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Archive for 'September 2018'

    Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz receives ABA human rights award

    September 24, 2018 7:10 AM by glynnj

    The ABA Center for Human Rights bestowed its inaugural Eleanor Roosevelt Prize for Global Human Rights Achievement to international criminal justice lawyer Benjamin B. Ferencz during a ceremony Sept. 14 in New York.

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton receives ABA human rights award

    September 24, 2018 7:10 AM by glynnj

    The ABA Center for Human Rights bestowed its inaugural Eleanor Roosevelt Prize for Global Human Rights Achievement to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a ceremony Sept. 14 in New York.

    ABA to host Animal Shelter Law Symposium on Oct. 10 in Denver, Colo.

    September 21, 2018 12:29 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2018 — Leading experts in animal shelter law will gather to discuss the latest issues and challenges facing the industry during the American Bar Association’s annual Animal Shelter Law Symposium on Oct. 10 in Denver, Colo. The half-day event will focus on such topics as dangerous dog cases, animal ownership and shelter animal transport and the law.

    What:  
    Animal Shelter Law Symposium
    Sponsored by the ABA Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s
    Animal Law Committee

    When: 
    Wednesday, Oct. 10, from Noon-5 p.m.

    Where:
    Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center
    15500 E 40th Ave.
    Denver, Colo. 80239

    Program highlights include:

    12:05 – 12:55 p.m.:

    “Dangerous Dog Cases, Process, Procedure, and Best Results” — This session will look at many of the legal and practical considerations that arise when dealing with cases in which a dog’s conduct triggers local or state “dangerous dog laws.” Topics covered will include investigations, preparing for and representing clients at the administrative hearings, due process considerations and the public policy considerations from both the governmental and the dog owners’ perspectives.

    12:55 – 1:45 p.m.:

    “Shelter Law” — This session will focus on the wide variety of legal issues facing shelters, humane societies and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, including potential litigation both brought by these groups and challenging their practices.

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

    “Shelter Animal Transport and the Law” — The transport of shelter animals across the country to shelters in different cities and across state lines has become a prevalent aspect of shelter operations. Yet much of this transport is unregulated despite the many problems that may occur during transport. This session will review the current scheme regulating pet transporters and discuss potential imposition of regulatory and tort liability on both sending and receiving shelters and on the transporters, themselves.

    2:45 - 3:30 p.m.:

    “Animal Ownership Issues” — Who owns the animal at any given time in the regulatory process and shelter custody scenario is extremely important. Panelists will walk the audience through ownership issues from common law claims (lost vs. abandoned) and statutory claims (lost property and dog-theft statutes) through various shelter ownership disputes, including shelter error in the disposition of sheltered animals and pet “laundering” to clean title. Problem scenarios will be utilized to illustrate specific issues and to help generate discussion with the audience.

    3:30 - 5:00 p.m.:

    “Equine Investigations and Coordination with Receiving Shelters” — This session features an in-depth discussion of equine investigations as well as a detailed discussion regarding intake of the subject horses and coordination between the receiving shelter and animal control in owner relinquishments and seizures.

    The complete agenda can be found online.

    This event is open to members of the press at no charge. For media credentialing, please contact Robert Robinson at Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

    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.

     

    Ted McConnell, champion of law-related and civic education efforts, receives ABA award

    September 21, 2018 12:14 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2018 – The American Bar Association today honored longtime civics education leader and advocate Ted McConnell with its Isidore Starr Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education.

    The award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding achievements in teaching about the law in the elementary and secondary grades, was presented during the 30th National Law-Related Education Conference in Chicago.

    “We are thrilled to present Ted with the Starr Award to recognize his long commitment to educating people about the rule of law and its importance to our communities, as well as his experience in advocacy in the field of civic education,” said Ruthe Catolico Ashley, chair of the Standing Committee on Public Education.

    McConnell is the executive director of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. It is a coalition of more than 60 national organizations, which are committed to improving the quality and quantity of civic learning in the nation’s schools.

    He has spent more than 20 years, as the national coordinator of civic learning programmers, funders, researchers, and policymakers, to promote quality law-related education in Congress, state houses, board rooms, universities, and classrooms across the nation.

    McConnell has been involved in political and governmental sectors for more than 40 years, holding positions such as: Congressional affairs assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, assistant to the chairman of events for the Commission on Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, and 1980 presidential transition assistant.

    An advocate for civic education, McConnell led tireless efforts to effectuate law-related education policy changes at the national, state and local level. He was instrumental in the passing of the Sandra Day O’Connor Act (Florida), as well as legislation in Illinois, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Washington.

    In his nomination letter, Marshall Croddy, president of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, said of McConnell: “Ted strives to raise the profile and potential of the field of civic and law-related education by giving us all opportunities to work together to advance the work.”

