February 09, 2021

CLE Programs

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

10:30 – 11:30 AM CST | Practice Forward—State of the Art Best Practices for a Profession Impacted by the Pandemic

Sponsored by: Office of the President
Co-Sponsored by: Diversity and Inclusion Center; Law Practice Division; Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

The pandemic has had a profound impact on everyone, including members of the legal profession. Anticipating the need for substantial changes to the practice of law going forward, the American Bar Association commissioned a survey of its members to understand how, as a result of the pandemic, legal employers have revised their policies and procedures; how diversity, equity, and inclusion programs have been affected; and what resources are needed by attorneys as they continue to work remotely or return to their offices. Join this important CLE to learn the many informative results of this unique and comprehensive survey, including best practices for long-term remote work; how the pandemic has impacted lawyer well-being, retention and diversity; and changes that will help legal employers and their lawyers in dealing with the new normal, regardless of their level of experience or practice settings.  

William Bay, Thompson Coburn LLP, St. Louis, MO
Laura Farber, Hahn & Hahn LLP, Pasadena, CA
Roberta “Bobbi” Liebenberg, Fine, Kaplan and Black, Philadelphia, PA
Judy Perry Martinez, Simon Peragine Smith & Redfearn LLP, New Orleans, LA
Patricia Lee Refo, Snell & Wilmer, Phoenix, AZ
Stephanie Scharf, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, Chicago, IL

12:30 - 1: 30 PM CST | GPSolo Representing Landlords and Tenants in the COVID Era: Lease Problems, Tips, and Strategies, and Options in Bankruptcy

Sponsored by: Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

With a view towards the impact of COVID-19, this webinar will address problems, tips and strategies for successful lease drafting, modification, and termination. Attention also will be given to standard residential leases impacted by the Center for Disease Control order to temporarily halt residential evictions, strategies to recover rent without evictions, and bankruptcy liquidation, reorganization, and repayment options for landlords and tenants under chapters 7, 11, and 13.

Melvin Shaw
, The Law Office of Melvin O. Shaw, Coralville, IA

Larry Feinstein
, Law Offices of Vortman & Feinstein, Bellevue, WA
Evan Loeffler, Loeffler Law Group, Seattle, WA
Oscar Rivera, Siegfried Rivera, Coral Gables, FL

3:30  - 4:45 PM CST | Making your Place in the Legal Profession as a Young Attorney; and Yoga for the Desk Bound

Sponsored by: Young Lawyers Division

The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being identifies Occupational Well-Being as one of the six dimensions of Lawyer well-being. But how do we cultivate personal satisfaction, growth, and enrichment in work when the legal profession places so many demands on young attorneys? This session will explore how to thrive in your career by bringing your authentic self to the table. Young attorneys have a big role to play in advancing the legal profession into the future, but this movement starts on the personal level. In this session, renowned attorney, author, mindfulness coach and productivity consultant Ritu Goswamy will guide participants in exploring:

  • The importance of finding your unique voice and creating your place in the legal profession
  • Reconnecting to what you love about being a lawyer so that you can bring a renewed energy to your work life
  • Embracing personal evolution as a means of evolving the practice of law 

This session will also include a 15-minute desk yoga session led by St. Louis attorney Amy Rebecca Johnson.

Christina Sava, Vicente Sederberg LLP, Henrico, VA

Ritu Goswamy
, The New Billable Hour, Felton, CA
Amy Rebecca Johnson, Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C., St. Louis, MO

Thursday, February 18, 2021

10:15 AM – 11:45 AM CST | Redistricting: What Every Lawyer Should Know about the Decennial Process of Redrawing Electoral Lines

Sponsored by: Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities

In the second and third quarters of 2021, states and localities nationwide will be redrawing congressional, state legislative, and local electoral lines as required by law to achieve greater equality in population within each district based upon data from the 2020 United States Census.  The redistricting process will establish political district boundaries for the next decade.  Redistricting is a highly politicized, public process involving significant community input.  At the same time, redistricting is governed by several provisions of constitutional and statutory law, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  This panel will explain the basics of redistricting and the laws that govern it, including key issues that may arise in various jurisdictions, such as the proper population base for measuring population equality, legal obligations to create or maintain majority-minority districts, Census quality issues including those raised by privacy protection, and gerrymandering based on race or party affiliation. 

