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Equal Justice Requires Simplification of the New York State Courts

Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the State of New York, writes: New Yorkers need a simple-to-navigate, equitably-structured court system that delivers first-class justice services to every litigant in every court—regardless of who they are or where they come from in life.

Continued Pursuit of Excellence in a Time of Uncertainty

Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Unified Court System, writes: As a result of our increased reliance on technology and innovation, and the progress we have made to move cases during the pandemic, we have every expectation that the court system will be able to return to full operational capacity in the upcoming fiscal year.

The Tree of Democracy Requires the Sunlight of Service

Rolando T. Acosta, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, writes: These fraught and fractious times might tempt some to turn their backs on “the system” as corrupt or dysfunctional or broken beyond repair. Just the opposite reaction is required, however.

Exploring the Many Benefits of E-Filing

Hector D. LaSalle, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, writes: While adjusting to a new system naturally presents certain challenges to those used to the old system, electronic filing has provided our court with many benefits.

Patience, Perseverance, and Progress

Elizabeth A. Garry, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department, writes: Thanks to the commitment and ingenuity of the people who make up our justice system, we have not only persevered, but also begun to lay the foundation for a more efficient, sustainable, and just future for the judiciary.

Common Law Provides a Link to the Past, a Bridge to the Future

Gerald J. Whalen, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, writes: Whether a case will be written up in the news, remembered by the public, or quoted in future opinions, it is always the most important case to the parties involved, and is therefore deserving of equal vigor, attention, and deliberation from the courts.

Law as a Tool for Social Change

T. Andrew Brown, president of the New York State Bar Association, writes: It is our duty to continually strive to make the world a more just place and that mandate includes working to change laws that do not serve justice.

Impacts of Mental Illness on the Attorney Client Relationship

Sherry Levin Wallach, president-elect of the New York State Bar Association, writes: Our society’s mental illness crisis does not exist in a vacuum, but is inextricably interwoven with the issues of racism, social equity, and the law. It is a crisis that largely impacts representation of clients and the legal system as a whole.

The State of New York Business Law

Thomas M. Pitegoff, vice chair of the NYSBA Business Law Section, writes: At the New York State Bar Association’s 2022 Annual Meeting, the association’s Business Law Section will assess where New York stands in the competition among states for business.

We Must Unite To Restore Access to Justice

David Louis Cohen, chair of the NYSBA Criminal Justice Section, writes: All participants in the criminal legal system must work together to find solutions to the systemic problems caused by the pandemic. Once the pandemic is behind us, it will take a unified effort from all sides to restore the system’s ability to render justice to all.

Protecting the Most Vulnerable During the Pandemic

Deepankar Mukerji, chair of the NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section, writes: The current labor shortage is dangerous for the elderly and frail populations. As the state begins to address this issue and search for responses to the crisis, we will be monitoring the actions and proposals closely.

Forging Global Relationships and Forging Ahead on Crucial Issues

Edward Lenci, chair of the NYSBA International Section, provides a review of the various efforts by the section on a range of topics including ESG compliance, cybersecurity and data privacy, international litigation and arbitration, international tax, trusts, and estates planning, to name just a few.

Access to Justice: During, and After, the Pandemic

Hon. Denise Hartman, presiding member of the NYSBA Judicial Section, writes: We need to take care to be as safe as we can while we increase in-person proceedings and activities, but it is imperative that we do so if we are to really hear and understand each other as we work toward resolution of issues of disagreement.

Oyez, Oyez, Can You Hear Me Now?

Sarah Gold, chair of the NYSBA General Practice Section, writes: There are already financial issues that people face in seeking their day in court; a lack of technology should not be a barrier as well.

Striving Toward a More Just Profession

Christopher R. Riano, chair of the NYSBA LGBTQ Law Section, writes: According to the latest available data, over 35% of our section membership identifies as allies of the LGBTQ community. This data point speaks volumes about the importance of elevating all voices in the legal community when it comes to championing a broad and inclusive definition of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Reimagining Access to Government

Michael Kenneally, chair of the NYSBA Local and State Government Law Section, writes: An engaged and informed public presents local governments with an opportunity to reimagine public participation in government.

CLEs Will Address Safety, Leasing and More

Michelle H. Wildgrube, Chair of the NYSBA Real Property Law Section, describes what can be expected from the section’s programs at this year’s Annual Meeting.

At the Forefront of Uniform Rules Updates and Other Pressing Issues

Michael O’Brien, Chair of the NYSBA Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section, talks about how the section has weathered the pandemic and provided leadership in the face of changes to the Uniform Rules.

New Lawyers Will Need To Be Proficient Handling Emerging Technology

William S. Friedlander, Chair of the NYSBA Trial Lawyers Section, writes: In a post-pandemic world, we will rely more heavily on technology, and the next generation of legal professionals will need to understand its potential better than lawyers today do.

Lessons in Good Leadership

Sheryl B. Galler, Chair of the NYSBA Women in Law Section, writes: Join us to celebrate women who fight for equality, leverage their networks to help others, and support each other’s goals, and to show appreciation to persons of all genders who have been allies and champions in these important efforts.

Gleaning Something Positive Out of the Pandemic

Anne LaBarbera, Chair of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section, writes: We all wish the pandemic didn’t happen, but now that it has, we all need to look for the ways in which we can accentuate the positive.