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2023 ABA Annual Meeting

CLE Showcase Programs

Denver, Colorado | August 2-8, 2023

Thursday, August 3

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

The Roberts Court 2022-2023: College Admissions, Student Loans, and the Election Clause

Sponsored by: Section of Litigation

The Supreme Court’s 2022-23 Term was highlighted by decisions regarding the role that race can play in college admissions, the ability of the Executive Branch to provided student-loan relief, and the application of the Elections Clause to state court redistricting decisions. But, as is always the case, there were a number of decisions that affect citizens and lawyers in their everyday lives and practices. Our distinguished panel will provide insights on the Term’s key cases.

Moderator:

  • John M. Barkett, Partner, Shook, Hardy, & Bacon, LLP, Miami, FL

Speakers:

  • Vikram D. Amar, Dean; Iwan Foundation Professor of Law, Illinois College of Law, Champaign, IL
  • Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law; Co-Director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA
  • Aaron Tang, Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law, Davis, CA 

Friday, August 4

9:00 am – 10:30 am

From Cradleboard to Shallow Grave: Boarding Schools, ICWA, and Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons 

Sponsored by: Tribal Courts Council
Co-Sponsors: NCSCJ, CRSJ

This program will discuss several devastating policies and programs sponsored or led by the United States government to the extreme detriment of Indigenous persons. This includes the Boarding School Era ("Kill the Indian, Save the Man"), the Adoption Era which led to the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act that is currently under attack in the U.S. Supreme Court, and the resulting traumas that have led to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons who are significantly under-reported, under-investigated, and whose perpetrators often go unpunished. The panelists will give an overview of each of these devastating subjects as well as provide information on what tribes, tribal citizens, and tribal organizations are doing to provide remedies and solutions to those who have been affected.

Moderator:

  • Hon. Meredith Drent, Chief Judge, Tulalip Tribal Court; Chief Justice, Osage Nation Supreme Court, Seattle, WA

Speakers:

  • Abigail Echo-Hawk, Vice- President, Seattle Urban Indian Health Board; Director, Urban Indian Health Institute, Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, Seattle WA
  • Sheldon Spotted Elk, Senior Director, Casey Family Programs, Judicial National Engagement, Northern Cheyenne, Denver, CO
  • Beth M. Wright, Attorney, Native American Rights Fund, Pueblo of Laguna, Boulder, CO

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

The "Resilient Advocate": Practicing Self-Care and Prioritizing Well-Being as Members of the Legal Profession

Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service & Young Lawyers Division
Co-Sponsored by: Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, Standing Committee on Professionalism, National Legal Aid & Defender Association

It is now widely acknowledged that the practice of law, to an extent greater than most other professions, has produced stress, anxiety, and depression, which in turn can impair performance, erode professionalism, and weaken integrity. But what accounts for this development? Drawing from a range of backgrounds, these speakers offer unique perspectives on the causes and possible solutions to this mental health crisis, from a review of systemic changes in the practice of law over the past several decades and ways in which we can counter those trends, to the individual challenges posed by client stories, caseloads, and compensation levels. The panel will discuss opportunities for institutional reform and ways to re-envision the practice of law as a profession, as well as what advocates can do proactively to manage stress, anxiety, and depression inherent in their line of work, and to know when to seek help.

Moderator:

  • Richard Rivera, Smith Gambrell Russell, Jacksonville, FL

 Speakers:

  • Hon. Cheryl Ann Krause, United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,    Philadelphia, PA
  • Jeena JeeHyun Cho, Lawyer, Author, Mindfulness and Meditation Consultant, Sacramento, CA
  • Maya Prabhu, M.D., L.L.B., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • Janet P. Van Cuyk, Deputy Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, Richmond, VA

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Autism Awareness: How Courts Can Improve Access to Justice for a Vulnerable and Neuro-Diverse Population

Sponsored by: NCSTJ National Conference of State Trial Judges
Co-Sponsored by: Commission on Disability Rights, Criminal Justice Section

