Substantive Reports

Reports 2014

Appellate Division Rules
In May 2012, the Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction began an ambitious project to examine the rules of practice of the four Departments of the Appellate Division and to make recommendations about the extent to which they can be made uniform for the benefit of both the courts and practicing attorneys. The resulting report, adopted by the Executive Committee on April 4, 2014, covers in detail three areas: 1) a significant number of rules that are essentially harmonious and can be made uniform with little or no difficulty; 2) some rules that are not now harmonious but can be made uniform without undue adverse effects on the internal operations of the different Departments; 3)  a body of rules that will be difficult to harmonize without significant changes in the deeply ingrained internal operations of one or more of the courts.

The Committee recognized from the outset that some of the rules of each Department reflect deeply embedded procedures, culture, and history, but also believed a significant body of rules can be made uniform without adversely affecting the courts’ operations, benefiting practicing attorneys by minimizing traps for the unwary and minimizing the need for the courts to address corrective motions. 

The Committee believes that unifying a substantial body of appellate practice rules will also facilitate state-wide electronic filing, which may be implemented in the future.

Reports 2013

Human Trafficking
Publicized arrests and prosecutions in Utica, New York City, White Plains, Yonkers, Newburgh, Massena, Rexford, Henrietta, Pound Ridge, Syracuse, Stony Brook, Montebello, Amherst, Lancaster and Orchard Park show that the human trafficking occurs in large and small cities, across state lines and between New York and Canada – all over the State of New York. Extant national statistics support the trend in New York. Shockingly, children are thought to comprise roughly one-half of the victims of this $32 billion “industry.”

Family Court
In 2010, the Task Force on Family Court was created to examine the challenges that Family Court faces and recommend solutions that would better enable the Court to meet the demands placed upon it. The Task Force report, approved by the House of Delegates in January 2013, contains 26 recommendations, which address resources for Family Court; resources for litigants; technology needs; and court operations. Chief among these recommendations is the need for additional Family Court judges.

Solitary Confinement in New York State
Prepared by the Committee on Civil Rights, this report addresses the increasing use (and overuse) of solitary confinement within New York prisons, where in 2012 alone, one out of every four people incarcerated were subjected to extreme isolation – the vast majority for non-violent offenses. The report examines the history of solitary confinement, its detrimental results on inmates and provides recommendations that it be profoundly restricted.

Voter Participation 
Voting is one of our most fundamental rights. Yet, in New York State, voter participation is ranked among the lowest in the Nation. The Special Committee on Voter Participation was appointed to consider possible reforms to remove obstacles to registration and voting and to encourage participation while maintaining the integrity of the process. This report recommends a broad spectrum of changes that, if implemented, could have a significant impact on voter participation, bringing New York’s rates of registration and participation up to levels of which New Yorkers can and should be proud.

Reports 2012

Court Funding Report 
The impact of reductions in funding for New York State courts during the 2011-2012 year has been substantially harmful and far-reaching. Recent reductions in state court funding have been quite costly. Although state fiscal constraints are very real in this economy, additional and imminent investment in the state court system is necessary. It is necessary to restore a sense of confidence in the judicial system, which ultimately is priceless.

Discovery and Case Management in Federal Litigation 
Approved by the House of Delegates June 23, 2012.

Immigration Representation 
The increase in immigration enforcement, coupled with the acute shortage of competent immigration attorneys, has resulted in a crisis in immigration representation. This report addresses some of the complex issues involved in providing competent immigration representation, studies the challenges presently facing respondents, attorneys and the courts, and suggests some possible solutions.The report also contains proposed standards for attorneys and accredited representatives who provide immigration representation.

Nonlawyer Ownership Report 
The Task Force on Nonlawyer Ownership was appointed to consider the nonlawyer ownership proposals, evaluate whether the proposals would advance the profession’s core values of loyalty, independence and confidentiality. The Task Force completed its report concluding that there has not been a sufficient demonstration that nonlawyer ownership is in the best interest of clients and society and does not undermine or dilute the integrity of the legal profession. The report was approved by the House of Delegates on November 17, 2012.

Sealing Records of Conviction 
Sealing a person’s criminal record requires balancing competing interests. On the one hand, a person with a criminal record has, after a suitable period of lawful living and rehabilitation, an interest in pursuing employment, licensing, housing, education, and other benefits without the stigma of a prior arrest or conviction. Report approved by the House of Delegates January 27, 2012. 

Veterans Report 
The report of the Special Committee on Veterans makes a number of recommendations to address the legal needs of veterans, including the establishment of specialized Veterans’ Courts, training for lawyers with respect to the legal needs of veterans, and the establishment of panels of lawyers to whom veterans can be referred for legal assistance. This report was approved by the House of Delegates on November 17, 2012.

