Thursday Morning Workshops

10:00am – 1:15pm

A. Medicaid in 2014: Impact of Federal and State Reform
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 10:00am-1:15pm
3.5 MCLE Credits: 3.5 Professional Practice

This workshop will cover the aspects of health care reform that most impact low income New Yorkers with a particularly vulnerable populations including immigrant communities and communities of color as well as persons with disabilities. Among other things, the workshop will explore provisions of the Affordable Care Act such as Medicaid expansion, the state health insurance exchange, affordability assistance and non-discrimination and examine the promises these provisions offer as well as explore the challenges that are faced by New Yorkers in need. It will also review the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team’s reforms focusing on transitions from a fee-for-service model to a managed care model for long term care services and behavioral health services.    

Rebecca Antar Novick, Esq.,
Supervising Attorney, Health Law Unit, The Legal Aid Society
Shena Elrington, Esq., Director, Health Justice Program, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Belkys Garcia, Esq., Staff Attorney,  The Legal Aid Society
Geoffrey A. Hale, Esq., Senior Health Law Attorney, Empire Justice Center
Orier Okumakpeyi, Esq., Staff Attorney, MFY Legal Services, Inc. 
Carol Santangelo, Esq., Staff Attorney, Health Law Unit, The Legal Aid Society
Rebecca Wallach, Esq., Staff Attorney/ Skadden Fellow, Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program, New York Legal Assistance Group 


10:00am – 11:30am

E. From Childhood to Adult: An Overview of SSI Age 18 Reviews
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 10:00am-11:30am
1.5 MCLE Credits: 0.5 Ethics; 1.0 Professional Practice

Social Security’s regulations mandate that children who are found disabled under the SSI Childhood Disability criteria must have their SSI claims reviewed under the adult disability criteria when they turn 18. If SSA determines that an 18 year old does not meet the adult criteria, his/her benefits will be discontinued, subject to appeal. These claims present unique procedural and substantive issues, with which many advocates – both experienced and relatively new to the practice – are unfamiliar. This session will lay out the statutory and regulatory framework for analyzing young adult claims. It will include a discussion of some of the ethical issues that arise, such as who is the client – parent or young adult? It will also consider ethical complications when the client has diminished capacity, or is not cooperative. The presenters will introduce the topic of the types of evidence necessary to prove young adult claims, with an emphasis on school and special education records.   

Bridgit M. Burke, JD,
Co-Director, Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center, Albany Law School
Shubh Nigam McTague, Esq., Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York
Louise M. Tarantino, Esq., Senior Attorney, Empire Justice Center  

L. Understanding the Basics of the New York State Foreclosure Process – A General Overview for Non-Foreclosure Defense Attorneys
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 10:00am-11:30am
1.5 MCLE Credits: 1.5 Professional Practice

This workshop will cover the basics of the NY residential foreclosure process and basic foreclosure defenses and solutions.  The focus will be on the basics of foreclosure for the legal services attorney who may have clients facing foreclosure.  This workshop will enable the attorney to guide their clients through foreclosure timelines, the expectations from the bank and court, the expectations for the homeowner and where the homeowner can seek professional assistance for free.   

Rebecca Caico, Esq.,
Senior Attorney/Regional Coordinator, Western/Central NY, HOPP Anchor Partner Program, Empire Justice Center
Rose Marie Cantanno, Esq., Supervising Attorney, Foreclosure Prevention Project, New York Legal Assistance Group
Jacob Inwald, Esq., Director of Foreclosure Prevention, Legal Services NYC  


P. Cornerstone Advocacy:  An Interdisciplinary Approach to Working with Families
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 10:00pm-11:30am
1.5 MCLE Credits: 1.5 Professional Practice

This program will provide an overview of pertinent law and regulation and advocacy strategies directed to speed reunification of families with children in foster care. The program will describe strategies for attorneys and social workers to promote appropriate and meaningful service plans, placements, participation in conferences, and visitation. It will also provide practice tips for solo practitioners and attorneys who work with social workers.      

Richard Barinbaum, LMSW,
Social Work Supervisor, Center for Family Representation, Inc        
Christine Zielinski, Esq.,
Litigation Supervisor, Center for Family Representation, Inc  


W. The Future of Technology in the Effective Delivery of Legal Aid
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 10:00am-11:30am
1.5 MCLE Credits: 1.5 Law Practice Management

Today cases are won and lost, and funders can be wowed or worried by how effectively a program uses technology to reach clients and efficiently manage operations. We can build a bridge to a tech future that keeps the best of legal services while increasing our effectiveness using technology. Our panel will distill useful information about how our justice community currently uses technology, both in New York and in other states. Learn about national developments in the innovative use of technology, and what you need to know from the LSC Tech Summit, the ABA Law Office Technology Report, and the LSC Tech Baselines. Then we will dive into the technology used by your peers in New York, highlight the Chief Judge’s Task Force tech report, and provide examples of effective NY projects. With that information in mind, the panel will describe how to plan for technology projects, provide tech training tips, and describe exciting opportunities technology provides for coordination.     

