CDANY Annual Report
July 2020 - July 2021
Table of Contents
Overall, our income is up by over $23,000 and we are fiscally solvent. We will need to raise our income if we are going to continue to grow. The full Treasurer’s Report is attached.
3) Committees Activities:
The nominating committee made up of the Executive Committee and past presidents Tina Luongo, David Schopp, and Lisa Schriebersdorf recommended the following:
Slate of Officers:
New Board Members:
Re-election to Board:
The Entire Slate has been elected by electronic or email voting. Welcome to our new Executive Committee and our new Board Members.
Our Amicus Committee keeps the membership and board advised of major cases being heard in our appellate courts. The Committee makes regular recommendations to the Board as to amicus briefs CDANY should join or file. For a complete list of the brief we have filed or joined over the years, please visit our website.
Since the annual report last year we joined:
The legislative committee is chaired by Tina Luongo and contains members from each Department. They meet Mondays at 8 am. This year we added adjuncts to the committee who are specialists from some of the larger offices in legislation. In addition to securing ILS and NYSDA funding, our lobbying efforts have helped to add funding for parental representation to ILS. Parental representation will surely be a focus in the upcoming year. The Legislative Committee drafted the CDANY Legislative Reform Agenda which was adopted by the Board. The committee and its members were very active in various lobbying efforts that resulted in the legislation attached in the full Legislative Committee Report.
The board is regularly informed of the activities of the committee and the membership stays informed though the membership meetings, the website, and the newsletter.
David Schopp, chair, Laurette Mulry, Sandra McCarthy, Leanne Lapp, Andy Correia, and Kathleen Dougherty. The membership committee has many responsibilities and is always looking for new members.
Stan German and David Schopp, co-chairs. Again, CDANY and Buffalo Law School held a highly successful, well-attended and well-organized job fair. Many thanks to Buffalo Law School for organizing this fantastic event entirely remotely.
Lisa Schriebersdorf, chair, Tim Donaher and Clare Degnan.
Though we continue to post trainings on our website, the Friday Chiefs calls and our annual meetings provide more opportunities for training. This year alone we did trainings on Diversity and Inclusion in our offices, the legalities of re-opening our offices during COVID, writ writing to obtain prisoner release during the pandemic, Lobbying and JCOPE rules, Trauma Informed Practice and more.
In conjunction with Staff Development and Training, we have already had two tech summits for members of our IT departments. These summits continue to investigate issues of storage, access, and secure distribution of discovery. Currently, they are examining the possibility of a CDANY contract with a provider for inexpensive storage for our members.
The Family Court Committee was formed in November 2020. The Committee has established priorities which include reforms similar to those occurring on the criminal side (early intervention of counsel, caseload caps and quality improvements) and addressing racial disparities in child welfare cases. We have supported pending legislation including the Preserving Family Bonds Act, the civil-Miranda bill, and the anti-harassment bill. The Committee intends to hold a Town Hall type meeting to educate legislators about the Family Court system.
The Appellate Practice Committee consists of selected chiefs of the larger criminal appellate offices in the State.
We co-ordinate with the ILS’s Appellate Defender Councill on policies affecting criminal appellate defense providers, and trainings for appellate lawyers. We also co-ordinate with the State Bar’s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction on matters related to legislation and policies affecting indigent criminal appeals.
Recently, CDANY sent a letter to Judge Marks asking that assigned appellate counsel be consulted by trial-level judges upon receipt of a pro se 440 motion filed by one of their clients. In January, we sent a different letter to Judge Marks about the refusal of Monroe County clerks to provide certificates of conviction to assigned appellate counsel.
Our “Trial Lawyer’s Strategies for Weakening Appeal Waivers” appeared in CDANY’s March 2021 newsletter and was the basis for a State Bar CLE program. Our recommendations as to notice of appeal policies for trial offices will appeal in the next newsletter and will be the basis for future CLEs.
Carrie Bleakley, Chair; Bruce Chambers, Peter Chambers, Kathleen Dougherty, Mark Funk, Kathleen Kugler, Daniel Russo, Lance Salisbury
As the majority of CDANY members are associated with public defender offices and institutional providers, it was recognized by CDANY leadership that ACP issues were not getting fully addressed. The Assigned Counsel Committee was established in 2021 to address topics unique to assigned counsel programs. The committee established a list of priorities, including raising the 18-b rates which are unchanged since 2004, recruiting more membership to ACP panels, advocating for panel attorneys to receive student loan forgiveness and incentives similar to public defender and district attorney offices, as well as looking for ways to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our panels.
In light of the critical state of assigned counsel panels across the State, the committee prioritized the low hourly rates, which has become the focus of the committee’s work thus far. The low hourly rates have created a significant challenge when recruiting and keeping panel attorneys. This is especially true because, other than the hourly rates, ACPs can offer no benefits or alleviate any of the financial obligations of 18-b attorneys.
In order to address this issue, committee members are gathering relevant data to be used in a two-pronged approach: