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NYSBA 136th Annual Meeting notes

Members of the New York State Bar Association are in Manhattan this week for the association’s 136th annual meeting.

Among the highlights so far this week are the naming of new section chairs and presentation of various achievement awards.

New section chairs announced

Six newly-appointed section chairs of the New York State Bar Association will be taking office this week.

The 25 sections of the state bar publish material dealing with their fields of expertise, much of which is not available through commercial publishers. They also sponsor conferences, seminars and institutes, monitor legislation and conduct studies. Each section contributes to policy-making, both in subject areas and association-wide.

New chairs are:

• Eric J. Stock of Manhattan (Hogan Lovells), chair of the 524-member Antitrust Section;

• Howard S. Shafer of Manhattan (Shafer Glazer), chair of the 1,705-member Corporate Counsel Section;

• Diana L. Wollman of Manhattan (Sullivan & Cromwell) chair of the 2,691-member Tax Law Section;

• Robert F. McCarthy of Mineola (Nationwide Mutual Insurance), chair of the 2,697-member Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section;

• Elizabeth M. Hecht of White Plains (Mead Hecht Conklin & Gallagher), chair of the 2,314-member Trial Lawyers Section; and

• Carl T. Baker of Glens Falls (Fitzgerald Morris Baker Firth), chair of the 4,890-member Trusts and Estates Section.

Public service awards

A trailblazing judge, an innovative court administrator and respected state tax law expert are the 2013 recipients of the Excellence in Public Service Awards, given Tuesday by the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service of the New York State Bar Association.

The annual awards recognize public-sector attorneys who demonstrate a “higher calling” by an extraordinary commitment to service, honor and integrity, according to the bar association.

The 2013 recipients are:

• The Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick: The first Hispanic and second woman to serve on the Court of Appeals. She retired as senior associate justice in December, after serving on the state’s highest court since January 1994.

• The Hon. Judy Harris Kluger: Chief of policy and planning for New York State’s Unified Court System, has been an instrumental figure in the development and implementation of problem-solving courts, designed to address underlying problems, such as mental health, drug addiction or prostitution, that contribute to criminal behavior.

• Deborah Liebman, deputy counsel for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, recognized as one of the state’s leading authorities on the most complex tax law matters. She has been with the department since 1981.

Retired Justice Sondra Miller honored

Sondra Miller, retired associate justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, is the recipient of the Kay Crawford Murray Award, given Tuesday by the Committee on Women in the Law.

The award recognizes an attorney who enhances diversity in the profession and advances the professional development of female attorneys. It is named for Kay Crawford Murray, a past chair of the Committee on Women in the Law.

“Justice Miller had a history of firsts throughout her distinguished career,” said Sharon M. Porcellio of Rochester (Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP), co-chair of the Committee on Women in the Law. “From being a member of Harvard Law School’s first class of admitted women to her historic appointment in the Second Department, she has risen to every occasion and served with grace and integrity. We are delighted to present this award to a true trailblazer.”

Miller served as a Family Court judge in Westchester County from 1983 to 1986. She was elected to the state Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District in 1986. Four years later, she became the first woman in the Ninth Judicial District to be appointed to the Appellate Division, Second Department.

From 2004-2006, she chaired the New York State Unified Court System Matrimonial Commission, which provided a blueprint for divorce reform in the state. She later served as director of the Office of Family Services of the Office of Court Administration. She also directed a report that proposed a model sexual harassment policy for law firms.

Lillian Moy honored for diversity efforts

Lillian Moy of Albany, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, is the recipient of the Diversity Trailblazer Award, given Monday by the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to helping enhance diversity in the legal profession.

Within the state bar association, Moy is vice-president of the Third Judicial District, past chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and the Committee on Legal Aid,  and a member of the Membership Committee and the President’s Committee on Access to Justice.

She is also a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defenders, the Advisory Committee on New York State Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirements and serves on Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services in New York.

She is a founding member of the New York State Diversity Coalition and a frequent presenter on management, diversity and cultural competency.