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    Chicago Bar Foundation honored with ABA Brown Award for improving access to legal services

    January 17, 2018 1:02 PM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Jan. 18, 2018 — The ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services has selected the Chicago Bar Foundation to receive the 2018 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access.

    The award honors the Foundation’s commitment to increasing legal services to those of modest means, and specifically spotlighted its Justice Entrepreneurs Project. JEP, as it is known, is the foundation’s vehicle for preparing talented and entrepreneurial lawyers in the Chicago area to manage innovative, socially conscious and successful law practices. The project is dedicated to helping Chicago lawyers establish long-term practices that serve the legal needs of low- and moderate-income individuals and small businesses.

    The Louis M. Brown Award originated in 1995 and honors the work of Louis M. Brown, who for more than 60 years worked toward improving access to legal services for those of moderate incomes. The award itself honors the work of those who advance this mission in ways that are remarkable and replicable. This year, there were 43 nominees that came from bar groups, nonprofits, the courts, law schools and entrepreneurial entities.

    The Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services is also recognizing two programs with Meritorious Recognition, including for the first time an entity based in Canada. They are:

    • The British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal, which provides an interactive website with resources and a platform for people to address their small claims matters on a 24/7 basis. An online adjudicator will make final, binding decisions for those unable to negotiate a resolution for themselves.

    • Chi City Legal, a small law firm in Chicago with a niche practice that utilizes innovations in technology and practice management. The two-person firm represents small landlords who may rent an attic or basement or have a two-flat home, where the flow of rent money is essential to avoid foreclosure. The firm provides subscription services, has set fees and uses a chatbot to interact with potential clients. The two partners, Conor Malloy and John Norkus, met while participating in the Chicago Bar Foundation’s JEP program.

    The “Brown Select” Award, which goes to the nominee that gets the most online votes from the public, is the Rural Law Opportunities Program, a partnership between the University of Nebraska College of Law and three state colleges or universities — Chadron State College, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Wayne State College. The program covers tuition expenses for students who commit to practice in the state’s rural areas. More than 3,000 people visited the Brown Award website and voted.

    The Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services will present the 2018 awards on Friday, Feb. 2 at a joint luncheon of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, National Association of Bar Executives and National Conference of Bar Foundations during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews

    ABA Legal Fact Check examines U.S. citizenship and naturalization issues

    January 17, 2018 9:34 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2018 — Naturalization and U.S. citizenship issues continue to pop up in the news, as headlines the past few weeks suggest the Department of Justice is cracking down on fraud in the naturalization process. As you prepare stories related to these matters, a new ABA Legal Fact Check item posted today might be helpful in better understanding whether and when citizenship can be revoked.

    The item examines background and Supreme Court cases protecting those born in the U.S. from losing their citizenship as well as exploring when the government can strip a naturalized citizen of his or her status.

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to swirling and sometimes confusing legal questions. The URL for the site is www.abalegalfactcheck.com. Follow us on twitter @ABAFactCheck.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews

    Immigration, electronic voting and homeless youth are among highlights at American Bar Association meeting Feb. 1-5 in Vancouver

    January 17, 2018 8:21 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 17, 2018 — The implications of a proposed merits-based U.S. immigration system, measures to secure electronic voting, LGBT rights under the Trump administration and efforts to reduce homeless youth in the United States and Canada are chief legal issues that will be explored at the 2018 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting Feb. 1-5 in Vancouver.

    With several hundred top-quality legal programs and events, and presentations by America’s foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.

    The 601-member ABA House of Delegates—the association’s policy-making body—will meet Feb. 5, 8:30 a.m., in Ballroom B/C (Level 1) of the Vancouver Convention Centre. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.    

    Online registration is available for news reporters. Credential guidelines are here

    Diversity and immigration programs include:

    Friday, Feb. 2

    The Challenges for Women in Politics – Both Personal and Professional
    Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and former British Columbia Justice Minister and Attorney General Suzanne Anton, QC, will discuss the personal and professional challenges of women in politics.

