June 2017 Archives

Welcome to the June 2017 Issue of Electronically In Touch

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We are pleased to submit the June 2017 Issue of Electronically In Touch. This issue contains EIT's recommended upcoming events, a message from the new Chair of the Young Lawyers' Section, and transparency regulations that impact pharmaceutical companies, amongst other helpful information.

Electronically In Touch is a member driven publication. We welcome submissions from members on any relevant topic, including practice tips, substantive legal articles, case updates, work/life balance, and information regarding upcoming meetings and events. Please submit articles to Sasha R. Grandison, Esq. at srgrandison@gmail.com or Anne LaBarbera, Esq. at annelabarbera@gmail.com by the 1st of each month.

The Officers of YLS and the Editors of Electronically In Touch wish to make clear that the thoughts and opinions expressed in the articles that follow are those of the respective authors and do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the New York State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, its Officers, or Executive Committee.

A Message from the Chair of the Young Lawyers Section

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Dear Members of the Young Lawyers Section. I hope this message finds you well and that you are all enjoying the summer.

When I began writing this article, I thought to myself, "what do I have to say to 10,000 of my fellow young lawyers?" We all know that being a young lawyer is not easy. We are fresh out of law school, starting careers, working long hours, trying to pay loans, maybe starting families, buying houses, and trying to balance all of these things with whatever is left of our former social lives. Being a young lawyer is a hard, messy job and there is no one right way of doing it that will work for everyone. I try to remember that every attorney in the New York State Bar Association, was once a young lawyer. They have all done it, and many of them have done it quite well!

The Young Lawyers Section is the pathway to leadership in the Bar Association. So many of our past chairs have gone on to do great things within the Bar Association and in their professional careers, that it would be impossible for me to list them all here. For those of you who are not active in our executive committee and would like to become more involved, please reach out to me or one of the other officers.

This is a very exciting time to be a young lawyer in NYSBA. As young lawyers we are not just accepted by NYSBA, but we are sought after more than any other segment of the attorney population. So take advantage of this, use it to gain access to all NYSBA has to offer. For me, the first step was getting actively involved in our section, by seeking a position on the Executive Committee. In addition to joining YLS, it is equally important to join a substantive Section of the Bar within your practice area or an area of interest.

What do you want NYSBA to do for you? Do you just want it to be a source of journals, emails and CLE's? If so, that's fine and that is your right and privilege as a member of this association. However, for that same price of membership you can have infinitely more. E-mail me, call me, nag me, bother me - its fine, really, it comes with the job. I will help you get more involved. You just have to reach out and tell me what you want to do.

This message would not be complete without saying thank you to our Immediate Past Chair, Erin Flynn, who went above and beyond during her term as Chair of our Section. The YLS truly flourished under Erin's leadership and she made it very easy for the rest of the officers this past year. And while her time as Chair is over, Erin is far from finished with the YLS. Erin will be co-chairing both Trial Academy at Cornell University School of Law in April and our first ever Advanced Trial Academy at Syracuse University Law School in October. So thank you Erin for you past and continued service to our section!

I would like to a final moment to introduce you to the officers of your section. Our Chair-Elect, is Terrence Tarver. Terrence is a plaintiff's personal injury attorney who started his career in a prestigious Plaintiff's Personal Injury Firm with offices in Nassau County and Manhattan. After many years there, Terrence decided to hang out his own shingle and open his own firm, the Tarver Law Firm, P.C. Terrence is a former chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Young Lawyer's committee.

Lauren Sharkey is our treasurer. Lauren is an attorney at the firm of Cioffi Slezak Wildgrube P.C., and practices in the areas of estate planning, special needs planning, long term care planning, residential real estate transactions, business law, and trust and estate administration. Lauren and her husband Pat are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter (our youngest honorary member) Margot. If you attend any of our executive committee meetings you will undoubtedly meet Margot, who recently met Ruth Bader Ginsburg at our Supreme Court admissions program.

Last, but certainly not least, our Secretary is Michael DiFalco. Mike is a matrimonial attorney and a partner at the firm of Aiello & DiFalco, LLP. He was recently the recent recipient of the Nassau County Bar Association, Matrimonial Law Committee's Young Matrimonial Lawyer award. Mike began his NYSBA career as our YLS liaison to the Family Law Section and later as one of our 10th District Representatives. After taking on ever increasing responsibilities as a member of our executive committee, Mike was nominated to be Secretary at our past Annual Meeting. Like Terrence, Mike is also former chair of the Nassau County Young Lawyers Committee. We are very happy to have Mike join us as one of the officers.

I hope to hear from and meet many of you over the course of this year.

Very Truly Yours,

John Christopher

By: April Polikoff, Esq.

