September 2017 Archives

Welcome to the August 2017 Issue of Electronically In Touch

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We are pleased to submit the August 2017 Issue of Electronically In Touch. This issue contains EIT's recommended upcoming events, an article regarding legal and life lessons learned from a seasoned Principal Court Attorney, and section liaison reports from the Labor and Employment Law and International Sections, amongst other helpful and interesting 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 or Anne LaBarbera, Esq. at 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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As summer winds down and the days become shorter and cooler, I always wonder "how did summer go by so fast?" Usually, it is because we were all so busy trying to pack in as much summer fun as possible around our hectic work schedules that the time goes by faster than we would like. The same reasoning applies to this summer for the Young Lawyers Section. Generally, the summer is a quiet time for the Bar Association. However, this summer was certainly an exception.

It started on June 11th and 12th, when we held our Summer Meeting in Washington D.C. in conjunction with our Supreme Court admissions program. On July 8th, we held a Baseball and the Law program at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won and all our attendees received 1.5 CLE credits. August was also busy this summer. The 10th District held its annual Super-Sized Networking Event with the New York State Society of CPA's, Risk Management Associates, and the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations on August 9th. Not to be outdone, the 8th District held a baseball and the Bar Event on August 20th at a Buffalo Bison's game. To finish off the summer, YLS held "A Day at the Races" at Saratoga Race Track on August 23rd, in conjunction with the Corporate Counsel, Elder Law and Special Needs Law, Trusts and Estates Law, Torts, Insurance, and Compensation Law (TICL), and Real Property Law Sections, as well as the Albany County Bar Association. So to say it was a busy summer certainly seems to be an understatement!

I hope many of you were able to attend and enjoy some of these events.

Now, looking forward, the YLS Executive Committee and the NYSBA Staff are hard at work planning Advanced Trial Academy, the Annual Meeting, and Trial Academy.

Advanced Trial Academy and our Fall Meeting will be held at Syracuse University College of Law from October 27th to 29th. This is a new program and we are very excited about it. Advanced Trial Academy is a three day intensive workshop, geared toward those who have completed the YLS Trial Academy and are interested in learning more about the trial process. The registration fee is $600.00 and registration is open and can be accessed by following this link:

The YLS Annual Meeting Executive Committee Meeting will be held on January 24, 2018. We will also be holding a morning CLE program prior to our luncheon where we will award a deserving young lawyer the Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award. Lunch and the award ceremony will flow directly into our Executive Committee meeting, which all section members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please start thinking about executive committee involvement, as nominations are due in November. A nomination form will be circulated in advance of that date.

Also new this year will be our Leadership Program, which is taking the place of our Bridge the Gap Program on Thursday and Friday (the 25th and 26th of January) during the Annual meeting. We will notify our members when registration is open for our annual meeting.

The YLS Trial Academy Program is scheduled to take place on April 4th through 8th, 2018 at Cornell University School of Law. If you are interested in learning the skills necessary to be a trial lawyer, than this program is for you. This is a seminal program of the YLS. It consists of five days of morning lectures, followed by afternoons where participants demonstrate the practical skills needed for a trial. Each participant will stand before a room of their peers, judges, and trial attorneys and perform each part of the trial based upon the provided fact patterns. Each participant is videotaped , which allows the participant to review their performance with a member of the faculty. Trial Academy is an intensive, mentally, physically and emotionally charged learning experience that will help prepare you to stand before a judge and /or jury and represent your client to the best of your ability. We will notify you when registration opens.

Finally, be on the lookout for various district events and holiday parties, as many district will be holding such events in the coming months.

Thank you all for your time, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, or suggestions for the Young Lawyers Section.


John P. Christopher, Chair

Side-Bar Learning: Lawyering Teaches You How to Live Well

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By: Caroline Oppenheim, Esq. and Adam J. Halper, Esq.

Growing up, I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted it more than anything. I was an "A" student. I came from a working-class family and going to medical school justified my parents' hard work and their love for me. I went to college and I began taking prerequisites like biology and chemistry.

