NYSBA in the News: Repealing 50-a, Courthouses Lacking Gender Diversity and Expanding Mandatory CLE

By Brendan Kennedy

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On Saturday, June 13, the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) House of Delegates met virtually to discuss the reports produced by several task forces, sections and committees.

The Daily Record (NY) and the New York Law Journal both quoted Karson in a story about NYSBA’s House of Delegates voting to approve the report and recommendations from the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Task Force on Women’s Initiatives. The report noted the lack of gender diversity in courthouses across the state and made several recommendations to address the issue.

“At this crucial moment in our history as a state and a nation, as we struggle to overcome long-standing and deep-seated systemic inequalities, we must recognize that true progress lifts everyone up,” NYSBA President Scott M. Karson. “As a profession, we must, and we will, do better to ensure that all attorneys, regardless of their race, gender, and sexual orientation, have the opportunity to excel and succeed.”

Legaltech News quoted Karson in a story about NYSBA’s House of Delegates approving the recommendations of the Committee on Technology and the Legal Profession to require attorneys to take at least one cybersecurity CLE credit.

Scott Karson, president of the New York State Bar Association and partner at Melville, New York-based Lamb & Barnosky said the NYSBA’s support of the amendment was driven in large part by the increase in attorneys working remotely around the state. “Now more than ever I think what most members of the House of Delegates believe, in this era where so many of us are working remotely from home, is the concern for cybersecurity is greater than ever.”

He explained that at home, “you don’t have the infrastructure you would have working in your law firm office or whatever your principle place of employment is.”

The nationwide protests that have erupted in the wake of the killing of George Floyd have put police reform front and center for elected officials across the country, including New York.

Karson was quoted in a New York Law Journal story about Governor Andrew Cuomo signing into law a package of police reforms, including the repeal of ’50-a’ which had been used to shield disciplinary records of police officers.

Scott Karson, president of the New York State Bar Association, said in a statement that the association applauded the reforms.

“Disclosing all records pertaining to police misconduct and discipline will help stem the tide of repeated and senseless incidents of police brutality that are all too frequently aimed at people of color and remain a scourge on our nation.”

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