    Another nominator, Leslie C. Francis, chair of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, said in his nomination letter that the Starr Award, “serves as a reminder of the power of one—one person, one patriot, one activist, one person with the courage to say, “No!” when necessary and “Yes!” when it will move the agenda.”

    McConnell attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he majored in political science and business administration.

    The Isidore Starr Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education is presented by the ABA Division for Public Education. Established in 1983, the award is named in honor of Isidore Starr, an educator and lawyer who was a life-long advocate for law-related education, first integrating law into his high school civics class in 1934.

    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.

     

    Sally Yates to headline ABA’s white collar crime conference, Oct. 8-9, in London

    September 20, 2018 3:25 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2018Sally Yates, former deputy and acting U.S. Attorney General at the Department of Justice, will be the keynote luncheon speaker at the American Bar Association’s Seventh Annual London White Collar Crime Institute, Oct. 8-9, in London.

    Yates, currently a partner at King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta, was serving as acting attorney general when she was dismissed in 2017 after declining to defend President Donald Trump’s travel ban. She will deliver the keynote address on Monday, Oct. 8, from 1-2:15 p.m.

    What:  
    Seventh Annual London White Collar Crime Institute
    Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section

    When: 
    Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8-9

    Where:
    Law Offices of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
    Adelaide House, London Bridge
    London, United Kingdom
    EC4R 9HA

    Kicking off the two-day conference will be an “Opening Roundtable Discussion” from 9:15-9:55 a.m., featuring Sandra Moser, acting chief of the Fraud Section at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C.; and Lisa Kate Osofsky, director of London’s Serious Fraud Office.

    Day 2 of the conference will feature two plenary sessions on white collar crime hypothetical exercises, on investigations and prosecutions.

    Other program highlights include:

    “Plenary Session I – Challenges to International Lawyers: Navigating Issues of Attorney/Client Privilege, Border Searches and More” — The panel will focus on the challenges for lawyers working in cross border/international cases in navigating attorney-client and work-product privileged issues; the recent search and seizure of corporate and private law offices in Germany in the VW/Audi investigation and other instances of privileged materials being subjected to government scrutiny. The panel will also address the increasing risk of search of digital devices at the border, including attorney-client privileged materials; and will explore the risks regarding the privilege in different countries and recommendations going forward.

    Monday, 10-11:15 a.m.

    “Plenary Session II – International Perspectives: A Comparative Look at Jurisdictions Around the World” — With a specific focus on trends from Brazil, China, France and Germany, panelists will look at key issues when managing a global investigation in an evolving world. Topics include dealing with local authorities – and what they may take an interest in, privilege and work product – including with respect to third-party service providers, data protection – including GDPR, carrying out interviews of employee and third parties and whistleblower protection.

    Monday, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

    “Plenary Session IV – Cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain” — This panel will discuss recent global trends in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, including an overview of the regulatory landscapes in the various countries across the globe.

    Monday, 4:15-5:30 p.m.

    The complete agenda can be found online.

    This event is open to members of the press at no charge. For media credentialing, please contact Robert Robinson at Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

    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.

     

    New ABA book guides attorneys through new rules in intellectual property valuation

    September 20, 2018 11:19 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2018 — The American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law’s recently released book, “IP Valuation for the Future: Trends, Techniques, and Case Studies is a guide for attorneys and other professionals who handle intellectual property in the  digital terrain. The book explains IP’s role in the business landscape and shows ways to manage it effectively for the future.

    Authored by asset expert Weston Anson, the guidebook addresses the proliferation of platforms and the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google in society, stock markets and innovation. With case studies and based on legal precedents, the new book provides a high level of awareness for bankers, financial professionals, venture capitalists and other Wall Street professionals as their boardrooms and their portfolios adapt to new technology.

    Anson is chairman of CONSOR®, an intellectual asset consulting firm based in La Jolla, Calif., specializing in trademark, patent and copyright licensing; valuations; and expert testimony. He served for 10 years as an officer and board member of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association and is a lifetime member of the Board of Advisors. Anson, who received his MBA from Harvard, currently serves as an active member of the International Licensing Executives Society board of delegates.

    He was chairman of the Global Valuation Standards Committee for the LESI, which established IP Valuation standards in cross border IP transactions. These standards were adopted in 2011 at the Global Technology Forum, which included World IP bodies such as World Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization and the Association of University Technology Managers.

