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ELECTRONICALLY-IN-TOUCH

July 2011

 

Dear Young Lawyers Section Members:

Welcome to Electronically-In-Touch, the e-news publication of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section. Included in this issue of the newsletter is an update on regulatory developments in the area of commodities law, an informative article on how young New York lawyers can develop their leadership skills, and a law student's viewpoint regarding developments in the area of gun-control legislation. We have also included news regarding upcoming section related events and activities. Please keep your articles and submissions coming in to Electronically-In-Touch.


Nilesh Yashwant Ameen, Esq.
Editor, Electronically-In-Touch


 

COMMODITIES LAW UPDATE

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Strengthens Rules Against Market Manipulation

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on July 7 passed new rules enabling it to fight market manipulation in the swaps, commodities and futures markets. The new rules, implementing changes to the Commodity Exchange Act made by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act give more teeth to an agency that is showing a greater interest in prosecuting market manipulation actions in light of current financial market conditions.

New Rule 180.1 under the CFTC Regulations adopts a new "recklessness" standard regarding market manipulation, in essence prohibiting intentional or reckless conduct amounting to fraud regarding swaps, commodities or futures contracts (this includes delivering false, misleading or inaccurate reports regarding crop or market information).

New Rule 180.2 implements by rule a prohibition against price manipulation in the swaps, commodities or futures markets, but does not include a "recklessness" standard.

The new rules aim to bolster the CFTCs fight against fraud and manipulation in the commodities and futures markets, and bring its enforcement powers closer to those of other agencies such as the Securities & Exchange Commission. It remains to be seen, however, whether the CFTC will be any more successful at combating financial and market fraud than other financial regulatory enforcement agencies have been.

 

- Nilesh Yashwant Ameen, Esq.

1. For further information on the CFTC's new market manipulation rules see http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@lrfederalregister/documents/file/2011-17549a.pdf
2. For an initial reaction to the new market manipulation rules see
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-07/cftc-may-adopt-dodd-frank-swaps-rule-against-market-manipulation.html


ATTORNEY CAREER DEVELOPMENT

New York Young Lawyers' Leadership Guide

By David D. Postolski and Matthew D. Asbell 

If you're reading this, you must have realized that your success as a New York attorney is not merely the result of your keen understanding of the relevant law and your ability to apply that law to the facts of the cases you are assigned. While your billable work and the quality thereof are always important, they will not necessarily speak for themselves when you are looking for your next job, trying to develop your client base, or otherwise building your career. Your academic transcript, credentials and diligent analysis of the legal issues won't help you find guidance about areas of the law in which you practice or eventually want to practice. It also won't help you select appropriate local counsel, specialized services or technologies to accomplish your job or market your services more efficiently. Attorneys will suggest that you join bar associations and attend networking and CLE events for these purposes. However, the benefits don't come by interpreting this advice to mean that passive involvement or short term investment is sufficient. Rather, real success as a young lawyer in New York comes from your repeated long term exposure and involvement as part of the larger community beyond your firm or company. This is especially true in a difficult economy, where you must consistently distinguish yourself through your expertise, leadership, and commitment.

Many attorneys establish themselves as leaders and experts through their active involvement in bar associations including The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). But how does one actually do that? It's not enough to merely pay your dues and become a member. The complex structures of bar associations may be difficult to decode for law students and young lawyers. In recognition of this, outlined below are key steps to navigating the relevant organizational structure of the NYSBA in order to participate in a manner that benefits you, your firm or company, the legal community and eventually your clients.

 

Step 1: Join a NYSBA Section

 

Newly-admitted attorneys in New York are enrolled in the NYSBA free of charge for one year, and law students and unadmitted recent graduates can join NYSBA for just ten dollars ($10) a year. However, to augment the value of membership, young lawyers should join at least one of the NYSBA's substantive or demographic Sections for a nominal fee. One such Section is the Young Lawyers Section (YLS), which is geared toward helping new attorneys navigate the various aspects of practice.

 

Contemporaneously, or at least before they no longer qualify as "Young Lawyers" according to the YLS after the tenth year of practice, future NYSBA leaders affirmatively join one or more substantive Sections that interest them, such as the Intellectual Property (IP) Section or the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section.

 

Section membership exposes the young lawyer to cutting edge issues in his or her practice area and makes him or her aware of opportunities to advance his or her career or to network with colleagues. For instance, the IP Section of NYSBA has a Young Lawyer Fellow program, and a writing competition for law students and young lawyers. Members of the Section are more likely to learn about relevant opportunities and their deadlines.

 

Step 2: Join one or more Committees

 

Successful leaders usually proceed, as early as possible, to join specific committees within the substantive Section(s). The various Sections are organized into committees, which address more specific topics within a practice area or demographics. For instance, the NYSBA IP Section has inter alia committees on International Intellectual Property Law, Trademark Law, and Young Lawyers.

