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Entries filed under 'Criminal Justice Section'

    Statement of ABA President Hilarie Bass Re: International Criminal Justice Day

    July 17, 2018 9:27 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, July 17, 2018 — On International Criminal Justice Day, the American Bar Association (ABA) recognizes the vitally important efforts of the international community to combat the atrocities of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. An effective international criminal justice system, led by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and national courts throughout the world, is essential to ending impunity for individuals who engage in atrocities, bringing justice to victims and their families, and achieving lasting international peace and security.

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute establishing the ICC. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been achieved and to acknowledge the important work yet to be accomplished.

    The ABA supported the establishment of a permanent international criminal justice tribunal beginning in 1978 and played an active role in the ICC’s founding in 1998.  We did so recognizing that accountability in international criminal law is indispensable to justice.  Indeed, preventing the worst of these crimes – genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity – is at the heart of the international order erected after the mass atrocities of World War II.  Their continuation today is an affront to human dignity and a failure of human institutions.

    Yet the ICC persists in its critical mission, and its hard-won successes to date give hope that justice will be served and future atrocities will be prevented.    

     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.

     

    Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to speak at ABA conference on Civil False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement

    June 7, 2018 9:33 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, June 7, 2018 — Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be the keynote speaker at the American Bar Association’s 12th National Institute on the Civil False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement, June 13-15 at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington D.C. Rosenstein, the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, will deliver his address on Thursday, June 14, at 12:15 p.m.

    What:
    12th National Institute on the Civil False
    Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement
    Presented by the ABA Criminal Justice Section,  
    Health Law Section, Section of Public Contract Law;
    and Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

    When:
    June 13-15, 2018

    Where:
    Hamilton Hotel
    1001 14th St. NW
    Washington, D.C. 20011

    The Civil False Claims Act (FCA) is the one of the fastest growing areas of federal litigation, with settlements and judgments totaling billions of dollars each year. The conference will bring together experts from all areas — the Justice Department, state attorneys general offices, leading defense and qui tam whistleblower firms — to discuss this ever-growing area of litigation and enforcement.

    A highlight of the conference will be Friday’s 12:15 p.m. “A View from the Bench” panel with federal judges Sara L. Ellis, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago; Michael Stephen Kanne, Seventh Circuit of Appeals, Chicago; and Manish S. Shah, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago. FCA practitioners must grapple with tough issues of the day, from what evidence will satisfy Escobar, to whether to rely on statistical sampling. This panel of judges will discuss with counsel from the government, relator’s bar and defense bar the practices and arguments that are most likely to persuade.

    Program topics include:

    • Ethics around to attorney-client privilege and its waiver, representation of employees in FCA investigations and use of internal documents by realtor’s counsel
    • FCA trials
    • Developments in health care fraud
    • Loan fraud
    • Procurement fraud
    • Grants and research misconduct
    • Liability developments
    • Damages and settlement strategy

    A complete agenda and updated list of speakers 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.

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to legal questions and issues. Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com and 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.

     

    ABA Legal Fact Check explores prosecutors' conflict of interest

    May 21, 2018 10:45 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, May 21, 2018 — The American Bar Association posted today a new ABA Legal Fact Check that explores when a prosecutor should consider stepping aside from a case because of a potential conflict of interest.

    Late last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was subjected to a sharp rebuke from Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, when he declined to say at a hearing whether his recusal from campaign-related investigations also extends to the federal inquiry into President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

    The new fact check explores the federal regulations related to recusal and under what circumstances a prosecutor is required to recuse himself/herself from a matter. Prosecutors are not automatically required to step aside in political matters unless a clear conflict exists under state model rules or federal regulations.

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. 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.

     

    DOJ officials, industry leaders to speak at ABA Institute of Health Care Fraud in San Francisco

    April 23, 2018 10:51 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, April 23, 2018 Department of Justice officials, state attorneys general and industry experts headline speakers for the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s 28th Annual National Institute on Health Care Fraud to be held May 2-4 in San Francisco.