    Title:                            IP Valuation for the Future: Trends, Techniques, and Case Studies
    Publisher:                    ABA Book Publishing
    Pages:                         250 pages
    Product Code:             5370237
    ISBN:                           978-1-64105-227-6
    Size:                            7 x 10, paperback
    Price:                           $89.95
    Orders:                        800-285-2221 or shopaba.org

    Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Amelia Stone at Amelia.Stone@americanbar.org. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Amelia Stone, ABA Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

    With more than 17,000 members the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law provides the highest quality information, analysis and practice tools to intellectual property lawyers, and serves as the thoughtful source of information and commentary for policymakers as they consider legislation affecting the law and regulations in intellectual property matters. The section is respected and known as the premier resource for knowledge in this increasingly important and complex area of law.

    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 Air and Space Law conference to note 40th anniversary of the Airline Deregulation Act

    September 20, 2018 10:58 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2018 —  Leading experts in aviation and space, senior executives and key government officials will convene at the American Bar Association’s Forum on Air and Space Law Annual Meeting and Conference on Sept. 27-28 at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago.

    On Thursday, Sept. 27, Robert Rivkin, deputy mayor of Chicago and formerly the Department of Transportation’s general counsel and senior vice president at Delta Airlines, will give welcome remarks at 8:30 am. Fred Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp., will give the keynote address during the luncheon from 11:45 am – 1:30 pm.

    What:     
    Annual Meeting & Conference
    Presented by the ABA Forum on Air & Space Law

    When:    
    Thursday-Friday, Sept. 27-28

    Where:   
    InterContinental Hotel,
    505 N. Michigan Ave.,
    Chicago, IL 60611

    The two-day forum will feature experts from leading air and space law firms, private companies, McGill University, United Airlines, U.S. Department of Transportation, FedEx, National Consumers League, NOAA, Office of Space Commerce-U.S. Department of Commerce, Republic Airways, Association of Flight Attendants, Air Line Pilots Association, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Consumers Union, Air University-U.S. Air Force, Alaska Airlines, GE Capital Aviation Services, JetSuites and Amazon. They will explore hot button issues in aviation and aerospace on such topics as  drones, space law, aircraft finance, antitrust, and consumer protection.

    In recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Airline Deregulation Act, sessions will review the historical act, which was signed into law on Oct. 24, 1978. It was the first time that an industry was deregulated in the United States and opened the door for increased competition, efficiency and innovation.

    Conference sessions will also look forward at regulation in the Trump era and beyond. Discussions about cybersecurity, regulation reform, airports, distribution, labor and commercial space will be explored.

    A complete agenda can be found online.

    There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at 202-662-1039 or Betsy.Adeboyejo@americanbar.org.

    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.

    #MeToo, technology changes headline ABA professionalism event in Las Vegas

    September 20, 2018 10:46 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2018 — A major legal conference starting Sept. 26, hosted by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability, will explore a variety of professional issues, including sexual harassment in the legal profession, technology challenges, trends for mandatory professional liability insurance and the art of storytelling in the law.

    What:              
    Fall 2018 National Legal Malpractice Conference

    When:             
    Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 26-28, 2018

    Where:            
    Encore Las Vegas
    3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South
    Las Vegas, Nev. 89109

    Jonathan Shapiro, a former federal prosecutor turned Hollywood writer and producer, will lead the opening plenary session in the Encore Room on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 8:45 a.m., discussing “The Art of Storytelling.” Shapiro has either singly or teamed up to create and produce some of television’s most iconic law-themed television shows, including “The Blacklist,” “Boston Legal,” “The Firm” and “The Practice.” Working with David E. Kelley, he is the creator and executive producer of “Goliath” on Amazon Prime, which was the winner of the 2017 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama (Billy Bob Thornton).

    Other program highlights include:

    “Blockchain Technology in the Practice of Law and Insurance” — Blockchain technology, which allows digital information to be distributed but not copied, is a reality facing lawyers and not a distant future event. The promise of blockchain is a single source of truth. An expert panel will explore actual blockchain applications including cryptocurrency and smart contracts to assist lawyers in recognizing blockchain usage and prepare for development and growth of this disruptive force.

    Thursday, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Encore Room

    “#MeToo in the Law Firm: Sexual Harassment, Gender Discrimination and Other Employment Exposures in 2018” — Since the unprecedented and momentous developments known as the #MeToo Movement exploded last fall, claims against law firms based on sexual harassment, gender discrimination and pay/promotion disparity issues have become a daily fixture in the legal press. The panel will discuss how the law firm exposure landscape has been fundamentally altered by these developments; explore the unique challenges these employment-based claims pose for law firms; and provide insight on defense, resolution and avoidance strategies.
    Thursday, 3-4:15 p.m., Encore Room

    Et tu, California? Mandatory Professional Liability Insurance, Disclosure and Other Efforts to Insure Attorneys and Protect the Public” — Two states recently passed measures mandating professional liability insurance for lawyers, the first to do so since Oregon created its Professional Liability Fund in 1978. Some states have considered and rejected a mandatory insurance model; still others have added teeth to mandatory disclosure rules. California, with 266,000 licensed attorneys, is conducting a statutorily mandated study of all insurance options through a Malpractice Insurance Working Group. The panel breaks down the considerable issues involved in protecting the public.
    Friday, 9-10:15 a.m., Encore Room

    The complete conference program can be found online.