To say that I struggled would be an understatement. I was fortunate to have gone to an academically rigorous high school, but science at the undergraduate level was a whole different story. No matter how hard I studied, I stunk at science. In a note of pure poetry, the universe provided me with a sign. During an experiment in chemistry lab, I practically blew up my work station. As I and everyone else in the class ran to grab fire extinguishers, I had my first thought that my dream of being a doctor was going up in smoke and that I needed to find a new path.

Still smelling of smoke, I paid a visit to my pre-med advisor. I needed a pep talk. I needed a hug. Of course, he did none of those things. Instead, after listening to me patiently for two hours, he sent me to the pre-law advisor. Good advisor.

My first class was Philosophy of Law. It was an auspicious beginning because I fell in love with my professor. I'll call him Professor Dreamy. Professor Dreamy was special -- in his faded jeans, barn shirt, and salt and peppered shoulder length hair. To start the class, he yelled "FUCK THE DRAFT." This was how he introduced us to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Cohen v. California. I was hooked. I took all of his classes. Philosophy of Contract Law, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Death and Dying. You name it, Professor Dreamy had a philosophy course about it. When I wasn't swooning, I was working really hard. Philosophy was challenging and I excelled at it. Majoring in philosophy prepares one for either a career teaching philosophy or law school and law school seemed like the better option for finding a job. Dreamy prepared me well for another three years of intense thinking and that is exactly what law school offered.

I loved law school and I learned much. I learned to write persuasively, to research, how to digest and memorize tomes of information. I learned to love mnemonics and acronyms and how to take shorthand. Ultimately, I learned to think differently - which is what the study of law really is.

Still, at graduation, I could not write a contract or draft a lease or prepare a will. I did not know how to sue someone. No one in my class did. So when I showed up in my new navy suit for the first day of work as a lawyer, I was not prepared for what awaited me - an assignment in Housing Court. The Court itself smelled musky and it was infested by fleas. With due respect and apologies to some, the lawyers were similar. It was 1988, so women lawyers were certainly around but that day, I felt alone and as if I represented all womankind. After an exhausting and not so pleasant discussion with opposing counsel, I went to use the bathroom and saw a rat. I was done with Housing Court.

My managing partner reassigned me to civil court to defend the rights of car insurance policy holders who got themselves into all types of vehicular trouble. It wasn't glamorous, but at least I could use a rodent-free bathroom. Although not super exciting, in some ways, the new assignment was kind of great. I began this new adventure by appearing at discovery conferences. This is when learning to be a good lawyer and living a good life really began for me.

Side-Bar Lesson One: Learn How to Wait Well. Appearing at discovery conferences taught me an important life skill; waiting. The wait for l your case to be called could be minutes or hours. Then you walked up to the table, checked off the boxes that pertained to you and signed the printed, form order. A court clerk would then take it "in the back" for the judge's signature and so began another wait. I learned to do other work, reading cases relevant to my practice area. Most importantly, I learned how to fend off inappropriate sexual remarks and advances from older male attorneys. Eventually the clerk would emerge, cigarette dangling from his mouth (really), and give us the judge's orders. In television and court procedurals everything happens in a flash. Anyone who practices law for more than a minute knows that things take time, inside and outside of court. It's no one's fault Conflict is complex. When tapping your foot waiting for something to get signed that she take five minutes, best to remember that everyone is doing their best and you're not the only person in the world. Learn patience and bring reading material wherever you go.

After a few months of this "in the trenches" experience I was promoted to handling motion calendars - for the entire office.

Side-Bar Lesson Two: Move Fast. This is the other side of patience. Since I was covering the motions for 75 attorneys, I had to learn to move quickly. Motions were spread out among many judges and courtrooms. I had to prioritize which ones to check in on first and which ones I could gamble on being late for. After a few weeks I had it down to a science. I learned which judges called their calendars promptly at 9:30 and which ones didn't get on the bench until after 10a.m. I also learned how to run in heels. I had to learn quickly and more importantly, act on what I learned. I had to develop confidence not just in my knowledge but in my judgment. The less I agonized over arguments and motions and the more I just made them -- the more confidence I developed.

Waiting, prioritizing, running- I had a growing arsenal of life skills by the time I began doing depositions and trials.

Side-Bar Lesson Three: Shut Up and Listen. The art of taking a good deposition requires two skills; preparation and listening. You get to ask the questions you will ask again at trial, but you are doing it outside the presence of a judge and it is more casual than an actual trial. It provides a comprehensive look at the reality of the case and is an opportunity to assess how witnesses will do at trial, where there may be problems etc. Cases often settle after depositions are completed. Nothing like an articulate, credible, or an inarticulate, incredible live witness to get lawyers to assess the merits of their cases and defenses. When I heard an unanticipated answer, I had to process the information on the spot and make a decision about what to do with it. Ask follow up questions? Leave it alone? Call my boss and ask what to do? Listening isn't just polite - doing it well is the difference between winning, losing, or settling at the right number.

Side-Bar Lesson Four: Learn to Try Cases. After paying my dues for a couple of years in discovery, motions and depositions, the reward was to try my own cases. Trial work brought an array of opportunities to develop even more great life skills. I learned to act, to command a room, to be spontaneous, but mostly not to be afraid. I made so many mistakes, but I learned how to regroup, not cry in public, and move on. I developed a thick skin and a great appreciation for human nature. I do not know that trying cases is a "life lesson," but it certainly felt like one. It's a big, complex process, filled with one thousand tiny decisions. It was hard not to be nervous. It was hard to feel uncomfortable for long days. I learned to master it and not let my anxieties paralyze me. It is a skill that I have carried with me to this day and that I use in many venues of my life.

Side-Bar Lesson Five: Repetition Isn't Everything, But It's A Lot. Law school did not teach me how to be a lawyer. Being a lawyer taught me how to be a lawyer and also how to be a good professional who contributes. Intense repetition in advocacy, listening, fielding inappropriate remarks, and yes even waiting, all came in handy in many different arenas in my life. Repetition, even on things you do not initially see as so important turns out to be a big deal. Many professionals can also say this about their jobs. I had a surgeon friend once tell me he could teach me how to take out an appendix. He said it was routine, rote and that it required practice, not great medical thinking. I guess an auto mechanic could teach me how to change a muffler. No thinking required, just practice. Practice runs a good part of the work world. But in most all other lines of work, practice is a big part of the training and one at least gets to try on what the job will feel like before committing to it.

The difference with lawyering, however, is that while the practical part of being a surgeon may require manual dexterity, the practical skills lawyers develop while actually lawyering and not thinking about lawyering, are more amorphous. We learn attitudes. Like patience, we learn to listen, we learn to prioritize and juggle. We grow really tough skins because we get yelled at a lot- by clients, by court clerks, by judges, by our bosses, by our adversaries. We get used to losing, we get used to the worse case scenarios, we learn tenacity, we learn to push the envelope, and we learn to bounce back.

Side-Bar Lesson Six: Being a Lawyer is to Learn to Think and Think Differently. I think that law school and being a lawyer has taught me to think differently. Ultimately, what I have learned as a lawyer is to re-invent, re-frame myself professionally within the law, and to build a great life outside of it.

If I had not learned how to argue persuasively, I would not have convinced a domestic violence advocacy group to give me a job as a lawyer when I had no family law experience.

Without faith in my own ability to get up to speed on any area of law, I would not have convinced the judge I now work for that I could handle matrimonial and criminal cases.

I would not have gone back to school to become a certified personal trainer.

If I had not learned how to command a courtroom, I do not think I could have walked on a stage in a bikini and win a figure competition at the age of 48, or take Flamenco lessons, or travel to Spain by myself at the age of 51 to live with a family I had never met.

If had not learned to interview clients, how to listen, how to judge human nature, and how to discern motives, I would have fewer friends, I would travel less, and I would be predictable. If I had not learned that most mistakes can be corrected, I would not have purple hair.

I could go on and bore you with more details of my life which, although I think it is pretty terrific, you may not, but you get the point. Living well requires an attitude of courage and confidence and a skill set that lawyers by virtue of the actual practice of law, have a market on.

