January 6, 2020: NYSBA Convenes Task Force on Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes to Combat Surge in Violence

By Communications Department

January 6, 2020

January 6, 2020: NYSBA Convenes Task Force on Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes to Combat Surge in Violence


By Communications Department

In response to a surge in hate crimes in New York state and across the nation, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) is convening a Task Force on Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes to combat this growing menace.

The task force will be chaired by Carrie H. Cohen, a Morrison & Foerster partner and former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Given the dramatic spike in bias-motivated hate crimes in New York, this emergency task force is committed to undertaking and completing its work as swiftly as possible. Relatedly, the association’s House of Delegates will consider recommendations made by a separate but related Task Force on Mass Shootings and Assault Weapons at its meeting Jan. 31.

“The promise of our country lies in government’s ability to protect citizens of all religions, races and ethnicities,” said Henry M. Greenberg, NYSBA’s president. “As a bar association, we must do everything in our power to make sure that New York state residents can once again feel safe in their places of worship and everywhere in their communities. This is a basic human right.”

The task force will examine the factors that have led to the increase in hate crimes, make legislative
and policy recommendations, suggest improvements to the federal and state legal system’s response to hate crime, and help to better educate the public on the value of diversity and inclusion. The recent spike in bias-motivated hate crimes “threatens the nation’s bedrock principles of equality and freedom from persecution,” Greenberg said. “It also undermines New York State’s obligation to safeguard its residents from bigotry and violence.”

The members of the task force are:

Mark H. Alcott, of counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Hon. Ellen N. Biben, administrative judge of the Supreme Court, Criminal Term, New York County

Thomas A. Capezza, partner, Capezza Hill

Andrew G. Celli, Jr., partner, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady

Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, of counsel, Greenberg Traurig, former judge, New York State Court of Appeals

Joseph D’Amico, senior vice president & chief security officer, Montefiore Health System, former superintendent, New York State Police

Karen Friedman Agnifilo, chief assistant district attorney, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

Michael C. Green, executive deputy commissioner, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services

Gail Heatherly, senior counsel, criminal justice division, bureau chief, conviction review Bureau, counsel, special investigations and prosecutions unit, New York State Office of the Attorney General

Hon. C. Randall Hinrichs, district administrative judge, 10th Judicial District

Scott M. Karson, partner, Lamb & Barnosky, NYSBA president-elect

Joon H. Kim, partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Denise O’Donnell, senior fellow, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University

Hon. Christina Ryba, Supreme Court justice, 3rd Judicial District

Paul L. Schectman, partner, Bracewell

Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin, of counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, U.S. District Judge (ret.)

Avi Schick, partner, Troutman Sanders

Carol A. Sigmond, partner, Cohen Seglias

Hon. Madeline Singas, district attorney, Nassau County

Hon. Timothy D. Sini, district attorney, Suffolk County

Tali Farhadian Weinstein, general counsel, Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office

Hon. George A. Yanthis, U.S. magistrate judge (ret.), Southern District of New York

In addition to the task force, NYSBA is convening a Presidential Summit on White Nationalism and
Domestic Terrorism in America on January 29. The summit, part of the association’s Annual Meeting, will be moderated by Craig M. Boise, dean and professor of law at the Syracuse University College of Law.

The panelists are: Hon. Jeh Charles Johnson, partner, Paul, Weiss & former U.S. Secretary of
Homeland Security; David D. Cole, national legal director, American Civil Liberties Union; Frank Figliuzzi, Jr., former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, NBC News/MSNBC national security analyst; Hon. Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton, Ohio and Leonard Zeskind, founder & president, Institute for Research and Education of Human Rights, author of “Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream.”

About the New York State Bar Association

The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.


Contact: Dan Weiller

[email protected]


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