2nd honker
May 31, 2017
News Picks from NYSDA Staff
News Picks
NYSDA Releases Updated New York Lesser Included Offenses Chart. The NYSDA Public Defense Backup Center has updated the New York Lesser Included Offenses reference chart . The new chart sets out potential lesser included offenses for various Penal Law and Vehicle and Traffic Law offenses and provides excerpts from several key New York Court of Appeals decisions and a list of relevant Criminal Procedure Law sections. The guide will also appear in the upcoming issue of the REPORT.


Craft Objections to Prosecutor's PowerPoints in Summation and Consider Using Your Own. As prosecutors' use of PowerPoint presentations in summations increases and social science verifies the impact that visual aids have in communication, defense counsel must consider whether and how to challenge or counter prosecution employment of such tools. So notes a May 22 post by Jill Paperno on the New York Criminal Defense Blog, "Limits on the Prosecutor's Use of PowerPoint Presentations In Summations." The post summarizes two Apr. 4, 2017 Court of Appeals decisions, People v Anderson (2017 NY Slip Op 02589) and People v Williams (2017 Slip Op 02588). Paperno focuses on crafting objections to visual aids in prosecution summations while also noting the need for defense counsel to consider using PowerPoint themselves.


The May 2017 edition of the Center for Appellate Litigation's "Issues to Develop at Trial" also addresses use of PowerPoint during summation. It includes a bulleted list of steps to take to protect clients and preserve any issues for appeal when prosecutors use PowerPoint in unduly prejudicial ways. It contains another list of ways for defense counsel to get help becoming proficient in PowerPoint use. Among the latter is a reminder to ask the court for funds to retain an expert to help. As to doing that, just last year NYSDA updated information on "Getting the Expert Funds You Need Under County Law § 722-c," available here

State Bar Committee's Annual Free CLE on June 9: Representation in Family Court Proceedings. A day-long CLE providing an overview of best practices and practical advice and strategies for Family Court practitioners will be presented by the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Mandated Representation on Friday, June 9, 2017, at the State Bar in Albany. Topics include the outer boundaries of Article 10, representing third parties and relatives, an overview of defending and prosecuting cases involving domestic violence, and relevant federal law (UIFSA, UCCJEA, ICWA) and the Hague Convention. Information and registration for this complimentary program are available here . Lunch will be served during the biennial awards ceremony for the Excellence in Mandated Representation and the Denison Ray Criminal Defender awards.

Resources for Attorneys Handling Shaken Baby and Other Child Injury Cases . Katherine Judson of the Wisconsin Innocence Project is offering monthly webinars on issues that arise in shaken baby syndrome (SBS) and abusive head trauma (AHT) cases, as well as general issues relevant to representing parents/caregivers accused of injuring children. Other SBS resources available from the Wisconsin Innocence Project include an SBS listserv and an SBS Innocence Network resource bank. For more information on these resources, contact Judson at katherine.judson@wisc.edu .

Social Media Ethics Guidelines Updated . An update of the 2014 "Social Media Ethics Guidelines" prepared by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the NYS Bar Association was released on May 11, 2017. According to the Introduction to the updated guidelines, additions include "new content on lawyers' competence, the retention of social media by lawyers, client confidences, potential positional conflicts of interest associated with social media posts, the tracking of client social media use, communications by lawyers with judges, and lawyers' use of social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to communicate with selected audiences, or with the public in general." The original guidelines were noted, along with other information on social media and legal ethics, in a News Picks item on May 20, 2014 .

Resources on Managing Student Loan Debt; Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Update.  Equal Justice Works (EJW) and the New York State Bar Association are co-sponsoring a free webinar on Thursday, June 1 (12:00 - 1:00 pm) for public interest lawyers on managing student loan debt. You do not need to watch the webinar live. Those who register will receive a recording of the webinar within 48 hours of its broadcast. Registration is available through the EJW website . Other EJW resources on managing student loan debt are available here .
With the release of the White House budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year, there have been concerns regarding the continued existence of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). As discussed in the narrative (page 355) accompanying the Education Department budget, the Executive proposes eliminating the PSLF. Also proposed is the replacement of the five current Income Driven repayment plans with a single plan, but the narrative regarding that proposal notes that this change would only apply to "borrowers who originate their first loan on or after July 1, 2018, with an exception for students who borrowed their first loans prior to July 1, 2018 and who are borrowing to complete their current course of study." According to a May 23, 2017 article in the Washington Post, Education Department officials have clarified that PSLF elimination "would only affect people taking out loans on or after July 1, 2018." A similar message appears in the Education Department's blog post about the proposed changes to postsecondary education funding. The Backup Center will continue to monitor developments regarding PSLF.

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