Workplace Diversity, Social Media Implications, Cybersecurity Will Be Among Legal Topics Explored at ABA Meeting in Chicago
CHICAGO, July 19, 2012 — Ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace, the implications of social media on law practice and privacy, cybersecurity, and access to justice concerns are chief among law practice management and legal 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 Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition (“The 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 resolutions it will consider, the House is expected to consider measures that would urge governments to review child sexual-abuse statutes of limitations to determine whether their extension is warranted, and that would amend the comments to the ABA Model Rules to provide ethical guidance on outsourcing of work on client matters. The House will also consider resolutions on lawyers’ use of technology and confidentiality, and the fundamental importance of the right to trial by jury.
Among the programs of particular interest to legal reporters:
Thursday, Aug. 2
“Beyond Diversity: How Stereotype Threat and Implicit Bias Contribute to the Status Gap” — A panel will discuss the implicit, or unconscious, bias and stereotype threat that can limit career opportunities for underrepresented groups. Speakers will present approaches to understanding diversity that can help drive real change to solve the problem.
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Hyatt West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom C
“Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Across the U.S.” — Led by two foreclosure dispute-resolution system designers active in many states’ program development, this workshop will address challenges, troubleshoot solutions and discuss best practices that have emerged.
2 – 3:30 p.m., Hyatt East Tower, Gold Level, Grand Suite 5
“Access to Justice: Confronting the Ethical Challenges Posed by Self- Represented Litigants, Language Interpretation, and Inadequate Funding” — Panelists — including circuit and superior court judges — will examine access to justice issues, including interpretation and translation solutions necessary to address language and cultural barriers; case and trial management techniques to meet the challenges posed by self-represented litigants; and strategies to deal with the impact of budget-driven delays and other impediments to justice.
3 – 5 p.m., Westin River North, River Level II, Grand Ballroom A
“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. The panel will provide participants with an overview of this issue as well as engage participants in a conversation about the road ahead.
4:45 – 6:15 p.m., Hyatt West Tower, Bronze Level, Comiskey
Friday, Aug. 3
“Using Social Media to Investigate Jurors and Witnesses Before and After Trial: Better the Devil You Know Than the Devil You Don’t” — A panel will discuss using social media and search engines to identify and investigate jurors and witnesses; how the Jury Selection and Services Act provides latitude to examine jurors; ethical parameters of social-media investigation; and more.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Hyatt West Tower, Bronze Level, Columbian
“The Changing Landscape of Judicial Disqualification” — In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Caperton v. Massey, several states have adopted new rules to reform judicial disqualification procedures. Brent Benjamin, the West Virginia Supreme Court justice who found himself at the crux of Capterton after declining to recuse himself from an appeal in the case, will join other state supreme court justices to discuss political, corporate and other challenges to judicial disqualification in their respective states.
1 – 3 p.m., Westin River North, River Level II, Grand Ballroom A
“Comparative Constitutional Law: North America and Middle East” — Justice Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada; Israeli Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran; and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg will compare constitutional systems in the United States, Israel, Canada and the emerging Middle East.
2 – 3 p.m., Hyatt West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom D
“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.
2 – 3 p.m., Hyatt West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom C
“Rush Limbaugh and a Law Student’s Encounter with Incivility: What is the Role of the Legal Profession?” – Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke will reflect on her experience on the national stage along with a discussion on whether the legal profession can be doing more to promote civility within the profession and in public discourse.
2 – 3:30 p.m. Hyatt East Tower, Gold Level, Grand Suite 5
“Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Fortune 500 Legal Departments” — Prominent female corporate counsel will discuss strategies on how women, particularly women of color, can overcome the barriers they face in the upper ranks of the profession.
4 – 6 p.m., Fairmont Hotel, Second Level, International Ballroom
“The Cybersecurity Legal Puzzle” — An attack by a hacker or foreign power on a government computer system could not only threaten data integrity but also the operation of financial, electrical and other infrastructure. What are the largest risks? What can and should lawyers do? Harvey Rishikof, national security expert, will moderate the talk.
3:45 – 5:15 p.m., Hyatt East Tower, Gold Level, Columbus Hall KL
“Eyewitness Identification: A Radically Changing Landscape” — The last year has seen numerous changes in the law of eyewitness identifications — the leading contributing cause of wrongful convictions. The Supreme Court in January held that suggestive identifications that are not intentionally orchestrated by the state do not receive the protections of the Due Process Clause. Several state legislatures have also passed laws on eyewitness identifications. A discussion will center on these developments as well as the future of eyewitness identification law and policy.
3:45 – 5:15 p.m., Hyatt West Tower, Bronze Level, Haymarket
Saturday, Aug. 4
Leave My Child Alone or I’ll…What? Using the Law to Stand Up to Bullies — What have Congress and the states done so far to address bullying of youth? What new laws are in place at the federal, state and local level? In what ways is Title IX inadequate for the prevention of bullying of LGBT students? Are First Amendment concerns raised when schools implement anti-bullying policies? A panel will discuss these issues and more.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Hyatt West Tower, Green Level, Crystal Ballroom A
“The Death of Privacy in the Age of Facebook and 23andMe” — How does the rise of Facebook and the development of genome mapping change our concept of privacy on the Internet and in the doctor’s office? Are new laws necessary, what protections should they provide, and should they be federal or even international?
10:30 a.m. – noon, Hyatt West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom D
“Saving Our Underfunded Courts: Is Anybody Listening?” — ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System co-chairs, Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, will lead a panel discussion regarding underfunded state courts. Panelists will discuss task force findings, next steps and best practices in coping with the court underfunding crisis.
2 – 3:30 p.m., Hyatt West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom C
“Beam Me Up, Dr. McCoy – Legal Aspects of Telemedicine” — Technology, including electronic health records, now allows patients to consult with doctors anywhere in the world in real time. But such new models have presented legal concerns about privacy, security and accuracy of e-records. Additionally, cross-border practices raise issues about credentialing, accreditation and liability for medical malpractice. This program will explore these issues and others raised by “telemedicine.”
3:45 – 5:15 p.m., Hyatt East Tower, Gold Level, Columbus Hall IJ
Sunday, Aug. 5
“Dealing With Diversity Directives in a Global Environment” — The demand for diversity is a common business imperative for the largest American companies. Multinational corporations doing business in the U.S. are not strangers to this, but far less attention has been paid to their efforts to promote diversity among their lawyers. Representatives from some of the largest multinational corporations will share how they are dealing with the American emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
10:30 a.m. – noon, Hyatt West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom D
“Immigration, Race and Incarceration in the United States” – The U.S. Sentencing Commission found that Hispanics constituted more than 35 percent of all individuals sentenced to date this year, while Hispanics make up only 16 percent of the population. A panel will analyze these trends, discuss which immigration policy decisions led to this level of incarceration, and explain the cost of these incarcerations to the system.
3 – 4:30 p.m., Hyatt West Tower, Bronze Level, Comiskey
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 House of Delegates adjourns 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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