New York

Update on New York state's struggles to meet Gideon's promise

BY Jon Mosher on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 2:31 PM

On August 2, 2011, the Gotham Gazette provided a lengthy update on the state of New York’s ongoing struggle to provide a meaningful right to counsel for those otherwise unable to afford it.  The New York Civil Liberties Union class action lawsuit against the state, now in the discovery phase, continues to pressure policymakers to find a permanent resolution to the state’s severe, chronic challenges in meeting its 6th Amendment obligations.  Meanwhile, the newly established Office of Indigent Legal Services saw its initial $3 million budget cut in half, limiting its ability to aid county-based service providers in meeting foundational standards.  With progress slow, the Gazette provides a helpful round-up on where efforts currently stand, and where New York policymakers may look next in order to make larger strides towards constitutional compliance.

Interview with New York's director of indigent legal services

BY David Carroll on Friday, June 10, 2011 at 2:34 PM

The New York Law Journal sat down with current Director of the Office of Indigent Legal Service, Bill Leahy, to talk about the current state of the right to counsel in New York. Bill formerly headed up the Massachusetts’ Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) and uses the opportunity to compare and contrast public defense services in Massachusetts and New York. Worth the time to read.

Local bar association proposes added independence for Monroe County NY public defender

BY Jon Mosher on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 12:01 PM

On May 9, 2011, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the Monroe County Bar Association (Rochester, NY) presented the County Legislature with a set of recommendations to change the method by which the county’s public defender is selected.  Currently, the public defender is selected by direct appointment of the county legislature.  The proposal goes far toward compliance with national standards for the selection of the chief public defender.

NY Chief Judge Sets Goal to Provide Counsel at Arraignments

BY David Carroll on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

“While there are pending legal and constitutional challenges” to systemic indigent defense deficiencies in New York that will play themselves out, there remains “an independent and compelling moral obligation for every participant in the criminal justice system to work together” to end the practice of arraigning and jailing indigent defendants who are not represented by counsel, announced New York’s Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman on May 2, 2011 during his annual Law Day address.  Calling the practice “a fundamental failure that can no longer be tolerated in a modern, principled society governed by the rule of law,” he vowed that by next year’s Law Day “the norm in our great State will be that defendants are represented by counsel at arraignment, and that anything less than that will be aberrational in nature.”

Gideon Alert: Budget deal threatens to gut New York indigent defense efforts before they begin

BY David Carroll on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

In his February 15, 2011 State of the Judicary speech, New York's Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman quoted a Commission finding that "New York's indigent defense system is severely dysfunctional and structurally incapable of providing poor defendants with effective legal representation."  "Fortunately," he continued, "there is finally cause for optimism thanks to the Legislature's historic creation last June of an Indigent Legal Services Board and a State Office of Indigent Legal Services, the ILS Office."  This week, a budget deal was struck slashing in half the budget for that new office, as reported in a March 28, 2011 press release from the Justice Fund and on March 29 by the North Country Gazette.  The budget compromise was reached after a Senate proposal to eliminate the newly formed office altogether.  (The Senate proposal was an earlier iteration -- S2807-B -- of the bill that is now S2807-C.)

The state appellate court granted class action status to the New York Civil Liberties Union’s landmark lawsuit, Hurrell-Harring et al v. State of New York, charging New York State with failing its constitutional duty to provide effective counsel to poor New Yorkers accused of crimes. The unanimous ruling by the Appellate Division, Third Department reverses a lower court’s decision to deny the NYCLU’s motion for class certification.

Author/Organization: State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department
Publication Date: 01/06/2011

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

New York Court certifies class in NYCLU lawsuit

BY David Carroll on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 12:00 AM

On May 6, 2010, we reported that New York’s Highest Court allowed the NYCLU lawsuit to proceed.  Two months later a trial court judge ruled that the class could not be certified, making the lawsuit potentially more difficult to pursue.  On January 6, 2011, an appellate court overturned that decision and certified the class, noting “denial of class certification gives rise to the possibility of multiple lawsuits involving duplicative claims of those asserted in this action and inconsistent rulings by various courts in the state.”  The ruling paves the way for the case to proceed to trial, as an appeal to the Court of Appeals is viewed as highly unlikely.

Louise Luck, M.A.

Speaker's Last Name: 
Luck
Organization: 
Court Consultation Services
Phone: 
Office: 212-227-6670; 845-783-0677
Photo: 

Areas of Practice:

Capital and Non-Capital Cases

Jurisdictions:

Federal and State Courts; Military

Years in Practice:

Twenty-Five (150 Capital Cases; 900 Non-Capital Cases)

Specialities:

Sex Offenders; Juveniles; Spanish Speaking Staff

Melissa Lang, LMSW

Speaker's Last Name: 
Lang
Title: 
Private Practice
Organization: 
Lang & Kaboski, LLP
Address
Street: 
315 Flatbush Ave., #417
City: 
Brooklyn
State: 
New York
Zip Code: 
11217
Phone: 
Office: 347-689-4108; Cell: 927-432-8819
Fax: 
347-402-8917
Email: 
melisslang@gmail.com
Photo: 

Areas of Practice:

Capital and Non-Capital Cases; Foreign Nationals

Jurisdictions:

Federal and State Courts; Military

Years in Practice:

Seven (75 Capital Cases; 50 Non-Capital Cases)

Beth Cahill

Speaker's Last Name: 
Cahill
Organization: 
Lang & Kaboski, LLP
Address
Street: 
199 Rockland Centre, #263
City: 
Nanuet
State: 
New York
Zip Code: 
10954
Phone: 
Office: 845-735-5775; Cell: 908-896-3945
Email: 
bkaboski@gmail.com
Photo: 

Areas of Practice:

Capital and Non-Capital Cases; Foreign Nationals

Jurisdictions:

Federal and State Courts; Military

Years in Practice:

Six

Specialties:

Atkins Training; Experienced Conference Speaker