    All sessions are open to the media but pre-registration is necessary. To register, please contact Bill Choyke at 202-662-1864 or bill.choyke@americanbar.org.

    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.

     

    American Bar Association program Sept. 25 previews upcoming Supreme Court term

    September 20, 2018 10:39 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2018 — Key cases that will be before the Supreme Court when the new term begins on Monday, Oct. 1, will be “on the docket” during a program open to the public Sept. 25, sponsored by the American Bar Association and the American University Washington College of Law.

    “Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term.” will feature legal experts on the court discussing the latest developments in the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Other topics will include cases involving the Eighth Amendment, including the death penalty and “excessive fines” state can levy; antitrust case involving iPhone apps; the federal sex offender registry; Double Jeopardy clause dual sovereign doctrine; employment age discrimination; and living space for frogs.

    What:   "On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term"
    Sponsored by ABA Division for Public Education and the American University Washington College of Law Program in Law and Government

    When: 
    Tuesday, Sept. 25
    12-1:20 p.m. ET

    Where:
    American University, Washington College of Law
    Claudio Grossman Hall
    4300 Nebraska Ave., NW
    Washington, D.C.

    American University will live stream the program. It will be available to view online for download following the program.

    Moderating the discussion will be Stephen Wermiel, professor of Practice in Constitutional Law at the American University Washington College of Law. He is the author of a monthly column on SCOTUSblog.com aimed at explaining the Supreme Court to law students. A former Supreme Court reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Wermiel covered and interpreted more than 1,300 Supreme Court decisions and analyzed legal trends for 12 years.

    The panelists are:

    • Beth Brinkmann, an attorney and partner at Covington & Burling, LLP, is an experienced appellate and Supreme Court litigator. She has argued 24 cases before the Court. She is the former deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

    • Angela Davis, professor of law at American University Washington College of Law, she is an expert in criminal law and procedure with a focus on prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system. She is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor Oxford University Press 2007).

    • Sarah Harrington, partner at Goldstein and Russell, P.C. She is the former assistant to the Solicitor General at the Department of Justice. She argued 20 cases before the Supreme Court and has written merits brief in more than a dozen additional cases.

    • Adam Liptak, a lawyer and the Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times.


    This event is free to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at 202-662-1039 or Betsy.Adeboyejo@americanbar.org.

    This program is hosted by Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases, the single-most comprehensive source of information on and analysis of matters before the Supreme Court, giving you a ringside seat to every case argued. Preview publishes monthly while the Supreme Court is in session, and includes a wrap-up issue reviewing the year at the end of the session.

    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.

     

    Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz, Hillary Clinton receive ABA human rights awards

    September 20, 2018 10:00 AM by glynnj

    Hillary Rodham Clinton discusses the impact of Eleanor Roosevelt and her human rights legacy.


    The ABA Center for Human Rights bestowed its inaugural Eleanor Roosevelt Prize for Global Human Rights Achievement to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and international criminal justice lawyer Benjamin B. Ferencz, who at 99 is the sole surviving prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, during a ceremony Sept. 14 in New York.

    With the blessings of the Roosevelt family, the center established the award to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, championed by Eleanor Roosevelt. The award is intended to recognize persons and organizations having a positive, enduring and global impact in advancing the principles set forth in the declaration, and will be awarded annually.

    Watch excerpts of remarks from award recipients Hillary Clinton and Benjamin B. Ferencz

    As the chair of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, Roosevelt was the driving force in creating the 1948 charter of liberties — known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1946, she was appointed as a delegate to the United Nations by President Harry Truman, who became president after her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1945. She said after its passage: “We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta for all men everywhere.”

    In presenting its first awards, the Center for Human Rights noted that Clinton, a former First Lady, has a long career of advocacy of the rights of women and girls while Ferencz is recognized globally as supporting international criminal justice and human rights. Both have dramatically improved the lives of millions around the world and followed a model set out by Roosevelt decades ago, the center noted.

    “Eleanor Roosevelt is our adopted patron saint at the Center for Human Rights,” said CHR Chair Bernice Donald, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. “Not just because we love her, but who she was and for what she meant to the international and national community. But also for what she had to say and how she boldly took a leadership stance on issues that really transformed the world.”