Reports 2011

Future of the Legal Profession
The rapid pace of change in the legal profession, accelerated in part by the recent national economic downturn, prompted New York State Bar Association President Stephen Younger to form a task force to examine issues concerning the future of the profession. This report addresses the following: (1) developments in the economics, structure, and billing practices of private law firms; (2) changes in the model for educating and training new lawyers; (3) the pressures on lawyers seeking to find balance between their professional and personal lives; and (4) the implications of technology on the practice of law.

Government Ethics 
Approved by the NYSBA House of Delegates January 2011

New York Law in International Matters 
The increasingly global business community requires accurate and comprehensive information on choice of laws, procedures and legal systems to govern agreements, selection of the best forum in which to resolve their disputes, and the most efficient and equitable means of that dispute resolution. New York, as a global financial and commercial capital, plays a critical role in all these choices.

Reports 2010

In-House Counsel 
This report relates to proposed rules for licensing of in-house counsel.

Pleading Standards in Federal Litigation 
The Special Committee on Standards for Pleading in Federal Litigation was established to examine and report on issues relating to standards for pleading a claim in federal litigation under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Reports 2009

Arbitration Discovery in Domestic Commercial Cases 
Approved by NYSBA Executive Committee and House of Delegates April 2009; covers guidance for arbitrators in finding the balance between fairness and efficiency; 13 pages, PDF

Courthouses 
Approved by the NYSBA House of Delegates June 2009

Criminal Cases - Applications for Leave to Appeal in the New York Court of Appeals 
Recommendations of the Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction on changing the criminal leave application procedure in the New York Court of Appeals

Global Warming 
Approved by the NYSBA House of Delegates April 2009

Judicial Conduct - Model Code 
The Committee on Attorneys in Public Service offers a Model Code of Judicial Conduct for State Administrative Law Judges to provide a structure for regulating conduct if adopted by disciplinary agencies.

Privacy 
Submitted by the Privacy Initiative Task Force for approval by the House of Delegates April 4, 2009 in Albany, New York.

Same-Sex Marriage 
This report was approved by the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association on June 20, 2009. (180 pages, PDF)
Recommendation: The New York State Bar Association Should Endorse Marriage Legislation That Provides Full Marriage Equality to Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Couples

Solo and Small Firm Practice
Approved by the NYSBA House of Delegates June 2009

Wrongful Convictions 
Approved by the NYSBA House of Delegates April 2009

Reports 2008

Attorney Conduct
Proposed New York Rules of Professional Conduct (Final Report, February 1, 2008). Please Note: the Association has forwarded the Proposed New York Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted by the House of Delegates on November 3, 2007, to the Appellate Division for the court's review.

Balanced Lives in the Law 
Report of the Special Committee on Balanced Lives in the Law, Approved March 7, 2008.

Civil Rights Agenda
Report of the Special Committee on Civil Rights Agenda 2008

Executive Detention 
Report of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Civil Rights, presented to the House of Delegates June 21, 2008. (Revised as of July 2008)

Reports 2007

Age Discrimination 
Report and recommendations on Mandatory Retirement Practices in the Profession (PDF Format) January 2007

E-Filing 
Recommendations of the Committee on E-Filing

Eminent Domain 
Report of the Task Force on Eminent Domain (PDF format). In November 2005, NYSBA President A. Vincent Buzard appointed a Special Task Force on Eminent Domain to provide legal analysis and recommendations about appropriate legislative and regulatory considerations in the practice of eminent domain law in the aftermath of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, 125 S.Ct. 2655 (2005). Both the original and the final reports of the task force are included here.

Not-for-Profit Corporations Law
Report of the Corporation Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (PDF formet) The Committee has initiated a process of review and proposed revision of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. Initially undertaken to conform the NPCL to the current Business Corporation Law in New York, this process presents an opportunity to revisit and improve selected provisions of the NPCL, especially in light of the dramatic changes in corporate governance throughout the sector in response to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act - May 2007

Professional Conduct Rules 
Proposed Rules of Professional Conduct as Adopted by the House of Delegates on January 26, 2007 (PDF format)

Reports 2006

Attorney Client Privilege 
Report approved by the NYSBA Executive Committee March 27, 2006 (PDF format)

Attorney Conduct 
Resolution Adopted November 5, 2005 to Govern Consideration of the Report of the Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (As amended June 24, 2006)(PDF Format)

Cy Pres 
Special Committee on Funding for Civil Legal Services report on Cy Pres for Civil Legal Services (PDF format) - April 1, 2006 A report and recommendations to the NYSBA House of Delegates