Tom Saenz
, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Los Angeles, CA

Leah Aden
, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Washington, D.C.
Justin Levitt, LMU Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA
Terry Ao Minnis, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Washington, D.C.

12:00 – 1:00 PM CST | GPSolo Workstation Vaccination

Sponsored by: Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division
Co-Sponsored by: Thomson Reuters; Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

One of the most pressing questions that will follow us into 2021 is how to handle COVID-19 in the workplace. Thankfully, the tools available to fight the pandemic are no longer limited to face masks, hand washing, and social distancing. Now that the vaccine is on the way, what new challenges are in store for employers? In this session, we'll explore from both the employer and employee side:

  • Can and should employers require vaccination?
  • What sorts of objections might employees make and with what legal consequences?
  • Under what circumstances should employers allow vaccinated and/or unvaccinated employees back on site?
  • Are employees entitled to time off to get the vaccine, and, if so, what wage and hour issues are implicated?
  • What guidance, if any, can we expect from state and federal authorities?

Kate Bally
, Thomson Reuters, New York, NY
Lisa Golan, Golan Law Office, Norcross, GA
Richard Warren, Miller Canfield, Detroit, MI

1:00 -2:30 PM CST |  Data & Racial Justice: Using Data to Drive Change

Sponsored by: Criminal Justice Section

Data has increasingly been used to redefine what justice should look like in the 21st  Century. Prosecutors nationwide are starting to embrace data to determine what policy changes need to be made, to ensure that justice is being served equally in all communities, and as a way to track performance. This program will examine a program developed in conjunction with Florida International University, Loyola University, and the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge. Four prosecutors’ offices took the leap as pilot sites for the Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPIs) dashboard. Learn more about their journey, and what this means for data in the field of prosecution. 

Melba Pearson, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Aisha Edwards
, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL
Kimberly Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago, IL
Besiki Kutateladze, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Andrew Warren, State of Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit, Tampa, FL

Friday, February 19, 2021

10:00 – 11:30 AM CST | The Emotional Influence of Gruesome Photographs in the Courtroom

Sponsored by: American Bar Foundation
Co-Sponsored by: Criminal Justice Section; Section of Litigation; Young Lawyers Division

Lawyers, judges, and juries are faced with a barrage of evidence and arguments displayed in visual form – sometimes gruesome in nature. Courtroom images can influence beliefs, emotions, and judgments in ways that have yet to be empirically examined. This research seminar explores how emotionally evocative modes of visual evidence can affect the psychology of jurors’ decision-making processes—through influence on emotions, attention to evidence, and legal judgments at the individual and group level. The results of two experiments conducted by ABF Research Professor Janice Nadler have shown that gruesome photographs of a murder victim can increase the propensity to convict, with an increase of conviction dependent on race. The panel will further examine the extent to which gruesome photographs limit juror attention to evidence rousing negative emotions, and present potential safeguards that may mitigate the prejudicial effect of this type of visual evidence.

Hon. Bernice Donald
, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Cincinnati, OH

Mary Fan
, University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, WA
Janice Nadler, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Chicago, IL
Sandra Thompson, University of Houston Law Center, Houston, TX

10:15 AM – 12:15 PM CST | Dark Money in Judicial Elections: The Growing Influence of Dark Money in the Judicial Selection Process (TICKETED PROGRAM)

Sponsored by: Judicial Division

This portion of the program will focus on (1) the rise of “dark money” funding of media campaigns to influence state and federal judicial selection processes; (2) recent efforts to combat the influence of outside political ads, including administrative rules relating to transparency of donors, the landmark $250 million settlement in Hale v. State Farm and proposed federal legislation on judicial ads; and (3) the role of the organized bar in confronting misinformation about judicial candidates.  

Stephan Landsman
, DePaul College of Law, Chicago, IL

Robert Clifford
, Clifford Law Offices, Chicago, IL
Laurence Pulgram, Fenwick & West LLP, San Francisco, CA
Abby Wood, USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, CA

12:00 – 1:30 PM CST | The Prosecution and Defense of Physicians in Civil and Criminal Opioid Death Cases

Sponsored by: Criminal Justice Section

The program will consist of legal analysis of what the Government and what plaintiff’s counsel must prove against physicians in opioid death cases involving criminal prosecutions and/or medical malpractice cases.  It will also include the defenses of these cases: experts needed and what their testimony must include; counterclaims; direct and cross examination of witnesses; demonstrative evidence and collateral attacks; preparation for trial; overcoming negative publicity; voir dire of jurors; opening and closing arguments.

