CLE Showcase

Hacking Democracy: Elections and Beyond

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Sponsored by: ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force, ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security

Cosponsored by: Division for Public Education

Democracy is not inevitable. Right now, US democratic institutions are under tremendous stress as Americans struggle to hold them accountable to live up to our aspirations. Foreign adversaries also exploit and exacerbate the fissures and lack of public trust in institutions and processes, from elections to the justice system, while capitalizing on opportunities to engage in cyber assaults. Diverse strategies of disinformation, such as hack-and-leak or deep fake videos, often couched as news stories, amplify weaknesses and divisions of our own making to convince Americans to give up on rule of law and ideas of justice and democracy. This showcase program will explore digital threats against the U.S. democratic system, the current U.S. readiness to counteract these threats, and the way forward to protect our national security from hacking and disinformation.  

Harvey Rishikof, Senior Counselor, ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security and Senior Advisor, ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force, Washington, DC

Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, California Supreme Court, San Francisco, CA
Hon. James E. McPherson, Under Secretary, Department of the U.S. Army, Arlington, VA
Suzanne Spaulding, Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); former Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate; Liaison, ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force, member and former Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security, Washington, DC


What Will the Next 100 Years Hold for Access to Justice? The Future of Civil Legal Aid and Public Defense in America

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Sponsored by: Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants

Cosponsored by: Center for Public Interest Law, Section of Litigation, Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel, Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Commission on Homelessness and Poverty

When the ABA established the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants one hundred years ago, the landscape of legal help for those who could not afford a lawyer was markedly different than what we know today. At that time, there was no right to counsel in criminal cases and all forms of legal aid were provided by a limited patchwork of charitable organizations scattered around the country. Though we have come far, substantial barriers to meaningful access to justice remain. Come to this session to engage in a high-level discussion regarding the state of legal assistance in America, the needs of those unable to obtain such assistance, and how the challenges of today, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for racial equity and justice, will shape the future. Our panel of esteemed national thinkers drawn from the public defense and civil legal aid communities will examine the data, innovations, and trends that will drive the future of providing legal services to those in need, with the ultimate goal of ensuring equal access to justice for all.

Lauren Sudeall, Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Center of Access to Justice, Georgia State Law, Atlanta, GA

Peter Edelman, Professor of Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University, Washington DC
Jeffrey Robinson, Deputy Legal Director and Director of the Trone Center for Justice and Equality, American Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY
Rebecca Sandefur, Professor, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

COVID-19: Legal Issues, Responses, and Practice Going Forward

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Sponsored by: The Coordinating Group on Practice Forward; Pandemic Task Force

In response to the growing legal needs of ordinary Americans arising from the coronavirus pandemic, the American Bar Association created a nationwide task force of volunteer lawyers and judges from across the legal profession.  The group has been working on identifying legal needs arising from the pandemic, making recommendations to address those needs to help mobilize volunteer lawyers and legal professionals for people who need help. On May 13, 2020, the ABA established the Coordinating Group on Practice Forward to coordinate pandemic-responsive resources throughout the ABA and harness expertise to address the legal profession’s emerging needs.  The group will take a look beyond the pandemic for innovations and new ways of providing legal services and delivering justice. 

We will discuss the most common legal issues that have arisen during the pandemic, review a forecast of the legal issues likely to arise or proliferate after the initial phase of the pandemic, and review the challenges in responding to the legal issues that have arisen and that are likely to arise in the future.  The program will also provide an overview of best practices in pro bono mobilization to address the legal needs during and after a national emergency.  Laura Farber will provide an overview of the new ABA Coordinating Group on Practice Forward, which will harness expertise throughout the ABA to address potential long-term changes to the practice of law and the judicial system in light of the pandemic.  Laura will address the results from the ABA entity survey of the landscape of ABA resources as well as key opportunities and challenges presented by the pandemic.

Introduction by:
Judy Perry Martinez, President, American Bar Association, New Orleans, LA

Moderator and Speaker:
James L. Sandman, Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania Law School, & President Emeritus, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, DC

Laura Farber, Partner, Hahn & Hahn LLP, Pasadena, CA
Justice Elizabeth Lang-Miers (Ret.), Partner, Locke Lord LLP, Dallas, TX
Jo-Ann Wallace, President and CEO, National Legal Aid & Defender Association, Washington, D.C.

