April 2020 Archives

To our Readers:

We want to acknowledge and thank the extraordinary efforts of our authors, the members and staff in such trying times. They have genuinely risen to the occasion, and gone above and beyond. We thank you all and hope you stay well.

We are pleased to submit the April 2020 issue of Electronically in Touch. This issue consists of messages from our NYSBA President, Hank Greenberg, our YLS Chair, Lauren Sharkey, and our NYSBA staff in regards to how to stay inform during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

There is also an informative article regarding the trade ecosystem report and a few photos submitted by some members of New York young lawyers at the NYSBA Annual Gala that took place on January 30, 2020 and a few New York and New Jersey young lawyers at a luncheon after the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division's Assembly during the February 2020 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Austin, Texas.

This issue also includes upcoming virtual events, young lawyer fellowships and opportunities, and free CLEs on COVID-19 for ABA members.

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 inquiries and articles to Julie T. Houth at jhouth@gmail.com or Mansi Parikh at mansiparikh.1711@gmail.com.

A Message from the NYSBA President

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Dear Members,

As courts and the legal profession respond to the unprecedented challenges presented by the Coronavirus, it's imperative our members have real time access to the latest information. To meet this need, we are collecting in one place, important notices and announcements from state and federal courts, the governor's office, legislative officials, and public health authorities.

Our coronavirus webpage is a comprehensive virtual information center, featuring all the latest articles, memos, links and directives. We will alert you to the latest developments on social media and in our eblasts to make sure you don't miss any updates. In addition, we are planning a series of topical and informative webinars over the next several days.

In collaboration with the Office of Court Administration, we are updating and reissuing a comprehensive book on the state's public health laws, entitled: "New York State Public Health Legal Manual: A Guide for Judges, Attorneys and Public Health Professionals." The book examines the law governing the containment of communicable diseases - including pandemics like the one we now face.

In order to educate the public about these critical issues, State Bar leaders are serving as expert resources for media outlets, including online, radio, print and TV. Our goal is to keep our members, the legal community and the general public as well informed as we can. Only when we are armed with accurate and timely information can we make smart decisions that will best prepare us to represent our clients, serve our communities and do the public good.

We appreciate your support as we strive to be your indispensable resource in this crisis.

Thank you,

Hank Greenberg


A Message from the Chair of the Young Lawyers Section

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By Lauren Sharkey, Esq.

Dear YLS Members,

I am writing to you from my kids' table in the playroom, surrounded by toys, crayons, puzzles, craft supplies, snacks, and watching Scooby-Doo for the 1,000th time this week. I woke up with my kids at 5am and since my spouse, who works as a registered nurse, left for the hospital at 6:45am, I have spent the day watching my kids and squeezing in as many billable hours as possible, all while trying to manage my firm's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as rapidly as the situation evolves. If I thought I was busy and overwhelmed before, I was wrong. This is a whole new level (especially since I am a self-described germophobe, which does nothing for my anxiety level right now).

Despite all this, I know that I am not alone. I know many of the YLS members are managing similar work from home, or law school classes at home, issues--and more. I know many of you are also experiencing similar levels of anxiety and stress, too. I certainly do not want to add to that. In this shared experience we are having, I'd like to give you an update on what is going on with NYSBA and our section; what resources available to you through NYSBA; and to offer you a platform for information sharing in this unprecedented time.

As you may know, NYSBA has had to cancel several upcoming programs, including our YLS Trial Academy at Cornell Law School. We are also postponing or canceling other in-person programs, like the wellness district event in Buffalo. In lieu of these programs, NYSBA is developing webinars at lightening speed and seeking input from all sections, including ours. If you have a topic that you'd like to present on, I encourage you to reach out to me so that I can connect you with the CLE department.

We are also using this time to update the new YLS website and focus on long-term projects, like our strategic planning initiative and getting a head start on promoting our 2021 events, like the amazing U.S. Supreme Court Admissions Program, scheduled for May 3, 2021.

We are doing our best to turn this crisis into an opportunity to develop our section and connect our members. I encourage you to use the Communities to connect with your fellow members during this time. If you have learned something amidst this crisis that you think will benefit our members, please share! If you have ideas about how to manage a solo practice during this time, technology tips for connecting remotely with clients, or best tips for working from home--please share! I certainly would appreciate it!

Thanks and be safe everyone!

Message from the NYSBA Staff

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In response to the COVID-19 virus, the New York State Bar Association will be implementing a remote work policy beginning March 18th through March 31st. During this time we will continue to be operational; hosting numerous CLE Webinar programs, handling inquiries via our Member Resource Center, and operating the Lawyer Assistance Program, just to name a few examples. 

We appreciate your patience during this time as we quickly adapt to this ever-changing situation. For questions please email: mrc@nysba.org 

During this transition, we are only handling inquiries via e-mail, so please check back tomorrow for any additional updates and a new phone number to call.  

Thank You!  

