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
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
Meet the Chair
James W. Everett, Jr., Esq.
Executive Committee Roster
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2013-2014 Annual Report to the Membership
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.