2nd honker
July 31, 2017
News Picks from NYSDA Staff
News Picks
Discovery Stories Needed for Reform Efforts. Many New York State and national news outlets are interested in highlighting the need for discovery reform across New York State. In order to gather more information about defender experiences with the lack of discovery in all parts of the state, John Schoeffel, Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society's Special Litigation and Training Unit, would like you to share your experiences, including specific examples of how your clients were harmed (e.g., losing a job, a home, or custody of children, etc.). Defenders are encouraged to provide the following:
  • Egregious examples where discovery has impacted a client's case
  • District Attorney's offices that have worse practices than others
  • Brady violations
Interested defenders should complete this form and email your responses to John Schoeffel at JSchoeffel@legal.aid.org by Sept. 1, 2017

Resources on Representation of Individuals with Disabilities. At last week's Annual Meeting, Julie Keegan (Disability Rights New York's Director of Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries) and Ariel Simms (Criminal Justice Attorney Fellow at The Arc's National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability) provided attendees with an overview of various resources available for attorneys representing clients with disabilities.

Disability Rights New York (DRNY) runs the state's Protection & Advocacy System and Client Assistance Program and advocates for New Yorkers with disabilities so that those individuals can, among other things, enforce their civil and legal rights. While DRNY does not provide representation in criminal or family court, DRNY staff are able to provide technical assistance to attorneys representing an individual with a disability in any type of proceeding. Assistance includes:
  • communication strategies and strategies for clients and witnesses;
  • advocacy in securing services from state agencies and providers;
  • referrals for evaluators and experts; and
  • amicus curiae briefs for systemic issues directly impacting people with disabilities.
We encourage attorneys to reach out to DRNY by calling (518) 432-7861, (800) 993-8982, or (518) 512-3448 (TTY) or by emailing mail@DisabilityRightsNY.org .
For individuals with disabilities who need accommodations to assure accessibility to the courts, the New York State Unified Court System's Accessibility page offers information about making accommodation requests and a list of Americans with Disabilities Act liaisons for each county.
Resources available from the Arc's National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability include:
  • Webinars on subjects such as Competency of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System; The Attorney Client Relationship: Bridging the Gap between Attorneys, Clients with I/DD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities), and Their Families; and Sex Offenders with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Publications
    • White Papers such as "Sex Offenders with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities" and "Competency of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System"
    • Fact Sheets including "Five Facts Attorneys Need to Know When Representing or Working with Citizens with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)"; "Interacting with your State's Protection and Advocacy Organization (P&A)"; "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs); and "Intellectual Disability (ID)."

New Criminal Jury Instructions and Model Colloquies Available. As discussed during the presentation by Bill Easton and Hon. Patricia Marks at NYSDA's Annual Meeting last week, the New York State Criminal Jury Instructions Committee regularly issues new and revised pattern jury instructions and has started to release Model Colloquies. The presenters emphasized that the pattern jury instructions should not be used as a substitute for individualized instructions on trial-specific issues. Defense counsel should draft case-specific instructions and be prepared to challenge the pattern instructions where appropriate.
Pattern Jury Instructions 2017 additions and revisions
Instructions of General Applicability
  • Added: Closed-Circuit TV Testimony (CPL 65.30); Dying Declaration; Voluntary Act; Identification by Pictorial Representation (CPL 60.25 and 60.30)
  • Revised: Confession (add section on failure to record statement [CPL 60.45]); Interpreter for defendant and witnesses
Model Charges
  • Revised Final Instructions: added example to Evidentiary Inferences instruction and added clarifying words to Previous Criminal Conduct instruction
Penal Law Offenses
  • 120.05: subdivisions (3) and (11) revised; subdivisions (3-c), (11-c), (13), and (14) added
  • 130.52(2) added
  • 135.35(1), (2), and (3) revised
  • 135.37 added
  • 175.35: subdivision (1) revised; subdivision (2) added
  • Article 178: 178.10, 178.15(1) and (2), and 178.25 added
  • Article 230 revised; 230.06(2) and 230.32(2) added
  • 260.00(1) added
  • 265.01(1) added possession of per se knife
Education Law
  • 6512(1) added
The Model Colloquies cover the following subjects:
  • Admonitions: Bail, Gomberg, Parker, and Witness Tampering;
  • Arraignments: Fugitive, Predicate Felony Offender, Violation of Probation;
  • Grand Jury: Selection;
  • Pleas: Plea of Guilty and Plea of Not Responsible;
  • Verdict: Taking of a Verdict; and
  • Waivers: Waiver of Counsel, Waiver of Indictment (SCI), Waiver of Jury Trial, and Waiver of Right to Appeal.

Forensic Science Reports and Resources. NYSDA's Director of Legal Information Services, Ken Strutin, recently released an article titled " President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Casts Doubt on Criminal Forensics ." The article includes links to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report and related documents, responses to the PCAST report, and news and scholarly articles on related forensic science issues. Links to relevant science and forensic science organizations, such as the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology & the Law at Stetson University College of Law, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, appear at the end of the article.

Association News
NYSDA Annual Conference: CLE and Celebration . For those who missed the Annual Meeting and Conference in Saratoga, information about the inspiring award recipients, Jill Paperno, Renee Seman, and Jonathan E. Gradess, is available online . Attorneys can contact the Backup Center about materials from the CLE presentations. The conference kicked off NYSDA's celebration of its first 50 years and its continued determination to improve the quality of public defense representation in New York. 

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