Thomas Liotti, The Law Offices of Thomas F. Liotti, Garden City, NY

Joseph DeFelice
, DeFelice Law, Kew Gardens, NY
Erica Dubno
, Fahringer & Dubno, New York, NY
Mark Taff, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, West Hempstead, NY

1:00 – 2:30 PM CST | Dark Money in Judicial Elections: Maintaining Public Confidence in the Courts in the Age of Dark Money (TICKETED PROGRAM)

Sponsored by: Judicial Division

This portion of the program will focus on the psychological and ethical perspectives of dark money ads in judicial selection processes, including (1) the erosion of public confidence in the impartiality and independence of the courts, (2) implications for disqualification and recusal, and (3) how judges can ethically combat disinformation campaigns funded with outside money through public statements, civic engagement and other strategies.

Carolyn Dubay
, North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission, Raleigh, NC

Former Justice Louis Butler Jr
., Wisconsin Supreme Court, Madison, WI
Hon. Virginia Kendall, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Tom Tyler, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT

2:00 - 3:30 PM CST | Military Justice - Learning and Leading Change in American Criminal Justice

Sponsored by: Criminal Justice Section

The military justice system has undergone tremendous change over the past twenty years—in many ways attempting to emulate or keep pace with civilian criminal justice.  Now, as the American criminal justice system grapples with the complexities of sexual assault prosecutions and the mainstream call for criminal justice reform, particularly in the area of sexual assault prosecutions, appellate review, and protecting the rights of the accused, many of the military justice system’s policies are being recognized and hailed as truly progressive.  Join an esteemed panel of military justice experts from the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps as they delve into the progressive nature of the military justice system and discuss how we are leading change in criminal justice and where we go from here.

Major Scott Goble
, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Washington, D.C.


Lieutenant Colonel Rebecca Farrell, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, VA
Colonel Lance Hamilton, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Washington D.C.
Lieutenant Colonel Adam Kazin, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Washington, D.C.
Lieutenant Colonel Philip Staten, Trial Counsel Assistance Program, Fort Belvoir, VA
Lieutenant Colonel Angela Swilley, US Army Defense Appellate Division, Fort Belvoir, VA

2:45 – 4:15 PM CST | Dark Money in Judicial Elections: Combatting Dark Money Influence: Procedural Strategies and Innovations (TICKETED PROGRAM)

Sponsored by: Judicial Division

This portion of the program will focus on procedural strategies and innovative approaches to combatting the damaging effect of dark money influence on the perceived fairness of federal and state judicial proceedings.   The discussion will focus on possible procedural rule changes, disciplinary actions, changes to existing rules for recusal, revisions to rules relating to amicus briefs, and use of the contempt power against parties attempting to influence judicial outcomes through dark money ads.

Hon. Michelle Childs, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina

Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, CA
Paula Frederick, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
Stephen Saltzburg, George Washington University School of Law, Washington, D.C.
Charles Silver, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX

Credit Hours

For the 2021 ABA Virtual Midyear Meeting, the ABA will seek 9.00 hours of CLE credit in 60-minute states, and 10.8 hours of CLE credit for this program in 50-minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.

Please visit www.americanbar.org/mcle for general information on CLE at the ABA.

How to Obtain CLE Certificates

  • To receive CLE credit for a session, you must be actively live streaming the specific session as the primary activity on your web browser for the entire length of the program.
  • During the program, please listen and watch the slides for the unique CLE code and instructions to verify that you are actively viewing the program. Due to MCLE regulations, the ABA cannot issue certificates unless you meet the verification requirement by entering the CLE code in the designated text box on the CLE program session detail page.
  • Attendees who have met CLE requirements will be sent an email with a link for obtaining CLE certificates by Wednesday, February 24.
  • CLE credit is only available for live presentations during the scheduled program time at the Virtual Midyear Meeting.  On-demand CLE will not be offered at this meeting.
  • For questions or issues regarding CLE certificates, click here to report to MCLE.