The ABA House of Delegates, meeting Feb. 14 during the Midyear Meeting in Atlanta, adopted new policies on a wide range of topics, and the association’s legislative priorities were established for this session of Congress.
The ABA urged the U.S. Sentencing Commission Feb. 16 to fix the advisory federal guidelines for the sentencing of high-loss economic crimes, pointing out that the guidelines have been criticized in recent judicial opinions as “patently absurd on their face” and a “black stain on common sense.”
The Senate passed patent legislation March 8 that was hailed by President Obama as the “most significant patent reform in over half a century.”
Chicago lawyer Laurel G. Bellows was selected last month to be the association’s president-elect nominee and, if elected at the Annual Meeting in August, she will serve as president-elect for one year before assuming the presidency in August 2012.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with the ABA’s position this month that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cannot regulate lawyers under the Red Flags Rule that requires “creditors” to establish and implement programs to detect, identify, and respond to activities that signal possible identify theft.
President Obama, who had sought to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay within one year of his January 2009 inauguration, issued an executive order March 7 signaling that the facility will remain open indefinitely with a new review policy for detainees and also announced the resumption of trials before military commissions.
Witnesses appearing March 2 before the Senate Special Committee on Aging drew attention to an issue they said often receives far less interest than it deserves: the abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of the nation’s senior citizens.