New York County Lawyers’ Association

14 Vesey Street New York, NY 10007

Richard J. Mollot, Esq.

Communications Manager

(212) 267-6646, ext. 225 (Phone)

(212) 406-9252 (Fax)




NEW YORK, September 6, 2002– NYCLA President Michael Miller announced today the establishment of the NYCLA Task Force on Corporate Responsibility. In light of the numerous cases of corporate malfeasance discovered in recent months, the Task Force will be charged with examining both the laws and regulations pertaining to corporate conduct, as well as the ethical principles and rules that govern the role of officers and other corporate officials, including those pertaining to the professional responsibility of lawyers in such positions and lawyers advising persons in such positions.


As President Miller stated, “We in the organized bar are particularly dismayed by the revelations of fraud, self-dealing and manipulations of this country’s capital markets and in the businesses that seek financing in those markets. These events have wrecked tens of thousands of lives and wiped out billions of dollars of savings and pensions. Moreover, they have caused a crisis of confidence in the financial sector at a time when, if anything, we need to be inspiring faith in the American system.”


In addition to evaluating and assessing the government’s response, the Task Force will examine the recommendations contained in the Preliminary Report of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Corporate Responsibility. President Miller stated, “The Task Force will make concrete recommendations regarding actions that can be taken to better protect the public in the future and to hold those who violate the public trust accountable.”


Edwin David Robertson, NYCLA’s Vice President and a partner at Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft, will chair the Task Force. Mr. Robertson stated, ‘New York is the heart of our country’s financial center and is uniquely affected when public confidence in those markets is eroded. As the bar association closest to Wall Street and the financial markets, we at NYCLA are keenly aware of the need for the legal community to play a key role in response to the crisis, just as we were among the first to lead lawyers’ relief efforts after the tragic events last September, which took place just steps from our front door.”


Mr. Miller commented, “The rapidity of legislative and regulatory response to these events is unrivaled since efforts to alleviate the Depression of the 1930s. NYCLA believes that it is important to review and comment on the governmental measures that are being developed and, in particular, those proposals directed toward the responsibility of lawyers who advise corporations and participants in America’s capital markets. It is our hope that NYCLA can make a contribution in restoring faith in our capital markets.”


The New York County Lawyers’ Association was founded 94 years ago as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, NYCLA has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.