    The three-day conference will feature two keynote speakers. Joseph Beemsterboer, deputy chief for Healthcare Fraud, Criminal Division, Justice Department in Washington, D.C, will speak at 9. a.m. on Thursday, May 3. On Friday, the luncheon keynote address will be delivered by A.G. Alexander, deputy administrator/director for the Center for Program Integrity, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington, D.C.

    What:  
    28th Annual National Institute on Health Care Fraud
    Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section

    When: 
    May 2-4, 2018

    Where:
    Hotel Nikko
    222 Mason St.
    San Francisco, Calif. 94102

    There will be workshops on Thursday and Friday on such topics as electronic medical records and the False Claims Act, enforcement and compliance – quality of care and medical necessity, fraud and abuse in long-term care and Medicaid fraud enforcement.

    Program highlights include:

    “Data Mining and Other Trends in Health Care Enforcement” — Panelists, including Carolyn Bell, assistant U.S. attorney for the Department of Justice in West Palm Beach, Fla., will discuss content management systems data mining, including how the government uses the information to identify targets and indict and how defendants can defend against the information.

    Wednesday, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    “False Claims Act Developments” — This panel will discuss important legal developments and current litigation and settlements in False Claims Act cases. Speakers include Saralyn Ang-Olson, director/senior assistant attorney general, California Department of Justice in Sacramento; and Benjamin C. Wei, senior trial counsel, Fraud Section, Civil Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

    Thursday, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    “Criminal, Civil and Administrative Enforcement in Kickback Cases” — This panel will review recent developments in the prosecution of violations of the anti-kickback statute in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings. Speakers include Sally Molloy, trial attorney, Fraud Section, Criminal Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; and Keshia Thompson, senior counsel, Administrative and Civil Remedies Branch, Office of Counsel to the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.

    Thursday, 1:30-2:45 p.m.

    Federal and State Enforcement and the Opioid Crisis” — Panelists will examine the federal and state investigative and enforcement efforts for combating the nationwide opioid crises. The group will also discuss the criminal and civil enforcement strategies and goals and the forecast for future progress. Speakers are: Gary Cantrell, deputy inspector general for investigations, Health and Human Services/Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Washington, D.C.; Larissa Payne, director, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Attorney General’s Office, Olympia, Wash.; David Rybicki, deputy assistant attorney general, Criminal Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; and Natalie Priddy Waites, senior counsel for Health Care Fraud, Civil Division/Fraud Section, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

    Friday, 2-3:15 p.m.

               

    A complete agenda and updated list of speakers 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.

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to legal questions and issues. Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com and 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.

    White collar crime, border searches of electronic devices are hot topics at ABA Criminal Justice Spring Meeting

    March 26, 2018 12:45 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, March 26, 2018 —  Judges, prosecutors, attorneys and other legal experts will discuss white collar crime, border searches of electronic devices, prosecuting children as adults and other hot topics during the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Session’s 2018 Spring Meeting April 5-8 in Tampa, Fla.

    What:        
    2018 Spring Meeting
    Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section                   

    When:       
    April 5-8, 2018        

    Where:      
    Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
    700 S. Florida Ave.
    Tampa, Fla. 33602             

    A highlight of the program will be a presentation by keynote speaker P. David Lopez, a Harvard professor and former general counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on Friday from 8:40-9 a.m. He will speak on the topic, “The 150th Anniversary of the 14th Amendment: Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

    Other program highlights include:

    “White Collar Crime Townhall: Lessons Learned from Handling High-Profile White Collar Cases Highly experienced trial lawyers discuss their handling of recent high-profile white collar cases including allegations of public corruption, health-care fraud and other criminal issues. This roundtable will address issues that frequently arise in high-profile investigations and prosecutions, including interacting with the Department of Justice, how to handle the “politician” client, addressing the media, getting paid (and other ethical issues) among other issues white collar lawyers face daily. Speakers are Kirk Ogrosky, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C.; and Claire Rauschler, Womble Bond Dickinson, Charlotte, N.C.

