Presidential Summit

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Total MCLE Credits: 3.00 (Professional Practice 3.00)
Grand Ballroom West, 3rd Floor


2:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m. Welcome and Introductions
Michael Miller, Esq.
President, New York State Bar Association

2:10 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. Listening to #MeToo - Why Laws to Prevent Sexual Harassment Have Been Ineffective, and What Attorneys Can Do About It (1.0 Areas of Professional Practice)
The strength and staying power of the #MeToo movement have shown that laws to prevent sexual harassment in American society have been largely ineffective. Women, and men, continue to be victimized in settings from corporate office suites to construction sites – and within our justice system as well. Many prominent women and men have related their #MeToo experiences, but there are many more, especially those in low-paying service jobs, for whom the potential consequences of speaking out are simply too risky. This presidential summit panel will examine laws regarding sexual harassment and consider how attorneys can work to prevent it. The panel will also highlight ways that attorneys can nurture and support gender equity in our profession and in our society.
Panel Chair:
Hon. Colleen McMahon

Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Kathryn Barcroft, Esq. 

Solomon Law Firm PLLC 

Gregory S. Chiarello, Esq. 
Outten & Golden

Carrie Goldberg, Esq.  
C.A. Goldberg PLLC

Susan Harper, Esq.
Bates Group
Chair, NYSBA Women in Law Section

3:10 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Transition Break

3:20 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Wrongful Convictions and the Role of Prosecutors (1.0 Areas of Professional Practice)
There may be nothing more damaging to Americans’ faith in our justice system than wrongful convictions that send innocent people to prison for years, or even decades. NYSBA President Michael Miller this year formed a Task Force on Wrongful Convictions to evaluate progress since a 2008 NYSBA Task Force on Wrongful Convictions made recommendations intended to prevent further miscarriages of justice and to examine what new issues have arisen that point to the need for additional recommendations. Over the past decade, the conduct of prosecutors has emerged as a factor relating to wrongful convictions and new state legislation has established a Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, which takes effect on January 1, 2019. This presidential summit panel will include leading figures from the prosecution, defense and judicial perspective, who will discuss the commission structure, the scope of its authority, and whether it can withstand the legal challenges which may be brought by New York prosecutors and others.
Panel Chair:
Hon. Barry Kamins (Ret.)

Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, P.C.

Hon. Karen K. Peters

Former Presiding Justice
Appellate Division, Third Department

Barry Scheck, Esq.
Innocence Project

Hon. David Soares
District Attorney, Albany County
President, District Attorneys Association of the State of New York

4:20 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Break

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Enlisting the Public in the Fight Against Fraud: How Whistleblower Laws Work, How They Have Evolved and the Courage It Takes to Be a Whistleblower (1.0 Areas of Professional Practice)
Whistleblower laws have proven to be an important tool to fight back against those who defraud the government and taxpayers. This presidential summit panel will review the evolution and impact of meaningful anti-fraud whistleblower recovery laws and programs, including the strengthening of the federal False Claims Act, the widespread passage of similar state laws, and the creation and implementation of dedicated whistleblower programs at the Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The panel will highlight some major successes of these laws and programs – which have resulted in billions of dollars being returned to government and large awards paid to whistleblowers – and discuss how they have led to reforms that serve to protect the public from harmful practices in the pharmaceutical, defense and financial industries. Although many of the whistleblower laws have strong anti-retaliation provisions intended to protect the whistleblower, the panel will also examine how success often comes at the price of considerable professional and personal sacrifices to the whistleblowers themselves. 

Panel Chair:
Margaret J. Finerty, Esq.

Getnick & Getnick, LLP

Elin Baklid-Kunz

Former Director of Physician Services 
Halifax Health New York, NY

Neil V. Getnick, Esq.

Getnick & Getnick, LLP

Michael Granston, Esq. 
Director of the Civil Fraud Section, Civil Division
United States Department of Justice  

Jordan A. Thomas, Esq.
Labaton Sucharow