Have you heard of the Sunshine Laws? For those still in the dark (no pun intended), Sunshine Laws require drug manufacturers and distributors to report certain payments or transfers of value made to healthcare professionals (HCPs) and healthcare organizations (HCOs). The catchy nick-name highlights federal and state efforts to 'shine light' on the relationships between drug companies and the individuals licensed to prescribe drugs.

The Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services (CMS) and eight states and districts have implemented laws governing expenditures to HCPs and HCOs. Some laws require a written compliance program; some laws limit the dollar amount and type of expenditure that can be provided to HCPs and HCOs; some laws require tracking and reporting of such expenditures; and some laws prohibit expenditures altogether.

Depending on the state, some companies may have to report fees for consulting or other services rendered by HCPs, promotional materials, samples, coupons, co-pay cards, and other transfers of value made to HCPs. Payments and transfers of value that would otherwise remain confidential must be disclosed to the applicable state agencies. Further, the reports submitted to CMS are made available to the public.

Transparency Re: Drug Prices

Several states have shifted their focus to drug prices. Until recently, drug companies had no legal obligation to report justification for changes in drug pricing. However, states are starting to propose legislation that would require drug companies to provide justification for certain increases in drug pricing. Some states have already passed such legislation.

Vermont passed Act 165 of 2016 (18 V.S.A. § 4635) which directs two Vermont agencies to identify up to 15 drugs annually "on which the State spends significant health care dollars and for which the wholesale acquisition cost has increased by 50 percent or more over the past five years or 15 percent or more over the past twelve months" (18 V.S.A. § 4635(b)(1)). Under the new law, drug manufacturers must provide justification for such price increase and supporting documentation to the Vermont Office of the Attorney General.

Many other states have started introducing legislation that, if passed, would require drug companies to report information related to drug price increases. Some of these laws would even require advance notice of price increase. Such states include California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. The list keeps growing and the federal government is following suit.

Recently, Senator John McCain proposed BOM 16540 introducing the ''Fair Accountability and Innovative Research Drug Pricing Act of 2016''. Under this Act, drug manufacturers would be required to submit justification for price increases equal to or greater than 10 percent over a 12 month period to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Such justification must be submitted 30 days prior to the effective date of such price change. Further, the report submitted to HHS would get posted on its public website.

What is Pharma to Do?

Drug companies should be mindful of this evolving trend towards transparency. The consequences of making expenditures or changing prices should be considered equally as important as the consequences of disclosing such expenditures and price change justification to the public. Sound policies and good documentations practices will make a world of difference when the spotlight is on.

Expansion of the New York State Justice Task Force

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On June 6, 2017, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced that the New York State Task Force's mission will include the analysis of issues pertaining to bail and speedy trail, efficiency, and accessibility to the justice system.

The New York State Justice Task Force is comprised of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, police chiefs, legislators, and others with the aim of address wrongful convictions and proposing changes to the criminal justice system.

The press release can be viewed at www.nycourts.gov/PRESS/PDFs/PR17_08.pdf

The Volunteer Advocate Lawyer for Animal Abuse Court

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By: Colleen M. Gibbons

If you're an animal lover like me, you may find it difficult to see or hear about animal abuse cases. As a long-time dog owner, I seriously considered volunteering for a local animal shelter or rescue organization, but my hectic law student schedule made it difficult to justify. So, when I learned about the fledging Volunteer Advocate Lawyer for Animal Abuse Court ("VALAC") program run through the Onondaga County Bar Association ("OCBA"), I knew this was the best combination of my love for animals and my desire to be an advocate.

Nick DeMartino, a former OCBA president, envisioned a program utilizing volunteer attorneys in animal abuse cases. These volunteer attorneys are assigned to animal victims (usually dogs) removed from owners who are charged with animal cruelty. Once assigned a case, attorneys visit the animal and submit affidavits documenting its health and well-being throughout the duration of the ongoing investigation and court process. The VALAC program was just getting off the ground when I attended its first CLE in July 2015. At this initial training, I was the only student attendee, but, determined to participate, I approached Mr. DeMartino after the meeting. He was happy to consider student volunteers, so I joined the VALAC program.

That was the summer of my 1L year, and in the months following, the program got up and running. In April of my 2L year, I was called to assist on the second ever VALAC case - a young pitbull named Bully. My role as the law student was to assist the assigned VALAC attorney, Laura Huffman, in documenting Bully's condition and providing reports to the court. I joined Laura at the animal shelter where we met with Bully in a small examination room. He was so skinny that we could count his ribs and vertebrae. He had long, yellowed nails, and scabs on his ears and tail. Bully was confused, scared, and sweet as can be.

