January 01, 2019 From the Chairs

Opioids: From Summit Recommendations to Ethics CLE

Marvin S.C. Dang

Aloha (Greetings) from Hawaii.

Dubbed the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history, the opioid crisis impacts the lives and well-being of our Senior Lawyers Division members, our families, our clients, and our communities.

In May 2018, the SLD convened an Opioid Summit in Chicago that brought together 20 ABA entities and non-ABA organizations to take a holistic approach to the crisis. You can read the resulting report, with its 9 recommendations and 45 action points, here.

The ABA’s Section Officers Conference honored the SLD in September 2018 with the Outstanding Collaboration Award for organizing the summit. The award recognizes significant collaboration between ABA entities on a program, project, or initiative that provides substantial value to the ABA membership, profession, or society.

The SLD introduced a resolution to be considered by the ABA House of Delegates at the Midyear Meeting this month. The resolution urges all courts, governmental entities, bar associations, public health agencies, lawyer assistance programs, lawyer regulatory entities, institutions of legal education, law firms, and other entities to consider the recommendations and action points in the Opioid Summit report.

On May 2, the SLD will present a one-hour ethics program about working with clients or colleagues with opioid and other substance-use disorders. With clients, this could trigger ethics rules surrounding diminished capacity, confidentiality, or conflicts of interest. With colleagues, there could be a duty to report, competency issues, or client abandonment.

The program will be in New York City when the SLD meets with the ABA Section of Litigation and the ABA Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division for their CLE Conference, which starts May 1. You’ll be able to find more information on the SLD’s website closer to the conference.


Marvin S.C. Dang

Marvin S.C. Dang is the managing member of Law Offices of Marvin S.C. Dang, LLLC in Honolulu and has been an attorney since 1978. He’s the 2018–2019 chair of the ABA Senior Lawyers Division, a member of the ABA Nominating Committee, a delegate in the ABA House of Delegates, and a commissioner on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He served on the Council of the ABA Fund for Justice and Education. His law firm’s practice areas include lobbying, creditors’ rights, and real estate matters. He received his law degree from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.