    Thursday, 4:30-6 p.m.

    “Clash of the Titans–Prosecutor’s Discretion vs the Executive’s Duty to Enforce Law” — Prosecutors are free to exercise discretion but what happens when that discretion is used to take a stance on a category of cases?  This panel will explore whether foregoing individualized assessments of a category of criminal cases is an abdication of the prosecutor’s office or upholding policy intended to increase fairness in the system.  Panelists will also specifically address Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s authority to take death penalty cases away from Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala. Panelists include: Aramis Ayala, state attorney, Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida; Joshua Marquis, district attorney, Clatsop County, Astoria, Ore.; Cynthia A. Stafford, Florida House of Representatives, Tallahassee; and Marcos Hasbun, attorney, Zuckerman Spaeder, Tampa. Moderator will be Melba Pearson, deputy director, ACLU Florida.

    Friday, 10-15-11:45 a.m.

    “Migration, Globalization and Criminal Law: Can the Law Keep Pace with the Migrants?” — Panelists will address the criminalization of migrating refugees and illegal aliens. How does an illegal alien establish legal status and access protection from the host country and when is this appropriate? If a migrant is detained, how do they arrange for representation upon arrival? Does resentment from citizens and legal residents impact the government’s ability to drive the response to migrant populations toward pragmatic solutions? Panelists are: Chris Rickerd, policy counsel, ACLU, Washington, D.C.; Bruce Zagaris, attorney, Berliner Corcoran & Rowe, LLP, Washington, D.C.; Judge Carlos Mendoza, Middle District of Florida, Orlando; Judge Anthony E. Porcelli, Middle District of Florida, Tampa; and Markus Rubenstahl, attorney, WisteV, Frankfurt, Germany. Moderator will be Tyler Hodgson, senior investigator, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

    Friday, 2-4 p.m.

    “Border Insecurity – The Changing Legal and Technical Landscape of Border Searches of Electronic Devices” — This panel will address the legal, technical and practical issues related to border searches of electronic devices – both entering and leaving the United States – and the implications for U.S. citizens, noncitizens, lawyers, journalists and those carrying proprietary or other confidential information on electronic devices when they travel internationally. The panel will discuss current Customs and Border Patrol policies and practices, potential reforms, the distinctions among different persons (i.e., lawyers, citizens, etc.) and current litigation challenging certain CBP procedures. Panelists are: Joshua Dratel, New York, N.Y.; and Laura Donohue, Georgetown Law School, Washington, D.C.

    Friday, 4:05-5:35 p.m.

    A complete agenda and updated list of speakers 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.

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to legal questions and issues. Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com and 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 on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

     

    Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein tells ABA meeting that history will show ‘Department of Justice operated with integrity’

    March 5, 2018 2:30 PM by glynnj

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who like his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has been publicly criticized by President Donald Trump, defended the Justice Department’s leadership during a speech on March 2 at the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s 32nd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime in San Diego.

    “You will not always agree with our policy decisions, and you definitely won’t hear this on cable TV, but the department leadership team appointed by President Trump is very strong on ethics and professionalism. History will reflect that the Department of Justice operated with integrity on our watch,” Rosenstein said in a prepared statement.

    His speech came two days after President Trump blasted Sessions on Twitter for instructing Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate the FBI’s activities surrounding surveillance of former campaign adviser Carter Page starting in late 2016, and on the heels of a Washington Post story that said President Trump privately refers to his attorney general as the cartoon character Mr. Magoo.

    Rosenstein himself has not escaped the barbs of the president, who in news reports has called the deputy attorney general “weak,” a “threat” to his presidency, and last month asking Rosenstein if he was “on my team.”

    Rosenstein, who said he began attending the white-collar seminars 27 years ago, said it was good to be in San Diego. “First of all, this is just about the farthest you can get from Washington, D.C., without leaving the continental United States,” he joked. “It is good for the soul to spend time beyond the Beltway,” he said.