This panel of skilled experts who are judges, lawyers, and other professionals, will participate in an interactive session with the audience as well as an intensive panel discussion on how the courts and attorneys can relate and work more effectively with autistic persons. Many clients and consumers every day are being diagnosed as neuro-diverse with autism spectrum disorder. For instance, a new CDC Report indicates one in 36 children have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder in the U.S. – an increase from one in 44 children in 2018. Various state courts have created innovative programs to assist this vulnerable population. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, for instance, has created a Task Force to collect data within the dependency court system on their needs. And the Clark County, Nevada trial court developed a specialty court devoted to diverting youth on the spectrum (or suspected of being on the spectrum) out of the delinquency and criminal justice systems. These courts and others aim to provide autistic persons with the assistance they need before adulthood.  Panelists will cite examples where law enforcement has also created effective awareness protocols for their officers when encountering autistic persons for safety and communication purposes.

This panel will delve into the multitude of issues that professionals in the courts encounter with autistic persons such as lack of appropriate diagnosis, lack of Individualized Education Program evaluations (IEP) or IEP evaluations that do not address specific needs of autistic youth, homelessness, adverse mental health behavior, bullying, poverty, parental substance misuse, domestic violence, child abuse, and other related issues.  The Courts as well as attorneys need to have the necessary insight and awareness to provide autistic persons with the access to justice they deserve.     

Moderator:

  • Hon. Christina Klineman, Marion Superior Judge, Superior Court of Marion County, Indianapolis, IN

Speakers:

  • Hon. Soonhee “Sunny” Bailey, Nevada 8th Judicial District Court Family Division, Las Vegas, NV
  • Hon. Linda Marie Bell, Nevada Supreme Court, Las Vegas, NV  
  • Hon. Stephanie Domitrovich, Erie County Court of Common Pleas, Erie, PA 
  • Hon. Jill-Ellyn Straus, Former Judge on the 17th District Court in Colorado (ret.), Denver Colorado

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

CLE Showcase Program: Environmental Justice Today: New Developments in Advancing Equality and Fairness

Sponsored by: ABA Environmental Justice Task Force
Co-Sponsors: Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER), Civil Rights and Social Justice (CRSJ)

The discrimination and environmental injustices that have blighted the Nation since its inception have now come to a reconning in American social justice and legal system; and the American Bar Association and the practicing Bar must join in the struggle. For the last 40 years the issue of Environmental Justice and the disparate impact of environmental policies and practices on the communities of the poor, people of color, and the tribes has taken a back seat to other. national issues. Today, environmental injustice and the systemic racism at its core have been overwhelmingly documented in all aspects of our society, especially in the law and courts. Environmental Justice has in fact become the Civil Rights of the 21st century. The ABA House of Delegates recognized this monumental challenge with the historic adoption of Resolution 513 in August 2001 and the Board of Governors’ (BOG) creation of the Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) with the charge to the EJTF to prepare recommendations for the implementation and integration of the principles of Environmental Justice throughout all ABA programs, to educate the Bar membership on Environmental Justice and its issues, how the ABA and individual members can support the goals of Environmental Justice in addressing and correcting environmental injustices in partnership with other bar associations, federal, state, and tribal governments,

and the general public. On April 25, 2023, the EJTF issued a draft “Blueprint for Advancing Environmental Justice” for comment throughout the ABA (to be presented to the BOG at the National Conference this summer). The Blueprint has 10 “action items” and 50 recommendations that reflects a “whole-ABA” approach, including the need for training, increased access to information, advocacy, and promotion of environmental justice best practices in private and public sectors. The Blueprint aims to implement Resolution 513 to “advance environmental justice principles and considerations in its programs, policies, and activities, including advocating for legislation and policy, and work with all levels of government to establish environmental justice laws, regulations, guidelines, policies, and best practices that reflect the right of every human being to dignity and a clean and healthy environment.” This distinguished panel will highlight the Blueprint recommendations of the EJTF and the importance of these dramatic developments in Environmental Justice for the practice law. This includes the far-reaching implications across the communities of concern and the public and private sector interests at all levels; in government policies, proposed and implemented legislations, as well as business decision-making processes.