    Noon-1:30 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Main Lobby Level, Seasons

    ABA and Canadian Legal Needs of Homeless Youth Learning Exchange: Improving Outcomes by Removing Legal Barriers U.S. and Canadian advocates, lawyers and service providers will gather for an interactive roundtable discussion on homeless youth, examining strategies in their respective countries to identify effective legal resources and referral systems; unmet needs and gaps in services; as well as current campaigns and model responses, such as Vancouver’s Pivot Legal Society and the new ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network.

    Noon-4 p.m., Fairmont Pacific Rim, Level 3, Star Sapphire Ballroom C

    Enhancing Justice, Reducing Bias: Next Steps— Experts in law and science will share proven strategies for combating the implicit biases that taint justice outcomes and impact diversity in the legal profession.

    1-2:30 p.m., The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Discovery Floor, Saturna Island

    The Power of Finding Your Voice— Former senior vice president of CNN Worldwide Parisa Khosravi will share her unique perspective on success honed from overcoming obstacles as an international female journalist, immigrant and mother. 

    4-5:30 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 118

    Saturday, Feb. 3

    “Responding to Natural Disasters:  The Role of the Bar, Legal Aid and IOLTA” – Representatives from the ABA Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services Program will provide an overview of its pro bono legal hotline under the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the lessons learned from assistance provided to victims of the recent California wildfires and hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico.

    8:30-9:45 a.m., Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Second Floor, Georgia Ballroom B

    “Lessons Across Borders:  What the U.S. and Canada Can Teach One Another About Establishing a Successful Immigration Policy” As the Trump administration supports the RAISE Act – an acronym for Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment – U.S. and Canadian immigration attorneys will examine the proposed measure, which reduces the number of legal immigrants into the United States and prioritizes high-skilled workers by setting up a merits-based system similar to those used by Canada and Australia. How well has the system worked in Canada and will it work in the United States?

    10:30 a.m.-Noon, Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 118

    “Spirit of Excellence Awards” — The ABA will recognize four legal professionals with its 2018 Spirit of Excellence Award for their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession: Alan N. Braverman, senior executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of The Walt Disney Company; Major General (ret.) Kenneth D. Gray, first African-American general in the history of the active Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.; Heather Kendall-Miller, senior staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund in Anchorage; and Judge James A. Wynn Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va.

    Noon-2 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, West Ballroom C

    The Current State of LGBT Law Under the Trump Administration — Top LGBT legal experts – Executive Director D’Arcy Kemnitz, National LGBT Bar Association; Associate Judge Phyliss Frye, Houston Municipal Courts; Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi, GLAD; and Legal Director Shannon Price Minter, National Center of Lesbian Rights – will consider recent advances and setbacks to LGBT law, focusing on such topics as the ban on transgender military personnel, the Department of Defense’s religious freedom memo and the Justice Department’s stance that the Civil Rights Act does not protect workers on the basis of their sexual orientation.

    2-3:30 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 109-110

    “Title IX Updates”
    — Panelists will discuss hot topics and recent developments in civil rights laws pertaining to both K-12 and postsecondary education. Topics addressed will include pregnant and parenting students, sexual harassment and sexual violence and applicability of Title IX to sexual orientation and gender identity. Speakers include Daiquiri Steele, who formerly served as a civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Education, where she provided legal counsel relating to federal investigations of discrimination involving the nation’s school districts, colleges, universities and state educational agencies.

    2:30-3:30 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 119/120

    “2018 Stonewall Awards” — Three longstanding activists – Jennifer L. Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project; Eduardo Juarez, supervisory trial attorney, San Antonio Field Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and Phyllis Randolph Frye, an associate judge for the Municipal Courts in Houston – will be honored by the ABA with its Sixth Annual Stonewall Award for advancing LGBT people in the legal profession and championing LGBT legal causes.