 

Step 3: Obtain a Project Assignment from the Committee Chairs/Vice-Chairs

 

Having joined a committee, it is important to distinguish oneself as an interested volunteer from those others who may have joined only to passively receive information. This can be achieved by directly communicating with the chairpersons of the committee. Typically, committees will have several projects in need of volunteers, such as organizing presentations about substantive law and social events, although some committees may be more active than others. Inquiring about or suggesting a project in which you might be interested can often result in an opportunity for you to collaborate with your fellow members.

 

Step 4: Meet your Colleagues at NYSBA Meetings

 

Despite the numerous ways of connecting with colleagues without ever leaving one's desk, nothing quite compares to meeting in person. Resourceful young attorneys can often find ways to subsidize their trips to such meetings through any of various positions, fellowships, scholarships, and sponsorships available within or outside of the organization. Such meetings consist of opportunities to work with Section and Committee leaders and colleagues, get educated and obtain CLE credits, and socialize during meals, receptions, and touristic events. An excellent example is the Fall Meeting of NYSBA IP Section, which is typically held at a resort far enough outside of New York City that even the most focused of "city slickers" loosen up enough to facilitate development of long-lasting relationships.

 

Step 5: Integrate with Counterparts and Colleagues in Other Organizations

 

While involvement with NYSBA creates opportunities within the state, young lawyer leaders recognize the increased benefit of supplementing their membership by participating in both more and less focused communities. They can reach beyond the state by belonging to national or international organizations. Similar to NYSBA, some of those organizations will have a broad scope covering all lawyers, while having subdivisions based on demographic or practice-specific criteria. For example, the American Bar Association (ABA) has a Young Lawyers Division and a Section of Intellectual Property Law. Other national or international organizations may be focused more directly on a particular category of lawyers. For instance, the Association of Corporate Counsel serves in-house attorneys and the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association is for IP practitioners. Young New York lawyers can also zoom in within their geographic location or practice area by getting involved with more localized or targeted organizations. For example, local organizations in New York City include the New York County Lawyers Association and the New York City Bar Association, and practice-specific groups in New York City include the New York Intellectual Property Lawyers Association. Active membership in multiple organizations, provided one avoids becoming overcommitted, can have a synergistic effect on one's ability to develop leadership skills and a reputation within the legal community.

 

One way of achieving such synergies is by serving as a delegate to a larger organization on behalf of NYSBA. Responsibilities may differ depending on the organization, but delegates serve as the voice of NYSBA and vote on a variety of resolutions and issues affecting young lawyers and the profession. For example, the authors were NYSBA delegates to the ABA Young Lawyers Division Assembly, where we addressed issues such as the legalization of gay marriage, the constitutionality and propriety of certain immigration law enforcement policies, and misleading advice to law students about the cost of education and the compensation one should expect to earn after school. Sometimes, serving as a delegate can also subsidize the cost of attending a remote meeting.

 

A less formal means of benefiting from the synergies of being involved in multiple organizations arises from learning what others are doing and finding ways to integrate with each other's projects. For instance, the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law has a Young Lawyers Action Group which has initiated efforts to organize localized groups of young lawyer IP practitioners in various cities. Its New York City group has hosted several informal breakfasts and invited law student mentees and colleagues from other bar associations to participate.

 

Becoming an active participant in a bar association provides a sense of satisfaction that you are at the forefront of your practice area and in control of your legal path. In fact, this article was co-written by two colleagues who met as a result of doing all of the above within a bar association, and continue to work together to benefit each other and the legal community.

 

David D. Postolski is an associate in the Innovation Division of Cantor Fitzgerald, LP in New York and a frequent delegate of NYSBA to the ABA Young Lawyers Division.

Matthew D. Asbell is an associate in the New York City office of the International IP boutique firm of Ladas & Parry LLP.  He has previously served NYSBA as a co-chair of the Young Lawyers Committee of the Intellectual Property Section, a member of that Section's Executive Committee, and a judge of its annual Writing Competition for several years.  He has also served as a delegate of NYSBA to the ABA Young Lawyers Division.

 

The authors express their deepest gratitude to our colleagues, Chrissie Scelsi, Jennifer Chung, and Jason Zack, who provided thoughtful comments on the original version of this article.  A variation of this article was first published in The Young Lawyer, a newsletter of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.


 

LAW STUDENT OPINION

"State Regulated Gun Control is Dwindling Right Before Our Eyes, So Load Up!"

By Dave Dambreville

So the 2nd Amendment debate continues...

Ever since the 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller led by Justice Scalia that held that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for private use within the home, a heated debate over this right emerged. Heller was the first Supreme Court case in U.S. history to decide that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self defense. The Heller decision specifically struck down a flat ban on all handguns in Washington, D.C., but did indicate that not all gun control laws would fail under the Second Amendment.

The fallout of this decision has been that many powerful leaders and heads of state, including New York's Mayor Bloomberg, have vigorously petitioned to maintain state regulation of firearms (i.e. handguns). Their fear is that in heavily populated areas, like major U.S. cities, the individual right to bear arms poses too great a threat to citizens. Mayor Bloomberg has argued that within the confines of crowded subway train cars and the densely populated Midtown streets, without city and state regulation, there is too great a threat of deadly violence. Yet in 2010, in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court extended the Second Amendment gun right to apply to state, county and city laws, as well as federal statutes, giving the right a much wider reach.

