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    ABA announces suite of new insurance products for members and their families

    September 12, 2016 11:02 AM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, Sept. 12, 2016 — The American Bar Association has unveiled a range of new insurance products available to its more than 400,000 members and their families. Included among the nine products provided through USI Affinity are two types of term life insurance, disability insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, travel insurance, long-term care insurance, pet insurance and student loan refinancing plans. 

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    ABA Forum on Air and Space Law to host Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Sept. 15-16

    September 7, 2016 7:55 AM by Irma Romero

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2016 — The American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law will host its 2016 Annual Meeting on Sept. 15-16 at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta. Leading air and space officials, including aviation and aerospace lawyers, senior airline executives and government officials from around the world, will meet to discuss key issues that affect the aviation and aerospace industries.

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    ABA urges Senate to vote on pending judicial nominees

    September 6, 2016 1:19 PM by John Glynn

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2016 — American Bar Association president Linda A. Klein sent a letter Tuesday to United States Senate leaders urging them to promptly schedule floor votes on the 20 district court judicial nominees pending on the calendar   

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    ABA sections comment on Japan Fair Trade Commission’s modality of surcharge system

    September 6, 2016 12:44 PM by John Glynn

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2016 — The American Bar Association sections of Antitrust Law  and International Law have released joint comments on the “Summary of Issues Concerning the Modality of the Administrative Surcharge System” to the Study Group on the Antimonopoly Act convened by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

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    Judges’ Journal magazine articles focus on ‘Blueprint for Diversity’ for the legal system

    September 6, 2016 12:15 PM by John Glynn

    The current issue of The Judges’ Journal magazine, a quarterly member benefit of the Judicial Division, is titled “Blueprint for Diversity” and features practical steps that can be taken toward the goal of a diverse judicial system.

    Judges Journal

    In the article, “Assessing and Achieving Jury Pool Representativeness,” the authors note that the Judicial Division’s National Conference of State Trial Judges, along with Paula Hannaford-Agor of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), identified a series of steps judges and administrators can take to determine if the procedures used to assemble jurors result in representative jury panels and improve the representativeness of those panels.

    The steps focus on three areas:

    • Establishing reliable methods of measuring the demographic composition of the jury pool. To obtain the most useful data, courts should use the same definitions and basic data-collection methods as the U.S. Census Bureau uses, asking jurors to self-identify race, ethnicity and gender using Census category responses. It is important that respondents have the opportunity to give a multi-race response, and that the race and ethnicity categories be kept correctly separate (for example, Hispanic and Arabic are ethnicities, not races).

    • Ensuring the inclusiveness and representativeness of the jury pool. Inclusiveness means the extent to which the master jury list includes a jurisdiction’s entire jury-eligible population, while representativeness means the extent to which the master jury list reflects the characteristics of the community. A court can adjust master jury lists that are not inclusive or otherwise representative.

    • Assessing and improving the way jurors are selected for the pool. The master jury list should be updated at least annually to ensure the accuracy of the addresses. If master jury lists are not frequently updated, people with lower socioeconomic status and minorities are particularly likely to be excluded from the jury pool because they are more likely to change residences than those with higher socioeconomic status and non-minorities.

    Authors of the piece, all current or past members of the ABA Commission on the American Jury, were Judge William Caprathe, retired from the Circuit Court in Bay City, Mich.; Hannaford-Agor of the NCSC; Stephanie McCoy Loquvan of Moyers Sellers & Hendricks in Phoenix; and Shari Seidman Diamond of the Northwestern University Law School faculty. They concluded that, while some circumstances are beyond the control of the courts, the representativeness of the jury pool can be positively affected by court action.

    In the same Judges’ Journal issue, Boston-based U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank J. Bailey tackled another diversity issue, that of whether Article I federal judges reflect the ethnicity of the populations they serve. Bailey’s article, “Does the federal Article I bench reflect the ethnicity of the populations that they serve? What if the answer is no?”, noted the importance of the issue: By far the largest number of cases filed in federal court are those filed in Bankruptcy Court, and magistrate judges handle the day-to-day work in thousands of federal cases.

    Bailey reported on research from Nancy Dunham, the fair employment practices officer at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Dunham found that, as of 2014, the Article III bench was 72.3 percent Caucasian, magistrate judges were 82.7 percent Caucasian, and the bankruptcy judge population was 90.9 percent Caucasian.

    A roundtable discussion on diversity in the federal judiciary held at last year’s Annual Meeting in Boston, attended by Bailey, suggested why Article I judges do not reflect the ethnicity of the populations in the locations in which they serve. The principal reason cited was that the pipeline of diverse applicants is not effective, that diverse candidates need to be encouraged to apply, that the standards for becoming a federal judge must be well understood, and that mentoring and preparation are necessary. At the roundtable, Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes suggested the need to recruit minority law students to internships and clerkships to Article I judges.

    A resolution passed by the ABA House of Delegates at its 2016 Annual Meeting in August in San Francisco, Resolution 102, urged the U.S. president and “appropriate parties” to recognize the importance of racial, ethnic, disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity diversity for the judiciary. The resolution further called for expanding the diversity of the pool of qualified applicants, nominees and appointees, including without limitation, the use of diverse merit selection panels.

    New ABA construction book plows the complex area of labor and employment issues

    September 6, 2016 9:16 AM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, Sept. 6, 2016 — Before, during and after the construction process, employment law challenges arise that impact a client’s business. To address these potential issues and to aid in making construction projects less complicated, the American Bar Association offers a new, straightforward easy-to-understand guide entitled “Construction Lawyer's Guide to Labor and Employment Law, Second Edition.”

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    Lawyers can better master the art of depositions with new ABA book release

    September 6, 2016 9:07 AM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, Sept. 6, 2016 — The goal of every trial lawyer is to make a deposition come alive by making it interesting and compelling for the jury. Depositions play an integral part in a successful trial. 

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    Statement of ABA President Linda Klein Re: Terrorist attack on district court in Mardan, Pakistan

    September 3, 2016 7:15 PM by John Glynn

    ATLANTA, September 3, 2016 – The American Bar Association expresses its condolences to the friends and families of those who were killed in the attack on the district court in the city of Mardan in Pakistan Friday. It is troubling that lawyers were once again targeted in Pakistan as they were last month in Quetta.

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    Georgia’s district judges, U.S. attorneys, and DOJ officials to discuss white collar crime at ABA conference

    September 2, 2016 10:59 AM by John Glynn

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2016 — David Bitkower, principal deputy assistant attorney for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, is slated to discuss the correlation between recent DOJ prosecutions and the Yates Memo at the Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute hosted by the American Bar Association Section of Criminal Justice on Sept. 8-9 at the Château Élan Inn in Braselton, Ga.

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    New ABA book serves as a resource for lawyers handling international child abduction cases

    September 1, 2016 1:24 PM by John Glynn

    CHICAGO, Sept. 1, 2016 — When children are the subject of international family law disputes, the challenges are often great and emotions generally run high.  The second edition of “The Hague Abduction Convention,” published by the American Bar Association, is a resource for U.S. family law and international law attorneys navigating sensitive cases of international child abduction, custody rights, and divorce. 

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