Policies Affecting Military Personnel, Criminal Justice, Immigrants, the Elderly, Top Agenda for ABA Policy-Making Body
CHICAGO, Jan. 21, 2009— The American Bar Association House of Delegates will consider nearly three dozen proposed policies addressing a wide range of issues, from the legal rights of military personnel, the elderly and immigrants, to criminal justice system treatment of juvenile sex offenders and a legal forum to hear habeas corpus petitions of detainees at the Guantanamo Navel Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when it meets on Feb. 16 in Boston during the association’s 2009 Midyear Meeting.
Among proposals are ones that:
10A Recommend the procedural framework for Guantanamo detainees be determined by federal district courts, not Congress, and the courts should grant detainees all rights of habeas petitioners
106 Oppose federal control of state custody cases involving servicemember-parents and urge that military deployment not be the sole reason to deny child custody
114 Urge amending the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to clarify the rights of servicemembers or their dependents to sue for civil enforcement of rights under the act
101C Support measures to ensure due process and access to justice for persons involved in immigration enforcement actions
108 Encourage legislation enabling a lawful permanent resident in the United States to sponsor for permanent residence a same-sex non-citizen with whom the sponsor shares an interdependent, committed relationship
101D Urge prompt access to legal counsel and specialized services for child victims of criminal conduct
101A Urge a re-examination of registry requirements on youth sex offenders and advocate leaving decisions on sanctions to juvenile court judges
111A Support funding to develop standards regarding adult guardianship
111B Oppose mandatory, binding, pre-dispute arbitration agreements between long-term care facilities and residents of the facilities or persons acting in their behalf
112 Encourage the federal Office of Personnel Management to consider judicial status in good standing as a satisfactory alternative to requiring that candidates be licensed lawyers
113 Urge establishment of voluntary pre-selection programs to assist judicial candidates in making decisions on pursuing judicial careers
109 Amend Model Rule 1.10 to permit screening of lateral-hire lawyers so that conflicts-of-interest are not imputed to other lawyers in the new firm
110 Amend Model Rule 1.10 to permit certain lawyers to move to an adversary law firm without client consent, if lawyers are screened
103 Urge law firms and other law organizations to adopt the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge
10B Amend federal law to provide for payment of attorney fees and costs in Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income claims directly to lawyers of prevailing parties, rather than paying them to the parties
101B Urge the expanded use of mediation to resolve criminal matters prior to filing criminal cases.
These proposals will not constitute ABA policy unless adopted by the House during its Feb. 16 session. To access the Summary of Recommendations, click here; access individual House reports by clicking on the report number.
The 555-member House will convene at the Hynes Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. The deliberative session includes members from state and local bar associations around the country, ABA affiliates and ABA entities, and is the finale of the ABA Midyear Meeting in Boston, Feb. 11 – 17. The ABA is a vigorous policy advocate before the federal government.
Online registration for news reporters wishing to cover the House of Delegates or any other function at the Midyear Meeting is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are at www.abanews.org/credentials.html.
For the latest information on the Meeting visit the Midyear Meeting Online Web site at http://www.abavideonews.org/ABA548/.
Accredited reporters are welcome to attend and cover all sessions for free. A press room for working journalists will be at the Hynes Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D, Level 2, starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, and will remain open for on-site media registration daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The press room will close one hour after the adjournment of the House. For more information, call 312/988-6171, or 310/551-7569. From Feb. 12 – 16 call the Midyear Meeting press room at 617-954-2896..
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.