On Monday May 2nd, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (following the Supreme Court's lead) ruled to make it easier for gun owners to challenge laws seeking to regulate how that right can be exercised outside the home in Nordyke, et al., v. King, et al. (Circuit docket 07-15763). The Ninth Circuit, which encompasses the western states (i.e. California, Arizona, Nevada, etc.), is the largest of the courts of appeal and arguably the most influential. The significance of this Ninth Circuit decision is that it marks the lower courts recent tendency to increase the scope of the Second Amendment and extend the right beyond the private use within the home.

I must admit that as a native New Yorker, familiar with living and traveling within a big city, the recent expansion of the Second Amendment truly worries me. The mere thought of a train car full of passengers carrying loaded weapons sends chills up my spine. Yes, I definitely support Mayor Bloomberg on this one!

 

Dave Dambreville is a 2013 J. D. Candidate at Penn State Law. He is President of the Black Law Students Association, and is also Director of Communications of the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association.

* This article previously appeared on Dave Dambreville's blog at http://davedambreville.com

 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The Community Service & Pro Bono Committee of the Young Lawyers Section is seeking
volunteers to work on upcoming service projects including:
• Constitution Day with the Law Youth and Citizenship Program (September)
• Holiday Drives (December)
• And Much More!!
If you are interested in learning more about the Young Lawyers' Community Service & Pro Bono Committee or coordinating a community service/pro bono event in your District, please contact Tiffany Bardwell at tbardwell@nysba.org for more details.

 

CALL FOR DELEGATES- ABA YLD ASSEMBLY ANNUAL MEETING

MEMORANDUM

TO: All NYSBA Young Lawyers

FROM: Michael L. Fox, Esq., N.Y. Young Lawyer Delegate to ABA House of Delegates; & Chair-Elect, NYSBA Young Lawyers Section

CC: Mark H. Alcott, Esq., ABA New York State Delegate
Jennifer Chung, Esq., N.Y. District Representative, ABA YLD
Kendyl Hanks, Esq., ABA Board of Governors Young Lawyer Member

DATE: July 25, 2011

SUBJECT: Call for N.Y. Delegates to ABA Young Lawyers Division Assembly Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in August 2011


The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Assembly Annual Meeting is being held August 5-6, 2011, in Toronto, Canada. New York has one of the largest delegations in the ABA YLD Assembly, and we are seeking interested New York Young Lawyers who would like to represent the State and the Bar Association.

The Assembly is the policy-making body of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. The YLD Assembly precedes the ABA House of Delegates Annual Meeting, and the vote of the YLD Assembly binds the Delegates from the YLD to the ABA House.

All YLD Assembly Delegates from New York (other than the District Representative) are appointed on a per-meeting basis, meaning each Delegate must be re-appointed before attending any future meetings as a Delegate to the Assembly. The head of the New York YLD Delegation is Jennifer Chung, Esq., the New York District Representative in the ABA YLD.

The Finance Committee of the New York State Bar Association has announced funding assistance for up to eleven (11) New York Young Lawyer Delegates to the ABA YLD Assembly Annual Meeting - providing a five hundred dollar ($500.00) stipend for each of the eleven (11) appointed Delegates for the Toronto meeting, as it has done for the past two meetings (actually increasing from 9 to 11 Delegates). Funding is contingent upon, among other things, the Delegate being (a) a member of the NYSBA, (b) a member of the ABA YLD, and (c) satisfactorily attending the ABA YLD meetings (including the Assembly Meeting). The NY YLD Delegates are also invited to and strongly encouraged to attend the NYSBA Reception in honor of Hon. Judith Kaye and Robert MacCrate, Esq., which is being held on Saturday, August 6, 2011 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. We strongly encourage diverse candidates to apply.

If you are interested in seeking appointment as a New York Young Lawyer Delegate to the ABA YLD Assembly this August in Toronto, please contact me (at 845-778-2121 or mlf@jacobowitz.com) and Jennifer Chung (at quilt00@yahoo.com), by Monday, August 1, 2011.


 

YLS FALL MEETING 2011 - SAVE THE DATE

The Young Lawyers Section Fall Meeting will take October 20-21, 2011 in Albany at the NYSBA Bar Center. YLS Chair-Elect, Michael L. Fox, Esq., will be the Program Chair. The Executive Committee meeting and professional development will be on Thursday, October 20, and there will be a full day CLE program on Friday, October 21.

 

 

Electronically-In-Touch is the monthly electronic news-publication of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section (YLS). It is a member driven publication, encouraging YLS members to write articles, and as such we would welcome submissions from members on any relevant topic, including practice tips, substantive legal articles, case updates, work/life advice, and information regarding upcoming meetings and events. Please submit articles to Nilesh Yashwant Ameen, Esq., at nilameen@aol.com, no later than the 10th of the month.


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