Articles Posted in Legal News and Views

We recemty receoved the following e-mail from the ABA Judicial Division and are grateful for the opportunity to share this column by Judge Dixon with you our colleagues and friends.:

Judge Herbert Dixon’s technology column, Developing an Addition to Your BlackBerry in 13 Easy Steps, is available free to the general public at

. The Judges’ Journal staff and Editorial Board have concluded that certain articles have a short shelf life and are more valuable for generating interest in the Judicial Division if they are freely to the public rather than listing the articles for purchase. Please share the article with your colleagues and friends as a way to generate interest in the Judicial Division

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., has announced the District Attorney’s Office’s (DANY) new policy on the prosecution of businesses and organizations. Below are links to the DANY Press Release announcing the new policy and the May 27, 2010 DANY memorandum which contains the actual policy Press Release June 1, 2010 Memorandum “Considerations in Charging Organizations” May 27, 2010

This is indeed the season for presenting awards. The ABA Silver Gavel Awards honor those in media and the arts that foster a better understanding of the law. All are invited to the Gavel Awards presentation at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on July 7 at 5:00 p.m. The event is preceded by a reception and registration is required [

Here are the event details sent to us by the ABA:

Event Details Wednesday, July 7, 2010 5:00 – 6:30 P.M.

In an earlier posting on this blog we reported that on February 23, 2010 a divided Panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, New York Supreme Court ruled in People v. Correa (2010 NY Slip Op. 01533) that the 2004 merger of the criminal courts in the Bronx into a single court with jurisdiction to handle both felonies and misdemeanors is unconstitutional. That Appellate Division ruling has now been overturned by the New York Court of Appeals in a single 6-0 opinion on June 3, 2010 that decided three cases–People v. Correa, People v. Fernandez, and People v. Mack, upholding administrative experiments that have New York State Supreme Court judges presiding over misdemeanor cases as well as felonies within a merged Bronx Supreme Court Criminal Division and an Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) Court in Brooklyn.

The high court’s ruling regarding IDV Courts also applies to 44 other IDV Courts throught the State of New York. that centralizes the handling of all aspects of domestic disputes, including criminal charges, in one court. The judges noted that neither the New York Constitution nor its statutes call into question the legality of either court addressed in this opinion.

See also the following articles which discuss this New York Court of Appeals opinion and its implications:

Selections from the Fair Courts e-lert May 28, 2010, published by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

State Judicial Elections

1. Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor continues to advocate for states to replace contested judicial elections with merit selection systems. In an op-ed appearing in the New York Times, O’Connor urges individuals to pay attention to the selection of state court judges because “In too many states, citizens are being shortchanged by the way [state court judges] are chosen . . . . When you enter one of these courtrooms, the last thing you want to worry about is whether the judge is more accountable to a campaign contributor or an ideological group than to the law.”

David Badertscher

This posting is essentially a followup of two of our earlier postings on this topic which you can find here and here.

It begins with two statements released by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on May 6, 2010 in partial response to the recent decision in the Comcast case.and continues with a listing of recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports addressing various aspects of the topic:

TITLE: THE SUPREME COURT SUBTITLE: A C-SPAN Book Featuring the Justices in Their Own Words EDITORS: Brian Lamb, Susan Swain, and Mark Farkas PUBLICATION DATE: May 4, 2010

PUBLISHER: Perseus Books PAGE COUNT: 372 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-38648-835-2

Presented by the ABA Criminal Justice Section White Collar Crime Committee Mid-Atlantic Region Subcommittee:

This panel will address the most recent developments in White Collar prosecutions in New Jersey. The Honorable Paul Fishman will describe the challenges facing the United States Attorney’s Office and new initiatives. Seasoned defense and in-house counsel will give their perspectives on recent trends


April, 2010

This Report of the Executive Director to the ABA Board of Governors* highlights issues related to ABA Membership, and Personnel, Also highlighted is an extensive list of Programs and Projects including those related to Bioethics and the Law, Center for Professional Responsibity, Criminal Justice, Family Law, Government Affairs, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Law Library of Congress, Mental Health and Disability, Rule of Law Initiative, Science and Technology Law, Substance Abuse, Women in the Profession, and many more. See the entire Report by clicking on the link below:

April 2010 Report of the American Bar Association Executive Director to the ABA Board of Governors

Selections from the Brennan Center Fair Courts E-lert May 21, 2010.

Summarized news articles and editorials related to the independence of judges and the courts….:

1. A recent George Mason University study suggests that certain factors such as “support for diversity in the state’s leadership,” the “location of a judgeship,” and the “history of diversity” have a significant impact on the success of efforts aimed at enhancing diversity on the state bench – this, irrespective of the judicial selection mechanisms used in a given state. In a broad survey of state trial court judges of color, the report’s authors observed “that the varying selection mechanisms tend to operate to produce a surprising similarity in the processes, strategies, and experiences of judicial candidates . . . [R]ather than a specific selection mechanism, the judges [interviewed] overwhelmingly point to other factors – such as politics, networking, mentorship, and other resources as determinative of the ability of diverse candidates to become judges.” The American Judicature Society has released another important study on judicial diversity, by Malia Reddick, Michael J. Nelson, and Rachel Paine Caufield. The AJS study explores the relationship between judicial diversity and the institutional, political, and legal environment in which judges are selected. Among other conclusions, the study reported that “Merit selection and pure gubernatorial appointment placed more minorities on high courts than did contested elections, while merit selection placed fewer women on intermediate appellate courts.”

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