Message from Section Chair, Mark Berman
is a privilege and honor to have been elected Chair of the Commercial and
Federal Litigation Section, following in the steps of great icons of the New
York State Commercial Bar. The Section’s
membership has increased over the past year and the Section is a vibrant and
robust organization of terrific commercial litigators. We are the bar organization of choice for
attorneys who practice business litigation in our State and Federal Courts, and
we will continue to add value to our members and offer the best programming
available in the State.
Fuld Award Goes to the Second Circuit
Section has great plans for the next year.
We are excited and proud to announce that the entire Second Circuit
Court of Appeals will be presented with the Section’s 2017 Stanley H. Fuld
Award at our Annual Meeting in January 2017. The award recognizes outstanding
contributions to the development of commercial law and jurisprudence in New
York. The Second Circuit’s
accomplishments in advancing commercial law in New York State, throughout this
country and the world are well-recognized.
With this award, it is only appropriate that the Annual Meeting's CLE
programming will include a panel addressing federal appellate issues. In addition to honoring the Second Circuit in
this manner, the Section also will be sponsoring an additional event with the
Second Circuit associated with the Fuld Award.
The Section is honored to be participating in celebrating the Second
Circuit’s 125th anniversary with the presentation of the Fuld award, and looks
forward to the opportunity to strengthen its ties with the Second Circuit and
the Federal Judges in each of the Districts in New York.
Section’s Women’s Initiative
Section just established a new award, the first time in over ten years that one
has been created. It is called The Shira A. Scheindlin Award for Excellence
in the Courtroom in honor of the Section's former Chair, who served with
distinction as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New
York from September 1994 through April 2016. The Section will present
this award annually in November, around the date when women received the right
to vote in New York State in 1917, to a woman who has distinguished herself in
the courtroom in either the Federal or State Courts in New York and who has
shown a commitment to mentoring young attorneys in the legal community.
awardee will be Carrie Cohen, now of Morrison & Foerster, who this year
successfully prosecuted Sheldon Silver as an Assistant United States Attorney and
who served as Section Chair in 2007-2008.
The award will be presented on November 14th in the ceremonial courtroom
in the Southern District of New York's Federal Courthouse.
November program will also initiate a new Section scholarship funded through
the New York Bar Foundation to be awarded to junior female attorneys, which
covers the cost of their registration to the Section’s 2017 Commercial
Litigation Academy. The goal of this new
scholarship is to prepare women to serve as first chair in business litigation
trials. The awardees will be called Kaye
Scholars in honor of the Honorable Judith S. Kaye, the State’s former Chief Judge. The program will have, among other
components, a CLE trial practice program and its participants will include
female former chairs of the Section as well as young rising women
attorneys. Additional programming
seeking to increase the number of women in the courtroom is also intended this
and Our Cutting Edge Reports
Already scheduled for September 29 is a ground-breaking
Section four credit CLE program entitled “Legal Ethics in the Digital Age” that draws upon members of our Ethics,
eDiscovery and Social Media committees as well a member of the Executive
Committee of the New York State Bar. The
Section is also working on putting together a joint CLE with the Dispute
Resolution Section on eDiscovery and arbitration.
The Section intends to continue to lead
the nation in issuing reports concerning our new digital world. The eDiscovery Committee will debut its Third
Edition of its “Best Practices in
eDiscovery in New York State and Federal Courts” this fall. The Social Media Committee also intends to
issue its Third Version of its “Social Media Ethics Guidelines” next spring. The Second Version of the Social Media Ethics
Guidelines already leads the nation on the issue and is highlighted on the
State Bar's homepage.
Chief Judge DiFiore and the Section’s Executive
Meetings Continue to Travel the State
We have always
invited State and Federal Judges to speak at our monthly Executive Committee
meetings concerning current issues, but this coming year we are extremely proud
to kick off the year in September with Chief Judge Janet DiFiore speaking to
our Section’s Executive Committee.
As for our
monthly Executive Committee meetings, continuing the initiative of holding
meetings throughout the State, we anticipate travelling out of New York City
three times during the next year and will seek to have these meetings held at
upstate Federal Courthouses. By having
our Executive Committee meetings at Federal Courthouses, we hope to forge
closer ties to the Federal District Judges throughout our State, as well as to their
law clerks and local practitioners, who will be able to see first-hand the
benefits of joining our Section.
Diversity – Seeking to Add Diversity, Youth and Law Students to the Section
As part of our
membership initiative, the officers of the Section intend to speak with law
students at law schools around the State to encourage them to join our
Section. To that end, the Section has
created a video promoting the benefits of joining the Section which will be
shown to students during our visits. The
Section also intends to work with local upstate bar associations to create a
diversity program with the goal of increasing the diversity of the Section
statewide. The Section is going to work
with local bar associations, having already reached to the Asian American Bar
Association, to explore symbiotic relationships with the Section. In addition, the Section this year created a
formal Kids Club at our Spring Meeting in Cooperstown in order to encourage
Section members who have young child to attend our meeting. I will seek to make this a permanent addition
to our programing with the goal of extending our reach to our membership who
have not typically attended our Spring Meetings.
The Section will continue to focus its
efforts on educating the business community of the benefits of litigating in
New York by continuing our support of finding new ways to make litigating in
our New York State and Federal Courts more efficient and cost effective. We have the best and brightest attorneys as
members of our Section, and it is their creative ideas that have assisted the
Bench and Bar in seeking to achieve this objective.
This will be an exciting year, and the
Section is committed to providing value to its members through CLEs,
programming, reports and the mentoring of young attorneys. We are always open to ideas, so please feel
free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to share with
me your thoughts regarding how we can continue to grow and improve.
Issued by the Social Media Committee and Approved by the Section's Executive Committee
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING Minutes
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