The Paucity of Women of Color in the Legal Profession and Its Impact on the Administration of Justice

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Sponsored by:  Commission on Women in the Profession

Cosponsored by: Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice;
Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities; Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Legal Profession; Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline; Criminal Justice Section; 
Section of Litigation 

Studies over the last fifteen to twenty years have revealed, despite numerous programs implemented to improve diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, women of color have not reaped the benefits of the progress made.  In an effort to change this, the Commission on Women in the Profession has released its latest study, Left Out and Left Behind: the Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long Term Legal Careers for Women of Color.  This Showcase program will focus on the results of this study and the impact that the paucity of women lawyers of color has on the administration of justice.  Without all demographics adequately represented in the legal profession, we cannot be assured of a fair process.  Participants will learn about the concrete recommendations presented in Left Out and Left Behind, including adopting best practices for reducing biases in decision making; going beyond recruitment to inclusion; and incorporating an intersectional approach to addressing diversity and gender.

Paulette Brown, Senior Partner & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Locke Lord LLP, Princeton, NJ
Eileen Letts, Partner, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca LLP, Chicago, IL

Mari Carmen Aponte, Former US Ambassador to El Salvador, Washington DC
Dorothy Capers, Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel, National Express LLC, Lisle, IL 
Cyndie M. Chang, Managing Partner, Duane Morris, Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Destiny Peery, Principal, The Red Bee Group LLC, Chicago, IL
Mary L. Smith, Vice Chair, VENG Group, and Chair and President, Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation, Lansing IL 

ABA Annual Supreme Court Year in Review

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Sponsored by: Division for Public Education and Section of Litigation

The Roberts Court 2019-20: Is the Remote Court Distancing Itself from the Kennedy Era?

Oh, what a term!  COVID-19 brought changes no one ever thought were possible on Court processes. The powers of the Executive, Roe v. Wade’s future, the right to bear arms, the fate of Dreamers, and what “sex” means under Title VII are just a few of the headlines our distinguished panel will dissect in detail.

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

Jamal Greene, Dwight Professor of Law Columbia Law School, New York, NY
Leah Litman, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI
Hon. Kenneth W. Starr, Former Solicitor General of the United States, Houston, TX

Climate Change and the Legal Profession: Beyond “Environmental Law”

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Sponsored by: Section of Environment, Energy, & Resources and Section of Science & Technology Law

Cosponsored by:  International Law Section; Senior Lawyers; Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress; Civil Rights and Social Justice; Young Lawyers (pending)

At its 2019 Annual Meeting the ABA House of Delegates adopted an important resolution on climate change.  The resolution urged “federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and the private sector, to recognize their obligation to address climate change and take action to achieve the following goals:

  • Reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net zero or below as soon as possible, consistent with the latest peer-reviewed science, and
  • Contribute the U.S. fair share to holding the increase in the global average temperature to the lowest possible increase above pre-industrial levels….”

The resolution further urged “lawyers to engage in pro bono activities to aid efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, and to advise their clients of the risks and opportunities that climate change provides.”  Climate change has an impact on a wide range of legal practice areas including business, litigation, insurance, administrative law, environmental, land use, natural resources, energy, securities, national security, international and several others.  That impact is likely only to increase as human society continues to break records for levels of greenhouse gases and annual average temperatures, and as the frequency and intensity of catastrophic weather events grows. 

