Citing stronger-than-anticipated sentiment against the mandatory reporting of pro bono contributions, the leadership of the New York State Bar Association will write to Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman opposing the disclosure. A "spirited discussion" of the new disclosure rules by the bar group's executive committee during its spring meeting over the weekend led to a decision to remind the chief judge that the House of Delegates came out against self-reporting of pro-bono in 2004, said David Schraver, state bar president.
"Frankly, before this weekend, we had not heard a lot of that [opposition]," Schraver, a Nixon Peabody partner in Rochester, told the House of Delegates Saturday in Cooperstown. "We had heard some of it but it has become apparent this weekend that concern about this is widespread." The house applauded after Schraver said, "We will be preparing a letter that will be respectful, but direct" to Lippman about the bar group's position.
The mandatory pro bono reporting requirement went into effect starting May 1. Lippman said the information is needed to help the state get an accurate picture of how many hours and how much money lawyers are contributing to programs (NYLJ, June 19).
Also on Saturday, the House of Delegates approved a resolution that the 2004 additions of two seats on the executive committee and 12 seats in the House of Delegates for minority group members to increase diversity be continued for 10 more years rather than expire next year.