    5:30-7 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 109/110

    During the Midyear Meeting, accredited journalists should register onsite or pick up preregistered press credentials at the Vancouver Convention Centre West (Level 1), beginning at 2 p.m. on Jan. 31. A press room for accredited reporters will be provided at the VCC West (Ballroom A on Level 1), starting at noon on Feb. 1. The room will be open daily thereafter from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Feb. 5.

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.


    Immigration reform and bias in the justice system are among diversity and immigration highlights at American Bar Association meeting Feb. 1-5 in Vancouver

    January 17, 2018 8:19 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 16, 2018 — The impact of U.S. immigration reform and combating implicit bias in the justice system are chief among immigration and diversity legal issues that will be explored during the 2018 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting, Feb. 1-5 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    With several hundred top-quality legal programs and events, and presentations by America’s foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.

    The 601-member ABA House of Delegates—the association’s policy-making body—will meet Feb. 5, 8:30 a.m., in Ballroom B/C (Level 1) of the Vancouver Convention Centre. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.    

    Online registration is available for news reporters. Credential guidelines are here

    Diversity and immigration programs include:

    Friday, Feb. 2

    The Challenges for Women in Politics – Both Personal and Professional
    Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and former British Columbia Justice Minister and Attorney General Suzanne Anton, QC, will discuss the personal and professional challenges of women in politics.

    Noon-1:30 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Main Lobby Level, Seasons

    ABA and Canadian Legal Needs of Homeless Youth Learning Exchange: Improving Outcomes by Removing Legal Barriers U.S. and Canadian advocates, lawyers and service providers will gather for an interactive roundtable discussion on homeless youth, examining strategies in their respective countries to identify effective legal resources and referral systems; unmet needs and gaps in services; as well as current campaigns and model responses, such as Vancouver’s Pivot Legal Society and the new ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network.

    Noon-4 p.m., Fairmont Pacific Rim, Level 3, Star Sapphire Ballroom C

    Enhancing Justice, Reducing Bias: Next Steps— Experts in law and science will share proven strategies for combating the implicit biases that taint justice outcomes and impact diversity in the legal profession.

    1-2:30 p.m., The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Discovery Floor, Saturna Island

    The Power of Finding Your Voice— Former senior vice president of CNN Worldwide Parisa Khosravi will share her unique perspective on success honed from overcoming obstacles as an international female journalist, immigrant and mother. 

    4-5:30 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 118

    Saturday, Feb. 3

    “Lessons Across Borders:  What the U.S. and Canada Can Teach One Another About Establishing a Successful Immigration Policy”
    As the Trump administration supports the RAISE Act – an acronym for Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment – U.S. and Canadian immigration attorneys will examine the proposed measure, which reduces the number of legal immigrants into the United States and prioritizes high-skilled workers by setting up a merits-based system similar to those used by Canada and Australia. How well has the system worked in Canada and will it work in the United States?

    10:30 a.m.-Noon, Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 118

    “Spirit of Excellence Awards” — The ABA will recognize four legal professionals with its 2018 Spirit of Excellence Award for their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession: Alan N. Braverman, senior executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of The Walt Disney Company; Major General (ret.) Kenneth D. Gray, first African-American general in the history of the active Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.; Heather Kendall-Miller, senior staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund in Anchorage; and Judge James A. Wynn Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va.

    Noon-2 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, West Ballroom C

    The Current State of LGBT Law Under the Trump Administration — Top LGBT legal experts – Executive Director D’Arcy Kemnitz, National LGBT Bar Association; Associate Judge Phyliss Frye, Houston Municipal Courts; Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi, GLAD; and Legal Director Shannon Price Minter, National Center of Lesbian Rights – will consider recent advances and setbacks to LGBT law, focusing on such topics as the ban on transgender military personnel, the Department of Defense’s religious freedom memo and the Justice Department’s stance that the Civil Rights Act does not protect workers on the basis of their sexual orientation.

    2-3:30 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 109-110

    “Title IX Updates”
    — Panelists will discuss hot topics and recent developments in civil rights laws pertaining to both K-12 and postsecondary education. Topics addressed will include pregnant and parenting students, sexual harassment and sexual violence and applicability of Title IX to sexual orientation and gender identity. Speakers include Daiquiri Steele, who formerly served as a civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Education, where she provided legal counsel relating to federal investigations of discrimination involving the nation’s school districts, colleges, universities and state educational agencies.

