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July 29, 2020 What's New at TIPS

Virtual CLE Programming: The New Reality for 2020 Made Successful by the TIPS Section During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Deborah Smith

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic shut down the usual operation of businesses, the courts, law offices, and the otherwise “normal” practice of law as we know it since March 2020. The ABA TIPS Section, however, has been able to swiftly pivot and continue providing quality CLE and non-CLE programming virtually to its members. Many programs are at no cost to the attendees. Hopefully, you have been able to attend some or even all of them, but if not, here’s a quick look at a few examples of programs you may have missed and those coming up.

On March 30, 2020, the Cybersecurity Committee hosted a virtual program entitled “COVID-19: Working Remotely —What Attorneys Need to Know to Avoid Cyberthreats and Privacy Risks,” and 175 people registered to attend! In April 2020 and May 2020, three more wildly successful CLEs followed. The program in April had almost 350 registrants and was entitled “Cannabis and COVID-19: How a Federally Illegal Drug Continues to Exist as an Essential Business at the State Level.” Another program in May had well over 350 registrants and was entitled “When the Second Shoe Drops: COVID-19 Losses and Reinsurance.” Employment issues continue to be hot during the pandemic, and the CLE entitled “The Employment Guide to Surviving COVID-19: Critical Issues Today and Biggest Challenges Tomorrow” hosted by the Business Litigation and Employment and Labor Law Committees had nearly 600 registrants!

The CLEs were not to be outdone by the non-CLEs, and several popular educational seminars were offered by TIPS leadership, the Toxic Torts Committee, and Section Sponsor Thomson Reuters in April and May. These seminars focused on employment issues related to COVID-19, including furloughs, work share, layoffs, PPP, returning to work and reintegration, and the science behind COVID-19 with Dr. Michele Carbone presenting. The seminars ranged in attendance from just over 75 registrants to a whopping 437 registrants!

TIPS rounded out the rest of May, June, and July with CLEs addressing other cybersecurity issues related to electronic accessibility for employees via mobile platforms, discovery disputes, social media issues, and state insurance regulators’ responses to the pandemic. One program was held via the ZOOM platform, and the ABA Annual Meeting scheduled at the end of July will take place via ZOOM.

If you missed these virtual programs, don’t fret, there are several terrific programs scheduled for August and the rest of 2020. Upcoming programs include topics such as the best practices for cyber insurance, attorneys’ fees in ERISA litigation, a judge’s perspective on legal writing, preserving diversity and inclusion during a downturn, self-care for lawyers, and how to start a law firm when you are broke. Although we have missed the opportunity to meet together in person since March, you can count on the TIPS Section to provide you with high-quality virtual programming. Log on to my ABA to register for these and other upcoming TIPS virtual programs today!

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By Deborah Smith

Deborah Smith is a member of TIPS Council and a partner at Lewis Brisbois where she advises clients in litigation matters and enjoys trying cases wherever they may need her.