New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers hosts annual update at Brooklyn Bar Association
Lawyers are required by law to obtain 24 CLE credits every two years and this event is designed to help them knock out a significant portion of those credits in one day. It also helps them keep on top of the changes to the law which would be almost impossible without updates like these.
“Every year the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers gives an update as to all the new cases that came up in the previous 12 months, the precedents that came out of the various areas,” said Glenn Verchick, program chair for the annual update. “Each topic has a different author. It gets [eight] credits which is why it is so popular: because it gives people an opportunity to knock out a bunch at once.”
The event is broken up into eight different sections and a “dean of the academy” picks the topic and authors the CLE. This year the presenters included: John Bonina on the topic of medical malpractice, Michael Ross on ethics, Sim Shapiro on premises liability, Robin Zimpel-Fontaine on products liability, Daniel Santola on labor law, Mitchell Proner on no fault automobile cases, David Paul Horowitz on disclosure, Daniel Solinsky on municipal liability and Verchick covered evidence.
“Every year there are subtle changes to the law that are not always groundbreaking, but important nonetheless,” Verchick said. “For instance, in the second department in Brooklyn, there are hundreds of cases decided every year and there is no way that even the most diligent of practitioners could keep up with those changes.
“So we have people from each area come, pick out the most important aspects of their field, and explain how it will affect practitioners going forward,” Verchick said.
With nearly 100 lawyers in the room learning key changes to the law, the presentations often turn into discussions as was the case when Horowitz began to discuss the disclosure implications for the case Rivera v. Montefiore.
“Last time I presented on this, we ended up talking about Rivera the entire time,” Horowitz joked. “I could do that again if people feel that it is necessary.”
In addition to the eight hours listening to lectures, attorneys also left the event with a packet covering all of the cases that were referred to that day. Verchick explained how that itself can be a very valuable tool.
“That booklet is so much more valuable than the $50 we charge for it,” Verchick said. “You hold on to it, or you keep handy the free online version, and then you can refer to it as the different topics come up throughout the year. The online version is searchable and hyperlinked as well so it really is a fantastic tool.”
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