NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III Testifies before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property on the Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary

For Immediate Release: 
Date: July 12, 2021

Contact: Edgar Chen, Policy Director

Click here for Testimony.

WASHINGTON – This morning, NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property at a hearing entitled, “The Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary, Part 2: The Selection and Confirmation Process.” President Cruz’s testimony on behalf of NAPABA highlighted the challenges that Asian Pacific American attorneys often encounter as they attempt to advance in the legal profession. According to the 2017 landmark study “A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law” (“Portrait Project”) published jointly by NAPABA and Yale Law School, the most often cited issues are lack of mentorship and role models, lack of leadership training, and work going unrecognized. President Cruz’s testimony also drew on the Portrait Projects finding that the selection process for clerkships or law firm promotion – often a prerequisite for judicial consideration, involves not only measures of objective criteria but also access to mentorship and subjective criteria which are often amorphous factors that decision makers rely on to determine whom they regard as their proteges. President Cruz was joined on the panel by his Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) colleague and Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) President Elia Diaz Yeager.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession..

New York State Courts Press Release: Virtual Courts Up and Running Statewide

The New York State court system continues to institute a variety of temporary emergency measures to deliver essential justice services during these extraordinary times, with Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks today reporting that virtual court operations−allowing essential and emergency court proceedings to be conducted remotely−are now in effect statewide. The “virtual court” model, which is being implemented on a temporary basis and was introduced in New York City’s Criminal Court and Family Court on March 25, 2020 and March 26, 2020, respectively, has been rapidly expanded in response to the fast- evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please visit https://www.nycourts.gov/LegacyPDFS/press/PDFs/PR20_14virtualcourtsstatewide.pdf.

From KALAGNY: New York Court Restrictions and Protocols, COVID-19 Update

Thanks to KALAGNY for sharing these important court updates for New York courts.

New York State Unified Court System

March 20, 2020 Executive Order No. 202.8 from Governor Cuomo (Link)

“[A]ny specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as prescribed by the procedural laws of the state, including but not limited to the criminal procedure law, the family court act, the civil practice law and rules, the court of claims act, the surrogate’s court procedure act, and the uniform court acts, or by any other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or part thereof, is hereby tolled from the date of this executive order until April 19, 2020”

Executive Order 202.8 directs a 100% in-person workforce reduction as of March 22, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. for “non-essential” services. Law firms have not been identified on the Executive Order or the Governor’s guidances as “essential.” Please see the NYSBA’s summary of the Executive Order here.

March 22, 2020 Administrative Order from Chief Administrative Judge Marks.

“[E]ffective immediately and until further order, no papers shall be accepted for filing by a county clerk or a court in any matter of a type not included on the list of essential matters attached as Exh. A. This directive applies to both paper and electronic filings.”

March 19, 2020 Memo from NY State Court Regarding Essential Services (Link)

For information, please see: https://www.nycourts.gov/

United States District Court, Southern District of New York

March 11, 2020 Memo Re: COVID-19 Protocols (Link)

For more information, please see: https://nysd.uscourts.gov/covid-19-coronavirus

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York

March 18, 2020 Administrative Order 2020-06 from Chief Judge Mauskopf (Link)

March 18, 2020 Administrative Order 2020-11 from Chief Judge Mauskopf (Link)

For more information, please see: https://www.nyed.uscourts.go

United States District Court, Northern District of New York

March 13, 2020 General Order #58 in Response to Coronavirus COVID-19 Public Emergency (Link) For more information, please see: https://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/public-emergency

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Effective March 23, 2020, oral arguments will be held by teleconference. For more information, please see: http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/

From the Historical Society of the New York Courts: Garfinkel Essay Contest Poll

From the Historical Society of the New York Courts: Garfinkel Essay Contest Poll

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:

State Courts

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).

Federal Courts

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 emailtlcheart@tourolaw.edu 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 info@mbbanyc.org or call(212) 965-1645.

With best regards,

Nadine
———

R. Nadine Fontaine

President

Metropolitan Black Bar Association

Vincent Chang at NYCLA Public Hearing on Impact of Budget Cuts on Judiciary

Vincent Chang sat on a New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) panel at a public hearing on Friday, December 2 that addressed the impact of present and future budget cuts on the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the SDNY and Chief Judge Carol Amon of the EDNY testified at the hearing, which discussed, among other things, the effect that budget cuts would have on public safety, including courthouse security, as well as pretrial and probation supervisory services. The hearing also addressed issues relating to cutbacks in services provided to lawyers and to the public, such as cuts in clerk’s office support staff, docketing, interpreters, court reporting, audio visual, IT, and other areas, which could result in increased delays and other challenges to the administration of justice.

NYCLA Task Force Issues Report on Impact of Budgets Cuts on SDNY

Here’s the text from NYCLA’s press release on this important issue:

CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia 212 267-6646 ext. 225 aaboulafia@nycla.org

NYCLA Task Force Concludes Judicial Budget Cuts on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York May Heighten Security Risks 

NYCLA Task Force suggests lack of funding has negative effects on court operations.  

 New York, NY – August 26, 2011 – The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) Task Force on Judicial Budget Cuts, focusing on the effects of budget cuts on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, released a Preliminary Report that concludes security may be at risk at the Daniel P. Moynihan Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street and overall courthouse operations will be affected as a result of anticipated personnel reductions. 

 “The NYCLA Preliminary Report documents the effect that budget cuts had on the court this current year and will have in fiscal year 2012,” said NYCLA President Stewart D. Aaron. “The Southern District of New York is the Mother Court, the oldest district court in the country.  It is important that the Congress and President Barack Obama pay particular heed to the effect of budget cuts in the Southern District, not only because of the impacts on that court, but also because they are emblematic of the issues faced by federal courts around the country.”

 The Preliminary Report, released on August 25, includes a detailed letter from Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York, Hon. Loretta A. Preska, noting that fundamental security issues identified in September 2002 have never been addressed due to budgetary considerations. According to the Report, “The courthouse is an obvious terrorist target and has an average of 2,500 visitors or more per day.”

 Highlights from the report include:

  • Lack of funding has resulted in delays in construction of a visitor’s screening pavilion outside the Moynihan Courthouse public entrance and delays in the relocation and protection of the air intakes.
  • Fiscal year 2011 saw budget cuts of 7.6%, resulting in reductions in non-personnel spending.
  • Further budget reductions are anticipated for fiscal year 2012, which may require non-judicial personnel reductions of up to 15%. 
  • In the event of a shutdown, “non-essential” personnel would be furloughed. 

“Security at the Courthouse and the safety of Court personnel, attorneys and the public are matters of paramount concern that should be addressed immediately,” said Michael McNamara, chair of the Task Force’s Federal Courts Subcommittee.

 Hon. Stephen G. Crane and Michael Miller, co-chairs of the Task Force, stated, “As this report demonstrates, the Federal Court has not been immune to budget cuts.” The Task Force plans to conduct a more in-depth investigation over the next several months, which will include sponsoring a public hearing at NYCLA in the fall, and the preparation of a more comprehensive report on the impact of the budget cuts on the administration of justice. 

About the New York County Lawyers’ Association

The New York County Lawyers’ Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.

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