    Tracy Roosevelt, the granddaughter of Franklin and Eleanor and an attorney in Washington, D.C., represented the family at the New York event, which took place at the Roosevelt House, the former double townhouse of Franklin, Eleanor and Sara Delano Roosevelt, the president’s mother. The house in the city’s Upper East Side was a wedding gift from Sara Delano Roosevelt to the couple, and is now owned by Hunter College and houses its public policy institute.

     

    ABA adds legal assistance hotline for hurricane victims in North Carolina

    September 20, 2018 9:07 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2018 — Victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina can get legal assistance by calling a hotline set up by a partnership among the Disaster Legal Services Program of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and Legal Aid of North Carolina.

    To access help from volunteer lawyers, disaster victims should call 833-242-3549, between 9 a.m. and noon (ET) Monday through Friday (messages can be left after hours). When connected, callers should identify that they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance and give brief details of the assistance needed. Individuals who qualify for assistance are then matched with lawyers who have volunteered to provide legal assistance.

    Disaster-related legal issues include landlord/tenant problems, insurance claims, FEMA claims and consumer issues such as contractor fraud.  

    Since September 2007, the ABA YLD has responded to more than 178 declared disasters in 44 states and four U.S. territories. In the last year, hundreds of lawyers volunteered to provide legal assistance to those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria; as well as wildfires in the West and other natural disasters.

    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 issues new guidance on what a lawyer should do before, after a disaster happens

    September 18, 2018 3:03 PM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 19, 2018 —The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released today Formal Opinion 482 that underscores the importance of ABA model rules for lawyers affected by disasters and provides specific guidance on their ethical responsibilities in the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and fires.

    The formal opinion notes that recent large-scale disasters, such as Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, highlight the need for lawyers to understand that extreme weather events and other calamities have the potential to destroy property or cause the long-term loss of power. Lawyers, in turn, have an ethical obligation to implement reasonable measures to safeguard property and funds they hold for clients or third parties, prepare for business interruption and keep clients informed about how to contact them or their successor counsel.

    Specifically, the opinion underscores the importance for lawyers to know these ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct:

    • Model Rule 1.4 (communication), which requires them to take reasonable steps to communicate with clients after a disaster.

    • Model Rule 1.1 (competence), which requires them to develop sufficient competence in technology to meet their obligations under the rules after a disaster.

    • Model Rule 1.15 (safekeeping property), which requires them to protect trust accounts, documents and property the lawyer is holding for clients or third parties.

    • Model Rule 5.5 (multijurisdictional practice). which limits practice by lawyers displaced by a disaster.

    • Model Rules 7.1 through 7.3, which limit lawyers’ advertising directed to and solicitation of disaster victims.


    “Lawyers must be prepared to deal with disasters,” the ABA opinion said. “Foremost among a lawyer’s ethical obligations are those to existing clients, particularly in maintaining communication. Lawyers must also protect documents, funds and other property the lawyer is holding for clients or third parties. By proper advance preparation and taking advantage of available technology during recovery efforts, lawyers will reduce the risk of violating professional obligations after a disaster.”

    The formal opinion is the latest of several ABA initiatives in recent years that focus on disaster relief and legal issues.

    The ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness works to educate lawyers, bar associations and the justice system on how to prepare for and respond to disasters and provides helpful information on its website. Through the Disaster Legal Services Program, the ABA Young Lawyers Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide immediate temporary legal assistance to eligible disaster survivors at no charge. Also, the 2018 10th Annual National Celebration of Pro Bono next month focuses on helping disaster survivors with their countless legal issues — including insurance disputes, FEMA appeals, landlord tenant disputes, consumer fraud, health and education issues.

    The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility periodically issues ethics opinions to guide lawyers, courts and the public in interpreting and applying ABA model ethics rules to specific issues of legal practice, client-lawyer relationships and judicial behavior. Formal Opinion 482 and other ABA ethics opinions are available on the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility website.

    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.

     

    Richmond, Va., lawyer Vicki O. Tucker elected chair of ABA Business Law Section

    September 18, 2018 2:58 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept.18, 2018 — Vicki O. Tucker, counsel at Hunton Andrews Kurth in Richmond, Va., has been elected to serve a one-year term as chair of the American Bar Association Business Law Section. She will serve until September 2019.

    “I very much appreciate the opportunity to serve as chair of the ABA Business Law Section, following in the footsteps of Christopher J. Rockers, who has been an outstanding leader,” Tucker said. “I look forward to chairing the section as it continues to provide value to business lawyers by offering a community for them to gain knowledge, share their experiences and make lasting connections and friendships."    

    Tucker’s practice focuses on mortgage- and asset-backed securities and structured financings. She advises and counsel clients regarding legislation and regulation impacting securitizations and structured financings, including the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and related regulations, Regulation AB and the FDIC securitization safe harbor.