    Rosenstein, who was sworn in as the nation’s 37th deputy attorney general in April 2017 by Sessions, said he has served under nine attorneys general during his varied career at the Justice Department. “They taught me that the Department of Justice stands for the principle that every American deserves equal protection under the rule of law,” he said. “Our friends deserve it, and our enemies deserve it. They deserve it whether they are innocent or guilty. They deserve it whether they are rich or poor. They deserve it whether they are Republican or Democrat.”

    “That requires us to be faithful to the pursuit of truth,” he continued. “For lawyers, truth is about credible evidence, not strong opinions.... People who seek the truth need to avoid confirmation bias. They must remain open to the possibility that the truth may not match their preconceptions. Pursuing truth means always yielding to the facts, even if they run contrary to our expectations.”

    Rosenstein said that federal prosecutors exercise great care before alleging wrongdoing. He said the judicial officer must be concerned about what is legal. “What is right is a matter of personal opinion,” Rosenstein said. “What is legal is an objective issue of fact and law.”

    Government officials who exercise discretion, he said, have a special obligation to make the right choice. “That requires experience, good judgment and wisdom.”

    Rosenstein said he’s keenly aware that “controversy is part of the job” of being an attorney general and that mistakes will be made along the way. However, he said he pledged not to repeat any of the mistakes of previous department officials and that he now tries to pass that wisdom on.

     “The rule of law is not just about words on paper. Any nation can write a good Constitution and adopt reasonable laws. The question is whether people will faithfully implement them. So, the rule of law depends on the character of the people who enforce the law.”

    Rosenstein said that what you hear about on the news is a very small fraction of the work performed by the DOJ’s 115,000 employees.

    “As I reflect on the accomplishments of the Department of Justice over the past year, I am proud of the remarkable dedication of our attorneys at Main Justice and the 94 United States Attorney’s Offices, of our FBI and other law enforcement agents and of the support staff and professionals who make our work possible,” he said, noting fraud convictions of 234 individuals by the DOJ in 2017. “We are aggressively pursuing crimes that pose imminent dangers, including terrorism, gang violence, drug trafficking, child exploitation, elder abuse and human smuggling.  And we remain steadfast in combatting financial and economic crime.”

    Rosenstein concluded his speech by noting that principled disagreement is essential in a democracy.

    “In a time of strong political passions, lawyers have a special responsibility to demonstrate why law and logic are essential to the peaceful resolution of disputes,” he said.

    The annual three-day gathering of the ABA’s national white-collar bar brings together more than 1,200 leading federal and state judges and prosecutors, law enforcement officials, defense attorneys, corporate in-house counsel and members of the academic community. This year’s lineup of speakers included a keynote speech by David Green, director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, and presentations from 13 federal trial and appellate judges.

     

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to speak at ABA White Collar Crime Conference

    February 8, 2018 2:49 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2018 — Rod Jay Rosenstein, deputy attorney general for the Department of Justice, and David Green, director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, will deliver keynote speeches at the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s 32nd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime to be held Feb. 28-March 2 in San Diego.

    This annual gathering of the national white-collar bar brings together more than 1,200 leading federal and state judges and prosecutors, law enforcement officials, defense attorneys, corporate in-house counsel and members of the academic community. This year’s lineup of speakers includes 13 federal trial and appellate judges.

    What:  
    32nd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime
    Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Session

    When: 
    Feb. 28-March 2, 2018

    Where:
    Hilton San Diego Bayfront
    1 Park Blvd.
    San Diego, Calif. 92101

    Rosenstein, who was sworn in as the 37th deputy attorney general on April 26, 2017, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will deliver the keynote address on Friday, March 2, at 9:15 a.m.

    Green’s E Lawrence Barcella Memorial Keynote Address is scheduled for Thursday, March 1, at 9:30 a.m. as one of the conference’s three plenary sessions.

