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ABA considers policy on cybersecurity, domestic and sexual violence and other legal issues

ABA considers policy on cybersecurity, domestic and sexual violence and other legal issues

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 24, 2014 — The American Bar Association will consider adopting policy regarding topics ranging from cybersecurity to domestic and sexual violence at the 2014 ABA Annual Meeting in Boston.

The ABA House of Delegates — the association’s policymaking body — will meet Aug. 11-12 to vote on resolutions and discuss matters of importance to the legal profession.

Among other noteworthy events at the House, Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. will discuss the importance of Magna Carta as the foundation for many core concepts of American laws and freedoms on Aug. 11 at 11 a.m., Ballroom, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center. On Aug. 12, at the close of the two-day session, William C. Hubbard of South Carolina will become president of the ABA.

The House of Delegates is expected to consider more than 25 resolutions on diverse issues including:

  • Cybersecurity: Resolution urges all private and public sector organizations to develop, implement and maintain an enterprise security program in accordance with internationally accepted standards. [109].

  • Domestic and sexual violence: Resolution encourages all workplaces, public and private, including governments, law schools and the legal profession, to enact formal policies on the workplace responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence and/or stalking violence that address prevention, assistance and accountability. A separate resolution condemns forced marriage as a fundamental human rights violation and urges governments to amend or enact laws to prevent it. [112A, 112B].

  • LGBT rights: Resolution recognizes the rights of individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender as basic human rights and condemns laws, regulations, rules and practices that discriminate against them on the basis of their status. [114B].

  • Judicial financing: Resolution opposes the suspension or delay of the fundamental right to a civil jury trial, even in the face of difficult financial circumstances. [105A].

  • Legal Access Job Corps: Resolution urges national, state, local and territorial bar associations and foundations; courts; law schools; legal aid organizations and law firms to create and advance initiatives that marshal the resources of newly admitted lawyers to meet the unmet legal needs of underserved populations in sustainable ways. [108].

  • Law school debt: Resolution opposes changes in current educational debt loan forgiveness programs for public service lawyers and urges Congress and the Administration to support and continue public service student loan repayment and forgiveness programs. [107].

  • Judicial disqualification: Resolution urges states and territories to adopt clearly articulated, transparent and timely procedures to ensure that judges disqualify or recuse themselves in instances where conflict or bias or other grounds exist to warrant recusal. [105C].

  • Law schools: Resolution concurs in the action of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar to supplant the 2013 ABA Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools and make amendments to the 2014 version.  A separate resolution encourages law schools to create veterans law clinics to ensure that all veterans who cannot afford legal services can access them. [103A, 103B, 104A].

View results as they happen from the House of Delegates session here.

No resolution listed here represents the policy of the ABA until it has been approved by the House of Delegates. Informational reports, comments and supporting data are not approved by the House in its voting and represent only the views of the section or committee submitting them.

With high-profile speakers, essential legal programs and insightful debate on critical law and public policy issues, the ABA Annual Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals. The deliberations by more than 500 members from state and local bar associations across the country, ABA affiliates and internal units of the ABA will mark the culmination of the Annual Meeting.

For a full list of programs at the 2014 ABA Annual Meeting, click here for instructions on downloading the program guide app available for mobile devices and desktop computers.

During the Annual Meeting, accredited journalists should register on site at the Hynes Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D, Level 2, beginning at noon on Aug. 6. A press room for accredited reporters will be provided in the same area of the Hynes Convention Center, starting at 9 a.m. on Aug. 7. The room will be open daily thereafter from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will close one hour after the House of Delegates adjourns on Aug. 12.  Specific coverage guidelines for Chief Justice Roberts and the House of Delegates session Aug. 11-12 can be found here.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations 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. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

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