Roger Martella, General Counsel -Environment, Health and Safety, General Electric, Boston, MA   

Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Practice and Director of the Sabin Center for      Climate Change Law, Columbia University Law School, New York, NY
Hilary Tompkins, Partner, Global Regulatory Practice Group, Hogan Lovells, Washington D.C.
Hana Veselka Vizcarra, Harvard Law Environmental & Energy Law Program, Cambridge, MA

Justice in The Crosshairs: Defending Judicial Independence – the Keystone of Justice – in the U.S. and the World 

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Sponsored by: Section of Litigation and National Conference of Specialized Court Judges

What confidence would you have in the umpires’ calls if they also worked for the owner of the baseball team?  Increasing political pressure undermining judicial independence and separation of powers is a signature concern for the ABA.  True justice and public respect for the rule of law depends on fair application of the law by an impartial, independent and credible judiciary not beholden to special interest groups and political contributors. Our blue-ribbon front-line panel will explore threats to judicial independence in the U.S. and abroad and the duty of attorneys to combat it. Texas Supreme Chief Justice Nathan Hecht is a strong advocate for judicial independence as is Marsha Ternus, former Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court who, along with two fellow justices, were successful targets for nonretention by well-financed interest groups angered over the court’s unanimous decision holding unconstitutional the state law forbidding same-sex marriage. Associate Justice José Ramón Cossío Díaz of the Mexican Supreme Court and Judge Dariusz Masur, a trial court judge in Krakow and spokesperson for THEMIS, an association of Polish judges, will illustrate how the threat to judicial independence plays out on foreign soil.

Hon. Richard Ginkowski, President, Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association, Pleasant Prairie, WI
Laurence F. Pulgram
, Partner, Fenwick and West 

Associate Justice José Ramón Cossío Diaz, Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico, Mexico City
Chief Justice Nathan Hecht
, Texas Supreme Court, Austin, TX
Judge Dariusz Masur, Third Criminal Division, Regional Court Krakow, Poland
Former Chief Justice Marsha TernusIowa Supreme Court, Des Moines, IA

The Power of Women in U.S. Elections

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Sponsored by: Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Cosponsored by:  Senior Lawyers Division; Section of Dispute Resolution; Section of Dispute Resolution’s Women in Dispute Resolution Committee; Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law; Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section; Center for Public Interest Law; Standing Committee on Election Law; Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice; Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division; Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities; Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession; Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division; Standing Committee on Election Law; Criminal Justice Section; Division for Public Education; Commission on Women in the Profession; Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress

This panel will address voter suppression, election protection, and voting rights reform strategies ahead of the November 2020 election. Strategies to reform the right to vote have historically been intended to protect and advance the voting rights of underrepresented communities. Some recent reforms, however, have sparked controversy. Same-day voter registration and restoration of the right to vote to formerly incarcerated citizens, for example, tend to increase the population of citizens who exercise their civic duty to cast a ballot. Other policies, such as highly partisan redistricting, voter purges, and voter identification policies, have the effect of suppressing or devaluing the votes of underserved and underrepresented citizens. The impact of these reforms falls heaviest on women, communities of color, low-income communities, voters with disabilities, and young voters. On this 100th Anniversary of the 19th amendment, panel members will explore the effects of efforts to curtail voting, focusing on the role of women, especially African American women, in seeking to exercise the right to vote and the influence of their votes on elections.

Angela J. Scott, J.D., LL.M., Chair-Elect, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Civil Rights Attorney-Advisor, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the General Counsel; Former Member of the Maryland Democratic State Central Committee, 10th District

Barbara Arnwine, President & Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition; President Emeritus, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Congressman James E. Clyburn, Majority Whip, third-ranking Democrat in the United States House of Representatives, South Carolina 
Gilda Daniels, Associate Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, MD 
Harmeet Dhillon, Co-Chair, Republican National Lawyers Association; Republican National Committeewoman for California, and founder, Dhillon Law Group, San Francisco, CA
Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Los Angeles, CA

MCLE Information

On-Demand Version
For each session, the ABA will seek 1.00 general CLE credit hours in 60-minute-hour states, and 1.20 general CLE credit hours in 50-minute states.

For the session “The Paucity of Women of Color in the Legal Profession and Its Impact on the Administration of Justice,” the ABA will seek 1.50 Elimination of Bias CLE credit hours in 60-minute-hour states, and 1.80 Elimination of Bias CLE credit hours in 50-minute states. For the on-demand version of this session, the ABA will seek 1.00 Elimination of Bias CLE credit hours in 60-minute-hour states, and 1.20 Elimination of Bias CLE credit hours in 50-minute states.

Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.