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Immigration and insurance fraud among local news highlights at American Bar Association Meeting Aug. 7-12 in Boston


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Immigration and insurance fraud among local news highlights at American Bar Association Meeting Aug. 7-12 in Boston

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2014 — Insurance fraud in Massachusetts and personal data privacy and risks in health care are chief among local and regional legal issues that will be explored at the 2014 American Bar Association Annual Meeting Aug. 7-12 in Boston.

High-profile speakers at the meeting include Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. (Aug. 11, 11 a.m.), who will speak about Magna Carta, and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (Aug. 9, 4 p.m.), who will keynote the ABA Assembly and present the ABA Medal. Also, Juan Osuna, director of the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review will participate in a panel addressing federal immigration policy. Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance Robert A. Whitney and Executive Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts Daniel Johnston, are among panelists who will discuss insuring against terrorism and combating insurance fraud in Massachusetts.

In addition to the more than 1,100 events at this premier gathering of legal professionals, the ABA House of Delegates — the association’s policymaking body — will meet at 9 a.m. on Aug. 11-12 at the Hynes Convention Center Ballroom, Level 3. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the two-day session, click here

Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are here.  

Local and regional news programs include:

Thursday, Aug. 7

Insuring Against Terrorism — TRIA and Private Insurance in the Wake of the Boston Bombings” — The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings resulted in $23 million in health insurance claims and $2.5 million in property and casualty losses, among damages. Robert A. Whitney, deputy commissioner and general counsel of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, and other panelists will discuss the actions taken by the Division of Insurance to ensure proper claims handling and the issues that arose in adjusting claims submitted to private carriers. It will also delve into the role of Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, the federally mandated terrorism insurance program set to expire this year.

3:30–5 p.m., Press Room, Mezzanine Level, Omni Parker House

Friday, Aug. 8

Affordable Care Act: Current and Anticipated Growing Pains” — Senior trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor in Boston, James Glickman, will be among the panelists to address commonly raised issues as well as anticipated ones, such as corporate restructurings, litigation issues surrounding mandates, the scope of essential health benefits and controversies about coverage of contraceptives.

8–9:15 a.m., Room 103, Plaza Level, Hynes Convention Center

Peer Justice: Can There Be ‘Judgment By One's Own Peers’ in the Juvenile Justice System?” — A panel of youth court advocates will discuss the costs and benefits of formal juvenile court decisions, from removal from home to incarceration. Speakers include: Scott Bernard Peterson of Global Youth Justice and Anthony Petrosino, senior research associate at WestEd.

8:30–10 a.m., Room 209, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

Bullyproof: The Impact of Bias and How it Leads to Bullying” — Panelists, including  representatives from the Boston Public Schools, Anti-Defamation League and Boston College, will discuss the types of biases that exist and share insight on the latest statistics citing an increase of bullying within certain demographics. They will also advise on how bullying can be addressed in schools, in the workplace and other areas of life where it is a problem.

9:15–10:15 a.m., Back Bay Ballroom C, 2nd Floor, Sheraton Boston Hotel

Collision Course Ahead? Personal Data Privacy vs. Corporate Security in a BYOD World” — Already a data security and personal privacy concern, BYOD is also a potential tax problem, as well as a foundation for employee-employer (and even trade union) disputes. A panel of data security and privacy experts will discuss the variables and red flags in international privacy and security laws and regulations, contradictory tax laws, cyber breach insurance policies, corporate policies and device proliferation. Speakers include: Don Ulsch, managing director of IT Security, Privacy and Risk at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ellen Giblin, lead privacy and data protection counsel at Ashcroft Sullivan.

3:30–5 p.m., Room 209, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center


Combating Insurance Fraud—Insurance Regulators, Insurers and Attorneys” — Daniel Johnston, executive director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts and Rob Whitney, general counsel of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, will be among the speakers addressing the systemic costs of insurance fraud and the innovative joint effort by the Massachusetts DOI and the insurance industry to tackle systemic fraud problems that had earned Massachusetts – justly or not – the reputation as “the Insurance Fraud Capital of the United States.”

