October 05, 2017



Thursday, October 5, 2017

3 - 4:15pm
Part I: Civil Rights in the Port City in the 1960's - How Two Communities Came Together

Looking for lessons for today in the experiences in the past, the first of two related panels will discuss how civic and community leaders during the 1960s Civil Rights Era helped Savannah be one of the cities which avoided major civil disturbances. Focusing on the rule of law and the involvement of community and civic leaders, our speakers will discuss the legal and other tools which exist to maintain order, while protecting civil and constitutional rights to dissent.

C. Elisa Frazier,
Section Council member, Past Chair, ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, Savannah, GA
James B. Blackburn Sr
.,  1960s City Attorney, Savannah, GA
James B. Blackburn Jr.
, Attorney, Savannah, GA
Hon. James F. Bass, Jr.
, Judge, Chatham County Superior Court
Edna Jackson
, Former Mayor, Savannah, GA

 4:30 - 6pm
Part II: Civil Rights, Present and Future, in Savannah and Beyond

Headlines from across the country reveal a nation divided. This panel will discuss what civil rights means in the 21st century and the best ways to bring divided communities together, while protecting civil and constitutional rights to dissent.  

Stephanie O. Burgress,
Immediate Past President, Port City Bar Association
Lester Johnson III
State Senator and Former Savannah Bar Association, Savannah, GA
Francys Johnson
, Civil Rights Attorney and former State President of the Georgia, NAACP
Christopher Middleton
, Attorney and Former President of Port City Bar Association, Cox Rodman & Middleton LLC

Friday, October 6, 2017

8:45 - 10:15am
Florida v. Georgia Water Wars in the U.S. Supreme Court

Water resources in the Western states are known to be scarce and lead to protracted litigation, but fighting over water rights has now come to the East.  In 2013, Florida sued Georgia to apportion the waters of the 20,000 square mile, interjurisdictional Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin.  The U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in such cases under Article III of the Constitution, and it appointed a special master who held a trial that concluded in December of 2016 and found for Georgia.  The case will be briefed and back before the Justices to decide, among other things, whether federal water control structures are an intervening cause that prevents a remedy and ultimately, whether a state may seek an equitable apportionment largely to protect environmental resources.

Matthew Z. Leopold,
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A., Tallahassee, FL
Juliet Cohen, 
Executive Director, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Atlanta, GA
Christopher M. Kise
, Foley & Lardner LLP, Tallahassee, FL
Scott Steinbreacher
, Assistant Solictor General - Office of the Colorado Attorney General, Denver, CO
R. Todd Stillman
, Dentons, Atlanta, Ga

10:30 - 11:45am
What's Next for Property Law and Government Regulations After the Supreme Court's Landmark Decision in Murr v. Wisconsin?

This panel will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Murr v. Wisconsin, the case about regulatory takings, “larger parcel,” and how someone’s “property” is determined.

Kelly Walsh, 
Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt, Vancouver, WA
Molly Brady
, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, VA


1:30 - 3pm
Historic Properties: Preservation and Resilience

Savannah is a wonderful example of integrating historic preservation into revitalizing the City. People living in seacoast riverine communities need planning that integrates historic preservation and sea level rise mitigation. With case studies of Annapolis MD and Savannah, including its recent experience with Tropical Storm Matthew this panel will explore environmental challenges facing historic communities and also discuss the legal and regulatory framework for protecting these properties for the future. 

Alex Judd,
Day Pitney LLP, Hartford, CT
Sarah C. Bronin
, Faculty Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Law
Lisa Craig,
Chief of Historic Preservation - City of Annapolis, Annapolis, MD

 3:15 - 4:45pm
Deepwater Ports: Security Threats and Responses at Ports and Terminals

The port of Savannah is one of the largest marine terminals on the East Coast. With 90% of commercial goods shipped by ocean carrier, marine terminals are essential cogs in the country’s transportation network. Prior to 9/11/2001, ports were open marketplaces of ocean-going vessels, truck and rail traffic, as well as a melting pot of foreign nationals crewing international ships. Ingress and egress at ports are now strictly controlled. Security risks to be managed at marine terminals include undeclared hazardous cargo and other security threats arriving on commercial vessels, as well as the risk of unauthorized persons accessing secure terminals. Including speakers from the Port of Savannah and Compliance Systems, Inc., this panel will explore the ways in which federal, state and local law enforcement work in concert to ensure the safety and security of these transport hubs.

Peter Knight
, Robinson & Cole, Hartford, CT
Rikki L. Simmons,
Research Assistant, Savannah Law School
Kevin Doyle,
Director of Protective Services, Georgia Ports Authority
Lt. Commander Joshua Rose,
Prevention Department Head, US Coast Guard, Savannah GA
Alan West,
Senior Marine Inspector, Compliance Systems, Inc, Savannah, GA

 5 - 6:30pm
Confederate Emblems: Remove or Retain-That is the Question

Removal of Confederate statues has been a hot topic across the southern United States over the past couple of years and it does not appear that the discussion will cool down any time soon.  This panel will explore the many questions surrounding the removal of Confederate statues including: What are the legalities involved with the removal of these statues? For example, have they been placed on public property by private entities? Were they placed on public property by the government but maintained by private entities, thus giving rise to questions of ownership?  What do the citizens really think about the removal of these statues and does it matter? How far should the removal efforts extend?  For example should removal  only apply to Confederate statutes or should it a apply to all monuments to persons who allegedly abridged human rights?

Moderator /  Speaker:
Donna Frazier, 
Parish Attorney, Caddo Parish, LA
Brain J. Connoly
, Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti, PC, Denver, CO