Albert C. Harvey (SLD Chair-Elect); Emily Roschek (SLD Director); William Mock (SLD Assistant Budget Officer); Hon. Bernice B. Donald (SOC Awards Committee Chair); Marvin S.C. Dang (SLD Chair); Michael Van Zandt (SLD Vice Chair); Carole L. Worthington (SLD Secretary); Seth Rosner (SLD Delegate); Ruth Kleinfeld (SLD Delegate); Lexie Heinemann (SLD Program Associate)
The Senior Lawyers Division (SLD) was honored to receive the SOC Outstanding Collaboration Award during the Section Officers Conference (SOC) Fall Leadership Meeting on Thursday, September 27th, 2018, for its collaborative effort in organizing an Opioid Summit to address the opioid epidemic permeating our country.
The Award recognizes significant collaboration between two or more ABA entities on a program, project, or initiative that provides substantial value to the ABA membership, profession, or society.
The Award was presented to SLD leaders by the SOC Awards Committee Chair, the Honorable Bernice B. Donald, Former Chair of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice.
Led and organized by the Senior Lawyers Division, the Summit entitled “Experienced Lawyers, American Families, and the Opioid Crisis” was held at the ABA Headquarters in Chicago on Friday, May 4, 2018.
The Summit brought together various entities within the ABA, external organizations, and a multidisciplinary group of experts from a range of legal areas for a holistic approach to the opioid crisis.
The Summit involved 30 people from ABA entities and non-ABA organizations, 5 nationally recognized speakers, 17 leaders of the Senior Lawyers Division, as well as 6 ABA staff members, and 2 volunteer law students as recorders. It was led by SLD Chair (2017-18) Jack Young and SLD Chair (2018-19) Marvin S.C. Dang, along with a planning committee. Diverse attorneys (from the perspective of ABA Goal III) were actively involved with the Summit as planning committee leaders and members, speakers, facilitators, and participants.
Here is a complete list of ABA entities represented at the Summit:
- Center on Children and the Law
- Center for Professional Responsibility
- Commission on Disability Rights
- Commission on Law and Aging
- Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs
- Criminal Justice Section
- Division for Public Services
- Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division
- Health Law Section
- Law Student Division
- Section of Intellectual Property Law
- Section of Labor & Employment Law
- Section of State & Local Government Law
- Senior Lawyers Division
- Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division
- Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants
- Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services
The Opioid Summit was a collaborative process from the beginning. Staff from the invited entities either attended the Summit themselves or secured entity members as proxies who provided valuable contributions to the Summit. All participants were invited to share materials in advance; those materials were distributed to all the participants. On the day of the Summit, volunteers from the ABA Law Student Division as well as staff from the ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, and the ABA Senior Lawyers Division took notes.
The Opioid Summit provided ABA entities and non-ABA organizations with a forum to discuss and make recommendations about the opioid crisis―a crisis which affects not only the legal profession but our society. The Summit fostered and encouraged collaboration among the various entities and organizations about critical issues involving families, public policy, laws, treatment, access to treatment, and education.
A report incorporating the productive discussions, recommendations, and action items from the breakout sessions was written by Dr. Mary Carter, a member of the planning committee and Summit presenter on the history and scope of the opioid epidemic invading our country. The Report, “Experienced Lawyers, American Families, and the Opioid Crisis”, can be found here along with other background materials: http://www.ambar.org/opioid.
The report was distributed to the ABA Board of Governors and the House of Delegates at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago in August 2018. While the ABA in the past has adopted resolutions addressing attorney well-being, the Summit’s planners will use the Report to collaborate with other ABA entities to develop policy resolutions addressing the opioid crisis. Those resolutions will be considered by the ABA House of Delegates as early as the ABA Midyear Meeting in January 2019.