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February 28, 2017

ABA Legislative and Governmental Priorities 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Access to Legal Services


•Support increased funding for the Legal Services Corporation

•Support legal protections and assistance for members of the military and veterans


Civil Justice System Access


•Oppose measures that limit access to, or redress by, the civil justice system, including legislation that would amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to curtail class actions (Rule 23) and impose mandatory sanctions (Rule 11)

•Oppose legislation that discourages medical malpractice litigation and limits recovery


Criminal Justice System Improvements


•Support federal sentencing reform

•Support prison system reform

•Support  reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

•Support funding for federal and state indigent defense programs


Elimination of Discrimination


•Support enactment, enforcement, and preservation of laws to eradicate discrimination in public accommodations and the workplace

•Support protection of the voting rights of all citizens


Immigration Reform


•Support access to counsel, including appointed counsel for unaccompanied children, and due process safeguards

•Oppose mandatory detention and support alternatives to detention

•Support improvements to the immigration court and adjudication system


Independence of the Judiciary


•Support prompt filling of judicial vacancies

•Support adequate judicial resources

•Oppose efforts that infringe on separation of powers or undermine the judiciary


Independence of the Legal Profession


•Oppose mandatory accrual accounting for law firms

•Oppose federal government policies that erode the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine

•Oppose federal legislation and agency rules that impose excessive new regulations on practicing lawyers or undermine the confidential lawyer-client relationship or state court regulation of the legal profession


International Rule of Law


•Support funding for domestic and international agencies and programs that promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law

•Support prompt payment of U.S. obligations to the United Nations


Legal Education


•Support preservation of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

•Support affordable student loan options and repayment assistance programs


National Security and Civil Liberties


•Support cybersecurity legislation consistent with enumerated principles and for policies to prevent unauthorized intrusions into lawyers’ computer systems and networks

•Oppose reinstatement of interrogation methods by any government agency that do not comply with the U.S. Army Field Manual



Back to the February 2017 Washington Letter