    She served as chair, co-chair and/or moderator of numerous CLE programs for the Business Law Section on securitizations and structured financings as well as law firm and legal department diversity matters. She has also co-authored, contributed to and been the editor of numerous comment letters on behalf of the Business Law Section’s Securitization and Structured Finance Committee filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in connection with proposed regulations impacting securitizations and structured financings.

    Tucker, who received her BS and JD degrees from the University of West Virginia, was elected vice chair of the Business Law Section in 2016; served as the section’s secretary in 2015; received the section’s Chair Award in 2014; was elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2013; and served a four-year term on the Business Law Section’s council, beginning in 2011.

    A photo of Tucker can be found here.

    With almost 50,000 members, the ABA Business Law Section is one of the association’s largest sections. It provides business lawyers with education and analysis that furthers the development and improvement of business law, and it helps its members serve their clients competently, efficiently and professionally.

    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

     

    American Bar Association announces 2019 Spirit of Excellence Award recipients

    September 18, 2018 1:38 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2018 —  The American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession announced today the four honorees of its 2019 Spirit of Excellence Award for their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. The awards will be presented during a ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, during the ABA Midyear Meeting at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

    The Spirit of Excellence Award celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. The awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in law.

    “One of the ABA’s preeminent goals is eliminating bias and enhancing diversity in the association, the legal profession and the justice system.” Commission Chair Helen B. Kim said in noting that all the honorees fully embrace diversity and inclusion and understand the importance of providing opportunities for others while distinguishing themselves in their careers.

    The ABA Spirit of Excellence Award Luncheon will be held Saturday, Jan. 26, from noon to 2 p.m. PT at Caesars Palace.

    The 2019 award recipients are:

    Willie E. Gary is a Florida attorney who parlayed a passionate work ethic learned from his humble beginnings in Southern migrant farming communities into a legal powerhouse career that earned him a Forbes listing as one of the “Top 50 attorneys in the U.S.” Gary was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1974 and opened his hometown’s first African-American law firm in Stuart, Fla. He has tried cases in 45 states and is in great demand as a motivational speaker, delivering speeches at law schools, universities, churches and to various groups throughout the country. He has received honorary doctorates from dozens of colleges and universities. Gary is also committed to enhancing the lives of young people. In 1994, he and his wife, Gloria, founded The Gary Foundation, which provides scholarships to youth, so they can realize their dreams of achieving a higher education (photo).

    Pamela Jones Harbour, senior vice president and legal officer at Herbalife Nutrition in Los Angeles, Calif., leads a compliance team across 94 markets, developing and enhancing policies and infrastructure to ensure effective education, training and mentoring programs for independent Herbalife members worldwide. She also leads the company’s global privacy and data security efforts. Harbour was a litigation partner in three American law firms, with a specialty area in antitrust, consumer protection and data security law. She also served as a commissioner on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission from 2003-10 and in the 1990s as a deputy attorney general of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Harbour is a frequent speaker and author and has shared her knowledge in congressional testimony. She is recognized internationally for her leadership in the field of data privacy (photo).

    John Lim is the managing partner of LimNexus LLP, a minority-owned corporate boutique firm with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. An attorney since 1982, Lim represents Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, financial institutions, governmental entities, private equity funds, commercial developers and institutional investors in corporate, real estate and financing transactions. He regularly advises emerging high-tech ventures as outside general counsel and speaks at seminars on topics ranging from corporate governance to anti-deficiency rules in real property secured transactions. To further equal opportunity and equal access to justice, Lim actively supports public interest law groups that serve the disadvantaged and marginalized. Additionally, he and his law partners provide scholarships to diverse law students through the LimNexus Foundation (photo).

    Peter M. Reyes, Jr., is a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals in St. Paul. He formerly worked as a senior intellectual property lawyer at Cargill and as a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He is active in the American Bar Association as a member of the House of Delegates, the Judicial Division, Section of Intellectual Property Law and Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. He also served on the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and the ABA Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline. In addition, Reyes served as national president of the Hispanic National Bar Association from 2012-13, and president of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association from 2000-03. In 2012 and 2013, Poder Magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America. Reyes received the 2016 Ohtli Award, the highest award the Mexican government presents to a non-Mexican citizen (photo).

    The mission of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession is to promote racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. The commission serves as a catalyst for change, so that the profession may more accurately reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of society and better serve society. The commission promotes the recruitment, hiring, promotion and advancement of attorneys of color and works to ensure equal membership and employment opportunities for diverse lawyers in the ABA. The commission accomplishes this through many initiatives, activities and programs, including the annual Spirit of Excellence Award.

    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.

     

    New ABA book provides an intentional guide for growing collaborative law

    September 18, 2018 10:27 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 18, 2018 — The American Bar Association has published Building a Successful Collaborative Family Law Practice, a new book that outlines practical, clear advice from a team of experienced professionals who have bridged the gap from learning to doing in their family practices.

