Re: KINGS COUNTY SUPREME COURT, CIVIL TERM
On August 5, 2020 I attended a ZOOM meeting of the Civil Forum hosted by the Honorable Lawrence Knipel and Honorable Ellen Spodek.
The attendees were advised that 360 Adams Street is in Stage 4 of the Court System Reopening Plan.
Much of the reopening continues to involve virtual operations. However, there is a COVID-19 ready courtroom available to be utilized. This courtroom can be used for an in-person bench trial, if a bench trial by SKYPE is not an option, or for a summary bench trial.
The foreclosure process is moving forward with the following assignments:
Honorable Robin Sheares Owner occupied properties
Honorable Mark Partnow Non-owner occupied properties
Honorable Lawrence Knipel Commercial properties
The Court was encouraging the reworking of discovery schedules where discovery deadlines occurred during the pandemic.
There was a discussion about a new Citywide PC order which is expected to be ready in the very near future.
It was suggested that a standard order for conducting virtual EBT’s should be created and utilized. Justice Knipel thought this was a good idea and he would endeavor to have this Order promulgated in the coming weeks.
GCP motions are to be submitted. It was recommended that the respective parties attempt to resolve issues by stipulation or stipulate to a briefing schedule. If necessary, applications for adjournments could be sent by e-mail directly to the assigned Judge’s staff.
It was recommended that an e-mail list of all critical personnel be created and disseminated in order to facilitate ease of communication between the bar and Court personnel.
Finally, we were advised that there is no longer a backlog of motions in civil term. However, Article 81 annual and final accountings were not considered in this assessment. Justices Knipel and Spodek assured us that they would look into this and report back within the next week regarding these matters.
We will endeavor to keep the membership apprised of developments regarding the operation of the civil term.
ANTHONY J. LAMBERTI
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIP
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit invites applications from qualified candidates for a 14-year appointment as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of New York at Syracuse, New York. The selection process will be confidential and competitive. Applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
The current annual salary of a United States Bankruptcy Judge is $199,088.
The Second Circuit uses an open and competitive selection process. All applications are screened by a Merit Selection Committee. The Committee will review applicants using the following criteria: legal competence evidenced by experience with complex legal issues; an aptitude for legal scholarship and writing; familiarity with the courts and court processes; commitment to equal justice under the law; characteristics indicative of a sound judicial temperament; a reputation for integrity, good character and ethical behavior; and physical and mental health sufficient to meet the demands and tenure of the position. The Merit Selection Committee will select a limited number of applicants for interview and will conduct appropriate due diligence inquiries into the candidates’ backgrounds and qualifications. Upon a majority vote of the Second Circuit Judicial Council, the Council will forward the Merit Selection Committee’s Report with any recommendations or comments to the active judges of the Court of Appeals. The selected nominee will be required to satisfy FBI and IRS background investigations prior to appointment.
Basic qualifications for consideration include:
1. Membership in good standing of at least one state bar, the District of Columbia bar, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar, and never other than membership in good standing of every bar of which the applicant has been a member; and
2. A minimum of five years of legal practice experience.
Application forms are posted on the Court’s website at http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov or may be obtained by calling (212) 857-8700.
Completed application packages must be in the format required by the Second Circuit and received no later than September 8, 2020.
The Brooklyn Bar Association is committed to promoting the values of diversity and inclusion in order to achieve and sustain excellence in the legal profession and to advance the fair administration of justice. Diversity refers to, among other things, race, age, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation. The BBA recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of all people and offers opportunities to serve members of the profession and the public through outreach and educational programs.
Compiled by the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Diversity Committee
Approved by the Brooklyn Bar Association Board of Directors November 13, 2019
The Brooklyn Bar Association stands with the family of George Floyd and those appalled by the events of May 25, 2020, that culminated in the senseless and tragic death of Mr. Floyd by individuals who took an oath to protect and to serve the very community and city that Mr. Floyd held so dear to his heart. The Brooklyn Bar Association is committed to promoting the values of diversity and inclusion in order to achieve and sustain excellence in the legal profession and to advance the fair administration of justice. In order for the public to maintain respect for the legal system, there must be an alliance between the community, law enforcement, public officials and the judiciary.
The video of a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes until his death was a tragic reminder of the death of Eric Garner. Like many others before them, these were two African-American men who lost their lives in the midst of what should have been routine interactions with law enforcement. These events shocked the conscience and only serve to heighten awareness of the systemic racism in this country, and widen the gulf between police departments and the communities they were hired to protect and serve. The Brooklyn Bar Association acknowledges that most police officers uphold the law and fulfill their oath with dignity and honor. Unfortunately, there are police officers who do not, resulting in far too many stories of disparate treatment of people of color, resulting in justified feelings of anger, sadness and hopelessness.
We are humbled by the daily images of peaceful protests ongoing around the United States and we encourage them to continue. We do not, however, condone any conduct that serves to distract attention from or undermine the agenda of the peaceful protesters, including looting, rioting or damage to property. Likewise, we feel it important to acknowledge and disavow instances of clearly disproportionate, excessive force on the part of individual police officers against persons engaging in peaceful protest. This is not an opportunity for self-serving or hateful conduct. Rather, this is a time for thoughtful engagement, listening and most importantly, action. The community, law enforcement, public officials and the judiciary cannot act alone. We must work together to regain trust, narrow the gulf, maintain a healthy dialogue, promote mutual interests and stop the senseless violence.
