President Trump and the First Amendment and other legal issues, the future of sanctuary cities, issues surrounding income inequality and a look at the year ahead for the U.S. Supreme Court are chief among the issues that will be explored at the 2017 American Bar Association Annual Meeting Aug. 10-15 in New York.
In addition to the more than 1,000 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. 14-15 at the New York Hilton Midtown’s Grand Ballroom. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the two-day session, click here.
Online registration is available for news reporters. ABA credential guidelines are here. Reporters interested in covering United Nations programming from the Annual Meeting’s “CLE in the City” series, must also register for U.N. media clearance.
Thursday, Aug. 10
“Antitrust and the NCAA's Rules Against Athletic Compensation: Illegal Cartel or Procompetitive Trade Association?” — Panelists – including NY attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who is currently fighting against the NCAA to financially compensate college athletes – will address the challenged restraints on athlete compensation and benefits, with a look at the implications following O’Bannon v. NCAA, concerning the use of images of former student athletes for commercial purposes.
10-11:30 p.m., Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, 787 Seventh Avenue (between 51st & 52nd Streets)
“GTMO: What Next?” — Despite efforts to close it, the detention center at Guantanamo Bay remains open and the Trump administration says it intends to send new detainees to the facility. In this program, representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force and Human Rights First will assess the way ahead.
12:30-2 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Madison Room
“Managing the ‘Lawyers, Guns & Money’ Cases – Hot Topics Involving National Security Issues” — Representatives from the Federal Judicial Center and the Department of Justice, as well as Donald L. Cabell, who served on the prosecution team for the trial against convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will be among those who will highlight the resources available for high-profile cases involving national security. The need to balance security issues with the rights of litigants will be discussed, as well as relevant tools and procedures, such as protective orders, case management orders and other case control techniques.
1:30-3 p.m., New York Marriott Marquis, 5th Floor, Westside Salon 2
“Unblurring the Lines: Navigating the Complex Relationship between Technology, Music and Copyright Law” — Musicians, sound engineers, legal experts and musicologists will come together to discuss the blurred line between artistic expression and copyright law using recent cases such as the 2015 decision involving Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and the estate of Marvin Gaye, and the 2016 case involving Sam Smith and Led Zeppelin. Those behind some of the most high-profile cases will discuss today's music copyright law, while introducing the newest music analyzation techniques.
3:30-5 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Morgan
“White Collar Enforcement Trends Under the Trump Administration” — Former SEC Enforcement Director Andrew J. Ceresney will moderate a panel of leading government attorneys and private practitioners who will discuss trends in white-collar crime enforcement six months into the Trump administration, including those related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, insider trading, sanctions and international cooperation.
4-6:30 p.m., Debevoise & Plimpton 919 Third Avenue (between 55th and 56th Streets)
“Just Debt? Reimagining Fines and Fees in America” — Director Jeff Robinson of the ACLU and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Conner will lead a panel moderated by CNN’s Van Jones on justice system fines that can have a long-lasting and damaging effect on people with limited financial means. How can we create a more just and reliable system?
5-6:30 p.m., New York Hilton, 2nd Floor, Metropolitan Ballroom West
Friday, Aug. 11
“Forecasting How the New Administration Will Impact Labor and Employment Law” — Labor and employment lawyers will analyze the Trump administration’s first 100 days in office and based on that analysis, they will forecast anticipated labor and employment law trends during the remainder of the term.
8:30-10 a.m., Grand Hyatt New York, Conference Level, Uris/Juilliard/Broadway
“How Juries Think and Behave: Empirical Research from Real Jury Deliberations” — The American Bar Foundation will present its latest research on jury behavior derived from extensive videotaped data involving actual jury deliberations. New York State Supreme Court Justice George J. Silver will be among panelists who will examine whether the new findings confirm or contradict what trial lawyers believe about how juries work.
9-10:30 a.m., Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, 51 West 52nd Street
“Sanctuary Cities – The New Federalism and Role of the State and Local Governments in Addressing Undocumented Immigrants” — Top lawyers aiding immigrants in the “sanctuary cities” of New York, San Francisco and Chicago will discuss the legal issues raised when local governments take action over what is generally considered to be a federal issue. Speakers will include Bitta Mostofi, assistant commissioner, New York Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; and Thomas Homan, acting director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
10-11:30 a.m., New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse A
“Community-Based or Cash Register Justice?: How Judges Can ‘Ferguson-Proof’ Local Courts” — In an effort to address Department of Justice findings of judicial practices in Ferguson, Mo., and other locations that aim to generate revenue instead of public safety, experts will share how to self-audit and "Ferguson-proof" courts, as well as implement strategies that maintain accountability and judicial independence while ensuring compliance with constitutional mandates to protect the rights of the indigent.