    Whether lawyers want to learn more about collaborative divorce, grow their practices or eliminate litigation from their work, this new anthology from experts throughout North America provides down-to-earth explanations about how to use the law and interest-based negotiations for building resolution. From implementing the ethical standards to forming a rewarding (and profitable) practice focused on peacebuilding, “Building a Successful Collaborative Family Law Practice” explains the ins and outs of collaborative law.

    Editors Forrest “Woody” Mosten and Adam B. Cordover established their careers by strengthening the practice of collaborative family law and have brought together a collection of in-depth essays from practitioners in the field. These peacemakers span generations and interdisciplinary backgrounds—including psychology, accounting and marketing—and detail a breadth of information that will help families reach productive and peaceful solutions. With this book as a tool, attorneys and others will learn the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively resolve disputes outside of the courtroom with peace, intention and pragmatism.

    Mosten is a collaborative attorney (Certified Family Law Specialist) and mediator in Los Angeles and La Jolla, Calif. He is a full-time peacemaker and never goes to court on any case. He is the author of five previous books and numerous articles. He has received several awards including Peacemaker of the Year, the ABA Lawyer as Problem Solver Award and the ABA Lifetime Legal Access Award for his contributions to unbundling, mediation and collaborative law. Mosten is adjunct professor of law at UCLA School of Law.

    Cordover is a collaborative attorney, trainer and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator in Tampa. He is co-chair of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) Research Committee and incoming member of the IACP Board. Cordover is the former president of Next Generation Divorce, guiding it to become the largest local collaborative practice group in North America. He now practices exclusively in private dispute resolution and is managing attorney of Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm.

    Title:                            Building a Successful Collaborative Family Law Practice
    Publisher:                    ABA Book Publishing
    Pages:                         512 pages
    Product Code:             5130231
    ISBN:                           9781641052412
    Size:                            7 x 10, paperback and eBook
    Price:                           $99.95
    Orders:                        800-285-2221 or shopaba.org

     

    Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Amelia Stone at Amelia.Stone@americanbar.org. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Amelia Stone, ABA Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

    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 and Centers for Disease Control to co-sponsor webinar on disaster resiliency

    September 18, 2018 10:17 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2018 — The American Bar Association Health Law Section, Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services and Committee on Disaster Preparedness and Response, along with the Center for Disease Control’s Public Health Law Program, will hold a complimentary webinar on Sept. 25, from 1-2:30 p.m., EDT, titled, “2018 National Celebration of Pro Bono: A Focus on Disaster Resiliency.”

    During the week of Oct. 21-27, the ABA will celebrate its 10th Annual Celebrate Pro Bono Week, with a focus on disaster resiliency. As a part of this celebration, the ABA is encouraging lawyers across the country to do their part with assisting with disaster resiliency efforts by offering pro bono assistance to survivors or evacuees of disasters or by helping communities to prepare for a disaster. Disaster survivors face countless legal issues, including health and education issues. And even before a disaster strikes, communities need legal assistance with disaster preparedness including business continuity planning, meeting insurance needs and more.

    The webinar will offer an opportunity for public health attorneys, health care lawyers and law students to learn about the most common legal issues that disaster survivors face and how they can get involved in providing much-needed pro bono assistance in the communities where they live and work. Speakers will also provide information on resources on public health emergency law, and information to assist with pro bono representation.

    The panelists will be: Keri Brown, partner at Baker Botts in Houston; Tracy Figueroa, disaster assistance group coordinator at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid; Linley Boone-Almaguer, disaster assistance team manager at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid; Jessie Campbell, pro bono and outreach director, Houston Volunteer Lawyers; and Michael Hofrichter, operations and compliance director, Houston Volunteer Lawyers. Moderating will be Chauntis Jenkins Floyd of Porteous, Hainkel & Johnson LLP in New Orleans and chair of the ABA Committee on Disaster Preparedness and Response.

    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.

     

     

    Statement of Bob Carlson, president, American Bar Association Re: Observance of Constitution Day 2018

    September 17, 2018 12:00 AM by romeroi

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2018 – Today, our nation will celebrate Constitution Day, marking the 231st anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787. The American Bar Association invites all Americans to use this anniversary to reflect on the rights and responsibilities guaranteed by the Constitution and how critical the document has been to our democracy and way of life.

    This Constitution Day, let us consider all the constitutional protections we experience every day and their importance in sustaining our liberties and ensuring a free society. Let us also dedicate ourselves to preserve and protect these rights for all people. Our democracy will endure only if we the people commit to protecting the Constitution on which this country was founded.

    (Media contact: matthew.cimento@americanbar.org)

    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.