Christine M. Fecko, Esq.,
General Counsel, IOLA Fund    
John T. Greiner, JD, Chief Information Officer, Legal Services NYC
Anne Hineline, Technology Coordinator, Legal Assistance of Western New York  
Jeff L. Hogue, Esq., Community Relations and Operations, LegalServerTM

11:45am – 1:15pm

F. Typical Mental Impairments in Young Adult SSI Claims
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 11:45am-1:15pm
1.5 MCLE Credits: 1.5 Professional Practice

Disability claims involving young adults with mental impairments can be particularly challenging for advocates. Advocates must have a basic understanding of the typical psychiatric diagnoses confronted by young adults in order to work with the young adult claimants and develop evidence to support their claims. In this session, a psychologist, in conjunction with an experienced advocate, will explore typical diagnoses from the psychiatric perspective. The psychologist will update advocates on the significant changes in the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), especially as they relate to young adult claims. The psychologist and facilitator will also cover how the psychiatric profession and SSA view Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores in these cases. Finally, they will suggest ways in which the subtest scores from formal intelligence tests can be used to demonstrate vocational limitations in young adult cases, and to compensate for the lack of relevant vocational issues in typical young adult cases.    

Catherine M. (Kate) Callery, Esq.,
Senior Attorney/ DAP Coordinator, Empire Justice Center
Katrina H. Colistra, PsyD, NYS Licensed Psychologist/Partner, New Paradigm Psychological Services, PLLC    


M. Avoid Foreclosures through Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plans
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 11:45am-1:15pm
1.5 MCLE Credits: 1.5 Professional Practice

Chapter 13 is a form of bankruptcy which provides up to 5 years for a homeowner to pay off mortgage arrears. It also provides comprehensive financial relief. This may include canceling second mortgages, stopping garnishments, cancelling most amounts owed on medical bills and credit card debt, and reducing the amount owed on used car loans. In most bankruptcy courts in New York State, Chapter 13 may be combined with loss mitigation procedures for modifying mortgages.

Chapter 13 is a type of bankruptcy in which the homeowner or consumer files a 3 to 5 year plan. This is in contrast to a Chapter 7 proceeding, which liquidates debts and typically lasts only 3 or 4 months.  The filing of a Chapter 13 automatically stops a foreclosure. Until the Chapter 13 case is decided all proceedings must be filed in bankruptcy court. After filing a Chapter 13 petition, the Court will review the homeowner’s Chapter 13 Plan. In many bankruptcy courts, the homeowner may initiate loss mitigation review procedures, similar to settlement conferences in state court.

The panel will discuss procedures for homeowners simultaneously filing a Chapter 13 proceeding and seeking modification of their mortgage. The panel will include Hon. Robert E. Littlefield, Jr., Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of New York (NDNY). He will discuss the innovative NDNY loss mitigation program for Chapter 13 debtors who are seeking a mortgage modification. The panel also includes Peter M. Frank, Senior Attorney at Legal Services for the Hudson Valley. He will discuss the loss mitigation program in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and adversary proceedings in bankruptcy, which may be used to challenge the standing of the lender to file a foreclosure and which can be a vehicle for raising consumer-related claims.    

Peter M. Frank, Esq.,
Senior Attorney, Legal Services for the Hudson Valley
Kirsten Keefe, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney, Empire Justice Center    
Hon. Robert E. Littlefield, Jr.,
Chief Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of New York (NDNY)  
Mark H. Wattenberg, Esq., Attorney, Legal Assistance of Western New York Inc.  


S. Economic Issues and Family Law: Navigating the Intersections of Consumer, Family, Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Laws
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 11:45am-1:15pm
1.5 MCLE Credits: 1.5 Professional Practice

This workshop will provide an overview of economic issues facing individuals when they separate or divorce, with a focus on domestic violence survivors. Legislation was just enacted adding economic crimes to the enumerated offenses that allow one to be granted an order of protection. This change in the law highlights the economic difficulties clients face when relationships end, especially relationships where domestic violence was a factor. Parties can be brought into Family Court, Supreme Court or Civil Court; as well as have a looming foreclosure all simultaneously.

This workshop will discuss the legislation, as well as the interaction of various areas of law and how they come into play in a family or matrimonial matter. Attendees will come away with an understanding of consumer debt, how best to protect your client when faced with a consumer action, and how to stop harassing collections calls. Credit reports and the effects of a credit report and score on one’s future will also be discussed. Finally, there will also be discussion of foreclosures; and the interaction of a foreclosure matter with a matrimonial matter, as well as mechanisms available to allow homeowners to keep their houses.     

Kevin Purcell, Esq.,
Supervising Attorney, Foreclosure Prevention Unit, Empire Justice Center  
Laura A. Russell, Esq.,
Supervising Attorney, Family Law/Domestic Violence Unit, The Legal Aid Society
Matthew Schedler, Esq., Supervising Attorney, CAMBA Legal Services Inc.    


X. A Landscape Redefined: Governance and Management Changes in New York Law
Date/Time: Thursday, 09/11/14- 11:45am-1:15pm
1.5 MCLE Credits: 1.5 Professional Practice

Several recent changes in New York Law will significantly affect the management and governance of New York not-for-profit corporations and other entities that receive funding from the State of New York. Effective July 1, 2014, the Nonprofit Revitalization Act will implement the first comprehensively reform of New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law in forty years. This new law brings many changes in how New York corporations must handle interested party transactions, their annual audit process, and many, many other aspects of their governance. Organizations must also comply with Executive Order 38 limiting executive compensation and administrative expenses paid by nonprofits, including legal services providers that receive funding from any of eleven designated New York State agencies. Also beginning in July 2013, the process for applying for funding from state agencies has been revamped, and those seeking funding must “pre-qualify” and have in place numerous governance and management policies in order to be eligible for that funding. Together, all of these changes have brought about the most dramatic changes that New York nonprofits, including legal services providers, have faced in decades. In order to become legally compliant and remain eligible for important funding, the managers of legal services providers must understand how these new rules impact the governance and management of their organizations.     

Courtney Darts, Esq.,
Senior Staff Attorney, Pro Bono Partnership
Linda Schechter Manley, Esq., Legal Director, Lawyers Alliance of New York