The increasingly contentious judicial confirmation process, immigration and other enforcement priorities for the Trump administration, as well as lessons learned from Florida’s Zika virus outbreak are chief among legal issues that will be explored at the 2017 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting Feb. 1-6 in Miami.
With several hundred top-quality legal programs and events, and presentations by the country’s foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.
The 589-member ABA House of Delegates — the association’s policy-making body — will meet Feb. 6, 9 a.m., in the James L. Knight Center (3rd Floor) of the Hyatt Regency Miami. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.
Thursday, Feb. 2
“Treading Water: Fighting the Rising Tide of Student Debt” — As educational debt approaches $1.4 trillion in the United States – trailing only home mortgages – panelists, including a representative from the Center for Responsible Lending, will explore debt relief, from pre-borrowing education and navigating repayment, to debt forgiveness and assistance programs. 1:15-2:15 p.m., Hyatt Regency Miami, 3rd Floor, Miami Lecture Hall
“Achieving Civil Justice for All: Recommendations, Next Steps” — Leaders of the ABA Civil Justice Improvements Committee – including Judge Jennifer D. Bailey of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer of the Supreme Court of Oregon and former Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson of the Supreme Court of Texas – will share the committee’s 13 recommendations to help ameliorate the high costs, frequent delays and complexity of the civil justice system.
2:30-3:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Miami, 3rd Floor, Miami Lecture Hall
Friday, Feb. 3
“Road Rage: The Future of Transportation Management in Big Cities” — As Altamonte Springs, Fla., recently became the first in the nation to implement the public subsidization of Uber rides within city limits to address its public transportation gaps, a panel of Florida lawyers will discuss the advantages and pitfalls of the new program and other such ride-sharing alternatives to large-scale infrastructure investments.
9:15-10:15 a.m., Hilton Miami Downtown, Ballroom Level, Symphony Ballroom I
“Analysis of the Latino Vote in the 2016 November Election – Trends in Latino Voting” – Executive Director Arturo Vargas of the National Association of Elected Officials will be among experts who will analyze the recent election and identify trends in Latino voting. Where did the Latino vote create the most impact? What were the surprises?
10-11:30 a.m., JW Marriott Marquis, 5th Floor, Plaza 5
“The Zika Virus: The Legal Implications of a Public Health Emergency” – Mayor Philip K. Stoddard of South Miami and representatives from the Florida Department of Health will discuss their response to the Zika virus and the lessons learned that will benefit other public health emergencies.
10:30-11:30 a.m., Hilton Miami Downtown, Ballroom Level, Symphony Ballroom I
“Bridging the Gap: Issues with Equal Pay” — A panel of leading female attorneys from Florida will discuss the gender pay gap in America and analyze current developments to address it, such as proposed legislation, and provide insight into what still remains to be done.
10:30-11:30 a.m., Hilton Miami Downtown, Ballroom Level, Symphony Ballroom IV
“The Presidential Nomination Process and the Steps to Confirmation – A View from Different Perspectives” — As Donald Trump takes office, Harriet Miers and Karen A. Popp, former White House counsel for Presidents Bush and Clinton, respectively, will join Beryl A. Howell, former general counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs correspondent, and other experts for a discussion on the increasingly contentious U.S. presidential judicial nomination and confirmation process.
1-2:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Miami, 3rd Floor, Ashe Auditorium
“Batson at 30: A Legacy of Partial Impartiality” — At the 30th anniversary of Batson v. Kentucky, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that a prosecutor may not exercise peremptory challenges to exclude jurors solely on the basis of race, panelists – including Stephen B. Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights – will explore reasons and solutions to persistent bias in the justice system.
1-2:30 p.m., JW Marriott Marquis, 5th Floor, Plaza 6
“Forum: Proposal to Amend the Model Rules of Professional Conduct on Lawyer Advertising” — The ABA hosts a public forum on a proposal to amend the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct concerning lawyer communication about legal services and lawyer advertising submitted by the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.
2-3:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Miami, 3rd Floor, Merrick II
“Grit, the Secret to Advancement: Stories of Successful Women Lawyers” — Researcher Milana Hogan, who promotes a grit-and-growth mindset as the key to women's career advancement, will present her latest findings and moderate a panel of successful women attorneys who will share advice and insights about the advancement of their legal careers.