Moderator:

  • Gwen Keys Flemming, Partner, DLA Piper LLP, Washington, DC

Speakers:

  • Brenda Mallory, White House Council on Environmental Quality, Washington, DC 
  • Ignacia S. Moreno, CEO & Principal, The iMoreno Group, PLC, McLean, VA
  • Mustafa Ali Santiago, Executive Vice President, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, DC 

Saturday, August 5

9:00 am – 10:30 am 

Bar-b-q, Wedding Cakes and Websites: The First Amendment versus Anti-Discrimination Laws

Sponsored by: Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, Commission on SOGI
Co-Sponsored by: Center for Public Interest Law; Standing Committee on Public Education; COREJ; Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, and Judicial Division, Law Student Division and the Commission on Women in the Profession.

Somehow, Colorado recently has become ground zero for issuance of invitations to the United States Supreme Court to expand First Amendment rights at the expense of LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination rights.  From wedding cake bakers to website designers; from religious liberty claims to free speech arguments – and the tenor of the arguments to the Court last December in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis seemed to indicate that a majority is receptive to at least some of the business owner’s expressive conduct arguments in that case for an exemption from Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.  A decision is expected by the end of this Supreme Court term.

303 Creative LLC v. Elenis was brought by a Colorado-based website designer who has asserted that the state’s anti-discrimination law would violate her religious liberty and free speech rights if she decides, as part of her for-profit business, to start making wedding websites for different-sex couples and the state law requires her to make wedding websites for same-sex couples. Colorado’s law prevents commercial businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ+ people, including by refusing service and by posting messages announcing an intention to refuse service. The Tenth Circuit rejected both the business owner’s religion arguments and speech arguments, and the Supreme Court agreed to review only the claim that website design is artistic conduct which should be protected.  Although the courts have applied settled case law to questions of when expressive conduct is protected and when nondiscrimination laws must control in the public marketplace, this case offers the possibility of significant changes in this body of law.

This program will examine the Supreme Court’s decision in 303 Creative and its likely impact on the doctrine of free speech rights in commercial settings and the enforceability of public accommodation nondiscrimination laws. Panelists will consider whether the decision appears to be cabined to contexts involving LGBTQ+ people or to have broader implications for civil rights laws, and whether the Court’s approach has likely implications for religious rights, other constitutional doctrine, and other contexts, such as nonprofit public accommodations and employment.  Lastly, panelists will discuss how and whether the Court’s analysis can be squared with precedents that long have framed the relationship between certain First Amendment freedoms and civil rights laws, such as Piggie Park v. Newman.

Moderator:

  • Jenny Pizer, Chief Legal Officer, Lambda Legal, Los Angeles, CA

Speakers:

  • Sunu Chandy, Legal Director, National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC
  • Eric Olson, Solicitor General Emeritus, Office of the Colorado Attorney General, Denver CO
  • Fred Smith Jr., Law Professor, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, GA
  • Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago School of Law, Chicago, IL

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

The AI Trap: The Missing Guardrails for Lawyers

Sponsored by: ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force
Co-Sponsored by: Section of Science and Technology Law

Could you tell whether this Program Description was written by an AI app? Most of us couldn’t. With the emergence of ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Bing AI, artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay. Lawyers, law firms, and academia have embraced AI in a high-profile way – with AI systems passing law school exams, reviewing evidence, and nearly actively representing a client. With the increasing ubiquity of AI systems, the legal community must consider the ethical and professional risks and responsibilities as we embrace these new technologies. Following the adoption of Resolution 604 on Artificial Intelligence at the 2023 ABA Midyear Meeting, the American Bar Association has taken a proactive approach to confronting the challenges posed by AI use and its capabilities.  The resolution provides the ABA with an opportunity to remind lawyers of their ethical responsibility to stay abreast of new technology.  The concept of responsible AI is not an endpoint, but a standard that will need continuous efforts to sustain.   How the legal community will adapt to these new systems remains to be seen, but even at this early stage, there are important considerations that lawyers must know to protect themselves, their firms, their clients, and the wider public.

Moderator:

  • Dina Temple-Raston, Host/Executive Producer, “Click Here” and Senior Correspondent, The Record by Recorded Future ed Future News, Chevy Chase, MD   

Speakers:

  • Lance B. Eliot, Chief AI Scientist, Techbrium Inc.,  San Francisco, CA
  • Lucy Thomson, Founding Principal, Livingston PLLC, Alexandria, VA