The first VALAC case was very straightforward; in that case, the abused dog entered the program, got medical attention, and was immediately adopted. Bully's case was not so simple. He was very underweight due to starvation and needed to be socialized because he had been contained in a crate for most of his two years of life. We visited Bully daily to make sure he got socialization and time for walks out of his kennel. We documented Bully's condition and since his owner had signed surrender papers, we started efforts to get him adopted. But Bully wasn't free to go right away. He had to get healthy, and he had started to become possessive of his food and treats.

Thanks to several organizations working together over a period of a couple of months, we lined up a trainer for Bully. We raised $1500 and Bully was on his way! After completing training, and spending time in a foster home, Bully (now Teddy) was adopted by a loving family in November 2016, and is now living the good life with his very own canine sister. You can follow his story on Instagram: @TeddyBullPitbull.

We were Bully's legal advocates. Bully's owner was indicted for one count of misdemeanor animal abuse, and Laura and I attended the arraignment and subsequent hearings. While Bully was off at training, his case continued and Laura and I submitted affidavits about his progress. Bully's former owner pled guilty and was ultimately sentenced.

This spring and one week after the one-year anniversary of when I met Bully, I had the opportunity to assist on another VALAC case. Roscoe, a 2-3-year-old pitbull mix came into the program when his owner was cited for multiple misdemeanor counts of animal abuse. Roscoe lost his vision, had several broken bones, and was visibly underweight when I joined the assigned attorney, Mary Traynor. Thankfully, he was transferred into a new foster home within one week. Due to the assistance of VALAC, Roscoe did not have to languish in a shelter and possibly be euthanized, while his case is pending.

The VALAC program is a wonderful way to actively fight against animal abuse while still gaining legal experience.

Colleen M. Gibbons is a May 2017 graduate of Syracuse University College of Law

EIT's Recommended Events

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July 12, 2017

The Non-Tax Lawyer's Guide to Tax Law- Video

A program teaching non-tax layers the basic concepts, terminology, and issues pertaining to tax law.

Cost: $100.00 for NYSBA Members
Time: 10:00 a.m.

July 19, 2017 - July 20, 2017

Summer 2017 Bridging the Gap- Live in Albany, Amherst, New York City

A two day program that provides 16 credits to satisfy your annual MCLE requirement, including seven credits in professional practice, six credits in skills, and three ethics credits.

Cost: $420.00 for NYSBA Members
Time: 9:00 a.m.

July 21, 2017

Summary Judgment Motions- Video

A MCLE program that discusses tips and strategies for preparing and defending dispositive motions.

Cost: $50 for NYSBA Members
Time: 12:00 p.m.

July 27, 2017

Social Media Guidelines- Video

A MCLE program that discusses social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as tools to communicate and the ethical implications of the use of social media networks.

Cost: $50 for NYSBA Members
Time: 12:00 p.m.

Registration for the aforementioned events, as well as a full list of all of the New York State Bar Association's events can be found at www.nysba.org/store/calendarschedule.aspx?

Trial Academy Recap

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By: Sid Bahl, Esq.

I had the honor of attending the Young Lawyers Section's 8th annual Trial Academy at Cornell Law School in April 2017. The program took place over five days and consisted of lectures, demonstrations, and feedback. The program's "faculty" was comprised of experienced attorneys from all over the state. The morning portion of the program consisted of lectures on a topic. Then, after lunch, there would be a video-recorded demonstration of a topic that has been lectured on based on a previously-provided fact pattern. After the demonstration, a group of experienced attorneys would provide general critique. At that point, an experienced attorney would provide private individual feedback while reviewing the video with the student.

The topics covered were: jury selection, opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, introduction of evidence, and closing statements. Each topic was explored from a civil and criminal perspective. The lecturers explained technique and gave tips, making it as practical as possible for the students. All lectures were also video-recorded should a student want to refer to them again at a later time.

All in all, it was very comprehensive and beneficial. I graduated from law school last year and just took the bar examination this past February (I recently found I passed!) so the program was particular valuable for me. Since I do not have any experience as a practicing attorney, it was helpful learning what to do in the courtroom and conversely what to avoid doing in the courtroom. It was also a great opportunity for me to meet some incredibly talented attorneys, many of whom I will likely see in my practice. The Trial Academy was undoubtedly worthwhile and I look forward to continuing my development process.

Sid Bahl has his JD, MBA, and MS in public relations. He is pending admission in the Fourth Department and works for the Rochester-based law firm Brenna Boyce PLLC. He is a member of the Young Lawyers Sections of both the New York State Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association.

New Members of the Young Lawyers Section

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We are pleased to welcome the following new members to the Young Lawyers Section:

Anna Chan

Jinny Pak

Viviana Puchi

Tanyi Wei

Judicial District: 01

Priya K Baranpuria, Esq.

