With the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service (CAPS) having just sponsored its 11th CLE at the Association's 2011 Annual Meeting, it seemed a good time to reflect upon our past programs and their relevance to attorneys working in the public sector.
CAPS' first two meeting programs were half day afternoon affairs, and featured then USC Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky. On January 27, 2000, Professor Chemerinsky's topic was "Is the Supreme Court Changing the Balance of Power? The Sovereign Immunity Cases," while on January 23, 2001, he reviewed the U.S. Supreme Court 2000 term. That review began a tradition of annual Supreme Court reviews, with Professors Chemerinsky and Susan Herman of Brooklyn Law School in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005; Professors Herman and Burt Neuborne of NYU Law School in 2006; Professors Herman and Jason Mazzone, also of Brooklyn Law School, in 2007 2008 and 2009; and Professors Mazzone and William Araiza, also of Brooklyn Law School, in 2010 and 2011.
Beginning in 2002, the CAPS program expanded to a full day, with the annual Supreme Court review and the remainder of the day devoted each year to a current topic of interest. On January 22, 2002, Dr. Isaiah Zimmerman, Ph.D., a clinical and consulting psychologist specializing in the areas of collegial relations on appellate courts and judicial stress management, presented a talk entitled "Decision Making and Stress Management" that had been co-sponsored by CAPS' Subcommittee on Administrative Law Judges.
Given the present interest in government ethics reform in 2011, it is noteworthy that CAPS' second topical program, in 2003, was entitled "Ethics in Government: The Public Trust - A Two-Way Street." The speakers that day included Karl Sleight, then Executive Director of the former NYS Ethics Commission; Ralph Miccio, counsel to the NYS Temporary Commission on Lobbying; Mark Davies, Executive Director and General Counsel of the NYC Conflicts of Interest Board; and Professor Patricia Salkin of Albany Law School, later to also become a Chair of CAPS.
2004 saw a CAPS program that recognized that concerns about national and local security altered the work of government attorneys and public interest lawyers. Moderated by Professor William Banks, an expert in national security from the Syracuse University College of Law, a panel on the subject "Safeguarding Civil Liberties while Countering Terrorism" that day also included Professors Herman and Chemerinsky; Linda Cantoni, of the Investigations Division of the Queens District Attorney's office; and Benton Campbell, Assistant US Attorney and former Anti-Terrorism Task Force Coordinator for the Eastern District of New York, In 2005. national security concerns led to a second expanded program on the subject, this time entitled "Safeguarding Civil Liberties in an Era of Terrorism: The Dialogue Continues" with Professor Herman moderating a discussion among speakers that included Professors Chemerinsky and Banks, Professor John Eastman of the Chapman University Law School and the Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence; and Hon. Shira Scheindlin, US District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Concurrent with the Annual Supreme Court review that year, 2005 also included a separate session on Lobbying, Procurement and Ethics Laws featuring Anne G. Phillips and Lisa Fox, Esqs., both of the NYS Office of General Services; James D. Featherstonhaugh, Esq., of Featherstonehaugh Wiley and Clyne; David Grandeau, Esq., Executive Director of the NYS Temporary Commission on Lobbying; and Stephen P. Younger, Esq., of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP, and who became President of NYSBA in 2010.
In 2006, a program entitled "Current Legal Issues in Government Reform: Judicial Elections, Public Authority, and State Government" was moderated by Professor Salkin, and the panelists included, on Public Authority Reform, Ira Millstein, Esq., and Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky; on Judicial Reform, Dean John Feerick of Fordham University School of Law and Fern Schair, Chair of the Fund for Modern Courts; and on the State Constitution and Governance, Professor Michael Hutter of Albany Law School and Jeremy Creelan of the Brennan Center for Justice.
The topic for the 2007 annual program was "Eminent Domain: Is this land your land?," with a general overview provided by Professor John Nolon of Pace University School of Law, followed by two panels. Henry DeCotis, Esq., Assistant NYS Attorney General, Lisa Bova-Hiatt, Esq., of the NYC Department of Law and Michael Rikon, Esq., discussed the procedural differences by which property is acquired by different levels of government, while Mr. DeCotis, Jon Santemma, Esq. and Westchester County Attorney Charlene M. Indelicato talked about issues facing practitioners in the field.
The 2008 meeting revisited ethics and lobbying, with a program entitled "Introducing the New York State "Commission on Integrity": Strengthening the State's Ethics and Lobbying Law." The speakers that day all came from the new Commission and included its Executive Director, Herbert Teitelbaum, and Ralph P. Miccio and Joan P. Sullivan.
