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Message from President Timothy W. Hoover RE: Current Health Emergency Impact On Members & NYSACDL

Thursday, March 19, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jennifer Van Ort
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Message from Timothy W. Hoover, President, NYSACDL, to NYSACDL Members & Friends:

The NYSACDL Board of Directors, its Executive Committee, other Board committees, and Executive Director, have been proactively meeting and conferring (by phone or email) to address the current health emergency and its impact on our members and NYSACDL.

I want to reaffirm that we are concerned for the health and safety of our members and their families, staff and clients, as well as the other professionals and court personnel that we work with on daily basis. We add our voice to those urging you to follow the advice of the health authorities and medical professionals in your community, and hope you are and continue to be safe, and well. It goes without saying that if a member has a medical or quarantine issue and needs support of the organization to help triage his/her law practice, deal with courts, and the like, we have Board members and members ready to assist. The same goes with more basic needs of any member affected by this, we are here to help. Take care of yourselves, stay in touch with each other with concerns on the relevant listserv or directly, and contact me or any member of the Board if we can be of assistance.

Overall, NYSACDL is well-positioned to avoid the most direct immediate harmful impacts of the emergency because we do not have a large staff and we do not have extensive, frequent, in-person meetings. But these are uncharted times and the future is far from certain. As a bar association and a not-for-profit entity, we are not immune from the broader impact on our profession and on our society. Here are the steps we are taking in the immediate term to address this crisis.

First, our April 4, 2020 Albany Board meeting will take place, but will be teleconference only.

Second, the Board has taken steps to defer and reschedule our four most immediate upcoming programs:

  • The Jack Litman Memorial event (originally scheduled for April 6, 2020), will be postponed to a date later this year.
  • Our Syracuse CLE seminar (originally scheduled for April 18, 2020), will be postponed to a date later this year, which we expect will be September 26, 2020.
  • Our New York City Cross to Kill CLE Seminar (originally scheduled for April 24, 2020), will be postponed to June 12, 2020, at which time it will be held either live or webinar format.
  • Our Lake Placid CLE (originally scheduled for May 1, 2020), will be postponed to later this year, hopefully to a late summer date.

The CLE Committee has also taken steps to roll out a series of ongoing, one hour, streaming, interactive CLE programs on a daily basis, beginning in April, on topics pertinent to our members' everyday practices. Look for a separate announcement and registration information this week on this Lunch and Law Lecture Series, which we expect to launch on April 6, 2020.

Third, our Legislative Committee advocacy and lobbying efforts opposing bail reform/discovery reform rollback are continuing to the maximum extent possible, including with the release of budget/proposals this week. Just today we issued another strong statement opposing bail reform rollback. Click here for PDF.

Fourth, our important Board committee work, like our Amicus Committee work, continues.

Fifth, given the uncertainty that will face us and all bar associations/nonprofits in the coming year, we are examining our budget, expenses and revenue carefully to make sure we develop appropriate contingency plans.

Sixth, we are aware that the emergency will negatively impact our clients and our ability to serve our clients (via court closures (e.g., the attached), prison restrictions, etc), and ask that our members make us aware of issues that arise so we can, where we are able, assist in advocacy with law enforcement and court authorities.

If you have any concerns, questions or anything you want to discuss, please contact me, President-Elect Alice Fontier, or Executive Director Jen Van Ort, directly. My office phone number is (716) 848-1271, my mobile phone is (716) 994-2943, and my email is You can email, text, or call me anytime.

Tim Hoover