More information on NYSBA's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center can be found here: https://nysba.org/covid-19-information-updates/

Trademark Ecosystem Report

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By Bobby Desmond, Esq.

Recently, CompuMark commissioned a trademark research report with data collected by the independent survey firm, Vitreous World, from 351 trademark professionals in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and France. The report revealed interesting trends and insights into the world of trademarks.

More Active Marks and Applications

Worldwide, there are nearly 83 million active trademarks, and the number of trademark applications has been increasing every year for nearly a decade. In 2018, there was a 15.5% increase in the number of applications, totaling nearly 11 million marks covering 14.3 million classes. About two-thirds of these applications came from China.

Enhanced Clearing Efforts

One of the top problems faced by respondents in clearing their own marks last year was lack of access to technology. Other reported challenges included too much data, too little time, and too little resources. Interestingly, overall investment in the brand over took budget as the number one influence on decisions to clear a mark last year. These factors have led many respondents to file applications without thoroughly searching for potentially conflicting marks beforehand.

Fortunately, the report shows that more trademark professionals are more frequently clearing marks before filing applications. About one in three respondents reported clearing more than three quarters of the marks they filed. An improvement from last year when only one in five professionals reported doing so. Similarly, 9% of respondents reported clearing less than a quarter of their marks. Down from 13% in 2018.

Statistics on Watching Remain Static

The numbers in this year's report relating to the amount of marks being watched and the factors in making that decision remain relatively unchanged. The percentage of respondents reporting overall investment in the brand, budget, or tier of brand as the number one factor in prioritizing which trademarks to watch has not changed in the last year. All three are chosen by 21-23% of respondents as the number one consideration in 2018 and 2019. Likewise, the number of marks being watched has remained about the same with about one in three respondents watching 26-50% of their marks.

Increased Infringement and Costs

85% of respondents reported experiencing infringement in 2019, up from 74% in 2017. The number of cases reported by respondents has also increased. About four in ten respondents report 1-10 instances of infringement, and three in ten experienced 11-30 instances of infringement. Nearly half of respondents reported spending up to $50,000 on litigating infringement claims.

The reason for the increase in reported infringement is hard to pinpoint. One reason may be increased filings leading to more competition, but another possibility is that more professionals are simply becoming aware of infringing activities. Half of respondents said technology has made a big improvement in trademark research and protection. For example, artificial intelligence speeds up the trademark process, automates tasks, and provides predictive analytics.

Fortunately, it's not all bad news. Some respondents reported increasing trademark protection by increasing collaborative efforts to train non-legal departments like the marketing team to understand and comply with trademark law when choosing a brand name. Other reported ways to increase trademark protection include increasing resources, budgets, and time dedicated to the task.

Trademark Report Takeaways

To reduce long-term costs, it is best practice to incorporate trademark professionals into the selection of a brand name at the beginning of the process. Proper clearance of marks before application can help avoid expensive litigation and brand name changes down the road. Monitoring marks for infringements after registration also remains critical to brand protection, as doing so helps identify and prevent consumer confusion, loss of customer trust and loyalty, decreased revenue, and reputational damage. Educating clients and non-legal corporate departments on the value of these efforts is of paramount importance as the number of applications and the costs and frequency of infringement increase.

Bobby Desmond is an Associate Attorney at Walters Law Group, where he focuses his practice on First Amendment, Internet law, and intellectual property issues. More information about his qualifications and experience can be found here: https://www.firstamendment.com/our-team/ Nothing herein is intended as legal advice.

Spotlight: NY Young Lawyers Outings Before COVID-19

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A few Young Lawyers Section Leaders at the NYSBA Annual Gala on January 30, 2020 at the American Museum of National History:

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New York and New Jersey young lawyers at a luncheon after the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division's Assembly during the February 2020 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Austin, Texas:

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ABA CLEs: COVID-19 Collections

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The spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is having significant legal implications across the sector. The ABA is pleased to be able to offer a variety of CLE webinars and on-demand products that specifically address some of your questions on the effects of this outbreak. From now through May 15th, we will be featuring free-to-member live webinars for your legal education. Get CLE credit and get informed!

For more information on free CLEs for ABA members, click here: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/departments_offices/abacle/trending-cle/

Upcoming Bridging the Gap CLE Programs

The New York State Bar Association is pleased to offer newly admitted attorneys a two-day Bridging the Gap CLE program. Transitional courses are designed to help newly admitted attorneys develop a foundation in the practical skills, techniques and procedures that are essential to the practice of law.

The Bridging the Gap continuing legal education program offers 16.0 total credits. Newly admitted attorneys can satisfy all of their annual MCLE requirements by attending this two-day program which is ideal for "bridging the gap" between law school and the realities of practicing law in New York State. Experienced attorneys who have an interest in other areas of practice can also attend and benefit from this program by learning practical information from skilled and experienced practitioners.