Recalling and remembering the distinguished career of former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, the 2009 program reflected on her distinguished role both as Chief Judge of the State of New York and of the Court of Appeals following the end of her service in 2008. Hon. Jonathan A. Lippman, then Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, moderated a panel discussing Judge Kaye's legacy of visionary leadership and which included six distinguished speakers, following which two additional panels reflected upon New York's revolution in problem solving justice and Judge Kaye's judicial humanism. The day concluded with remarks by Judge Kaye.
The 2010 program, co-sponsored by the Judicial Section, dealt with "The State Legislature and the State Constitution: The Path Forward" and featured three panels. Moderated by Professor Hutter, the first panel focused on the Legislature and its speakers were Laurence D. Laufer, Esq., Justin Levitt, of the Brennan Center for Justice and Mark. F. Glaser, Esq. The second panel focused on state constitutional change, featuring Professors Hutter and Peter Galie of Canisius College, while the third panel, on constitutional change, featured Supreme Court Justice (New York County); former Senator John R. Dunne, Esq.; Robert Ward, of the Rockefeller Institute of Government; and Peter J. Kiernan, Esq., Counsel to former Governor Paterson.
This past week, therefore, marked the 11th year that CAPS has presented a program on a program of timely interest. Recognizing the fiscal crisis currently faced in New York, two panels addressed the sobering issues in a program entitled "Government in a Time of Economic Crisis: Doing More With Less." The first panel, appropriately captioned as "Don't Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste: Opportunities Created in Times of Fiscal Hardship," featured three speakers. Chief Administrative Judge Anne Pfau discussed, among other issues, the need of the Judiciary to handle increasing workloads with fewer staff resources, approximately 1800 nonjudicial employees of the Judiciary having taken advantage of the early retirement incentive in 2010. Former Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch, and Blair Horner, Legislative Director of the NYS Public Interest Research Group, also gave frank and disturbing visions of the state's current fiscal problems and the extraordinarily difficult decisions that will be required to bring about improvement. Following this group, a second panel discussed labor issues in a time of cutback and utilizing federal resources to mitigate those issues. The three panelists were Robert Ward, of the Rockefeller Institute, who made a repeat appearance following his 2010 talk; Mary Kavaney, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety for former Governor Paterson, and who continues in that position under Governor Cuomo; and Timothy Gilchrist, President of the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, and Director of former Governor Paterson's Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Cabinet. Sadly, the Committee learned on the day prior to the program that the fourth scheduled speaker of the day, John Galligan, Esq., of the NY Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials, a recognized authority on local government issues, had died earlier in the week.
The CAPS Annual Meeting program is followed each year by our Awards Reception, where the Association's Award for Excellence in Public Service is presented, and this year's honorees were noted, and links to press releases about them cited, in an earlier posting on this blog. They were Rick Schaffer, General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs at the City University of New York; Jerome Lefkowitz, Chair of the NYS Public Employment Relations Board; and Hon. Norman Goodman, County Clerk of New York County.
Prior CAPS honorees have been:
- 2010 - Diane F. Bosse, NYS Board of Law Examiners
Hon. Patricia D. Marks, Monroe Count Court
Peter H. Schiff, NYS Department of Law
- 2009 - Anthony J. Annucci, NYS Department of Correctional Services
Denise E. O'Donnell, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services
- 2008 - Mark Davies, NYC Conflicts of Interest Board
Barbara F. Smith, Lawyer Assistance Trust
- 2007 - Murray M. Jaros, NYS Association of Towns
Hon. Judith S. Kaye, NYS Court of Appeals
Joan A. Kehoe, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
- 2006 - David P. Klingaman (posthumously), NYS Court of Claims
Hon. Jonathan Lippman, NYS Unified Court System
Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 42nd Infantry Division
- 2005 - Robert J. Freeman, NYS Commission on Open Government
Walter E. Mugdan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- 2004 - Jeffrey Friedlander, NYC Law Department
Leonard Koerner, NYC Law Department
- 2003 - NYS Office of the Attorney General, under the direction of Hon. Eliot Spitzer
- 2002 - Archibald R. Murray (posthumously), NYC Legal Aid Society
Prof. Patricia E. Salkin, Albany Law School, Government Law Center
- 2001 - Robert Morgenthau, NYC District Attorney
- 2000 - Hon. Joseph Bellacosa, NYS Court of Appeals