If I had gone to medical school I am certain I would be deriving a deep sense of satisfaction and worth from serving others and I would be happy and tenacious and confident, but I think my life would be more linear. I think that by virtue of the fact no one dies when I make a mistake as a lawyer, I am professionally and personally, more of a risk and challenge taker.

Consequences do not preclude me from doing what speaks to me. My joy comes from sticking my toe outside of my comfort zone and from trying things that scare me. I am not afraid of failing in life because lawyers, unlike doctors, are expected to fail much of the time. Lawyering has taught me to live large.

Hell, I may try chemistry again.


Caroline P. Oppenheim is the Principal Court Attorney to the Honorable Diane Kiesel who presided over the Bronx Integrated Domestic Violence ("IDV") Court for close to 15 years. The mission of the IDV is to adjudicate the family, criminal and matrimonial cases of families plagued by domestic violence. Caroline has an extensive background in these areas of law. Prior to her present position, she was Assistant Director at the Safe Horizon Law Project, which represents victims of domestic violence in Family and Supreme Court. Joining Safe Horizon was a career change for Caroline. After spending 13 years defending casualty claims, she left her position as Managing Attorney for an insurance carrier to devote her career to public interest. She is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton and Brooklyn Law School.

Adam J. Halper is the Director of the Legal Wellness Institute at The Family Center, where he leads a department of lawyers, paralegals and pro bono volunteers in the representation of thousands of clients every year in a wide variety of litigation and transactional matters. Prior to becoming Director at The Family Center, Adam was a Staff Attorney at Legal Services-NYC, the nation's largest public interest law firm. Adam is a Mediator and is on the roster of approved neutrals at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He is a graduate of NYU and Cardozo.

Labor and Employment Law Section Liaison Report

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Section Liaison: Luwick Francois, Esq.

The Labor and Employment Law Section recently held a free webinar regarding whistleblower protection for public sector employees. The webinar was provided at no cost and consisted of highly experienced labor and employment law attorneys, including Ronald G. Dunn, Esq. of Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O'Shea, Howard Miller, Esq. of Bond, Schoeneck & King, and Nicholas Woodfield, Esq. of The Employee Law Group.

The Labor and Employment Law Section is holding its Fall Meeting on October 20-22 2017, at The Sagamore, in Bolton Landing, New York. If this year is anything like last years' Fall Meeting, then we are in for a treat! Last years' programming had insightful CLE's with top tier attorneys and policy makers in the labor & employment law field, several wonderful networking opportunities, and a great hosting city.

By: Anne LaBarbera, Esq.

In today's world, we have become accustomed to disruptive technology and its effects on everyday life. As lawyers, we have become used to the changes in regulation that inevitably follow. Some disruptions are directly foreseeable. For example, ride sharing applications have led to challenges to regulations governing taxis, while home sharing services have challenged rules regulating hotels. Other effects are less predictable, as an increasing number of technologies enabling the gig economy have in many ways circumnavigated labor laws that were enacted to protect workers.
But one new technology, namely small unmanned aircrafts, may inadvertently threaten our civil liberties. The root of this burgeoning issue dates back to a series of cases in the 1980's involving the use of manned helicopters employed by police departments in the war on drugs to conduct warrantless searches of private property. For a detailed discussion of these cases I direct the reader's attention to a 1989 article by John R. Dixon entitled Florida v. Riley 109 S. Ct. 693 (1989), 17 Fla. St. U. Law Rev. 157. where he discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Florida v. Riley, 109 S. Ct. 693 (1989).

In Riley, the Supreme Court held that an aircraft flown at 400 feet above a residence did not constitute a warrantless search. Id. However, the limits of the decision were left open ended. See Taking Flight by Darlene Ricker, ABA Journal July 2017. In Florida v. Riley, 109 S. Ct. 693 (1989), Dixon opines that the Riley holding existed as a mere limit on the current technology of the time. Dixon points out that the decision seriously disrupted the "expectation of privacy" test applied in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967), noting that the "Court reasons that the warrantless inspection of Riley's property was permissible because it took place in publicly navigable airspace. The plurality thus defines open view as anything that can be seen from a legal altitude according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations." Dixon, Florida v. Riley 109 S. Ct. 693 (1989) at 171.