Lauren Blake

Karl Buhler

Alex Cohen Esq.

Benjamin Julian Cole, Esq.

Jovalin Dedaj, Esq.

Nicholas Thomas Dilorenzo, Esq.

Celeste Dufournier

Colleen Kelly Faherty, Esq.

Camille Ann Fischer, Esq.

Ashley Fletcher

Ismael Franco

Stephen Michael Gallagher, Esq.

Elizabeth Carol Garvey, Esq.

Kauff McGuire & Margolis LLP

Timothy Austin Jenks, Esq.

Arielle Koppell

Elizabeth Kraus

Selitta Legrand

Benjamin Little

Sophia Murashkovsky, Esq.

Thomas James Murphy, Esq.

Rebecca Brittany Pasternak , Esq.

Carra Pope

Eric T. Saar, Esq.

Priscilla Saint-Laurent

James Tai, Esq.

Haiyan Tao

Valerie Tsesarenko

Kirby Browning Tyrrell, Esq.

Cheryl Wang, Esq.

Florina Yezril

Judicial District: 02

Stefania Boscarolli, Esq.

Nick Denny

Jennifer Esposito

Amanda Hartman

Megan Hynes

Daron Ravenborg

Nelson Rhodes

Christine E. Visci, Esq.

Claire Wasserman

Judicial District: 03

Suzanne Foote

Deborah Lynn Robbins, Esq.

Patricia M. Wilson

Judicial District: 06

Alicia C. Rohan

Judicial District: 07

Shelby Swanson Maroselli, Esq.

Brendon Gabriel Reyes, Esq.

Judicial District: 09

Elizabeth A. Cappillino, Esq.

Michael L. Fox

Jin Soo Lee, Esq.

Celia Jacquelin Morel

Kaya Sugiyama

Christopher Valencia

Judicial District: 10

Annamaria Anselmo

Nicole Elise Della Ragione, Esq.

Ana Maria Gandara, Esq.

Cheryl L. Jakinovich, Esq.

Imaan Moughal

Alex Rowzani

Shantel L. M. Thompson, Esq.

Karolina M. Wiaderna

Judicial District: 11

Salvatrice Acquista

Raspreet Bhatia, Esq.

Michael Chang

Timothy McCann

Ashley Misir

Donan Onifer

Kristina Todorovic

Judicial District: 12

Christine Barrett

Sylvester Oppong Boateng, Esq.

Judicial District: 99

Guvenc Acarkan

Samantha Tilipman Alexander, Esq.

Christine Armellino

Emily Bayard

Juan M. Carrillo

Julian Humberto Castro, Esq.

Sarah Victoria Cohenson, Esq.

Chelsea Delois Coleman, Esq.

Matthew K. Edling , Esq.

Cindy S. Hanna

Alina E. Iarve, Esq.

Akash Kashyap

Kathleen Mary Kline, Esq.

Amelia Yin Wah Lo, Esq.

Stephanie Mcdermott

Melanie F. Meade-Romans, Esq.

Kristina Marie Miller, Esq.

Tara Mobaraki

Alexandra Morancais

Tiffany North

Ennur Bengisu Ozen

Vaughn Parchment

Robert Gabriel Pethick, Esq.

Jorge L. Rivera Agosto

William C. Royal, III, Esq.

Douglas C. Tifft, Jr.

Kevin Donald Vance, Esq.

Amanda Williams

Jieun Yoon

Agostino Zammiello, Esq.

Join the Young Lawyers Section

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Become the voice of newly-admitted and young attorneys in NYSBA. Designed to help make the transition from law school to practice an easier one for newly-admitted attorneys, the Young Lawyers Section connects you with experienced attorneys lending general advice, legal guidance, or expert opinions. Take advantage of educational programs, networking events, and the exclusive Young Lawyers Section Mentor Directory, which is just one of the Section's mentoring initiatives. The Section publishes Electronically In Touch and Perspective. Law students may also join the Section and get a jump start on their careers.

Are you interested in volunteering for a Section Committee? Please email Megan O'Toole at motoole@nysba.org and indicate the committees you wish to join.


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Electronically In Touch
is the electronic news-publication of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section (YLS). It is a member-driven publication that encourages YLS members to write articles. We 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 Sasha R. Grandison, Esq. at srgrandison@gmail.com or Anne LaBarbera, Esq. at annelabarbera@gmail.com by the 1st of each month.

The Officers of YLS and the Editors of Electronically In Touch wish to make clear that the thoughts and opinions expressed in the articles that follow are those of the respective authors and do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the New York State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, or its Officers or Executive Committee.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2017 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2017 is the previous archive.

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