of participating in discussions relating to breaking developments in the business and financial services world and the opportunity to also expand their personal network of contacts within the profession. Attendance at some Committee meetings and other scheduled Section meetings can also serve to fulfill mandatory educational requirements.

The Section publishes the NY Business Law Journal which is designed to provide practice-oriented insight and guidance relevant to the business law practitioner, with special emphasis on lawyers who practice in the State of New York.

The Business Law Section has been in the forefront of introducing, monitoring and evaluating legal developments in the areas of business and finance on both federal and New York State levels. Members of the Securities Committee continue their work on implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley and related legislation and regulations dealing with greater oversight of corporations in the post Enron environment. Related issues will involve the structure and function of audit committees and the ethical responsibilities of lawyers who advise corporations. On the Consumer Finance and Banking fronts, "predatory lending" and the dispute between federalists and states’ rights advocates as to "who" should have the power to curb abusive residential mortgage lending practices while preserving a credit market for those with less than perfect credit histories, continues to be a major issue.

Meet the Chair
James W. Everett, Jr., Esq.

Executive Committee Roster

Join the Business Law Section

2013-2014 Annual Report to the Membership

The Business Law Section is pleased to report a victory in its long-sought revisions to New York’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. In December 2013, Governor Cuomo signed the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013, which aims to “streamline the incorporation process for non-profit organizations in New York, modernize the oversight and corporate governance laws to prevent conflict of interest problems and fraud, enhance public trust in the non-profit sector, provide guidance to non-profit organizations' boards of directors, and reduce burdens on non-profit organizations.” A subcommittee of the Business Law Section’s Corporations Law Committee has worked for many years to bring about this change. The law will take effect July 1, 2014. The Section continues to set its sights on reform of New York’s franchise law to conform more closely to the Federal Trade Commission’s franchise rule in order to facilitate the offering and sale of franchises in New York. 

The Section was on the front lines in reacting to the SEC’s proposed rules under the JOBS Act to permit the sale of securities through crowdfunding. In December, the Section presented an educational program both live in New York City and via webcast detailing implications of the proposed rules. Participants from 6 foreign countries, 24 states and the District of Columbia tuned in. An archive of the program is available to Section members at www.nysba.org/CrowdfundingWebcast.

The Section continues to boast a strong and growing membership, with over 4,700 members as of this writing; the second largest Section in the Association. In the past year, the Section’s outreach to new NYSBA members inviting them to join for a free introductory year of membership has met with a good response. Active Business Law Section committees support the needs of the diverse practices represented among the membership.

In order to recognize the importance of the many hours of volunteer service provided to the Section and its Committees by its members, the Section has established the David S. Caplan Award for Meritorious Service. Named in remembrance of the former Chair of the Technology and Venture Law Committee, the first award was presented to David L. Glass at the 2014 Annual Meeting. Mr. Glass, at various times, has held every executive officer position in the Section; he was the Chair of its Banking Law Committee; and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Section’s NY Business Law Journal.

The Section’s Annual Meeting program, held in cooperation with the Corporate Counsel Section, focused on business lawyers and corporate counsel “Competing Ethically in a Global Marketplace.” The Business Law Section Fall Meeting at the Cranwell Resort in Lenox, MA dealt with (among other topics) cyber security and liability, and implementing a successful social media strategy in unregulated industries. In June and July, the Section also hosted networking events in conjunction with the Westchester Black Bar Association and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.