Press Release: NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD LORNA SCHOFIELD’S CONFIRMATION TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2012

NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555
AAJC Contact: Kimberly Goulart (202) 499-7027

NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD LORNA SCHOFIELD’S CONFIRMATION TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

WASHINGTON – Today the United States Senate confirmed Lorna Schofield by a 91-0 vote to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is the first person of Filipino descent to serve as an Article III judge in American history.

“NAPABA congratulates Lorna Schofield on her confirmation as a federal district judge on the Southern District of New York and is proud to have supported her nomination and confirmation,” said Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We applaud President Obama and Senator Schumer for nominating Judge Schofield to this critical court, and continuing their commitment to nominating well-qualified, diverse candidates to the federal bench.”

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Schofield practiced law at the New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton for over 20 years. In 1991, she became the firm’s first partner of color and for the past year has served as Of Counsel. Prior to joining Debevoise, she was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Criminal Division) for four years. Ms. Schofield was the first Asian Pacific American to chair the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, and she previously served as a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. In 2008, the National Law Journal named Ms. Schofield one of the nation’s 50 most influential minority lawyers.

“We congratulate Lorna Schofield on her confirmation and commend President Obama and Senator Schumer for their commitment to diversifying the bench with exceptionally well-qualified judicial nominees,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “The community is hopeful that our Senate leaders will work to confirm Pamela Chen, President Obama and Senator Schumer’s nominee to the Eastern District of New York this year. Ms. Chen’s confirmation on the heels of the Judge Schofield’s would be celebrated by all in New York City, as well as Asian Americans across the nation.”

With her confirmation today, Judge Schofield will join Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York as the only judges of Asian descent serving on the federal district courts of New York. While Asian Pacific Americans make up approximately 14 percent of New York City’s population, only two of the over 90 active and senior Article III judges currently serving the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York are Asian Pacific Americans. The nomination of another well-qualified Asian Pacific American, Pamela Ki Mai Chen, awaits a vote on the floor of the United States Senate. Senator Schumer recommended Ms. Chen for a seat on the Eastern District of New York, and President Obama nominated her in August 2012.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 64 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

The Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, works closely with its affiliate organizations – the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles – to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.

SDNY offers Trial Advocacy Training for Pro Bono Lawyers

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is pleased to offer a full-day trial advocacy training for pro bono lawyers. Led by District Court judges and leading practitioners, this training is offered to lawyers who are admitted to practice in the Southern District and are interested in providing pro bono representation to pro se litigants.

The program takes place on Friday, January 11, 2013 and runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse (500 Pearl Street, Room 850).

The training is free and will offer participants an opportunity to receive CLE credit for their participation. For more information, please download the PDF here.

SDNY ORDERS: Extensions of deadlines in civil, criminal cases

Update from SDNY Public Information Officer:

Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska of the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York issued three orders today regarding the
extension of deadlines in civil and criminal cases as a result of Hurricane
Sandy. I previously sent the order related to Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 45, which is attached here again. The two other orders related to
civil cases and Fed. R. Crim. P. 32 were issued later. All three orders are
also available on the home page of our website at http://nysd.uscourts.gov.

Stephanie Cirkovich, Esq.
Public Information Officer
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
(212) 805-0529 direct
(917) 273-8110 cell
(212) 805-0383 fax
http://nysd.uscourts.gov/

CIVIL NOTICES OF APPEAL MUST BE FILED ONLINE STARTING OCTOBER 15

Important notice from SDNY, October 15, 2012 effective date:

COURT NOTICE TO THE BAR
CONTACT: Clerk of Court, 212-805-0136

Effective October 15, 2012, the filing of Notices of Appeal in civil cases and payment of the associated fees must be completed online using the Court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system.  Go here for the official court notice.

Pro se parties who are not members of the bar and who do not have an active ECF account are exempt from this rule. Pro se parties must file a Notice of Appeal in the traditional manner (on paper) and pay the appropriate fee to the Clerk of Court.
Instructions and training for filing a Notice of Appeal on the District Court’s CM/ECF system are available at http://nysd.uscourts.gov/ecf_training.php

Stephanie Cirkovich, Esq.
Public Information Officer
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
(212) 805-0529 direct
(917) 273-8110 cell
(212) 805-0383 fax
http://nysd.uscourts.gov/

SDNY NOTICE: TRANSCRIPTS OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AVAILABLE ELECTRONICALLY STARTING SEPTEMBER 1

COURT NOTICE TO THE BAR
August 17, 2012

CONTACT
SDNY Clerk of Court, 212-805-0136

TRANSCRIPTS OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AVAILABLE ELECTRONICALLY STARTING SEPTEMBER 1

Pursuant to the Judicial Conference of the United States Policy on Privacy and Public Access to Electronic Case Files, as of September 1, 2012, official transcripts of criminal court proceedings taken by official court reporters, contract court reporters, and transcribers will be made available electronically on the Court’s Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system and through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. This policy will apply to all official transcripts of criminal proceedings or parts of criminal proceedings ordered on or after the above date.

For more information and and an outline of the procedures for redacting portions of a transcript, click here.

President Barack Obama Nominates Lorna G. Schofield to Serve as a U.S. District Judge on the SDNY Bench

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) welcomes and applauds the news that President Barack Obama has nominated Lorna G. Schofield to serve as a federal district court judge in the Southern District of New York. “AABANY is delighted to learn that President Obama has nominated Lorna Schofield to serve on the Southern District of New York bench” said Jean Lee, President of AABANY. “If confirmed, Ms. Schofield would be the first Filipino-American to serve as an Article III federal judge in the history of this country, which would be a legacy of both the Second Circuit and New York State.”   Click here to read the full press release.

Lorna Schofield

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 [email protected]

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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NYCLA CLE: Affidavits in Lieu of Testimony on 9/20

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia 212 267-6646 ext. 225 [email protected]

First-of-Its-Kind CLE Program on Using Affidavits in Lieu of Direct Testimony at Trial on September 20

August 23, 2011 – New York, NY – The New York State–Federal Judicial Council, the Second Circuit Judicial Council and the New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) are co-sponsoring a first-of-its-kind CLE program on the use of affidavits in lieu of direct testimony at (bench) trial. The program takes place on September 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, 9th Floor. Please note that due to the (very) large number of registrants to date, a live feed of the panel discussion will also be viewable in the jury assembly room on the ground floor at 500 Pearl St., and if necessary, also in Courtrooms 9A and 9B in the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street. CLE credit will be awarded for those who attend in any of these venues.

The program is free for attorneys who are admitted to practice in the State of New York; participants will receive two Professional Practice credits. Because space is limited, please register no later than September 8 (by 2:00 p.m.) on the Second Circuit Judicial Council’s website, http://ww2.ca2.uscourts.gov/cle/Login.aspx.

The practice of substituting affidavits for direct testimony at bench trials is becoming more widespread in courtrooms across the country. NYCLA recently recommended that this practice be implemented in New York’s intensely busy Family Court; it is already in place in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court and it is prevalent in federal courts. Lawyers who attend this CLE event—the first ever to discuss the use of affidavits in lieu of direct testimony—will gain valuable insight into this practice from a distinguished group of judges and practitioners.

Professor Jane Spinak of Columbia Law School will moderate. Panelists include: the Honorable Richard M. Berman, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; the Honorable Laura E. Drager, New York State Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County; the Honorable Douglas E. Hoffman, New York State Family Court (Manhattan); Susan Bender, Esq., of Bender Rosenthal Isaacs & Richter LLP and past President of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York; and John J. Kerr, Esq., of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Light refreshments will be served at the event.

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