September 02, 2019

Subcommittee Reports

Communications and Technology Subcommittee

Dear Subcommittee Leaders:

We hope you all have been using and enjoying the new Business and Corporate Litigation Committee website and the new ABA Connect website.  For those of you have not seen them yet, the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee site is where you go to join a new subcommittee, view recent Newsletters, or find other important Materials and Resources.  The website is: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/business_law/committees/bcl/

The ABA Connect website has a forum to post messages to other BCLC members, a place for photos, and a library area for each subcommittee.  Here are some suggestions for your libraries:

  • Add links to articles from Business Law Today or The Business Lawyer relevant to your Subcommittee, even if not produced by your Subcommittee;
    • If you would like to add links to other articles, please get permission from the original publisher.
  • For those of you attending the annual meeting in D.C., make sure you take a few pictures from any meetings or presentations your subcommittee has;
    • Don’t forget to provide captions for smaller group photos identifying names and roles in the committee or subcommittee.
  • Add links to program audio or materials from meetings or presentations; and
  • Add some narrative on what your Subcommittee is doing or what your Subcommittee focuses on.

It is easy to post things on ABA Connect, but if you are not comfortable doing it yourself you can send text, links, or pictures to Graham Hunt (graham.hunt@americanbar.org) or Laura Readinger (lreadinger@morrisjames.com), and we will make sure they get posted.

Subcommittee to Implement the ABA Model Principles on Labor Trafficking and Child Labor and Working Group to Draft Human Rights Protections in Supply Contracts

E. Christopher Johnson, Jr. (echris39@gmail.com)
David Snyder, chair (
dsnyder@wcl.american.edu)

The Corporate Social Responsibility Law Committee will sponsor (and the Corporate Compliance, Corporate Counsel, Corporate Governance, International Business Law, International Coordinating, Intellectual Property, Professional Responsibility and UCC Committees will co-sponsor) a CLE Panel Discussion entitled BUSINESS AND ETHICAL CHALLENGES:  HUMAN RIGHTS REQUIREMENTS, DUE DILIGENCE, REMEDIATION AND BRAND PROTECTION during the Business Law Section’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, September 14, 2019 between 8 AM and 10 AM.  The Panelists include Shawn MacDonald, CEO of Verite´, Alice A. Kipel, Executive Director of Regulations and Rulings at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Stephen A. Pike, Partner at Gowling Wlg, Prof. David V. Snyder of American University Washington College of Law, and Emily B. Holland, Senior Associate at White & Case LLP, with E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., former General Counsel of GM-North America and Co-Founder of Center for Justice, Rights & Dignity, serving as the moderator. 

This Panel Discussion will (1) provide a brief summary of the cycle of human rights violations in supply chains and summarize the growth of legislative and investor focus on supply chain human rights issues; (2) present feedback and suggested revisions to the 2018 Report and Model Contract Clauses for International Supply Contracts; (3) provide practical supplier contracting and due diligence recommendations, tools and risk assessment procedures to avoid human rights abuses; and (4) address attorney ethical obligations and the attorney-client privilege in supply chains as well as in merger and acquisition transactions.  Informed by the Panelists’ knowledge of global policies and procedures, advice will be provided as to how to develop an enterprise-wide understanding of, and commitment to, human rights (health and safety requirements, anti-forced labor, child labor and indentured labor constraints) while optimizing market-specific approaches. In addition, the Panel will discuss tools for developing meaningful reporting and diligence strategies to complement existing compliance systems and anticipate regulatory and litigation trends. Relevant portions of the Reasonable Care publication from U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be reviewed, and what CPB auditors look for in trying to determine whether imported goods are tainted by convict, forced or indentured labor along with practical steps companies can take in any forced labor inquiry will be addressed. The Panel will also discuss how a lawyer should advise a client given the ethical, business, social and moral issues that are implicated along with the growing legal requirements with particular reference to ABA Model Rules 1.6(b)(1), 1.13(c), 1.16(b)(4) and 2.1.

Later that same day, Noon to 1 PM, there will be a joint meeting of the Working Group to Draft Human Rights Protections in International Supply Contracts and the Subcommittee to Implement the ABA Model Principles on Labor Trafficking and Child Labor.  These are ongoing projects and anyone interested in working to improve the initial version of the Model Contract Clauses and other efforts to implement the ABA Model Principles is welcome.