April 27, 2017

New Orleans Diary

The 2017 ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting will be remembered in many ways, among them: 1,600+ members in attendance from around the world; more than 90 programs and sessions; and fabulous networking events that epitomized the NOLA experience. Here are a few highlights from some of the members themselves.

Before the Parade Passes By

Business Law Section meetings always provide me with unparalleled professional enrichment opportunities as well as the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. New Orleans exceeded expectations on both counts. It was wonderful to see the birth of a new committee—the Legal Analytics Committee—and experience the energy of all those in the room who met to plan the committee’s activities for the next year. Watching lawyers adapt to and embrace new technologies and new ways of doing business reminds me to encourage my law students to keep an open mind about how their practices might develop.

I cannot reminisce about New Orleans without mentioning the float parade that took us to the section dinner. I never thought I would have the chance to develop Mardi Gras bead-throwing skills with my fellow Section members. What a great way to bond! One question still nags me, however: Do the residents of New Orleans ever tire of being hit in the head by beads on random evenings?

Professor Juliet M. Moringiello
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Although the 2017 Spring Meeting’s substantive presentations were (as always) excellent, my favorite part of this meeting was most certainly the section dinner. The Mardi Gras themed event allowed us to experience some of the best aspects of New Orleans—a parade through the city, great southern food, and even better music and dancing—alongside colleagues and friends. It was such a fun and enjoyable way to socialize among colleagues with whom we work all year long.

Sara E. Bussiere
Bayard, Delaware

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler

Albert Einstein based his theories on the space-time continuum and wrapped them in the fabric of space-time. Lawyers, on the other hand, live their lives along the somewhat less sexy billable-time continuum. From April 6 through 8, nearly 1,700 brave souls attended the 2017 Spring Meeting in New Orleans. Cutting-edge legal issues were discussed, important connections were made, and ABA President Linda Klein graced us with her presence.

When the time came for the section dinner, however, attendees traded their business attire for casual clothes, rode to the dinner venue in Mardi Gras floats, ate and drank well, and danced the night away to the music of Rockin’ Dopsie & The Zydeco Twisters. A few (who shall remain nameless) even got on stage and sang and danced with the band. Rest assured that the billable-time continuum is safe, although I think we poked a few holes in the fabric of billable-time. How else could we have laissez les bons temps rouler?

David C. Rieveschl
New Orleans, Louisiana


BLS Chair William Johnston introduces President Linda A. Klein to the members at the opening reception.

Old and New Memories

My wife and I were happy to return to New Orleans for the 2017 Spring Meeting at the Hyatt Regency. Our daughter attended Tulane many years ago, but we had not been back much in recent years and were happy to see that the city has now almost fully recovered from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The Hyatt Regency also holds some memories for us because the Superdome next door was the site of Tulane football games and our daughter’s graduation in the late 1990s, so we had stayed there before.

We walked the Moonwalk and the French Quarter from Jackson Square (and Café du Monde, of course) and were pleased to discover local jazz bands playing throughout the French Quarter. We are a little senior for Bourbon Street, but enjoyed walking and shopping on Royal Street, and my wife made a special trip to Rau’s, which has taken to advertising some of its higher-end antiques in the Wall Street Journal recently. We certainly sampled the regional cuisine—Arnaud’s Jazz Bistro, Antoine’s, Commander’s Palace for Sunday jazz brunch, and the Banking Committee’s dinner at Broussand’s. My wife even escaped the meetings to get to some local favorites, including Mother’s and Ralph’s on the Park.

Oh yeah, the ABA meetings and events! The Saturday night dinner at Mardi Gras World was spectacular, as was the experience of riding the floats to get there and launching the “throws” of Mardi Gras beads from the floats to astonished kids and other passersby on the street. As an architecture buff and longtime member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, I now have very high expectations for the upcoming ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

William F. Kroener III
Washington, D.C.


Jonathan Rubens speaks to law students at the BLS outreach at Tulane School of Law.

New Faces and First Timers

My favorite memory from the 2017 Spring Meeting came during the First Timers’ Breakfast. I was asked to walk the attendees through the ABA Meeting App and show them how to use it. When I polled the room to find out how many of them knew about the app, I discovered that almost all of them not only knew about it, but had downloaded it and were already using it to plan their own Spring Meeting schedule. It served as yet another reminder of the outstanding work the Business Law Section does to engage all of its members.

Monty Garside
Atlanta, Georgia


Michael Baxter, co-editor of Business Law . . . Just For Fun!, being recognized by Peter Walsh, chair, BLS Publications Board, at the Section lunch.

My favorite moment in New Orleans was meeting so many other authors of new Business Law Section books at the luncheon. It was great to put faces to names and have the opportunity to get to know everyone in person.

Eric Epstein
New York, New York

As a first-time attendee, the 2017 Spring Meeting gave me the opportunity to network with colleagues from all over the world and learn something new. Most of the people at the event looked like they knew each other from previous events, and it was good to make these connections. On the casual side of things, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; what happens in New Orleans never happened.”

Allan Jacobus Kobel
New York, New York