Town Hall on Race and The Justice System, The Conspirator Movie, Judges Speaking With Students about the Judiciary among Broadcast Opportunities at American Bar Association Meeting In Atlanta
WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 27, 2011— More than two thousand lawyers, judges and other legal professionals will gather in Atlanta Feb. 9-14 for the American Bar Association 2011 Midyear Meeting. Among the many topics for discussion are the nationwide court underfunding crisis, growth of alternative billing methods, and varying perceptions of fairness in the justice system among minorities.
Many high-profile speakers are scheduled to present at the meeting, including Rep. John Lewis (D-GA); Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree; Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham; legendary litigator David Boies and former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, who joined forces to argue against California’s Prop 8 gay marriage ban in federal court; and a panel of general counsel from top Fortune 500 companies.
Following are programs and speakers of interest to broadcast reporters:
“Outreach Program on the Courts” Ten to 15 ABA judges and lawyers will speak with 300 high school students about the judiciary and the importance of fair and impartial courts. Guests will begin the discussion by looking at the role of the court in family and criminal law through the lens of the recent assault charge involving domestic violence brought against MTV “Teen Mom,” Amber.
Feb. 9, 9:35 – 11:05 a.m., Frank McClarin High School, College Park, Ga.
“ABA Task Force on the Preservation of Justice” This hearing will address the nationwide court funding crisis, depletion of court resources and the courts’ struggle to render its constitutional function to provide access to justice. The task force was established by ABA President Stephen N. Zack, is co-chaired by David Boies and Theodore B. Olson and is comprised of distinguished attorneys and judges from across the nation.
Feb. 9, noon – 5:00 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Room M105
“Back to the Future: Value Billing for the Legal Profession” In today’s tight economy, clients have become sensitive to lawyer billing practices, and are demanding that their attorneys bill differently. The ‘billable hour’ model may be replaced by other alternatives: project billing, value billing, fee incentives and success-based fees. In this program, general counsel from top U.S. corporations will discuss how lawyers are facing these issues of billing in today’s climate as well as the importance of budgeting, project management and client relationships. The program will be introduced by ABA President Zack.
- David Boies, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP;
- Thomas L. Sager, VP & assistant general counsel, DuPont Company;
- Joseph K. West, associate general counsel, Walmart;
- Murray R. Garnick, Sr. VP & associate general counsel, Altria Client Services, Inc.;
- Amy Schulman, general counsel, Pfizer; and
- Tea Hoffmann, chief business development officer, Baker Donelson.
Feb. 11, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Atrium Level, A703/704
“The Conspirator” Entertainment and legal media are invited to a sneak preview and panel discussion (see below) of Robert Redford’s new movie, “The Conspirator,” based on the true story of the woman accused of conspiring to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. The movie’s examination of the fragility of individual rights in times of national struggle depicts a dilemma American lawyers have faced throughout history. James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood and Tom Wilkinson lead the cast.
The ABA is hosting three sneak previews at the Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 16, 261 19th Street NW, Atlanta. Times are:
- 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10
- 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11
- 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13
If you would like to attend, please send your name, screening date and number of attendees to firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVPs are required. For more on the film, visit www.americanfilmcompany.com. The movie will be released to theaters on April 15.
“In Wartime the Laws Fall Silent? A Conversation Inspired by Actual Events and the Upcoming Film, “The Conspirator” (broadcast-quality movie clips used in this discussion will be available upon request)
A panel of former prosecutors and defense attorneys in high-profile cases will join film professionals to discuss whether the carriage of justice changes during times of national turbulence, a theme explored in Director Robert Redford’s new movie, “The Conspirator.” The program will focus on the movie’s historical perspective and, post 9-11, its contemporary relevance. Moderated by ABA Journal publisher Edward Adams, panelists will include “The Conspirator” screenwriter James Solomon; Fred L. Borch III, movie historian and chief prosecutor in the military commissions involving alleged terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay; Alan Yamamoto, a member of the defense team for convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui; and Charles J. Dunlap Jr., former deputy judge advocate general of the U.S. Air Force.
Feb. 12, 2:30 to 4 p.m. Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Room A704
“Perceptions of Justice: A Town Hall Dialogue on Color, Ethnicity and the Courts”
This town hall forum is moderated by Harvard Law School Professor Charles J. Ogletree and Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham. After brief remarks, they will open a discussion with an audience of lawyers, judges, local officials and members of the Atlanta community. Discussion will explore the extent to which ethnic groups perceive the justice system as fair and, if the confidence of these groups in the courts is lacking, what should be done to improve their confidence.
Feb. 12, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., Georgia State University, The Speakers Auditorium, Student Center
The 560-member House of Delegates, the association’s policy-making body, will meet on Feb. 14 at the Marriott Atlanta Marquis, in the Atrium Ballroom, Atrium Level. In addition to considering policy recommendations and voting on resolutions, the House of Delegates will welcome Atlanta congressman, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who will provide opening remarks for the assembly.
A press room is set up at the Marriott Atlanta Marquis, International Level, 8A, for accredited journalists. It will be open for on-site media registration on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 8:00 a.m., and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the Midyear Meeting. The press room will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Feb. 14.
Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are at http://www.abanow.org/reporter-resources/media-credentials/.
With nearly 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.
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