The Denis McInerney NYCLA American Inn of Court
The New York County Lawyers Association American Inn of Court is
the 200th American Inn of Court in the United States and the first
Inn to be established in New York City. Its charter
application included the names of the Honorable Francis T. Murphy,
Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division First Department of the
Supreme Court of the State of New York, the Honorable Ernst H.
Rosenberger, Justice of the Appellate Division First Department,
the Honorable John S. Martin and Kevin Thomas Duffy, United States
District Court Judges for the Southern District of New York, and
Denis McInerney, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, who received the
initial charter on behalf of the Inn in June 1993 at a meeting of
the American Inns of Court in Chicago, Illinois.
The Inn's active members are divided into eight teams, each of
which is led by two leaders, at least one of whom is a judge.
Each team prepares and presents one of the Inn's monthly
programs. The team's responsibilities include: (1)
choosing a topic and clearing it with the Inn's Program Committee,
(2) selecting the format and speakers (both from within and without
the Inn) most likely to present the topic in an interesting manner,
(3) preparing written materials that illustrate and complement the
subject matter of the program; and, where appropriate, (4)
preparing an American Inn of Court Demonstration Report to be
included in the American Inns of Court Foundation national
Each team is expected to meet separately (outside of the monthly
Inn meetings) to fulfill these responsibilities, to promote
camaraderie among its members and to encourage frank and personal
discussion of matters of practice, ethics, civility and all other
aspects of the practice of law.
Governance of the New York County Lawyers Association American
Inn of Court is entrusted to the Officers and the Executive
Committee. There are four Officers: President, Counselor,
Secretary and Treasurer. The Executive Committee consists of
these four Officers and five other members, one of whom serves as
the Executive Committee Chair. The President and Counselor
must be Masters, and the Inn's tradition is that at least one of
them must be a Judge.
A nominating committee nominates the Inn's Officers and
Executive Committee Members, who must be elected by a majority of
the membership present at a meeting called for that purpose.
Members are encouraged to contact any of the Officers or committee
members if they have questions or comments concerning the Inn.
Meetings and Programs
The program year begins in September. The Inn holds
monthly meetings, held at federal and state court buildings, law
firms, and other locations. Meetings usually begin between
6:00 and 6:30 p.m. with one of the Inn's teams making a
presentation dealing with various aspects of the practice of
law. Dinner (the cost of which is covered by Inn dues)
follows the program. Meetings, including dinner, usually end
between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m.
The programs involve practical legal skills with an emphasis on
ethics, civility and professionalism in lawyering. They
generally involve a dramatization or presentation of principles,
skills and techniques involved in diverse practice areas, as well
as trial and appellate court proceedings, and include opportunities
for audience participation. Participants can also receive CLE
credits from a majority of the programs.
The dinners permit an opportunity for young lawyers to meet with
senior members of the bar in a friendly atmosphere.
Benefits from the Foundation
Members of the Inn receive other benefits from the American Inns
of Court Foundation, including a subscription to The Bencher (the
Foundation's bi-monthly newsletter), a national membership
directory, and an invitation to the Annual Conference of Inns.
Membership also affords the opportunity to participate in Inn
activities which are held in England from time to time. In
additional, members traveling to England may obtain letters of
introduction to one of the four English Inns of Court.
For further information about your membership in the American
Inns of Court Foundation, please contact the Foundation office
American Inns of Court Foundation
1229 King Street Second Floor
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Telephone: (703) 684-3590
Fax: (703) 684-3607
The annual dues are $450 for Inn members who were called to
their first Bar six or more years ago; $275 for Inn members of less
than six years ago; and $225 for members of the judiciary or
attorneys in public service. The funds provided by the dues
defray the Inn's operating expenses, including the cost of meals at
the monthly Inn meetings and the annual payments to support the
American Inns of Court Foundation. Dues for the 2008-2009
Term should be paid by September 15, 2008, by sending a check to
Donald Zolin, Esq., Treasurer of the Inn, 61 Broadway, Suite 1105,
New York, NY 10006, payable to the "Denis McInerney NYCLA
American Inn of Court."
The American Inns of Court Foundation has received a Section
501(3) designation from the Internal Revenue Service, and our Inn
benefits from this designation as an affiliate of the
Foundation. Members may wish to check with their accountant
or other tax professional about deducting their dues either as a
business expense or as a charitable contribution; in the latter
case, the dues must be reduced by the value of the meals.
Membership and Selection
The New York County Lawyers Association Chapter of the American
Inns of Court currently has close to the 80 active members
permitted by its by-laws. The membership is divided into
three classifications. Masters of the Bench, or "Masters,"
are judges and seasoned lawyers. Barristers generally include
lawyers and law professors with over 10 years of experience.
Associates (called Pupils in some Inns, following English
terminology) generally include lawyers with fewer than 10 years of
The Inn's members are drawn largely from New York City and the
greater metropolitan area. Membership is open to all
qualified persons, regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion,
national origin or handicap. Thus, the NYCLA Inn reflects the
rich diversity of the bench and bar in New York City and includes
representatives of the plaintiffs' bar, defense counsel,
prosecutors, solo practitioners, government lawyers, corporate
counsel, law professors, persons working in large and small firms,
and federal and state trial and appellate judges. Efforts are
made to ensure that no law firm or type of practice is
In addition to the active members, the Inn extends Friend of the
Inn membership to Masters and Barristers who wish to support the
Inn but are unable to participate fully in the Inn's
The Inn also maintains a waiting list for candidates who wish to
join. Qualified applicants seeking membership have
historically been able to become members within a reasonable