Dixon criticized the Court's decision due to its linking of FAA regulations, only intended to provide for safe operation of aircraft, with civil liberties. Enter the new FAA Regulations Part 107, regulating Small Unmanned Aircraft, and what Dixon found problematic in the 1989 decision now becomes alarmingly threatening to Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. As it stands now, the FAA regulates airspace much closer to areas in which we all think we enjoy a reasonable expectation of privacy, but which the Riley case unfortunately suggests we do not.

How long before police departments start using small drones, weighing less than 55 pounds to spy on backyards? When they do, will motions to suppress evidence be defeated because of legal arguments citing Part 107 in combination with the Riley decision's reliance on FAA regulations as the limit on police intrusion?

In Riley, the Court did not base its reasoning entirely on FAA regulations. In discussing a preceding case, the Court stated that "Ciraolo's expectation of privacy was unreasonable not because the airplane was operating where it had a right to be, but because public air travel at 1,000 feet is a sufficiently routine part of modern life that it is unreasonable for persons on the ground to expect that their curtilage will not be observed from the air at that altitude." internal citations omitted. Riley citing California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207 (488 U.S. p. 453). The Court clearly relied upon the prevalence of the technology in question in its analysis as to whether police were using that technology within the FAA regulations. As far as drone technology is concerned, it is doubtful that this reasoning would provide for any limitation on the liberal use of drones for warrantless searches, as Part 107 was a reaction to the prevalence of drone use.

While the public is well aware of the disruptive effect of drone technology on modern life, it is unlikely that many are aware of the potential threats small unmanned aircrafts pose to Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. The legal definition of what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy may have become unreasonable due to the disruptive effects of new technology and the resulting regulation thereof.

Further complicating the legal picture is the competing interests of civil lawyers, hoping for a federal regulatory landscape and their counterparts working in the world of criminal law where Constitutional limits on the government can represent a real and immediate effect on clients, but who may be less aware of FAA regulations as they creep into the world of civil liberties.

In Drones and Aerial Surveillance: Considerations for Legislatures, a report published by the Brookings Institute as part of The Project on Civilian Robots Series, Gregory McNeal wrote in November 2014 about the issue. McNeal suggested that warrant-based analysis be rejected and that State legislatures follow five core recommendations that are more restrictive than limits placed on the government by the Riley holding.

While I would join McNeal in his suggestions, the reality is that not all State legislatures are "civil liberties minded." Therefore, we may find ourselves in a situation where residents of some States enjoy protections arguably closer to what the authors of the Constitution intended than those afforded by the decision in Riley, than residents of other States.

Also problematic for a State centric approach is one argument put forth in Boggs v. Merideth, filed in the Western District of Kentucky. (Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Louisville Division, Case no. 3:16-cv-00006-DJH, January 4, 2016). The plaintiff in Boggs sought a declaratory judgment asking the court to decide that FAA regulations effectively preempted State laws which created a cause of action for trespass and trespass to chattel, arguing, inter alia, that the drone remained in the possession of its pilot while it was physically in a space most reasonable people would likely consider to be the real property of another. Id.

If State laws were to provide tighter restrictions on aerial surveillance through the use of unmanned aircrafts by police than the restrictions set forth in Riley, it may not be long before prosecutors begin to appeal successful motions to suppress, making similar arguments to those put forward in Boggs. If this were to come to pass, the results would be uncertain, as the Western District of Kentucky never decided Boggs on substantive grounds, as the case was ultimately dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Absent a case brought to the Supreme Court in which the use of FAA regulation in defining limits on aerial surveillance is given negative treatment, criminal and civil law practitioners alike need to work with civil libertarians to ensure that the changing landscape of regulation does not provide an unprecedented opportunity for a federal agency unrelated to law enforcement to erode one of the most basic and fundamental limits placed on the government by the Constitution- the prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Further Reading:

Will "Drones" Outflank the Fourth Amendment? By John Villasenor. Forbes. September 20, 2012.