    2:30-3:30 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 119/120

    “2018 Stonewall Awards” — Three longstanding activists – Jennifer L. Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project; Eduardo Juarez, supervisory trial attorney, San Antonio Field Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and Phyllis Randolph Frye, an associate judge for the Municipal Courts in Houston – will be honored by the ABA with its Sixth Annual Stonewall Award for advancing LGBT people in the legal profession and championing LGBT legal causes.

    5:30-7 p.m., Vancouver Convention Centre, West Level 1, Room 109/110

    During the Midyear Meeting, accredited journalists should register onsite or pick up preregistered press credentials at the Vancouver Convention Centre West (Level 1), beginning at 2 p.m. on Jan. 31. A press room for accredited reporters will be provided at the VCC West (Ballroom A on Level 1), starting at noon on Feb. 1. The room will be open daily thereafter from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Feb. 5.

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.


    CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo to speak at ABA Derivatives and Futures Law meeting

    January 11, 2018 2:39 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2018 — J. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will be the keynote luncheon speaker at the American Bar Association’s 2018 Derivatives and Futures Law Committee Meeting, Jan. 18-20 in Naples, Fla. The three-day conference will discuss such topics as the latest in enforcement and litigation, competition issues in the commodities markets and cybersecurity.

    Giancarlo, who was nominated to serve as CFTC chairman by President Donald Trump in March 2017, will deliver the keynote address on Friday, Jan. 19, from 12:45-2 pm. in the Bayview Ballroom at La Playa Beach & Golf Resort. Giancarlo had served as a CFTC commissioner since June 2014, having been by President Barack Obama in August 2013. Before entering public service, Giancarlo was executive vice president of GFI Group Inc., a financial services firm.

    What:  
    2018 Derivatives and Futures Law Committee Meeting
    Sponsored by the ABA Business Law Section

    When: 
    Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 18-20, 2018

    Where:
    La Playa Beach & Golf Resort
    9891 Gulf Shore Drive
    Naples, Fla. 34108

    Program highlights include:

    “Enforcement/Litigation Development” — Panelists, including James McDonald, director of CFTC’s Division of Enforcement, will examine current enforcement and litigation trends including the FCTC’s policies and practices in addressing cooperation with its investigations; self-reporting/whistleblowers’ current state of the law on manipulation; and cross-border enforcement, including dealing with the General Data Protection Regulation.

    Thursday, 2-4 p.m., Vanderbilt Ballroom

    “International Developments” — Panelists, including Eric Pan, director of CFTC’s Office of International Affairs, will discuss the latest international developments. Topics will include the global regulatory reform effort and its progression, regulatory reform in non-U.S. and non-EU jurisdictions and Brexit and its impact within Europe and on discussions with third-country jurisdictions.

    Friday, 8-9 a.m., Vanderbilt Ballroom

    “New Products/FinTech” — The panel will discuss legal and regulatory issues and developments in the rapidly changing areas of cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology, including blockchain. The discussion will include securities laws, commodities laws, state regulation and cross-border regulation. Panelists will discuss these issues from the perspectives of different categories of market participants, including purchasers and sellers of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency derivatives, and financial institutions and product developers with respect to distributed ledger technology. Among the speakers will be Brian D. Quintenz, CFTC commissioner.

    Friday, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Vanderbilt Ballroom

    “Competition Issues in the Commodities Markets” — The panel will discuss the convergence of commodities and competition law focusing on the special antitrust enforcement and private litigation considerations relevant to derivatives and commodities trading operations and markets. The discussion will touch on recent cases and theories of liability and penalties. Topics will include antitrust immunities and prohibitions of the Commodity Exchange Act, including restraining trading and market manipulation; application of antitrust laws to commodities markets; special considerations for traders, dealers, intermediaries and markets; and parallel and sequential CFTC and U.S. Department of Justice investigations, as well as private litigation. Panelists will include Daniel Davis, CFTC general counsel; and Gretchen Lowe from the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement. 

