JUDGE ROBERT G. M. KEATING: As Dean of the Judicial Institute, I would like to welcome you today to the Partners in Justice colloquium. I think it’s obvious from the program and from the website that an enormous amount of work went into this program once the Chief Judge identified the issues and the theme. I particularly would like to thank Randy Hertz of N.Y.U. Law School; Norman Reimer, President of the New York County Lawyers’ Association; Juanita Bing Newton, the Administrative Judge in charge of Access to Justice Initiatives as well as the Criminal Court of the City of New York; Robert Mandelbaum from the Chief Judge’s office; and Joy Beane from the Judicial Institute. They have just done an enormous amount of work and a fabulous job in putting this program together. Just a brief word about the Institute, because many of you haven’t been here before. This opened about two years ago after about a decade of perseverance and tenacity by the Chief Judge. And in the period since we have opened, we have offered programs to over six-thousand judges and over twelve-thousand non-judicial personnel, both here and around the state. Our charge from the Chief Judge has been not only to do continuing judicial education but also to explore the way our court system has tried to address old problems with new solutions in the area of problem-solving courts, including domestic violence courts, as well as to address issues now evolving or brand-new, such as the science of DNA, e-discovery, and bioethics.
Voting rights advocates should explore section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act as a vehicle to combat voter intimidation.
Mandatory arbitration for guestworkers, a uniquely vulnerable group, will result in class inequality and worse conditions for all workers.
DOJ guidance for mentally impaired detainees in immigration removal proceedings should be amended to provide counsel at earlier signs of incompetence.
An evidentiary privilege to protect workers' confidential communications from disclosure in federal and state court proceedings would support unions.