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Immigration, wiretapping, voting rights among highlights at American Bar Association Meeting Aug. 7-12 in Boston


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Immigration, wiretapping, voting rights among highlights at American Bar Association Meeting Aug. 7-12 in Boston

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2014 — The border crisis of unaccompanied children entering the United States, the ongoing revelations concerning NSA wiretapping of U.S. law firms and efforts to restore voting rights are chief among 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.) and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (Aug. 9, 4 p.m.). Roberts, who will be the Keynote Speaker at the ABA House of Delegates meeting at the Hynes Convention Center, will speak about the historic and present-day significance of Magna Carta as part of the 800th anniversary of the great charter. In addition, David Boies and Ted Olson, who fought to overturn California’s Proposition 8, will discuss Hollingsworth v. Perry, their 2013 Supreme Court victory.

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

Legal affairs programs include:

Thursday, Aug. 7

Protecting Your Employees from Harm while Accommodating Mental Illness - Are Employers In a Bind?” — A panel will discuss the complicated issues surrounding the potential conflict between protecting employees from workplace violence and the legal obligations toward employees with disabilities.

9-10:15 a.m., Room 103, Plaza Level, Hynes Convention Center

Legal Challenges for Returning Service Members” — A look at the laws that protect service members and their families. What are the rights and obligations of those who interact with them, including employers, creditors and others?

10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Room 103, Plaza Level, Hynes Convention Center

Friday, Aug. 8

Affordable Care Act: Current and Anticipated Growing Pains” — Panelists will discuss the difficulties related to the ACA’s implementation, including corporate restructurings, litigation issues surrounding mandates, 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?Panelists, including youth court advocates, the judiciary, academia and juvenile practitioners, will discuss the costs and benefits of formal juvenile court decisions, from removal from home to incarceration.

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

“Don’t Play With Your Food – The New Federal Crackdown on Food Fraud” — United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Andrew Boutros will lead panelists in a discussion of the criminal, regulatory, and compliance implications of food fraud violations.

10:45 a.m.-noon, Room 209, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

“A Review on the National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws Report” — One year after the Trayvon Martin case verdict, the ABA National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws will present the findings from the 2013 public hearings it held in five cities to explore the impact of the state statutes that have dramatically expanded the bounds of self-defense laws in more than half the jurisdictions in the United States.

1-3 p.m., Room 204, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

Beating or Joining the Disruptors: How to Prosper, Ethically, in the New Landscape of Legal Service Delivery”— This program provides an overview of the current landscape of entrants in the legal services market, how lawyers can compete against — or work with —  them, and the ethics rules that come into play.

2-3:30 p.m., Westminster, 2nd Floor, Hilton Boston Back Bay

BYOD: ‘Bring your Own Device’ or ‘Bring your Own Disaster’?” — Learn how a BYOD policy could save your client from — or expose your client to — trouble with harassment complaints, driving/texting liability, litigation holds, document retrieval, trade secret protection, data breaches, malware and other serious BYOD risks.

2-3:30 p.m., Essex Ballroom North, 3rd Floor, Westin Copley Place

“A Turn to Justice: Examining the Dream of Brown and the Civil Rights Act”Despite passage of 50 years or more, significant disparities related to race and ethnicity exists with respect to both education and employment. ABA Past President Dennis W. Archer Jr. will be the speaker as panelists discuss the impact of Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as strategies for reducing existing disparities. 

3-5 p.m., Rooms 302/304, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

Saturday, Aug. 9

“The Case for Marriage Equality” — David Boies and Ted Olson, who fought to overturn California’s Proposition 8, will discuss Hollingsworth v. Perry, their 2013 Supreme Court victory. The lawyers are the authors of the new book, “Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality.”

10:30 a.m.-noon, Room 312, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center.

“Chasing Change: Why the Legal Profession will Never Be the Same, and What It Means to You” — A panel of "futurists" from legal practice and academia, including legal industry analyst Jordan Furlong, will share their visions of change as well as practical wisdom on ways lawyers and the profession must adapt to a new legal world or be left behind. The legal ethics of system change will be emphasized.

10:30 a.m.-noon, Room 203, Level 2, 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 ABA President Jim Silkenat and 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 a.m.-noon, Room 207, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

Shelby County v. Holder: Its Impact & Implications” — Panelists will discuss the impact and implications of the Supreme Court ruling one year later. The session explores discriminatory voting practices, legislative efforts to restore invalidated provisions of the Voting Rights Act and the demographic trends that will influence the future of voting.