3:30–5 pm, Kennedy Room, Lobby Level, Omni Parker House

Saturday, Aug. 9

'...and Justice for Some': Unconscious Bias & The Law” — Renowned thought leaders will engage in a dialogue about the impact of unconscious racial/ethnic bias in our justice system today through the lens of recent incidents, such as the 2009 arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the 2013 trial of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. Panelists include: Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. and Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

10:30 a.m.–noon, Room 309, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

“Combating Gun Violence: A Role for Lawyers and the Bar” In the vacuum of leadership on this issue, communities must find ways to create dialogue among police, public officials and community-based organizations to address the challenges related to gun violence. This panel, which includes Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, will discuss current Second Amendment law and developments in other related fields, such as public health and legislative initiatives.

10:30-noon, Room 207, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

No Deportation Without Representation? — Panelists, including Juan Osuna, director of the DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review, will examine the legal and practical challenges faced by detained individuals – including minors and other vulnerable immigrants –held in detention centers throughout the United States, review the current state of the law and immigration policies and review programs providing appointed legal representation.

2–3:30 p.m., Room 207, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

From Guantanamo to Boston: The War on Terror and the Rule of Law” — The Boston Marathon bombing prompts us to examine the friction between the war on terror and the rule of law, including due process rights, free speech and assembly and protections against invasion of privacy. With video presentations and panel debate among experts such as Harvard Law Professor Phillip Heymann, this program explores whether our responses to terrorism have strained the rule of law to the breaking point.

2–3:30 p.m., Room 312, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

“On the Docket: The 2013 Supreme Court Term”Prominent journalists, Supreme Court practitioners and constitution law scholars — including Suffolk law professor Renée M. Landers — will review the recently completed U.S. Supreme Court term and look to what is expected in October. Issues involving the Court’s recent decisions on free speech, religious rights, health care, cell phone searches and business law will be examined.

2–3:30 p.m. Room 311, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center


Sunday, Aug. 10

Federal Courts at the Intersection of Law and Politics” — Panelists, including U.S. District Judge Denise Casper for the District of Massachusetts, will review the process for federal judicial appointments under the Constitution, explore how politics have affected that process and consider how recent events such as the Senate's new rules may impact the federal judiciary as well as law in American society.  

10:30–noon, Room 312, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

“From Kindergarten to the NFL: Combating Bullying Without Violating Rights” — Panelists, including civil rights lawyer with the Boston Anti-Defamation League Melissa Garlick, will address First Amendment rights and measures to control bullying. They will also discuss perspectives and strategies to prevent and counter unlawful harassment.

10:30–noon, Room 203, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

Legal Challenges to Hate Speech: Historical Perspectives and Current Controversies” — Experts, including Cambridge Public Schools’ legal counsel Maureen MacFarlane, will review the historical underpinnings of hate speech and analyze Sapiro v. Ford, the first modern hate speech case. Potential criminal and civil remedies will be examined, including First Amendment challenges to criminal and civil actions.

10:30 a.m.–noon, Room 310, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

Monday, Aug. 11

“Annual Meeting Keynote by Chief Justice Roberts” Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. will keynote the American Bar Association House of Delegates meeting, where he will speak about the historical and present-day significance of the Magna Carta, which laid the groundwork for representative democracy and the rule of law upon its signing in June 1215. His appearance will officially kick off the commemorative activities by the ABA and others of the document’s 800th anniversary next year.

11 a.m., Ballroom, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center.

For a full list of programs at the 2014 ABA Annual Meeting, click here for instructions on downloading the program guide app available for mobile devices and desktop computers.

During the Annual Meeting, accredited journalists should register on site at the Hynes Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D, Level 2, beginning at noon on Aug. 6. A press room for accredited reporters will be provided in the same area of the Hynes Convention Center, starting at 9 a.m. on Aug. 7. The room will be open daily thereafter from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will close one hour after the House of Delegates adjourns on Aug. 12.

With nearly 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 and on Twitter @ABANews.

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