The Oneida County Bar Association • New York   

About > Committees

     GET INVOLVED!  One of the best ways to become involved in the activities of the Oneida County Bar Association is to serve on one of its many committees.  Members are encouraged to volunteer to serve on one or more committees by contacting the committee chairperson or by contacting Diane Davis at the OCBA office at (315) 724-4901 or email                                        

The Oneida County Bar Association has the following standing committees:

[For a complete list of committee members in PDF, click here]

Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors is made up of the President, First Vice-President, Treasurer, and two (2) members of the Board of Directors. The two (2) Directors serving on the Committee are elected by the Board at its first meeting each year. The Executive Committee, between meetings of the Board of Directors, manages the business, affairs and activities of the Association and studies and reports to the Board all matters referred to it. The Executive Committee meets on the call of the President at times and places designated by the President. The Chairperson is President Elizabeth Snyder Fortino.

Program Committee. The Program Committee is responsible for the arrangements for various meetings and functions of the Association, including the annual Memorial Service, golf outing, special luncheons and any other functions assigned to it by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee. The Program Committee  also arranges for participation by the membership at funerals and memorial services held for deceased members of the Association.  The Co-Chairpersons are Lawrence Golden and Bartle Gorman.

Grievance and Ethics Committee. The Grievance Committee consists of a Chairperson and nine (9) active members, each of whom serve a three-year term. The members of the Committee are appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors at its first meeting. Vacancies in the Committee are filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the President, subject to the approval of the Board.  The Grievance and Ethics Committee examines all complaints against members of the Association for conduct alleged to be in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and examines all complaints against members of the Association in their relations to the Association or on any charge of fraud or other misconduct, and examines and hears complaints against those non-members who consent to same.  The Committee determines any ethical question relating to the conduct or proposed conduct of an attorney. The Grievance and Ethics Committee operates in compliance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. All members of the Association shall, by reason of their membership, and all complainants shall, by writing, bind themselves to abide by the decision of the Grievance and Ethics Committee and all subject matters coming before it in a particular case. The Chairman is Mark Levitt.

Fee Disputes Committee. The Fee Disputes Committee consists of a Chairperson and nine (9) active members, each of whom serve a three-year term. The members of the Committee are appointed by the President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors at its first meeting each year. Vacancies in the Committee are filled for the unexpired portion of the term by the President, subject to the approval of the Board.  The Fee Disputes Committee examines all complaints against members of the Association concerning fee disputes with clients or any other members of the Bar.  All members of the Association shall, by reason of their membership, and all complainants are bound to abide by the decision of the Committee and all subject matters coming before it in a particular case.  The Chairman is George C. Murad.

Pro Bono Committee. The Pro Bono Committee is responsible for all matters relating to the legal representation of poor and indigent persons. The Committee cooperates with the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc. in developing and maintaining a panel of volunteer attorneys to represent those persons in need of counsel in matters of civil or criminal jurisdiction and cooperates with the Administrator of the Supplemental Assigned Counsel Program in developing and maintaining a panel of attorneys to represent persons in need of counsel pursuant to Article 18-b of the County Law.  It also develops and maintains, in cooperation with other agencies or separately on behalf of the Association, such other programs as may be essential to the efficient and just resolution of legal disputes involving poor persons within the County of Oneida, and studies and recommends, from time to time, such action or proposed legislation as will improve the administration of justice on matters within the scope of its responsibilities. The Chairperson is Betsey Fortino.

Continuing Legal Education Committee. The Continuing Education (CLE) Committee develops and administers a continuing legal education program for members of the Association and such other persons or organizations as the Board of Directors may authorize. The CLE Committee also submits appropriate documentation to those jurisdictions maintaining mandatory CLE programs, verifying the attendance of members at programs of this Association or securing the credit approval from programs presented by the Committee. The Chairman is Mark A. Wolber.

Courts and Judiciary Committee.  The Courts and Judiciary Committee is composed of a Chairperson and thirteen (13) active members of the Association appointed annually by the incoming President for a one-year term.  The Committee (a) is responsible for the review of qualifications of candidates for judicial and related offices, (b) obtains and disseminates information concerning court procedures to the membership and the public, (c) cooperates with the justices of all courts of record by aiding and assisting the Justices in bringing about desired changes and improvements in the practices, procedures and conduct of business of the courts, (d) is responsible for greeting newly elected or appointed members of the Judiciary or related offices, and expressing appreciation for public services rendered by Justices and other officials, (e) assists on such other matters as are deemed appropriate, (f) acts as a liaison between members of the Bar and the Judiciary and may consult informally with members of the Judiciary regarding complaints or inquiries as to judicial conduct or court procedures, (g) reviews proposed changes in trial practice and procedure, (h) consults with representatives of the Office of Court Administration and other state or federal officials on matters affecting the Judiciary and the courts as may be deemed appropriate, and (i)  performs such other duties and responsibilities as the Board of Directors may, from time to time, direct.  The Chairman is Bartle J. Gorman.

Family and Domestic Relations Committee. This Committee considers legal issues concerning domestic relations, family law, and children, is responsible for the continued improvement in the administration of the Family Court system, and  studies and submits recommendations on those matters referred to it by the Board of Directors.  

Lawyers Assistance Committee. This Committee is responsible for assisting lawyers who are temporarily disabled from carrying on their practice and shall attempt to obtain needed assistance for lawyers who have health-related problems, including alcohol and substance abuse. 

Past Presidents Committee. This Committee is composed of all Past Presidents of the Association. The Committee performs such special functions as the Board of Directors may refer to it and consults, from time to time, with the Executive Committee or Board of Directors on those matters the Committee considers to be of importance to the overall goals and policies of the Association. 

Real Property Committee. The Real Property Committee serves as a liaison with local boards or associations of Realtors and with the Oneida County Clerk, studies, reports and makes recommendations concerning improvements in the methods and procedures affecting real estate transactions; and performs such other duties as may be referred to it by the Board of Directors. 

Estates and Trusts and Elder Law Committee. The Estates and Trust and Elder Law Committee advises the members of the Bar Association of important issues and changes effecting Trusts, Estate and Elder Law. The Committee also serves as a liaison with similar committees of the New York State Bar Association, assists in the Association's public and continuing education programs, and performs such other duties as may be referred to it by the Board of Directors. 

Public Information and Education Committee. The Public Information and Education Committee (PIEC) is responsible for (a) publicizing the activities of the Association, its sections and committees, to the press and media, (b) the publication of the Association's newsletter, (c) informing other bar associations in the state of the activities of the Association, (d) coordination of various programs of the Association involving various segments of the public, including the annual Law Day Program (organized through it Law Day sub-committee), Lawyers in the Classroom, the State Bar Mock Trial Program, and the Law Explorer Post, (e) developing and presenting programs and seminars on various legal issues and topics specifically for attendance by the public, (e) promoting policies and programs designed to improve the relationship between the Association and the public, as well as the legal profession and the mass media, and to inform the public of the function of the law, the courts and the legal profession, (f) performing such other functions and duties as may be assigned by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee.

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