To that end, we encourage the legal community and the Brooklyn community at large to stand up to fight racism. All people need to take action if we hope to combat the rampant and systemic racism that exists in our country. For more information about how you can get involved individually, view the following links: https://www.naacp.org; https://www.aclu.org.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Mr. Floyd was created equally with certain unalienable rights. But, his life was cut short. Four police officers have been charged. Now we wait for the judicial system to act.
Brooklyn Bar Association Board of Trustees
Friday, June 5, 2020
To maintain and increase access to the Kings County Surrogate’s Court while remaining in compliance with the Administrative Order of Chief Administrative Judge Marks dated April 8, 2020, Kings County Surrogate’s Court will address the following matters through remote or virtual court operations commencing April 13, 2020:
- All urgent and essential applications are being accepted for filing. Said applications shall be accompanied by an affidavit of urgency. Parties with urgent matters may contact the Chief Clerk at KingSurr-Emergency@nycourts.gov or (347)404-9720, or they may contact the court attorney-referee to whom the matter has been assigned.
- Only essential personnel will be in the courthouse. No person should visit the courthouse without first contacting the Chief Clerk’s Office (347-404-9720) or KingSurr-Emergency@nycourts.gov.
- Until further notice, urgent or essential applications must be filed by first class mail or, if authorized by court personnel, by electronic mail at KingSurr-Emergency@nycourts.gov. Please provide your contact information, including an email address, with your filing. If papers are brought to the courthouse in person after consultation with the Chief Clerk, they are to be left in a drop off bin at the County Clerk entrance.
- Court personnel may contact petitioners or their counsel as needed once filed papers are reviewed.
- The Surrogates and their respective law departments will review their docket of pending cases and schedule and hold video or telephonic conferences in such matters upon its own initiative and, where appropriate, at request of the parties.
- The Surrogates will decide fully submitted motions in pending cases.
- No new non-essential matters may be filed until further notice.
- No additional papers may be filed by parties in pending non-essential matters without permission of the court.
- All matters scheduled to be heard at calendars through June 2020 have been or will be administratively adjourned without date. Attorneys receiving such adjourned dates shall notify in writing all persons cited for said date as well as persons who have appeared in said proceeding. Proof of such notice shall be filed with the Court. Notice of future dates for court appearances will be published in the New York Law Journal and sent by mail.
- No trials or hearings will commence until further notice. This includes 17-A Guardianships and finalizations of adoptions, unless there is urgency to the Trials or hearings that had been adjourned to a date in April, May or June 2020 will be adjourned again.
- No citations are being issued until further notice.
- The terms of this notice are subject to modification as the need arises.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, historic changes have come to New York City Criminal Court regarding the presentment of Felony matters on the CPL 180.80 day. In lieu of Grand Juries, New York City will move to virtual preliminary hearings before Judges who will determine whether the evidence supports Indictment.
Effective May 8, 2020 and pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order No. 202.28 modifying CPL 180.60, preliminary hearings in New York City Criminal Court will be conducted by electronic appearance of all parties using Skype for Business. By the same executive order, the Governor has directed a process for defendants to make applications pursuant to CPL 180.80 and for the prosecutor to make a good cause extension applications under the same provision. Criminal Court has developed a procedure for scheduling the over 300 felony matters adjourned and pending CPL 180.80 action for either one of these actions during the period of the Governor’s Executive Order.
Please click on the below attachments for the exact procedure and protocols. Also attached is a sample CPL 180.80 release letter.
From: Hon. Ellen Biben
Sent: Friday, May 8, 2020 10:46 AM
Subject: FW: 5/7 Stakeholder Meeting Recap
Thank you all for taking the time to speak yesterday. Please find below a summary of the call:
We are still adjourning matters for six weeks, maintaining the same day of the week for the appearance. Please note that cases are not being advanced to be adjourned. They are being called on the date they are scheduled for and adjourned that day. You will not see the new date in Crims or any other location until after this process is completed.
Attached is a directory of judges’ and court attorney email addresses. Please respond with the latest directory from your organization.
With respect to 530.60 hearings, scheduling of defendants’ appearance is subject to DOCCS video availability. If you waive the defendant, we can schedule the matter faster. However, some judges may not be willing to release defendants without issuing Parker warnings.
The conferencing initiative continues to be available for a variety of matters. We will be reaching out shortly to schedule conferences on oldest cases. Additionally, our problem-solving courts are available in this capacity. Per an earlier email, please reach out to the appropriate resource coordinator to schedule those matters.
The Electronic Document Delivery System (EDDS) is now available through Nycourts.gov. You are permitted to file new motions through this system. If you request that a matter is deemed filed, it will be deemed filed as of the date submitted to EDDS. A judge will reach out to you to set a motion schedule.