If You Fly a Drone, so Can Police: What the Fourth Amendment says about law enforcement use of unmanned aerial vehicles. By Stephen E. Henderson. Slate Magazine. May 26 2016.

EIT's Recommended Upcoming Events

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September 12, 2017

International Fall Program - This event takes place in Antigua, Guatemala. The registration fee includes program costs, food at breaks and some transportation. Call NYSBA for exact details on what is included.

Cost: $745 for members, MCLE credits available.
Dates: September 12-14, 2017

September 13, 2017

Solo Practitioner Conference - This event is offered as a live or webcast program. This practice management focused program offers 6.0 MCLE credits, including 4.0 ethics credits!

Cost: $195 for members.
Time: 9:00 am to 4:30 am

October 27, 2017

Advanced Trial Academy - This event takes place in Syracuse, New York over two days. It is available to anyone who has completed Trial Academy in Ithaca. Only 30 attorneys will be accepted into this program so register early!

Cost: $600 for members.
Dates: October 27-28, 2017

The full event description and details of the aforementioned events are located on the NYSBA Events page. A full list of all New York State Bar Association Events can be found at

International Section Liaison Report

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Section Liaison: Max Shterngel

The International Section is one of the most exciting NYSBA sections for young lawyers and law students to get involved in. The new Chair of the International Section is Nancy Thevenin; an independent international arbitrator and mediator with an impressive background in arbitral institutions, BigLaw practice, and as an instructor at Fordham Law and St. Johns Law School.

The International Section is unique within the NYSBA in that its members include hundreds of attorneys from around the world and the networking opportunities (client referrals, job openings, information-sharing, etc...) for a young internationally-minded attorney are superb. Another quintessential feature of the International Section are the seasonal meetings that the Section sponsors in major world cities, as well as smaller regional hubs. Information about all Section events and meetings is available at

On September 12th through 14th, 2017, the International Section has its Fall Meeting in La Antigua, Guatemala, where key representatives of Latin America's top law firms are sponsoring fascinating panels and workshops, including a Doing Business in Cuba panel, a mock arbitration, and Trade Secrets and FCPA panels.

If you can't get to Central America for a long weekend on such short notice, look ahead to October 2017 when members of the International Section will participate in major conferences in Anglophone countries: the International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference in Sydney, Australia on October 8th through 13th, 2017 and the International Association of Lawyers' 61st Congress in Toronto, Canada on October 27th through 31st, 2017 (just in time for you to return to New York to go trick-or-treating).

The International Section will also be planning a networking event in NYC in November 2017, which will be geared specifically to young lawyers and law students. Past events have been held at major international law firms in Manhattan, but the Membership planning committee is exploring the possibility of holding such an event at a hip gallery in Chelsea, the LES, or perhaps in Williamsburg or DUMBO.

If you are a law student, apply in November 2017 for the Pegram Writing Competition with an academic paper on a subject relevant to international law, for the chance to receive a $2,000 prize. Information regarding the competition can be obtained at And if you want to share some scholarship on international law (or a case summary), look no further than the New York International Law Review, a signature initiative of the NYSBA International Section.

On that note, there have recently been a few decisions in the Second Circuit relevant to international law. Here are a few nutshell summaries of these cases:

