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Events & News


Events


DECEMBER

Free Family Law CLE in New York City

Learn about family law and get 4 CLE credits and 10 pro bono CLE credits. Participants must complete a 20 hour pro bono practicum helping unrepresented litigants in the NYC Family Court Help Center within 6 months of training.

Where: 111 Centre Street, New York, NY
When: Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Agenda: 9:30am - 12:00pm - Paternity and Support
1:00pm - 2:30pm - Custody, Visitation and Family Offense

This course is appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys. To register, email volunteerattorneys@nycourts.gov or call 646-386-5425.

 

News


NOVEMBER

New Videos Added to YouTube

Five new video interviews conducted in coordination with the 40th Anniversary of NYC Housing Court in 2013 have been posted on the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program's YouTube channel. Three Judges, Jaime R. Rios, Peter M. Wendt and Jerald R. Klein, and two former landlord-tenant practitioners, Kent Karlsson and Daniel Finkelstein, share their recollections about the formation, implementation and advancement of the Housing Court. These oral histories from the people who were there at the Court’s inception provide a unique window to the past. Anyone who has had contact with the Housing Court over the past 40 years will find the never-before-seen footage extremely interesting. Also available on YouTube are videos of Judges Israel Rubin, Fern A. Fisher, Margaret Cammer and former court employee William Etheridge, which were previously posted. Watch for more videos coming soon in December.

CourtHelp Website Redesign

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program launched a complete redesign of the court system’s CourtHelp website for unrepresented litigants. The redesign enables users to find the help they need when they are going to court without a lawyer. The number of litigants representing themselves in court has grown exponentially since CourtHelp was first launched in 2003. The new design improves the public’s access to justice by providing legal and procedural information and resources in a user-friendly presentation.

Highlights of the newly launched site include:

  • Information sections on court case basics and many new legal topics, including money problems and foreclosures;
  • Twitter, YouTube and the DIY Form program icons;
  • Helpful quick links, including Find a Lawyer, Help Centers and a new complete plain language glossary;
  • A court locator box on every page allowing users to find their court; and
  • An improved mobile-device experience.

CourtHelp will continue to expand in 2015, adding additional features and legal information, including a search button, A-Z topics, appeals, criminal law, collections and traffic. Visit the redesigned site: www.nycourthelp.gov.




OCTOBER

Pro Bono Awards Celebration Held

In honor of National Pro Bono Celebration Week the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York County Lawyers' Association (NYCLA) co-sponsored a lovely and festive pro bono volunteer recognition event on Thursday, October 23, 2014, at NYCLA. Numerous volunteers were recognized for their outstanding pro bono service. A list of those recognized can be found in the Pro Bono Awards Presentation and Reception Program. A photo gallery from the event is posted on the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NYCourtsVLP.

Bridge the Gap Training Series Held

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program held a free "Bridge the Gap" training program for recent law school graduates and newly admitted attorneys. Training sessions in Consumer Debt, Ethics, Landlord & Tenant Law and Uncontested Divorce took place Tuesday, October 21st through Thursday, October 23rd, 2014. In exchange for 18 CLE credits participants will complete a 50 hour pro bono practicum assisting litigants in the NYC Housing, Civil, and Supreme Courts. This training series encourages graduates and newly admitted attorneys to get involved in pro bono work early in their careers by bridging the gap between law school and the realities of practicing law. Over 65 recent law school graduates and newly admitted attorneys participated in this initiative.




AUGUST

Spanish Language Feature Added to Family Court DIY Programs

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program has added a new Spanish feature to the Family Court Custody/Visitation Enforcement and Custody/Visitation Modification DIY Form programs for Spanish speaking unrepresented litigants. Every screen has "Español" links which open pop-up windows with the translations of the screen. The programs can be found on CourtHelp, the Unified Court System’s website for unrepresented litigants. The programs generate instructions and pleadings in English, with a Spanish copy of the instructions for the litigants.

New Spanish DIY Program Video for Uncontested Divorce

The NYS Court Access to Justice Program has posted a Spanish version of the Uncontested Divorce video explaining how unrepresented litigants in New York State can easily use the free Uncontested Divorce DIY Form program to make the Supreme Court papers they need to request an uncontested divorce. The video can be read and listened to in Spanish.




JULY

Kings County Civil Court L&T Staff Win DIY Star Awards!

Congratulations to the L&T Clerk's Office Staff and Assistant Deputy Chief Clerk Melinda Alexander of the Kings County Civil Court on winning the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program's DIY Star Award. The award is presented from time to time to courts and individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the success of the DIY Form programs and improved access to justice for unrepresented litigants. The staff received the award because of their impressive usage statistics of the NYC housing DIY Forms. Melinda Alexander earned the award for her assistance developing, implementing and promoting the DIY Form Programs. Read about the Kings County Civil Court Star Awards.

Retired Clerk of the County wins DIY Star Award

On July 22, 2014, Judge Fern Fisher presented the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program’s DIY Star Award to Lydia Grima, Retired Clerk of the County of the Kings County Civil Court for her outstanding leadership in the implementation of the DIY Form programs in the New York City Civil Courts. Lydia’s commitment to furthering access to justice for unrepresented litigants has been the driving force behind two Civil Court Clerk’s Offices earning the prestigious DIY Star Award. In October 2011, under Lydia’s leadership as Clerk of the County of the New York County Civil Court, the Civil Clerk’s Office staff won the DIY Star Award. It is no coincidence that after Lydia became Clerk of the Court in the Kings County Civil Court, DIY Form program statistics skyrocketed and the L&T Clerk’s Office earned the DIY Star Award.

New DIY program video for Uncontested Divorce

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program has created a video for the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Form Uncontested Divorce Program. This video explains how unrepresented litigants in New York State can easily use the free DIY Form program to make the Supreme Court papers they need to request a divorce. Watch the Uncontested Divorce video.




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