July 15, 2019 Section News

Spring Meeting Highlights

Kyo Suh

During April 4–7, 2019, the Section hosted its Spring CLE Program, Committee, and Council Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. The Section introduced two new related programs this year. On April 3, the Section hosted a panel for law students at Belmont University College of Law to discuss careers in criminal justice. On April 4, the inaugural Women in Criminal Justice Symposium featured a special day of programming regarding women in criminal justice. Panels examined the challenges facing women in criminal justice and implicit bias and talked about shattering the glass ceiling. The Symposium concluded with the White Collar Crime Townhall, “Women & Leadership: Evolution and Revolution.”

The Friday CLE programming began with a welcome address from The Honorable David Briley, Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. The keynote address was provided by Joseph Williams and featured Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s criminal justice reform agenda. The day’s program featured panels around the theme of “Diverse Perspectives on Criminal Justice Reform.” Panelists discussed issues such as cash bail, conviction integrity units, state reforms, innovations in criminal justice, mass incarceration, and the First Step Act.

After the CLE program concluded, the Council met to discuss the following proposed resolutions.

  • CJS and the Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence are co-sponsors of a resolution to urge legislatures and courts to redefine consent in sexual assault cases by removing the longstanding legal burden that a sexual assault victim must show physical and/or verbal resistance to the act in question, and by providing instead that consent to a sexual act is expressed by words and actions in the context of all the circumstances.
  • CJS and the NACDL are cosponsoring a resolution to Congress and the federal government to further the goals of the First Step Act by providing sufficient funding for implementation, by developing a risk-and-needs assessment system for earned time credits, by increasing good-time credits, and by retroactively applying the sentencing amelioration provisions in the Act.
  • Council approved a resolution from the CJS Task Force on Marijuana, Federalism, and Separation of Powers to urge Congress to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, to enact legislation exempting marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act when that activity is in compliance with a state’s laws, and to approve research on all aspects of marijuana.
  • Council voted to amend Resolution 112B, passed at the 2017 Midyear Meeting of the HOD, to ensure that motions to vacate convictions are not conditioned on the entry of any type of guilty pleas, including nolo contendere pleas, Alford pleas, or their equivalents.

Finally, the Council created two new task forces: the First Step Act Task Force and the Risk Assessment Task Force.

National White Collar Crime Institute

The 33rd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime took place March 6–8, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Institute hosted 22 breakout sessions and four main plenary sessions.

The Institute began with the General Counsel Forum, featuring general counsel attorneys from AIG, BAE Systems, Finch McCranie, Fleishman Hillard, Ingersoll Rand, and PayPal. The forum was followed by a special session with the directors of the SEC and CFTC Division of Enforcement and the head of the DOJ Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, who discussed their respective agency’s enforcement priorities.

Hon. Bernice Donald, US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, delivered the E. Lawrence Barcella Memorial Address. Judge Donald encouraged the attendees to address the ongoing issue of implicit bias. Her speech was followed by a panel consisting of US circuit and district court judges, who discussed current issues and challenges they face as a judge.

On Friday, US Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Brian A. Benczkowski addressed the conference. His remarks were followed by another plenary panel of distinguished speakers who explored the ethical and professional conduct issues and challenges arising out of the Mueller investigation for both prosecutors and defense counsel.

Upcoming Events

  • Annual Meeting: August 8–11, San Francisco, CA
  • Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute: September 4–6, Braselton, GA
  • London White Collar Crime Institute: October 14–15, London, UK
  • CJS Fall Institute & Meeting: November 7–9, Washington, DC
  • ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference: December 8–10, Washington, DC

For additional event listing, please visit ambar.org/cjsevents.

New Publications

Rehabilitation and Incarceration: In Search of Fairer and More Productive Sentencing, by Harold Baer Jr. The United States now imprisons a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. The author, US District Judge Harold Baer Jr., explains this crisis of mass incarceration, how it came about, and the pressing need and means to reduce prison populations and recidivism, promote rehabilitation and re-entry into society, and protect public safety.

Please visit ambar.org/cjsbooks for book ordering information.


Kyo Suh is the technology and publications manager for the Criminal Justice Section.