2-4 p.m., JW Marriott Marquis, 5th Floor, Plaza 4
“Enforcement Priorities in the Trump Administration” — Panelists – including Marcos Jimenez, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and other experts – will forecast trends in criminal and civil enforcement under the Trump administration. Topics will include the investigation and prosecution of securities and healthcare fraud, immigration, terrorism, cybercrime, domestic and global tax offenses, as well as sentencing and drug policy.
3-5 p.m., Epic Hotel, 14th Floor, Metropolis Ballroom B
“Town Hall on Election Reform” – ABA leaders, community members and other stakeholders will discuss needed reforms related to Election Day and early voting. Presenters will also share the progress made on reform and changes on the horizon in the Miami area, since the ABA held its first town hall meeting there in 2014.
3:15-5 p.m., Marriott Biscayne Bay, Level 3, Grand Salon GH
Saturday, Feb. 4
“12th Annual Summit on Public Defense Improvement” — This all-day conference will review national developments in indigent defense. Among programs, from 1-2 p.m., Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez, the first Hispanic elected public defender in the U.S., and Charlotte, N.C., Assistant Public Defender Toussaint C. Romain will lead a panel that will explore racial injustice in the criminal justice system and the impact of implicit bias and structural racism. The panel will also promote ways that chief defenders, line defenders, investigators and others can combat racial injustice. At 3:15 p.m., Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, author of the startling new book “Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court,” will discuss her decade working in and investigating criminal courtrooms in Cook County, Ill., and the lessons she learned that can improve criminal justice in America.
8:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m., Miami Dade College (300 NE 2nd Ave.)
“Miami Justice Hack: Strengthening Alliances between Law Enforcement & Communities of Color Through Technology & Innovation” — A multidisciplinary team of community members, lawyers, law enforcement officers, programmers and others with technology expertise will collaborate to develop on-site innovative and technology-based solutions that can help mitigate tension between law enforcement and communities of color.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Venture Café (1951 NW 7th Ave.), 3rd Floor
“Called to Serve: Addressing the Legal Needs of Veterans” — Panelists will discuss the pressing legal needs of veterans and how lawyers can address these needs in their own communities through practical means, such as creating medical-legal partnerships, starting legal clinics near VA hospitals and establishing resources with law schools.
9-11 a.m., JW Marriott Marquis, 5th Floor, Plaza 5
“The First 100 Days: Immigration at a Crossroads, Lives in the Balance” — Esther Olavarría, a former Department of Homeland Security counselor, and Dora Schriro, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, will be among panelists who will discuss what is known about the new Trump administration’s immigration priorities and the likely impact of them on due process, the immigration court system and the individuals whose lives could be irrevocably affected by new policies. Speakers will also include: Cheryl Little, executive director, Americans for Immigrant Justice (moderator); Dana Leigh Marks, president, National Association of Immigration Judges; and Monica Lazaro, DACA recipient.
10:30 a.m.-Noon, Intercontinental Hotel, Second Level, Balmoral Room
“Is Florida the Canary in the Coal Mine?: Environmental Justice in Front Line Communities” — Florida serves as the harbinger of environmental justice concerns on a national level. A panel, which will include representatives from the Sierra Club, Broward County Climate Change Response Group, the Environmental Justice Clinic at University of Miami School of Law and others, will examine environmental concerns in the state, including issues related to climate-change adaptation, water quality, nuclear emissions, coastal and inland floods, closure of state parks, Everglades conservation and water rights involving Seminole Indian tribes.
3:30-5 p.m., Hyatt Regency Miami, 3rd Floor, Miami Lecture Hall
Sunday, Feb. 5
“Legal Innovation 101 – Why You Need It” — Florida Bar Past President Ramon Abadin will lead a panel of legal innovation trailblazers and experts – including CEO Chad Burton of CuroLegal, a virtual law firm; legal futurist Jordan Furlong of Law21; and Margaret Hagan of the Program for Legal Tech & Design – for a comprehensive look at how technology and globalization has impacted the legal industry and how lawyers can harness these trends to enhance access to justice and improve their bottom line.
1-3 p.m., Hyatt Regency Miami, 3rd Floor, Miami Lecture Hall
During the Midyear Meeting, accredited journalists should register onsite or pick up their preregistered press credentials at the Hyatt Regency Miami (Riverfront Hall, Lobby Level), beginning at 2 p.m. on Feb. 1. A press room for accredited reporters will be provided at the Hyatt’s Riverfront Hall (lobby level), starting at 9 a.m. on Feb. 2. 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. 6.