  • In United States of America v. Allen, No. 16-898 (July 19, 2017), a Second Circuit panel held that the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment, which prohibits involuntary self-incrimination in an American criminal case, also prohibits the derivative use in a U.S. court of testimony that was compelled from a defendant by a foreign sovereign. In the case, the Second Circuit dismissed the indictments of two British citizens who had been prosecuted in the United Kingdom in connection with the manipulation of LIBOR.
  • In Thai-Lao Lignite (Thailand) Co., Ltd. v. Gov't of Lao People's Democratic Republic, No. 14-597 (July 20, 2017), a Second Circuit panel affirmed a judgment vacating its prior judgment that enforced a $57.2 million Malaysian arbitral award against Laos, after the award was vacated in the courts of Malaysia, the seat of arbitration. The Court analyzed the case under Rule 60(b)(5) but the outcome differed from a 2016 Second Circuit decision (COMISA v. Pemex) affirming recognition of an arbitral award annulled in Mexico.
  • In Mobil Cerro Negro, Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 15-707 (July 11, 2017), a Second Circuit panel reversed a district judge's decision to grant recognition, on an ex parte application, to a 2014 arbitral award of $1.6 billion (reduced to $188 million) against Venezuela and in favor of ExxonMobil. Whereas the district judge had relied on the provisions of the ICSID Convention's U.S. enabling legislation, the Second Circuit held that only the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act provides a basis for a U.S. Court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a foreign sovereign.
  • Meanwhile, the issue of corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) returns to the U.S. Supreme Court this fall, when the Court considers the case of Jesner v. Arab Bank, 16-499, in which the Second Circuit held that plaintiffs who are family members of suicide attack victims in Israel cannot sue Jordan-based Arab Bank under the ATS because international law does not uniformly provide for corporate liability. The DOJ has recently submitted an amicus brief in the case staking out a position against holding Arab Bank liable under the ATS, whereas the Obama Administration's DOJ had asserted the contrary position as an amicus in the certiorari briefing. Senators Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse, as Chair and Ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Crime and Terrorism subcommittee, filed a brief in favor of liability. Oral argument in the Supreme Court is scheduled for October 11, 2017.

New Members of the Young Lawyers Sections

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

Judicial District: 01

Eric Tadeusz Baginski, Esq.

Kayla Michele Beauduy, Esq.

Kaitlin Ashley Bruno, Esq.

Dharshan Rajiv Gooneratne, Esq.

Shang Jiang, Esq.

Carmen Xiao Wei Lu, Esq.

Judicial District: 02

Oleg Bolehivskyy, Esq.

Stefania Boscarolli

Dejon Cheri Delpino, Esq.

Whitney Kelly Hosten, Esq.

Kimberly Samantha Juszczak, Esq.

Mark Patrick O'Donnell, Esq.

Boris Shapotkin, Esq.

Scott Michael Webster

Bing Bing Zheng, Esq.

Judicial District: 03

Sandra Calhoun

Madeline Walsh Goralski, Esq.

Yuriy Pereyaslavskiy, Esq.

Judicial District: 05

Aidan Bryden Cleghorn, Esq.

Jonathan Hyde Dillon, Esq.

John Maine, Esq.

Judicial District: 07

Lindsey Carol Loosen, Esq.

Judicial District: 08

Megan Kaplon Barth, Esq.

Jenna Marie DiLuca, Esq.

Shannon Fennell Fistola, Esq.

Seokchan Kwak

Atef Abdul Latif, Esq.

Judicial District: 09

Nina Yu Ning Lee, Esq.

Julie Samantha Raphael, Esq.

James Gaynor Williamson, Esq.

Judicial District: 10

Shane P. Granberg, Esq.

Emily Sarah Schierhorst, Esq.

Andrew Bennett Smith, Esq.

Alexander George Yatron

Judicial District: 11

German Andres Fernandez, Esq.

Kehkeshan Hafeez, Esq.

Angela Wu, Esq.

Guoyang Zhang, Esq.

Judicial District: 13

Michael Emeka Nwuba, Esq.

Daniel J. Slomnicki, Esq.

Judicial District: 99

Charles Lincoln Abbott, III, Esq.

Eliane Michelle Aboganena

Elena Alexeeva

Andres F. Arrubla, Esq.

Aurelie Benucci, Esq.

Derek Matthew Berry, Esq.

Nora Demnati

Hadrien Vincent Fages

Mishita Jethi Chugh,

Javier M. Lopez, Esq.

Khanh Ngoc Nguyen, Esq.

Khanh Nguyen

Jerome Orlhac

Mita Shah

Jessica Martins Shannon, Esq.

Mengru Song

Payoshni Vakil, Esq.

Jared Scott Vega, 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 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 or Anne LaBarbera, Esq. at 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 September 2017 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2017 is the previous archive.

January 2018 is the next archive.

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