Newly admitted attorneys must complete at least 16 transitional CLE credit hours in each of the first two years of admission to the Bar. The first set of 16 transitional CLE credit hours must be completed by the first anniversary of admission to the Bar, in the designated categories of credit. The second set of 16 transitional CLE credit hours must be completed between the first and second anniversaries. To receive skills credit, newly admitted attorneys must take accredited transitional CLE courses in traditional live classroom settings, or through attendance at fully interactive video conference locations that have been approved by the CLE Board for use by newly admitted attorneys. For more information about the CLE Rules, please go to www.nycourts.gov/Attorneys/CLE.

Bridging the Gap | NYC
Thursday, June 25 - Friday, June 26, 2020 | 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. | NYC

Convene Conference Center
810 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 1001
Register here: https://portal.nysba.org/s/community-event?id=a1Y1U000000nMzb#/reg/tickets

Apply for ABA Young Lawyer Leadership!

The ABA Young Lawyers Division seeks involvement from young lawyers who are interested in furthering their leadership skills and advancing national initiatives and causes.

The ABA YLD's flagship publication, The Young Lawyer is looking for an associate editor for the 2020-2021 bar year. To qualify, an applicant must meet the YLD definition of "young lawyer" (first 10 years of practice OR under 36 years old), AND must be a current ABA member (i.e., have joined and paid the dues).

If interested, please reach out to the ABA YLD Editor in Chief, Eli Contreras, Esq. here: eli.contreras.law@gmail.com

ABA GPSolo Division's Young Lawyers Fellowship Program - DEADLINE EXTENDED: APPLY BY FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2020!:

The ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (GPSolo) Young Lawyers Fellowship Program provides leadership opportunities for young lawyers. GPSolo is committed to increasing the participation of young lawyers in Division activities. This program will provide young lawyers the opportunity to become integrally involved in the Division.

A candidate must be an active member of the ABA Young Lawyers Division (YLD), or a previously active member who has aged out within the past three years. Successful candidates will have demonstrated involvement in bar association and non-bar related activities. Candidates do not need to be current members of GPSolo, but must join upon selection.

GPSolo's Young Lawyers Committee will select two applicants to serve as fellows for the following bar year. The selection will be based on the individual's achievement and commitment to the organized bar and GPSolo's mission and goals.

Fellows will be required to attend the Division's Fall and Spring meetings (with reimbursement for up to $500 airfare and $100 per diem for two days of each meeting) and must remain an active member of the Division for two years after their Fellowship concludes. Fellows may also show their commitment to the Division by attending the ABA Annual Meeting; however, reimbursement for this meeting is not available. The selected fellows will be appointed to the GPSolo Young Lawyers Committee and will be expected to complete a substantive project for the Division. Each fellow also will be paired with a mentor.

To apply, please complete the online application by Friday, May 1, 2020 found here: https://americanbar.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9ESZQbAUTyIJXxz

Letters of recommendation are not required, but a candidate may submit up to three, if so desired. For further information, please contact gpsolo@americanbar.org.

ABA YLD Scholars Program - DEADLINE EXTENDED - APPLY BY MAY 1, 2020!

The YLD Scholars Program is designed to encourage the participation of minority, solo/small firm, government, private sector, and military service attorneys in the Young Lawyers Division. Priority will be given to those applicants who express a desire to become actively involved with the Division and require financial assistance.

The program consists of:

(1) Per the Division's financial policy, scholars will receive partial funding to attend the Fall Conference, Midyear Meeting, and Spring Conference: round-trip airfare up to $350, $20 ground transportation and $100 per diem (for two days);
(2) Appointment to and active participation in one of the YLD boards or teams;
(3) Mentoring;
(4) All scholars are required to: Attend the YLD Fall Conference, ABA Midyear Meeting, the YLD Spring Conference, and participate in scheduled programming on Friday and Saturday of each meeting
(5) Produce a written piece (i.e. 101/201 article, resolution for consideration at the YLD Assembly); and
(6) Assist on projects as assigned.

Application and More Information here: https://americanbar.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1X4fTSVe9VqFhGZ

Monday, May 3, 2021


The Young Lawyers Section is proud to sponsor the 2021 admissions program to the United States Supreme Court. You do not need to be a member of the Young Lawyers Section to participate.

The ceremony for admission to the United States Supreme Court is scheduled for Monday, May 3, 2021. Our last Supreme Court admissions program was well-received and filled up very quickly. Save the date for this exciting event. More information will be available in spring 2020.

For more information please contact Tiffany Bardwell at tbardwell@nysba.org.

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 Amy Jasiewicz at ajasiewicz@nysba.org and indicate the committees you wish to join. The Young Lawyers Section has the following committees:

  • Executive Committee
  • Communications Committee
  • Community Service and Pro Bono Committee
  • Diversity Committee
  • Law Student Development Committee
  • Long-Range Planning Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Mentoring Committee
  • Nominating Committee
  • Perspective Editorial Board


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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 necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of the authors' employers or clients, 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 April 2020 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2020 is the previous archive.

May 2020 is the next archive.

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