    Saturday, 9:30-10:45 a.m., Vanderbilt Ballroom

    A complete program schedule can be found online.

    There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Robert Robinson at 202-662-1097 or Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

    The ABA Business Law Section serves more than 50,000 professionals and students by providing exclusive resources designed to help members expand their knowledge, engage with a community and advance their experience. Learn more at www.ambar.org/blmembership.

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews

    Statement of ABA President Hilarie Bass Re: Immigration reform

    January 11, 2018 8:47 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2018 — The American Bar Association is encouraged by bipartisan discussions to address immigration reform and the plight of young people known as Dreamers. At the same time, we are concerned about the fate of approximately 250,000 Salvadorans, 60,000 Haitians and 5,000 Nicaraguans who have lost their temporary protected status in the past two months.

    This week’s announcement from the Department of Homeland Security about Salvadoran refugees recognized that some people with temporary protected status may be eligible for other protections under U.S. immigration law. The American Bar Association urges all individuals who risk losing their protected status to obtain qualified legal advice from a lawyer or accredited representative and to avoid individuals who lack proper credentials to practice immigration law.

    The ABA calls on Congress to work toward a bipartisan solution to establish comprehensive immigration reform for millions of hardworking immigrants who help sustain our nation and uphold our country’s founding principles.  

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

     

    ABA sections comment on European Commission’s impact assessment on fairness in platform-to-business relations

    January 10, 2018 11:28 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2018 — The American Bar Association sections of Antitrust Law and International Law have released comments on the European Commission’s Public Inception Impact Assessment on Fairness in Platform-to-Business Relations.

    These views are presented only on behalf of the sections. They have not been approved by the ABA House of Delegates or Board of Governors and should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.

    The cover letter and comments, dated Jan. 9, 2018, are available for review online.

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

    ABA President Hilarie Bass sends letter to Senate Judiciary Committee supporting sentence reform act

    January 9, 2018 9:24 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2018 — American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee strongly commending leaders of both parties for their bipartisan negotiations on complex sentencing and corrections issues that are desperately needed. The ABA urges members of the committee to promptly approve the bill without weakening amendments.

    The bill, S. 1917, does not go as far as the ABA would like in overhauling federal sentencing policy, but it takes many important steps forward to reduce reliance on mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenders and to improve sentencing and correction policies that affect juvenile justice.

    Read the letter here.

    Go to
    www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews

     

    Top officials from DOJ, FBI, DHS, FDIC to speak at ABA Fidelity and Surety Law meeting

    January 8, 2018 8:56 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 — Government officials from the Department of Justice, FBI, Homeland Security and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will be participants on various panel discussions during the American Bar Association  Fidelity and Surety Law 2018 Midwinter Conference, Jan. 24-26 in Washington, D.C.

    What:  
    The Fidelity and Surety Law 2018 Midwinter Conference
    Sponsored by the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

    When: 
    Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 24-26, 2018

    Where:
    JW Marriott Hotel
    1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Washington, D.C. 20004

    On Thursday, there will be a full-day construction program with an eye toward the surety professional. Entitled, “Construction—A Marvelous Mediation of Heroic Proportions:

    Insurance Coverages in Complex Construction Litigation,” the program runs from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will include 12 different mediation topic sessions.

    On Friday, there will be a full-day of surety programming focusing on the impact of arbitration on the surety, beginning at 8:45. And on Thursday and Friday, there will be fidelity programming addressing modern hazards and modern coverages, with a focus on the cyber world and cyber loss.

    Program highlights include:

    Presentation of the Section’s Martin J. Andrew Award to New Jersey and New York attorney Armen Shahinian with its Martin J. Andrew Award on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 8:15-8:30 a.m.  The Martin J. Andrew Award is the highest award given by the TIPS’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee. It is considered the pinnacle of achievement for anyone practicing fidelity and/or surety law. Shahinian practices in the areas of commercial litigation, construction litigation, fidelity and surety law and bankruptcy with Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi.