10:30 a.m.-Noon, New York Marriott Marquis, 5th Floor, Westside Salon 2
“Marijuana: Legal Issues at Work (And at Home, Too!)” — Following the 2016 election, 28 states, two territories and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana – in nine of these states, recreational use is legal. What are the implications for the workplace? How should companies and individuals adjust to the new normal?
11 a.m.-Noon, Grand Hyatt New York, Ballroom Level, Empire State Ballroom V
“Workplace Issues for Immigrants and Religious Minorities Under the Trump Administration” — In light of Trump administration policies targeting immigrants, including the travel ban from Muslim-majority countries, the expansion of deportation efforts and the attacks on sanctuary cities, panelists will examine immigrants’ workplace rights and problems that the administration’s policies may cause for employers. In addition, the panel will discuss appropriate prophylactic measures to protect and enforce the rights of immigrant and religious minority employees.
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Regent
“Perspectives on Homeland Security, Our Nation and Our Government” – Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, shares his views on the current state of homeland security at the annual “Passing of the Gavel” luncheon of the Section of Litigation.
Noon-1:30 p.m., Le Parker Meridien Hotel, 42nd Floor, Estrela Penthouse
“Deportation, Due Process and the New Frontier of U.S. Immigration Policy” — A panel of New York-based legal experts will examine Trump administration immigration policies as well as recent round-up-and-deport efforts and threats to defund so-called sanctuary cities. How can these “reforms” be reconciled with time-honored, due process protections and the U.S. image as a beacon of hope for those persecuted abroad? Speaker include Bree Ann Bernwanger, Feewick Center for Social Justice, New York; Nisha Suresh Agarwal, New York Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; Jojo Annobil, executive director, Immigrant Justice Corps, New York.; Muzaffar Chishti, director, Migration Policy Institute at New York University School of Law; and T. Alexander Aleinikoff, director, Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, New York.
2-3:30 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Sutton South
“The Legacy and Promise of Justice Thurgood Marshall: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of His Historic Appointment to the Supreme Court” — Nearly 50 years after his appointment to the Supreme Court, panelists – including Pulitzer-Prize winning biographer Gilbert A. King – will highlight Thurgood Marshall’s legacy, sharing stories about his work before the Supreme Court, his challenging nomination process and his work on the high court. Joining King on the panel will be former law clerks to Justice Marshall, Georgetown University Law Center professors Susan Low Bloch and Sheryll Denise Cashin.
2-3:30 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Sutton North
“Judicial Ethics in the Time of Fake News, New Media, and a New Administration” — A panel of judges – including Jonathan Lippman, former chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals and Johnnie B. Rawlinson, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco – will explore how judges can remain fair and impartial in the face of increasing pressure from the other branches of government, the public, and the media.
2:30-4:30 p.m., New York Marriott Marquis, 8th Floor, Manhattan Ballroom
“The Sharing Economy Matures” — As “sharing economy” businesses such as Uber and Airbnb proliferate, many local governments are losing control over the regulation of such companies to state public utility commissions, the Federal Trade Commission and other administrations. NY City Council Legislative Director Matt Gewolb and Lyft Public Policy Manager Sami Naim will be among experts who will examine the trend of state-wide regulatory preemption of local government regulation and will answer the question: How should the sharing economy be regulated, if at all?
2:30-4 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Madison
“The Wage Debate: Can the Minimum Wage, a Living Wage or Universal Basic Income Reduce Income Inequality?” — The middle class is shrinking and U.S. income inequality is at its highest level since 1928, disproportionately affecting women and people of color. A panel will debate various solutions including a higher minimum wage and Universal Basic Income.
3:30-5 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Regent
Saturday, Aug. 12
“ABA JusticeHack New York: Reimagining the Relationship between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color” —The hackathon will bring together multidisciplinary teams of community, legal, law enforcement, criminal justice and technology stakeholders in a collaborative environment to develop technology-based solutions to address tension points between law enforcement and communities of color.
8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Fordham University School of Law, 2nd Floor, 150 West 62nd Street, Constantino Room
“Authors Panel: The Law as a Platform for Writing” — Best-selling authors James Conroy, Evan Thomas, Steph Chu and Talmage Boston will share how their legal backgrounds inform and inspire their writing, providing practical insight into what it takes to make it to the top the charts.
9:30-11 a.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Rhinelander Gallery/Americas Hall 1
“Serving Soldiers in Veterans Treatment Courts: Implementation and Effective Advocacy” — Representatives from NY-based veterans treatment courts in Suffolk County, Queens and Buffalo will discuss their pioneering efforts to resolve veterans' criminal matters through these specially tailored courts involving prosecution, defense and support services, which effectively resolve criminal matters while also offering services to prevent recidivism. Now leading programs that are models for the rest of the nation to follow, the panelists will share best practices on implementing such courts where they do not currently exist.