    The three-day conference will feature three key plenary sessions:

    Thursday, March 1, 10 a.m.: A panel of U.S. Circuit and District Court judges will engage in a discussion titled, “The Evolving Challenge of Judging: 2018 Edition.” They will discuss some of the personal and professional challenges and difficult substantive issues they confront in the administration of justice.  Moderating the panel will be Paul L. Friedman, U.S. District judge, Washington, D.C. Speakers are Paul D. Borman, U.S. District judge, Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit; Brian A. Jackson, chief judge, Middle District of Louisiana, Baton Rouge; Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District judge Northern District of California, San Jose; Benita Y. Pearson, U.S. District judge, Northern District of Ohio, Youngstown; Janis L. Sammartino, U.S. District judge, Southern District of California, San Diego; and Amy J. St. Eve, U.S. District judge, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago.

    Friday, March 2, 9:45 a.m.: Panel discussion titled, “Prying Eyes: Think Confidential and Privileged Client Information is Safe at the Border? Think Again.” Panelists will discuss the ethical issues presented by warrantless searches of digital devices by Department of Homeland Security at the border, even where there is no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, the recent raid of Jones Day’s offices in Munich in the Audi investigation and the UK High Court ruling requiring the disclosure of attorneys’ interview notes taken during an internal investigation. Speakers include Joseph B. Maher, DHS acting general counsel; and David Green, director of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

    Program highlights include:

    “The Global Reach of Money Laundering Enforcement” — This panel will discuss the ever-increasing number of international matters initiated and resolved by the Department of Justice, and will explore the foreign crimes that can be predicate offenses for money laundering and the required U.S. nexus for the same. Moderating the panel will be Mara V. J. Senn, Kleptocracy Initiative Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, Criminal Division, DOJ. Speakers include M. Kendall Day, acting deputy assistant attorney general, Criminal Division, DOJ. Washington, D.C.; and Monty Raphael QC, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP, London.

    Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.

    “Meet the SEC Enforcement Directors: Q & A on SEC Enforcement” — Stephanie Avakian and Steven R. Peikin, co-directors of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement in Washington, D.C., will discuss the agency’s enforcement priorities.

    Wednesday, 3 p.m.

    “Cross-Border Enforcement: US Economic and Trade Sanctions Prosecutions” — Panelists will discuss the regulatory and enforcement priorities of the DOJ, Office of Foreign Assets Control and Department of Commerce; the evolving reach of U.S. sanctions law; and the assessment of risk for clients engaged in business relating to Iran, China, Russia and Cuba. Speakers include Jay I. Bratt, chief for Export Controls and Sanctions, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section National Security Division, DOJ, Washington, D.C.; and Michael Dondarski, assistant director for Enforcement Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington, D.C.

    Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.

    “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Recent Developments and Government Priorities” — Panelists will review bribery enforcement during the past year, DOJ and SEC priorities under the Trump administration, including any changes in extraterritorial reach and cooperation, credit policies, sharing of fines with foreign law enforcement authorities and application of the pilot program. Panelists will also consider the recent limits on SEC disgorgement actions. Speakers include Charles E. Cain, chief, FCPA Unit Enforcement Division, SEC, Washington, D.C.; and Daniel S. Kahn, chief, FCPA Unit, deputy chief, Fraud Section Criminal Division, DOJ, Washington, D.C.

    Thursday, 1:45 p.m.

    “CFTC Enforcement: Recent Developments and Speculative Prognostication” — The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act changed many things for many people in the American financial markets, but perhaps no agency was as profoundly impacted as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Eight years on, the Enforcement Division is making regular use of its new authority and has obtained significant results. Will the toughness continue, or will the current administration be more deferential to the derivatives industry? Speakers include James McDonald, director, CFTC Enforcement Division in Washington, D.C.; and Manal Sultan, deputy director, CFTC Division of Enforcement.

    Thursday, 1:45 p.m.

