David P. Miranda, a partner at the Albany intellectual property law firm of Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, is the 118th president of the New York State Bar Association, as of Monday.
Miranda succeeds Glenn Lau-Kee of New York City (Kee & Lau-Kee) as head of the 74,000-member Association, which has members in all 50 states and more than 115 countries.
During his tenure, Miranda will focus on harnessing the expertise of the association’s attorneys, sections and committees to advocate for issues of importance to the legal community, and to explain the legal system to New Yorkers.
Under his leadership, the state bar association is forming a committee to review the state Constitution. In November 2017, voters will decide whether to hold a constitutional convention to amend, revise or replace the current Constitution.
“Our state Constitution contains a provision that requires such a vote every 20 years,” Miranda said. “It was designed so the people could make changes to how our government is run. As lawyers, we should play a constructive role in educating the public and policymakers about the complex legal issues involved.”
He said unlike the U.S. Constitution, the state Constitution is very detailed, describing how the court system is structured and governing the criminal justice system, state finances, the structure of local government, the Adirondack Park and more.
Miranda has named Henry M. Greenberg to chair the association’s Committee on the New York State Constitution. Greenberg is a shareholder with the law firm Greenberg Traurig and former counsel to then-state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.
“The committee approaches its work with no preconceived agenda,” Miranda said. “It will reach out to state bar members with diverse backgrounds, expertise and views.”
Miranda’s law practice focuses on intellectual property law and technology law. He previously chaired the Association’s Electronic Communications Committee. As president, he wants to make the best use of technology to interact with Association members and the legal community.
Other programs will be geared to law students and newly admitted attorneys to help them launch successful legal careers. On Monday, the New York State Bar Association began offering free membership to students at all 15 law schools in the state.
Miranda will serve a one-year term as state bar president. Claire Gutekunst of Yonkers became president-elect June 1, succeeding Miranda as president next year.