10-11:30 a.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Beekman
“Trump v. the Press and the First Amendment: Fake News, Government Leak Investigations, Alleged Biased Media Coverage, Trump's SLAPP libel suits and his Pledge to ‘Open up the Libel Laws’ – Will the First Amendment Survive?” — Panelists – including former chief lawyer of the New York Times, George H. Freeman; journalist David Walsh; and First Amendment lawyers Floyd Abrams and Tom Clare – will address whether President Trump’s delegitimization of the media weakens the First Amendment; discuss the implications of the public’s – and the president’s – use of “fake news”; examine whether libel law works when it comes to outrageous charges by or against public figures; and discuss if anti-SLAPP laws prevent lawsuits whose purpose is to chill speech and financially drain political enemies.
10-11:30 a.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Sutton North
“On the Docket: The 2016-17 Supreme Court Term” — Practitioners, scholars and other experts will examine the recent Supreme Court term, the new composition of the Court and the headline cases slated for argument in 2017.
2-3:30 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Sutton Center
“Cyber Risk Management: How Should Lawyers, Corporations and Governments Deal with Risk” — In light of recent “ransomware” attacks that have particularly impacted American hospitals and businesses, former Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Suzanne Spaulding and other cybersecurity experts will discuss the cyber-threat landscape and how to best manage and mitigate risks, threats and attacks.
2-3:30 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Beekman
“Issues of Sexual Violence on College Campuses and Beyond: Balancing Privacy, Constitutional and Civil Rights” — Sexual violence on college campuses presents complex and often dueling administrative issues including those involving the First Amendment, civil rights, Title IX, and reputational risks. Legal experts struggle to determine policies for public and private colleges and universities to decrease the occurrence of campus sexual assaults, prevent their recurrence, and address their effects. Socioeconomic, cultural, and even geographic differences can play a role in our attitudes toward these issues and in identifying appropriate responses by the colleges and universities. Speakers include Tina Tchen, former executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, Washington, D.C.
2-3:30 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Sutton North
“Spotlight on Innovation” — Ten speakers will each deliver a crisp, high-level, 8-minute TED-style talk about a legal innovation. Speakers will discuss a wide range of legal innovations, including civil and criminal, technological and process-driven, individual and systemic, implemented and in the planning stages.
2-4 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Gramercy East/West
“Advancing Civil Rights and Social Justice in the New Supreme Court” — Commissioner Debo P. Adegbile of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission will be among panelists who will examine the likely impact of new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Using the cases that the High Court will likely decide in the upcoming years, the panel will explore the question: How does Gorsuch’s judicial record portend for civil rights and social justice?
2-4 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Regent
“General Assembly and Presentation of the ABA Medal” — Fordham University School of Law professor John D. Feerick will receive the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor. Feerick helped draft the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which celebrates its 50th anniversary of ratification this year. The amendment sets out the succession process for the U.S. presidency and establishes procedures for when the president is disabled or the office of vice president must be filled.
4:30-6 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 3rd Floor, Grand Ballroom
Sunday, Aug. 13
“From Standing Rock to Flint: Water Rights, Race and Resistance” — Recent protests regarding water rights in Standing Rock, N.D., and Flint, Mich., provide the backdrop for panelists – including class-action litigators in Flint as well as members of the Standing Rock, Cherokee and Sioux nations – to examine issues at the intersection of race, criminalization, environmental justice, civil rights and protest, including the criminalization of protestors and the history of native sovereignty.
9-10:30 a.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 2nd Floor, Nassau East/West
“Connecting the Dots: The Connection Between State Restrictions on Women’s Rights and Lack of Access to Programs Benefiting Low-Income Women and Children” — Panelists will discuss the movement to restrict reproductive rights and access to necessary services for women, and the dire consequences of stringent reproductive restrictions, especially in states that offer pregnant women few protections from discrimination. Speakers will include Nancy Northup, president and CEO, Center for Reproductive Rights, New York City; Joia Adele Crear-Perry, MD, founder and president of National Birth Equity Collaborative, New Orleans; Terri-Ann Thompson, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, Mass.; and Pamelya Herndon, Southwest Women’s Law Center, Albuquerque, N.M.
10:30 a.m.-Noon, New York Hilton, 2nd Floor, Regent
Monday, Aug. 14
“The Rule of Law at Home and Abroad: A Luncheon” — This year’s American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative luncheon will highlight the work of Patricia Guerrero, recipient of this year’s ABA Human Rights Award for her extraordinary work to advance the rights of women in Colombia, and feature a conversation between Carlos Urrutia, former ambassador of Colombia to the United States, and Stephen Rapp, former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international criminal justice, discussing the Colombia peace process, its implications for the rule of law there and broader lessons learned about the challenges to rule of law in post-conflict settings.
Noon-2 p.m., New York Hilton Midtown, 3rd Floor, Mercury Ballroom