All new submissions must follow these guidelines (this includes new responses to existing motions):
-EDDS is not e-filing – you must serve opposing counsel first and include an affidavit of service in your submission
-Please include a cover sheet with your email address and opposing counsel’s email address
-Provide opposing counsel with the document ID # from your filing for reference on any future responses
-If you know which judge should receive the motion, please include that information in the notes section of the submission
-If you will need immediate attention, please also send an email to Urgent Matters
For existing filings that you feel require attention during this period:
-Please send a courtesy copy to the Judge and opposing counsel via email
-DO NOT use EDDS for documents that have already been filed with the Court
We have reviewed our data so far and determined that most matters have been scheduled through urgent matters within three days. If you have requested that a matter be scheduled and have not heard back in that period of time, please follow up with us. Larry Salvato has reached out to many of you and is available to help troubleshoot if you have any issues.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Have a great weekend and all the best,
Dear Members of the Brooklyn Bar Association,
In an effort to address estate issues exacerbated by COVID-19, the BBA Trusts & Estates Section and Surrogate’s Court Committee will be partnering with the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) in providing pro bono legal assistance to Brooklyn’s most vulnerable residents in the following areas:
- Applications for voluntary letters of administration (estates under $50,000.00)
- SCPA 1310 affidavits regarding payment of certain debts without administration (i.e. collection of up to $30,000 without administration)
The volunteer opportunities will not require an extensive time commitment and training will be provided.
If you are interested in volunteering for the small estate program, please complete this online FORM.
And thank you. Your help goes a long way.
Daniel Antonelli, Esq.
Vice Chair, Trusts and Estates Committee
Sidney Cherubin, Esq.
Director of Legal Services
Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project
What message can I appropriately provide during a time which resulted in unprecedented changes to our lives? Previously, could anyone really imagine the entire society closing like it has? And now, where do we go from here? Since the answer to these rhetorical questions is of course subjective, I think I would like to offer a bit of objective encouragement. But first, I think it appropriate to begin remembering in a very special way, Justice Johnny Lee Baynes, Justice Noach Dear and Justice Gerry Rosenberg. Although they each came from different communities, they helped create the fabric of the unique, diverse and compassionate family that is the Brooklyn Bench. For those of us who have the pleasure and privilege to practice in the Kings County Supreme Court, we certainly feel the loss and perhaps even a sense of surrealism. Special recognition should also be given to our Administrative Judges, Lawrence Knipel and Matthew D’Emic whose leadership, together with the court personnel and OCA, did the very best that they could in managing this silent invisible enemy. For those who have lost a loved one, who are still ill, or who have family members who are ill, we pray that you find strength.
In times of crisis, when events outside our control occur, we must have the strength and discipline to look within, to take cognizance in our own thoughts and perceptions. This is of course not easy. I recently reread an incredible quote from Marcus Aurelius: ” that which stands in the way becomes the way.” Meaning, when an unforeseen event occurs and we must pivot, then that becomes the new path and perhaps we should take it. It becomes “the way.” For example, is there any doubt that video conferencing via Zoom or Skype will become part of our new normal? In my mind it’s a fait accompli. And perhaps a good one. When appropriate, it can be extremely efficient. Remember, to borrow a phrase from author Ryan Holiday, we can neither control nor change obstacles and outside forces. But we can change our perspective. So, change your perspective and the obstacles disappear. Moreover, isn’t there a sense of camaraderie permeating through our profession? Of course, at the Brooklyn Bar Association we are fortunate to share such a sense of camaraderie already, yet the bonds grow a bit stronger.
Therefore, there is no better time than the present to get involved and encourage others to do so as well. Your gain will be innumerable. I say to our members – become more involved – you will be reminded of the support you have. I promise, you will find a warm welcome here. I will conclude here by reminding everyone that we are at our essence a service organization and as such here for you. If anyone would like to speak to me or any member of our Executive Board, please do not hesitate. We look forward to hearing and seeing everyone soon. Be well.
The BBA is meeting the challenges brought upon us by this pandemic. For the first time in the history of the BBA, we are holding our Annual Meeting through a virtual format.
The administrative offices and the LRS are working remotely to continue to provide you with resources to help you through the landscape of these difficult times. We have hosted several zoom conferences and town hall meetings, and CLEs online. During this time, we are encouraging the committees and sections to meet telephonically or by video conferencing. We have lent our support to the NAPABA to denounce racism against the Asian community. We have also participated in an initiative to support frontline workers at Brookdale Hospital through food donations supplied by minority-owned restaurants (more about both initiatives can be found in this newsletter).
Throughout my tenure as the Executive Director of the BBA and its Foundation, my door has always been open to members and non-members alike. While right now I cannot physically be in my office because of social distancing and the statewide pause, I am still here for anyone in the legal community needing my assistance. You can reach me at my email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-624-0675 ext. 213.
Stay well and in good health.
Avery Eli Okin
April 3, 2020 – Bankruptcy Judgeship Vacancy – [Extension of application period until April 17] – The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit invites applications from qualified candidates for a 14-year appointment as United States Bankruptcy Judge. There are two vacancies in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan and one vacancy in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. If you applied earlier, there’s no need to re-submit your application. For announcement click here, for application click here.