    “Cybercrime: Criminal Prosecution, Investigation, Homeland Security, Legislative Developments” — Panelists will focus on the various roles and responsibilities of the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and their component agencies, including the FBI, the DOJ’s Criminal Division and National Security Division; the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force; National Protection and Programs Directorate; and the U.S. Secret Service. The panel will provide an in-depth analysis of how these federal agencies work collaboratively with each other and private sector entities to prevent, mitigate, and manage cybersecurity risk. Moderating the panel will be Adam Hickey, deputy assistant attorney general, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. Speakers are: Richard Downing, deputy assistant attorney general, Criminal Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; Sean P. Farrell, chief, Office of the General Counsel, Cyber Law Unit, FBI, Washington, D.C.; and Thomas McDermott, deputy assistant secretary for Cyber Policy, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.

    Thursday, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

    “Needs of Your Insured Banks: FDIC And Regulatory Issues, Risks, Coverages” — This panel will focus on current cyber security issues unique to banks. The presenters will discuss the laws and regulatory guidance, the potential for future regulations and regulatory requirements, the events the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sees daily, and how banks can protect themselves against cybersecurity risk and exposure. Seeing how cyber security events interact with the regulatory guidelines will provide insight into cyber effects on banks in the world today. Speakers are: FDIC counsels Roy Ahrens and John Dorsey, both from Arlington, Va.; and Ryan J. Weeks, associate, Mills Paskert Divers, Tampa, Fla.

    Friday, 9:30-10:15 a.m.

    A complete program schedule can be found online.

    There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Robert Robinson at 202-662-1097 or Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

    The ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance, and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has about 17,000 members and over 30 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice. For more information about the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section visit the TIPS website, www.americanbar.org/tips.

    Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

    With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews

    New York, New Jersey attorney Armen Shahinian to receive ABA fidelity and surety law award

    January 8, 2018 8:53 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 — The American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section will honor New Jersey and New York attorney Armen Shahinian with its Martin J. Andrew Award on Jan. 25 during the Fidelity and Surety Law 2018 Midwinter Conference, Jan. 24-26 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.

    The Martin J. Andrew Award is the highest award given by the TIPS’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee. It is considered the pinnacle of achievement for anyone practicing fidelity and/or surety law.

    “During the decades that he has actively served the committee, Armen has devoted countless hours to supporting our members, encouraging participation in the committee from across our industry, and promoting scholarship in the law that is critical to our work,” said Toni Scott Reed, chair of the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee. “The strength and stability of the committee, and its success over time, are a direct result of his leadership, service, and skill.”

    Shahinian is a member of the firm Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi, where he practices in the areas of commercial litigation, construction litigation, fidelity and surety law and bankruptcy. He joined the firm in 1977 and today leads the firm’s nationally recognized Fidelity and Surety Group, one of the largest in the country.

    Shahinian is a longtime active member of the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Fidelity & Surety Law Committee, having served one year as chair in 2000. He has served as a member of the editorial board of TIPS’s quarterly publication “The Brief” and served as a member of TIPS’s Continuing Legal Education Board.  Shahinian is also a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee and served as its chair in 1992.

    He is a member of the board of directors of the Surety Claims Institute and editor-in-chief of its newsletter. He currently serves on the Attorney Advisory Council of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers and is an adviser to the Surety and Fidelity Claims Committees of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America. Shahinian is also a trustee of the Legal Services Foundation of Essex County. In the mid-1990s, he assisted with founding the Fidelity Law Association and currently serves as adviser emeritus.

    Shahinian is a graduate of New York University Law School, where he served as associate editor of the Annual Survey of American Law.

    Click here for a photo of Shahinian.

    There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Robert Robinson at 202-662-1097 or Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

    The ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance, and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has about 17,000 members and over 30 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice. For more information about the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section visit the TIPS website, www.americanbar.org/tips.

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