Dear MBBA Members and Supporters:
As we continue to deal with the results of Hurricane Sandy, we will continue efforts to gather information and determine ways to best assist our members. We currently note that power/electricity is being restored to many parts of lower Manhattan between today and tomorrow. Until fully restored, please note the following:
The City Law Department is asking attorneys to call next week for information about specific depositions at the following numbers: Bronx— (718) 590-3971; Brooklyn —(718) 222-2069; Manhattan – (718) 222-2001; Queens – (718) 206-4703; Staten Island– (718) 447-5985. For general office inquires, call (718) 222-2226.
To determine the latest information concerning the status of New York State Courts and court closings go to: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/court-closings.shtml or you can call 1-800-COURTNY(1-800-268-7869).
E.D.N.Y: Both Brooklyn and Central Islip offices for the U.S. Attorney for Eastern District were re-opened Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Some judges have not been able to get to work so attorneys are advised to call the judge’s chambers before scheduled court appearances. Prisoners are being produced from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, but not from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan. The clerk’s office in both courthouses is accepting the hand delivery of new filings and new cases. The electronic filing system on is up for viewing but not for docketing. Court employees in the Brooklyn courthouse cannot receive e-mails as the courthouse has no Internet connectivity. The Central Islip courthouse currently does have internet access. Please go to https://www.nyed.uscourts.gov/ for any updates or call the Emergency status line at1-866-752-7362 option 1.
S.D.N.Y. – 500 Pearl St.: The Manhattan courthouse is closed through Friday, November 2; however, the White Plains, Middletown, and Poughkeepsie courthouses are open. Please go to http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/ or call (212) 805-0136 for further updates. 233 Broadway: The entire building is offline. Access to the building is prohibited with the exception of authorized personnel.
SDNY has also issued orders extending certain deadlines in criminal cases as a result of Hurricane Sandy (Fed. R. Crim. P. 45) (Fed. R. Crim. P. 32) and has also issued an order extending time for filing in civil cases.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has also issued an executive order suspending speedy trial deadlines and other statutory time restrictions in criminal, family and civil cases. http://www.governor.ny.gov/executiveorder/52
Touro Law Center will open a center next week to provide referrals, assistance and legal advice for local residents and small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Touro Law Center – Hurricane Emergency Assistance and Referral Team (TLC-HEART) will be staffed by volunteer lawyers and law students. Beginning on Monday, November 5, residents will be able to call the center at (631) 761-7198 and firstname.lastname@example.org to receive assistance from disaster relief trained students and attorneys who will match resident concerns with referrals to federal, state and local government agencies and private groups offering storm-related assistance. The telephone hotline will be answered live Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Voicemail messages can be left 24/7.
Other Bar Associations
Brooklyn Bar Association president Domenick Napoletano has encouraged members and non-members to use their facilities at 123 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights if their own offices are closed. (718) 624-0675.
New York County Lawyers Association, 14 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10007. Telephone: 212-267-6646 and the New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036, (212) 382-6600 is also open to the public during the week. Please call to confirm availability of services.
The New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service has created a dedicated number (1-800-699-5636) for people in need of help, and is currently recruiting attorneys to provide free telephone consultations to individuals affected by the storm. There is a particular need for attorneys with insurance, landlord/tenant, co-op and condo, or FEMA appeals experience, as well as those who can handle general practice matters. If you are able to help, please visit www.nysba.org/DisasterVolunteerSandy and complete a volunteer form.
The NYSBA is also providing a free non-accredited informational video on emergency preparedness strategies for attorneys. The program – Disaster Planning and Emergency Preparedness: Best Practices for Solos – was designed to help attorneys prepare for unforeseen crises that can jeopardize their practices and includes helpful information and steps to take following a disaster. The video will be available, free of charge, through the month of November. You can view it at: www.nysba.org/DisasterPlanningProgram.
Additional links for storm relief resources:
Disaster Assistance: http://www.disasterassistance.gov/
LawHelp NY: http://lawhelp.org/NY/
FEMA: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
NYS Department of Financial Services Storm Hotline: 1-800-339-1759
American Red Cross: 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767)
Please refer to the NYLJ articles for further details at http://www.law.com/jsp/nylj/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202577072360, http://www.law.com/jsp/nylj/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202577016615
Again, please contact the MBBA regarding your particular needs as we seek to determine ways to best assist our members and the members of the legal community. Those in need and volunteers should contact the MBBA at email@example.com or call(212) 965-1645.
With best regards,
Metropolitan Black Bar Association