Lawyer Advertising 
Report of the Task Force on Lawyer Advertising (PDF format)- Approved by the House of Delegates January 27, 2006

Mandated Representation 
Follow-up Report of the Special Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation (PDF format) - Approved by the NYSBA House of Delegates Jan. 27, 2006

Professional Conduct Rules 
Proposed Rules of Professional Conduct as adopted by the House of Delegates at its November 4, 2006 meeting (PDF Format)

Public Safety 
Report and Recommendations of the Special Committee on Collateral Consequences of Criminal Proceedings

Reports 2005

Eminent Domain 
Resolution of Task Force on Eminent Domain (PDF format) November 2005

Mandated Representation 
Special Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation - Standards for Providing Mandated Representation. Approved by the NYSBA House of Delegates April 2, 2005 (PDF format)

Reports 2004

Access to Justice 
Report of the President's Committee on Access to Justice Concerning Pro Bono, and actions of the House of Delegates on April 3, 2004

Jury System 
Interim report of the Committee on the Jury System (PDF format) - January 26, 2004

Jury System
Second Interim Report of the Committee on the Jury System (PDF format)- March 2004

Same-Sex Couples 
Report of the Special Committee to Study Issues Affecting Same-Sex Couples - 2004 (PDF)

Reports 2003

Arbitration - Revised Uniform Arbitration Act 
Report on the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act (PDF format) June 2003

Association Governance 
Report of the Special Committee on Association Governance (PDF format) April 2003

Middle Income Consumers 
Report and Recommendations of the Commission on Providing Access to Legal Services for Middle Income Consumers (PDF Format) January 23, 2003

Multi-Jurisdictional Practice
Outline of comments and amendments submitted with respect to the report of the Special Committee on Multi-Jurisdictional Practice (PDF format) - June 5, 2003

Multi-Jurisdictional Practice 
Further Report of the Special Committee on Multi-Jurisdictional Practice

Professional Responsibility - New York Code 
Special Committee on Multi-Jurisdictional Practice - Proposed Amendments to the New York Code of Professional Responsibility, approved by the House of Delegates, June 21, 2003 (PDF Format)

Reports 2002

Anti-Terrorism 
Report on Military Commissions (PDF format)

Anti-Terrorism 
Resolution on Military Commissions (PDF format) June 22, 2002

Bar Examination
Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar - Report on the Public Service Alternative Bar Exam (PDF format) A joint report with the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Gender Equity
Gender Equity in the Legal Profession: A Survey, Observations and Recommendations (PDF format) Presented to the House on June 22, 2002. The House unanimously approved the report, which made recommendations on gender equity in the legal profession based on the survey responses of about 800 attorneys. The survey found that discrimination still exists in law firms, evidenced in part by unequal pay and a low percentage of women in high-level positions. The NYSBA will establish a Task Force to coordinate diversity efforts on behalf of all attorneys, and serve as a resource to assist law firms in addressing the barriers that remain for women and minority attorneys.

Judicial Campaign Conduct 
Report and resolution of Spec Committee on Judicial Campaign Conduct (PDF format) Presented to the House on June 22, 2002. The House approved the report. The committee is working with local bar associations to establish judicial campaign conduct committees at the local level to "help ensure that campaigns for judicial office are consistent with the dignity and integrity of the legal profession."

Mediation 
Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee - The Uniform Mediation Act and Mediation in New York (PDF format) November 2002

Multi-Jurisdictional Practice 
Report of the Commission on Multi-Jurisdictional Practice, August 2002 (PDF Format) by the American Bar Association

Multi-Jurisdictional Practice 
NYSBA Comments on the ABA's Report of the Commission on Multi-Jurisdictional Practice (PDF format) - Presented to the House on June 22, 2002. With some modifications, the report and recommendations were endorsed by the House. The Committee, chaired by Klaus Eppler, opposed a national lawyer licensing plan, and supported a model "admission on motion" rules, similar to what already exists in New York. The report also required that lawyers who open law offices in states where they are not admitted pay registration fees and comply with jurisdictional continuing education rules.

Reports 2001

Cameras in the Courtroom
Final Report or Special Committee on Cameras in the Courtroom (PDF format) March 31, 2001

Reports 2000

Multidisciplinary Practice (The MacCrate Report) 
Preserving the Core Values of the American Legal Profession: The Place of Multidisciplinary Practice in the Law Governing Lawyers - Approved April 2000 (Please note: this is a very large file and will take some time to download.)

Reports 1999

Alternative Dispute Resolution 
Bringing ADR into the New Millennium - Report on the Current Status and Direction of ADR in New York (PDF format) February 1999