Disaster Preparedness, Fighting Human Trafficking and Immigration in Illinois Among Topics Explored at American Bar Association Meeting in Chicago
CHICAGO, July 25, 2012— Fighting human trafficking, ensuring access to justice in Illinois, and immigration and access to higher education are chief among local and regional issues that will be explored at the 2012 American Bar Association Annual Meeting Aug. 2-7, in Chicago.
With more than 1,400 dynamic presentations and events featuring high-profile law experts, the ABA Annual Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals. Among notable speakers are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (“Arias of Law: The Rule of Law at Work in the Performance Arts” and “Comparative Constitutional Law: North America and Middle East,” Aug. 3); Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, co-chairs of the ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System (“Saving Our Underfunded Courts: Is Anybody Listening?” Aug. 4); and the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition (“New Voter Registration Laws: Fighting Voter Fraud or Suppressing the Vote?” Aug. 5).
The 560-member House of Delegates will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 6 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 7 in the Hyatt Regency Chicago East Tower (Gold Level, Grand Ballroom) to consider policy recommendations and vote on resolutions. During the two-day session, Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will receive the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor.
Among the programs of particular interest to local Chicago and regional reporters:
“Legal Issues in Film (and Television) and Illinois Tax Incentives for Filmmakers” – Panelists will discuss basic issues and tax incentives that Illinois provides for filmmakers to work in their field in Illinois.
Aug. 2, 1:30 – 3 p.m., Swissotel, Event Centre, 2nd Floor, Vevey 1
“An American Dream for Some? How Federal and State Policies are Impacting Undocumented Students’ Access to Higher Education” – With the Dream Act facing an uncertain future, undocumented students face an uphill battle in gaining access to higher education. While some states, such as Illinois, have passed tuition equity laws, others, such as Georgia, have implemented policies that would drastically limit undocumented students’ access to enrollment in institutions of public higher education. Panelists — including Rigo Padilla — will provide an overview of this issue, discuss the challenges and engage participants in a conversation about the road ahead.
Aug. 2, 3:45 – 5:15 p.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago West Tower, Bronze Level, Comiskey
“Pro Se, But Not Alone: Promoting Access to Justice with Court / Public Interest / Private Practice Pro Bono Partnerships” – This program highlights Chicago pro bono partnerships between the courts, public interest law groups and private practice law firms to help litigants appearing in court without the assistance of a lawyer. Panelists will discuss how such plans can help pro se litigants navigate terrain unfamiliar to them, while also offering relief to overburdened courts, and providing advocacy experience and training to young lawyers. Speakers include Judge Marvin Aspen, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; Judge Thomas More Donnelly, associate judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County; and Karina Ayala-Bermejo, general counsel and vice president of Human Resources for Metropolitan Family Services.
Aug. 3, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom C
“Human Trafficking—Modern-Day Slavery on a Global Scale” – The second-largest criminal industry in the world, human trafficking affects every country and economic sector, from brothels to sweatshops, and from farms to private homes where domestic workers toil in forced labor. The program will feature Luis CdeBaca, director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, ABA President-Elect Laurel Bellows, and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Aug. 3, 10:30 a.m. – noon, Hyatt Regency Chicago West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom D
“Volunteering at the Polls 101” – Learn about the basic duties of volunteering as a poll worker for your local precinct and how to apply. A representative from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners will be present to address questions.
Aug. 3, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Fairmont Hotel, B-2 Level, Royal Room
Aug. 5, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Fairmont Hotel, 2nd Level, Ambassador Room
“An Insider’s View of Preparing for and Responding to Disasters Caused by Acts of Terrorism” – Policymakers will discuss how local and national officials prepare to respond to terrorist acts, including the tools being used to help prevent, and how to respond to the aftermath of terrorist attacks.
Aug. 3, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago West Tower, Bronze Level, Water Tower
“New Voter Registration Laws: Fighting Voter Fraud or Suppressing the Vote?” — A panel, including the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., will discuss experiences involving voter fraud and registration. Experts will review the full range of new laws aimed at the registration process, voter identification and proof of citizenship, residency restriction limits on early and weekend voting, as well as proposed changes to the Electoral College.
Aug. 5, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom B
Reporters may pick up their press badges at the meeting registration area at Riverside Center of the Hyatt Regency Chicago (East Tower, Purple Level). During the Annual Meeting, a press room for accredited journalists will be open in the same area, starting at 9 a.m. on Aug. 2. Thereafter the press room will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Aug. 7.
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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