I hope this finds you well and that you and your families are staying safe and healthy. I am writing to provide an update as to the Section’s upcoming plans for our Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C. presently scheduled to take place from October 21 – October 24 at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel. Months ago I formed a COVID working group to assess the viability of a meeting focusing on hotel safety procedures and cleaning protocols, a full review of our schedule, and the ability to hold our events -- both social and CLE -- with appropriate social distancing (even re-examining and revamping the manner in which breakfast is to be served to ensure adequate precautions are being taken). I encourage you to look at the video put together by the Willard to see what they are doing to make our stay safe and socially distant.
With that said, one thing is for sure -- there are no guarantees or certainties with COVID-19. Accordingly, while I continue to hope for the best, we are at the same time making alternative plans in the event that circumstances make it unreasonable to hold an in-person meeting to go forward. To allow a sufficient amount of time for planning (both for you to make travel plans and for the Section staff to begin the enormous amount of work that each of our meetings entails), a final decision will be made no later than the week of August 24, 2020 at which time we will open registration for either the in-person meeting or a virtual meeting. Prior to that time, you will receive an electronic copy of the FLS meeting brochure. Because many people have not yet returned to their offices (myself included) we are, for the first time, going paperless, and you will only receive the brochure by email, so please be on the lookout!
Note that if we go to a virtual meeting, the CLE programming will be held October 21 – October 23 (Wednesday to Friday) instead of our traditional Thursday to Saturday to allow for everyone to receive CLE credits. Committee meetings will be held Monday and Tuesday (October 19 and 20). We have already selected a virtual platform through which committee meetings and social events will be held and are hard at work to make the meeting engaging, informative and interactive. If we go virtual, I personally encourage any members who have not attended a live meeting (or have not attended one in some time) to consider participating both in the CLE (for which you can receive up to 20 credits) and committee meetings. I am convinced you will enjoy both the programming and the camaraderie.
If it proves reasonable to host an in-person meeting, I look forward to seeing many old and new faces as we catch up, network and gain valuable knowledge that we can take back to our States to improve our practice and the practice of family law.
I invite you to consider registering for the upcoming ABA Virtual Annual Meeting and attend our Section’s Annual Business Meeting, Council Meeting and Awards Ceremony on August 1st starting at 10am (Central time) and my induction at approximately 12:30 pm (Central time). The Zoom information will be provided after you register.
Stay well and stay safe.