NYSBA Celebrates New Law Requiring the Recording of Interrogations



Image: NYSBA.org

A matrimonial and family law attorney based in White Plains, New York, Gordon Burrows graduated from St. John’s University School of Law with his JD over 30 years ago. Since then, he has practiced law in various capacities and serves as the county legislator for Westchester County’s 15th District Court. Active in the professional community, Gordon Burrows belongs to the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).

Dedicated to informing and educating the public and legal professionals, the NYSBA regularly promotes new legislation. In April, the organization announced that it had finally succeeded in helping pass a new law relating to interrogations, after supporting it for more than a decade.

This new law was included in the 2017-2018 budget and went in to effect on April 1, 2018. According to the new rules, law enforcement agencies must record custodial interrogations using video when questioning a person accused of a serious crime. In doing so, the NYSBA hopes to prevent wrongful convictions and prosecutions within the state. Courts may deem a confession inadmissible if the interrogation of the person was not video recorded.

The road to getting this legislation passed began in 2004 when the NYSBA first began drafting a law that required interrogations to be recorded. Two years later, the organization received grant funds to purchase video equipment for district attorneys around the state.

In 2009, the NYSBA’s Task Force on Wrongful Convictions released a comprehensive report examining wrongful convictions in the state, and by 2015, NYSBA announced that it had drafted a bill requiring the recording of interrogations alongside the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York and the Innocence Project.

Finally, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo presented the legislation in 2017, and the measure was subsequently enacted.

A Brief Introduction to Grounds for Divorce in NY State


Smith, Buss and Jacobs, LLP pic

Smith, Buss and Jacobs, LLP
Image: sbjlaw.com

Gordon Burrows began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in the Westchester County Attorney’s office. Between 1988 and 1996 he served as an attorney in various law offices, including time as head of the matrimonial department at Smith, Buss and Jacobs, LLP. For nearly 15 years, Gordon Burrows has worked as a solo practitioner of matrimonial and family law in White Plains, New York.

When it comes to the legal dissolution of a marriage, New York is a no-fault state, meaning one or both spouses can enact divorce proceedings on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. However, spouses may still claim a variety of additional grounds for divorce, from cruel and inhuman treatment to adultery.

Should one spouse abandon their partner for one or more years, or be imprisoned for three or more consecutive years following marriage, the latter party may initiate divorce proceedings. Similarly, should two spouses find themselves living apart from one another for a period of at least one year, either party may make a request for a formal legal separation. For more information regarding grounds for divorce in the state of New York, individuals should contact a reputable family law practitioner.

NYSBA Family Law Section to Hold Sessions in Matrimonial Law



Image: NYSBA.org

Gordon Burrows serves as the principal attorney for the Law Offices of Gordon A. Burrows, where he handles cases involving matrimonial and family law and draws on more than three decades of experience. He also holds membership with the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), which offers a variety of educational programming. Upcoming events in the Family Law section include the Critical Areas in Matrimonial Law II series.

The second event in the Critical Areas in Matrimonial Law series, the program will focus on drafting motions and will deliver a comprehensive review of the process in matrimonial practice. From venue challenges and jurisdiction to motion enforcement and policies, the program explores motion practices at every stage of a case and examines the ethical considerations in various situations. A judge will attend each session to offer the court’s perspective, and attendees will engage in sample motions to simulate real-life scenarios.

Established and novice attorneys in the area of matrimonial law may attend, and the event is worth seven mandatory continuing educational (MCLE) credits. Available MCLE credits are divided into three types: one professional practice credit, one ethical credit, and five skill credits. Both NYSBA members and nonmembers can attend, although NYSBA members will receive a discount on registration.

The NYSBA will hold multiple sessions for the Critical Areas in Matrimonial Law II in different cities in April and May. For upcoming dates and locations, visit nysba.org/CriticalAreasMatLawIICLE.

NYSBA Pushes for Bail Reform



Image: NYSBA.org

An accomplished attorney with more than three decades of experience, Gordon Burrows focuses on matrimonial and family law in his work with clients at his White Plains, New York, practice. Active in his profession, Gordon Burrows belongs to several legal organizations, including the New York State Bar Association.

In early January 2018, the NYSBA’s House of Delegates approved a resolution backing a plan to phase out cash bail for people charged with misdemeanors or non-violent felonies. Even though the state’s Criminal Procedure Law allows for ways other than a secured cash bail to ensure a defendant shows up for future court appearances, most courts throughout the state still rely on cash bail or secured bonds.

According to the NYSBA, as much as 60 percent of the jail population in the state consists of defendants still waiting for trial. Many of them are unable to afford cash bail, and so they sit behind bars, unable to work and apart from their loved ones while waiting for their day in court. The resolution calls for less stringent supervised release guidelines and cash bail imposed only on violent defendants.