    “Defending Multi-National Investigations” — This international panel will discuss the expanding cooperation between national law enforcement authorities, the scope and limits of corporate liability in major foreign jurisdictions, differing enforcement tools and trends, self-reporting, joint efforts by an international defense team and fashioning global settlements. Speakers are Adriana Dantas, Barbosa Müssnich Aragão São Paulo, Brazil; Saverio Lembo, Bär & Karrer Ltd., Geneva, Switzerland; Stéphane de Navacelle, Navacelle Law, Paris; Judith Seddon, Clifford Chance, LLP, London.

    Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

    A complete agenda of the program can be found online.

    This event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Robert Robinson at robert.robinson@americanbar.org.

    The ABA Criminal Justice Section is the unified voice of criminal justice judges, private criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, public defenders, academics and other professionals. The section, with more than 15,000 members, brings together all the various actors to improve the criminal justice system, address today’s most pressing issues and to serve its members, the profession and the public.

    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

    Video highlights: Recovering lawyers address substance abuse and mental health issues plaguing the profession

    February 3, 2018 9:21 PM by glynnj

    Lawyers share their recovery stories to educate and encourage all stakeholders in the profession— from judges, legal regulators and legal employers,  to representatives of law schools, bar associations and lawyer assistance programs—to learn how and know when to refer those needing help to lawyer assistance programs.     

    Panelists also discussed regaining work-life balance and recognizing addictive behavior during the ABA Midyear Meeting program titled, “Attorney Well-Being: It’s Your Life in the Balance, Right?” on Feb. 2 in Vancouver.

    Video highlights: Technical, legal experts make case for ensuring reliable election results

    February 3, 2018 4:38 PM by glynnj

    Fundamental concerns plaguing both the U.S. and Canadian voting systems are the focus of an ABA Midyear Meeting program titled, “Democracy on the Edge: Security, e-Voting, and the Challenge of Verifying the People’s Choice” on Feb. 2  in Vancouver. 

    Citing the uproar over allegations of hacking and foreign meddling in the 2016 election, technical and legal experts discuss the risks of e-voting and solutions for preventing irregularities. 

    Recovering lawyers stress that learning to ask for help is key to attorney well-being

    February 3, 2018 1:21 PM by glynnj

    Raul Ayala has been a practicing attorney in California for more than 36 years and he’s a recovering alcoholic.

    Derek LaCroix is a non-practicing attorney and he’s been in recovery for more than 30 years.

    Amanda Richards, a first-year law student in British Columbia, struggled with mental health issues and substance abuse before going to law school.

    All three shared their stories and put a face on the sobering statistics that reveal that 1 in 5 lawyers are alcoholics and 1 in 4 are depressed. But they also want everyone to know that if you are struggling you don’t have to suffer in silence, that you are not alone and that you can get help.

    Ayala, LaCroix and Richards participated on panel “Attorney Well-Being: It’s Your Life in the Balance, Right?” held Feb. 2 at ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver. The program was sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. Panelists were:

    • Ayala, deputy federal public defender in Los Angeles
    • LaCroix, QC, director of the Lawyer Assistance Program in British Columbia
    • Richards, 1L, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
    • Bree Buchannan, attorney, director of the Texas Lawyer Assistance Program, chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistant Programs and co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being
    • Tracy Kepler, attorney, director of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, former president of National Association of Bar Counsel

    Ayala provided an overview of how the rigors of the profession can lead to substance abuse, physical and mental health problems.

    “Early in my career I was an active alcoholic. I was a private practitioner with no oversight and for me it was a pretty bad combination,” Ayala said. “Before I went to law school I already had two DUIs and a third one in the making. If I was applying for permission to the bar now, I would have a real problem. I’d be required now to go to through LAP (Lawyer Assistance Program) before I got admitted. So, it’s a lot different now.”

    LaCroix focused on stress and said lawyers must learn to self-regulate. “If you are always fighting, it’s going to affect your brain. Yes, you have to work hard. That’s not the problem,” he said. “The problem is we go to battle but when we come out and we forget to de-stress, we forget about our families and we forget about spirituality.”