10:30 a.m.-noon, Room 306, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

“The Changing Legal Landscape of Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights: The Struggle for Control” — Panelists will discuss the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and analyze its impact on future appeals of legislative restrictions affecting women’s reproductive health.

10:30 a.m.-noon, Room 202, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center


“The Evolution of Cybersecurity and Planning for a Response” – As incidents of cyberhacking rise, U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin, D-RI, co-founder of the Congressional  Cybersecurity Caucus, and other panelists will discuss current cyber threats, applicable laws and security standards.

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

“Law as a Platform for Writing” — Prominent authors Richard North Patterson, Allison Leotta, Charles Ogletree and Talmage Boston will discuss their legal writing careers.

12:30-1:30 p.m., Exhibit Hall C, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

From Guantanamo to Boston:  The War on Terror and the Rule of Law” — This interactive program, which includes a panel of experts such as Harvard Law Professor Phillip Heymann, explores whether our responses to terrorist activity have strained the rule of law to the breaking point, and whether – as in the days of the Boston Massacre – there is still room for extremely unpopular defendants to get a fair trial.

2-3 p.m., Room 312, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

No Deportation Without Representation?” — Panelists, including the director of the DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review Juan Osuna, will discuss the legal and practical challenges that detained adults, minors and those who are mentally disabled face. They will examine current immigration policy, an in-custody detainee’s right to legal representation in immigration and deportation proceedings and immigration backlogs.

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

“Privacy and Cybersecurity: New Issues on the Horizon — Panelists will examine issues related to health information and privacy, including: Privacy issues in the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges, safeguarding patient-generated health data on mobile devices, privacy issues surrounding genetic information and use of genetic data for research.

2-3:30 p.m., Room 203, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

On the Docket: The 2013 Supreme Court Term” — Prominent journalists, Supreme Court practitioners and constitutional law scholars look at the recently completed Supreme Court term and offer a preview of headline cases for the term starting in October. Topics include the Court’s rulings on protests at abortion clinics, the role of religion in government proceedings, police search practices and the procedures regulating class actions.

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

“Law Firm Models: Improving Gender Equity and Performance,” – A panel, including influential business thinker Rosabeth Moss Kanter, will answer the question, “How can your law firm use its organizational model to increase both inclusion and revenue generation?”

2–3:30 p.m., Room 208, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

“Low-Tech Lawyer's Guide to Ethical Competence in a Digital Age” — Lawyers are ethically responsible for providing competent representation to clients.  But how do they ensure competence when using new and continually evolving technologies such as social media, QR Codes, increasingly sophisticated handheld devices, and “the Cloud”?  A panel will engage attendees in an interactive session.

2-3:30 p.m., Room 202, Level 2, Hynes Convention Center

“True Grit and a Growth Mindset: The Secrets of Success for Women Lawyers” — Panelists will engage participants in a discussion about two of the characteristics that successful women attorneys have in common — grit and growth mindset. This session will examine the science behind these traits and equip participants with the tools they need to assess their mindset, apply the concept to performance evaluations and incorporate them in professional development programs.

2-3:30 p.m., Room 310, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

“Wiretapping of Attorney-Client Conversations: How Can Professional Secrecy be Protected?” — This program will compare aspects of eavesdropping of attorney-client conversations under the laws of the United States and in Europe to identify safeguards that can be adopted in response to this direct challenge to the most cherished principle of the legal profession worldwide.

2-3:30 p.m., Room 302, Level 3, Hynes Convention Center

Sunday, Aug. 10

What Lawyers Need to Know about Same-Sex Marriage After US v. Windsor and Hollingsworth vs. Perry: Implications for Employment Law, Litigation and Public Policy” — A panel of experts – including Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims and Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders – will explain the status of the law and the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision. Speakers will examine areas of public policy, litigation, labor and employment law, including how employers can navigate differences between federal and state law on same-sex marriage.

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

Federal Courts at the Intersection of Law and Politics” — Panelists will discuss the process of federal judicial appointments, how politics have impacted that process and how the Senate’s new rules may affect the federal judiciary.

10:30 a.m.-noon, Room 312, Level 3, Haynes Convention Center

Somebody’s Watching! Nuts and Bolts of Law Firm Cybersecurity” — A panel will review the key steps attorneys must take to address potential security breaches proactively, including how to conduct a risk assessment and identify and prioritize the most critical security controls that will reduce risk now for you and your clients.

10:30 a.m.-noon, Room 313, 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.