January 26, 2018: NYS Bar Association Approves Domestic Violence Initiative, Resolution to Protect Immigrants in Courts

The New York State Bar Association on Friday approved a recommendation regarding access to legal services for victims of domestic violence and a resolution encouraging the court system to take steps to remove Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from courthouses.

The initiatives were approved at the State Bar’s House of Delegates in New York City.

“The New York State Bar Association is strongly committed to fairness for all in every aspect of our justice system, and these two initiatives will help us continue to advance that goal,” said State Bar President Sharon Stern Gerstman.

Domestic violence initiative

In 2016, the State Bar joined forces with the Women’s Bar Association of New York (WBASNY), launching an initiative to enhance access to legal services for domestic violence victims in New York State.

The group’s report recommends: 
   •    education and training for pro bono attorneys so they can provide effective services for those impacted by domestic violence, particularly those from diverse and traditionally underserved communities; 
   •    expanding pro bono opportunities and resources for attorneys and bar associations; and
   •    legislative advocacy to better protect and serve victims of domestic violence.

Read the report here: nysba.org/dvreport18

Immigration representation

The State Bar Committee on Immigration Representation urges ICE to include courthouses as “sensitive locations” in its policy and calls on Congress to pass the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act and amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to codify ICE’s Sensitive Locations Policy.

The report states that there has been a marked increase in arrests by ICE agents in New York courthouses, including family, traffic and criminal courts, resulting in a “chilling” effect on immigrants’ willingness to seek the protection of the courts.

Read the report here: Nysba.org/immigrationreport18

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