From Our Desks To Yours…. March 2022

Dear Members:


This month we want to tell you about an exciting initiative – the Federal Bar Council’s Access to Counsel Project (“A2C Project”). We have been unveiling bits and pieces about the program for the past year and are thrilled to finally launch the program this spring.



The goal of the initiative is to increase pro bono representation for civil pro se litigants in the Second Circuit. The Council has been working with the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York in  the early stages of the program but hopes to expand the program as it gains traction.


As you likely know, a judge can flag a civil pro se case as one that would benefit from representation. There are legal clinics in the SDNY and EDNY that provide limited scope assistance for civil pro se litigants – and are fantastic resources for pro se litigants. The A2C Project aims to mobilize the private bar to step in when formal representation is warranted or needed and to fill in the gaps that currently exist. If you attended our 2021 Thanksgiving Luncheon, you heard Judge Koeltl talk about the strong need for the private bar to serve in this capacity. The A2C Project provides infrastructure to support attorneys and law firms who respond to this call from the court to take on these matters. Support is given through a variety of avenues – mentoring, use and access to a Second Circuit-specific practice manual, trial training, and public recognition.


We are currently working to meet an immediate and pressing need to help clear the docket of civil pro se cases that need counsel in the SDNY. The list has over 30 cases that need counsel. Several firms have stepped up and have agreed to take a leadership role in this effort – thank you to Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Debevoise & Plimpton, Strook & Strook & Lavan, Sullivan & Cromwell, Sussman Godfrey, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, and Yankwitt LLP. Please join this list of firms – at this year’s Law Day Dinner we will celebrate and recognize those firms that aid in this important effort.




The infrastructure of the A2C Project aims to remove barriers for firms and individuals to increase pro bono representation for these cases. Our Pro Bono Advisory Panel is available to provide mentorship and guidance to attorneys and trial teams. We are developing a pro bono practice manual specific to the Second Circuit that will be a wealth of “insider” knowledge about how to navigate challenging federal civil cases – it will include exemplars, case law, “how tos,” and a roadmap to help navigate unfamiliar areas of law.




Finally, we have partnered with the Downstate NY Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and National Trial Advocacy Institute (NITA) to provide in-depth trial training to pro bono attorneys involved in the Access to Counsel Project. We are kicking off this effort with an intensive deposition training program in early June – stay tuned for more information and please reach out to us if you are interested in being trained by NITA to serve as a faculty member for this program. The training will be free to both faculty and students thanks to a generous agreement with NITA to provide training and materials at a deep discount.




We are proud to spearhead this massive effort. But we can’t do it without youPlease reach out to us so we can connect you with the appropriate court personnel to review the list of available cases.




Jonathan M. Moses, President, Federal Bar Council

Anna Stowe DeNicola, Executive Director, Federal Bar Council


 Here is what is on my shelf this month:

I finally read Maggie O’Farrell’s smash hit “Hamnet” last month – it was incredible! I loved it so much I read another one of her books right away – her memoir, “I am I am I am: Seventeen Brushes With Death,” and added a few others by her to my short list. Her writing is stunningly beautiful. It is always exciting to find a new author.


Other books I read last month include:


Finally, I pulled Priya Parker’s book, The Art of Gathering, off my shelf to reread this month. The pandemic has caused a global reset in how we approach and think about events and I’m thinking a lot about the deeper meaning and purpose of gathering and in-person interactions as we emerge (again) from pandemic hibernating.

Let me know what you’re reading!

New on-demand CLE Programs

We continue to expand our library of on-demand CLE programs. You can view our full list of on-demand programs here, but we encourage you to view the most recent additions to the library if you weren’t able to view them live:

Upcoming Programs and Events

March 2, 2022
FBC & FBF Board Meeting
March 3, 2022
Public Service Committee Meeting
March 3, 2022
Program Committee Meeting
March 8, 2022
FBC Inn of Court Meeting: Team Cogan
March 8, 2022
Second Circuit Courts Committee Meeting
March 10, 2022
Access to Counsel Advisory Panel Meeting
March 10, 2022
Westchester Committee Meeting
March 14, 2022
Federal Criminal Practice Committee Meeting
March 17, 2022
Celebration Event for Betsy Plevan (at the New York City Bar)
March 20, 2022
Memorial Service for Steve Edwards
March 28, 2022
CLE: Women in the Courtroom

Recent Updates