    He offered some ways to recognize addictive behavior, including changes in behavior, attendance, performance and personal habits. “

    These can be early warning signs,” Ayala said. “But get help. What shocks me most is how resistant lawyers are to getting help.”

    The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being is one resource to get that help. Buchannan was appointed by ABA President Hilarie Bass as a co-chair of the task force, which recently launched its website, www.lawyerwellbeing.net. The genesis of the task force was two published studies that looked at the rate of substance abuse disorders, mental health disorders and the abysmal rate of help seeking by both law students and lawyers. The law students survey found that one-quarter of students were at risk for alcoholism, 17 percent suffered from depression and 6 percent had suicidal thoughts in the last year. The lawyers survey revealed that 21 percent of licensed, employed attorneys qualify as problem drinkers, 28 percent struggle with some level of depression and 11.5 percent admitted to having suicidal thoughts at some time during their career.

    “Those of us who do this work, we didn’t have any of these statistics or hard data that these studies showed,” Buchannan said. “I think the thing our profession has to worry about is that these studies showed very demonstrably that the younger the lawyer, the higher the rate of impairment of whatever kind – depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorder.”

    The task force issued a report with 44 recommendations directed at law firms, law schools, regulators, the judiciary, bar associations and professional liability carriers.

    The report defines well-being as “a continuous process toward thriving across all life dimensions,” and it zeroed in on six key dimensions: Occupational, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, Physical and Social.

    Buchannan said the report addressed the stigma associated to getting help. “We have to make it okay to talk about substance abuse, depression, mental health issues, suicide that is occurring in the profession,” she said. “We must educate all sectors of the profession on these issues so that they can identify it and know how to handle it. You don’t need to diagnose, you don’t need to cure, you don’t need to treat. But you do need to know how and when to refer lawyers and law students to your lawyer assistance programs.”

    Buchannan said the task force is “passing the ball” to the chief justices of each of the states supreme court to make this a priority.

    Kepler discussed attorney discipline. Among the quick facts she presented were:

    • That of the most common violations, 61 percent come from poor attorney-client relations (failure to communicate with client, fee disputes, neglect of case).  
    • The most serious violations include conversion/misappropriation of client funds, conviction of a crime, lack of candor to the tribunal. “The conviction of a crime really goes to the heart and soul of some of the problems that we are seeing in regard to the alcohol use, opioid use or the methamphetamine use where attorneys are using prescriptions that often aren’t theirs and they are actually violating criminal laws to continue that use.”
    • Ignorance of ethics rules, personal financial pressure, pressure to get and retain clients, substance abuse/mental health Issues, cognitive impairment (e.g., dementia) are frequently why lawyers violate the rules.
    • Most grievances come from angry former clients and reports from other attorneys.
    • Criminal law is the specialization that gets the most grievances.
    • Studies show that 40 percent to 60 percent of lawyers facing disciplinary charges suffer from some type of addiction or mental illness.
    • In 2016 statistics from Illinois, 31 percent of lawyers disciplined had an impairment issue.

    Regulation authorities, according to Kepler, have become more proactive in their approach to get attorneys to deal with these issues, to talk about them and get help before they lead to a complaint. “What we have learned is that discipline or disciplinary sanction is not going to make a lawyer well.”

    First-year law student Amanda Richards said she entered school having a vision for herself and knowing who she was “and quickly found out that law school is a disaster. That people are anxious. There really isn’t much help for us.”

    Having dealt with her own issues prior to entering law school, Richards said it is “terrifying” to see so many of her fellow law students anxious and depressed. “I’m constantly talking friends down. There is so much pressure when you come to law school and most people are so terrified to ask for help.”

    Richards said she believes lawyers’ substance abuse and mental health issues begin in law school. “I don’t have the answers but my goal is to get these talks going at law school and to say to people that it’s ok to struggle and it’s ok to ask for help.”