More than 7,600 lawyers and guests will gather in San Francisco next week for the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association. The master program for the meeting, opening Aug. 5 and concluding Aug. 10, features nearly 1,500 programs on topics ranging from advances in technology and social media to access to justice, finance and business, airport security, immigration reform and environmental concerns.
Passage in the House of Representatives of the bill, H.R.5143, calling for an examination of America’s criminal justice system is a timely and important step for our communities and nation as a whole. Our nation’s criminal justice system has not been analyzed comprehensively since the late 1960s. Since then, the United States has seen an enormous increase in the number of individuals in our federal prison system, with our country now having the sad distinction with the largest incarcerated population of any nation — indeed, we imprison 2.3 million of our people at an annual cost of $57 billion.
The final passage in the House of Representatives and sending on to President Obama for his signature of the Fair Sentencing Act is a victory for common sense, bipartisanship and indeed for the American people. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2009 will reduce the controversial sentencing quantity disparity between crack and powder from 100-1 to 18-1 by increasing the amount of crack cocaine necessary to trigger a mandatory minimum sentence.
ABA Presidential News Conference: Economy, Judicial Vacancies Have Profound Impact on Access to Justice
Increases in the number of foreclosures, divorces and consumer disputes are putting a tremendous strain on state courts in these tough economic times, according to a survey conducted by the American Bar Association.
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States will receive the American Bar Association Medal, the highest honor conferred by the association, Aug. 9 in San Francisco, during the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting.
The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has conveyed the results of an exhaustive study of the American legal community’s perspective on the professional qualifications of U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan in light of her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The American Bar Association today filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the federal district court in Arizona to bar enforcement of the state’s recently enacted law authorizing police to stop individuals who they suspect are in the United States illegally and to detain them if they are unable to produce proof of citizenship or legal immigration status.
The American Bar Association and its nearly 400,000 members—indeed, all practicing lawyers in the United States—are gratified that the House and Senate conferees on the financial markets reform legislation have recognized the importance of maintaining the historic role of state supreme courts’ regulatory authority over the practice of law.
The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has rated U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Elena Kagan as “well-qualified,” the highest mark the committee offers. Since 1953, the ABA has had a role in reviewing the qualifications of federal court nominees, including Supreme Court nominees.
The American Bar Association urges cessation of violence in the Kyrgyz Republic and restoration of the rule of law. The interim government should protect all citizens from further attack, and the United Nations and other relevant intergovernmental organizations should provide to the Kyrgyz Republic the support necessary to de-escalate the violence and stabilize affected regions. We also urge the international community to promptly provide humanitarian assistance to the victims and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice consistent with international due process standards.
Today’s action by the AMA on medical-legal partnerships promises to advance an important and creative method for solving the problems of a struggling family or individual. The asthmatic child, disabled veteran and elderly widow are just a few examples of those whose lives can be positively changed when lawyers and doctors work hand in hand to address interrelated legal and medical problems.
Peter Erlinder, a lawyer who is part of a defense team representing a Rwandan presidential candidate charged with “genocidal ideology,” has been arrested — apparently in connection with that representation.