NYSDA: New Initiatives, Continuing Advocacy and Assistance
This is NYSDA's forty-seventh year of working to improve the quality and scope of public defense representation across New York State. The year has seen new and reinvigorated initiatives along with a continuation of time-honored services.
The Veteran's Defense Program (VDP) came into being in April. Almost immediately, the VDP began advocating for legislation to divert from the criminal justice system individuals whose involvement in the court system may be related to their military service. This work will continue when the Legislature returns. Meanwhile, the VDP staff will be offering backup services to public defense lawyers and others to assist justice-involved veterans in criminal and family court cases.
NYSDA completed the 2014 Defender Institute Basic Trial Skills Program on June 13th. BTSP retains the client-centered approach that has brought it recognition while honing new approaches to best help lawyers going into court twenty-seven years after the Program debuted. The Association offers a range of other Continuing Legal Education programs as well.
Through its website, newsletter, and other communications media and publications, NYSDA offers a variety of information to lawyers, clients, and others. A yearly summary of actions and activities is available in our annual reports. Information about public defense issues is available on our website, drawn from a variety of sources, such as the new National Association for Public Defense.
Settle Hurrell-Harring, Create a Statewide, Independent Public Defense System NYSDA continues to advocate for settlement of a pending lawsuit, Hurrell-Harring v State of New York et al, in a way that leads New York into creation of a statewide, fully and adequately state funded public defense system headed by an Independent Public Defense Commission.
Breaking News and Updates
Defense Lawyers Call on New York to Fully Fund Legal Services for the Poor, Syracuse.com, Oct. 23, 2014
The Glass Is 5/62 full – The New York Hurrell-Harring Settlement, NY Criminal Defense, Oct. 23, 2014
15 Counties Back State Defense of the Indigent, NYLJ, Oct. 17, 2014
In New York, Cuomo Pledges More Aid for Lawyers of the Indigent, NY Times, Oct. 21, 2014
Koch Industries Give "Major Grant" to NACDL to Help With Indigent Defense, Sentencing Law and Policy, Oct. 21, 2014
Settlement Begins Historic Reformation of Public Defense in New York State, NYCLU News, Oct. 21, 2014
St. Lawrence County Part of Study on Indigent Defense; SUNY Canton to Assist, Watertown Daily News, Oct. 17, 2014