    Nine law schools to host ABA’s law student Negotiation Competition

    September 14, 2018 2:06 PM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 14, 2018 — Nine law schools will serve as regional hosts for the 2018-19 American Bar Association’s Negotiation Competition: Quinnipiac University School of Law, New York Law School, George Mason University School of Law, Elon University School of Law, Michigan State University College of Law, Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, University of Houston Law Center, Pepperdine University School of Law and Santa Clara University School of Law.

    The ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition provides a means for law students to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems.

    The ABA Law Student Division relies on schools to carry out these distinguished opportunities for students. Each host works diligently to provide a high level of professionalism and excellence to aid in the students’ future success. This year’s regional Negotiation Competition will bring together law schools from around the country for an opportunity to compete in the National Finals being held in Chicago in February.

    ABA competitions teach law students real-world legal skills in a simulated practice environment. Judges for the competitions include volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench. This year, more than 1,300 students from 156 law schools participated in one or more of the competitions sponsored by the Law Student Division.

    The ABA Law Student Division coordinates four practical skills competitions per year: Arbitration Competition, Negotiation Competition, Client Counseling Competition and National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC Moot Court).

    For more information on the ABA Law Student Division and the competitions, visit

    abaforlawstudents.com/.

     

    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.

     

    11 law schools to host ABA’s law student Client Counseling Competition

    September 14, 2018 2:06 PM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 14, 2018 – Eleven law schools will serve as regional hosts for the 2018-19 American Bar Association’s Client Counseling Competition season: Boston College Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, University of North Carolina School of Law, Stetson University College of Law, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, The John Marshall Law School, Drake University Law School, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Denver-Sturm College of Law, South Texas College of Law Houston and Seattle University School of Law.

    This competition addresses fundamental skills necessary for all successful attorneys, namely the ability to interview, counsel and support a client through a legal issue. Competitors conduct an initial interview with a person playing the role of the client and then address both the client’s legal and non-legal needs.

    The ABA’s Law Student Division relies on schools to carry out these distinguished opportunities for students.  Each host works diligently to provide a high level of professionalism and excellence to aid in the students’ future success. This year’s regional Client Counseling Competition will bring together schools from around the U.S. for an opportunity to compete in the National Finals being held at Baylor University School of Law in March 2019.

    ABA competitions teach law students real-world legal skills in a simulated practice environment. Judges for the competitions include volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench. This year, over 1,300 students from 156 law schools participated in one or more of the competitions sponsored by the Law Student Division.

    The ABA Law Student Division coordinates four practical skills competitions per year: Arbitration Competition, Negotiation Competition, Client Counseling Competition and National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC Moot Court).

    For more information on the ABA Law Student Division and the competitions, visit

    abaforlawstudents.com/.

    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.

     

    Four law schools to host ABA’s law student Arbitration Competition

    September 14, 2018 2:06 PM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 14, 2018 – Four schools will serve as regional hosts for the 2018-19 American Bar Association’s Arbitration Competition: Brooklyn Law School; University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law; University of Oklahoma College of Law; and Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law.

    This competition promotes greater knowledge in arbitration by simulating a realistic arbitration hearing. Participants prepare and present an arbitration case, including opening statements, witness examinations, exhibit introductions, evidentiary presentations, and summations.

    The ABA’s Law Student Division relies on schools to carry out these distinguished opportunities for students. Each host works diligently to provide a high level of professionalism and excellence to aid in the students’ future success.  This year’s regional Arbitration Competition will bring together law schools from around the U.S. for an opportunity to compete in the National Finals being held in Chicago in January.

    ABA competitions teach law students real-world legal skills in a simulated practice environment. Judges for the competitions include volunteer attorneys and sitting members of the bench. This year, over 1,300 students from 156 law schools participated in one or more of the competitions sponsored by the Law Student Division.

    The ABA Law Student Division coordinates four practical skills competitions per year: Arbitration Competition, Negotiation Competition, Client Counseling Competition and National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC Moot Court).

    For more information on the ABA Law Student Division and the competitions, visit

    abaforlawstudents.com/.

    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.

     

    New ABA book analyzes cryptocurrencies’ effect on digital economy and financial security

    September 14, 2018 9:56 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 14, 2018 — The new American Bar Association release “Blockchain for Business Lawyers” provides readers with a comprehensive look at one of the most transformative and disruptive technologies in decades. It is a vital new phase in the internet economy that has the potential to make game-changing transformations to our digital economy and financial security.

    This book offers a detailed review of cryptocurrencies and financial regulations (with a focus on the United States); smart code and smart contracts; security and privacy; antitrust regulations; the regulation of money transmission; applicable U.S. state laws and disputes, liability and jurisdiction issues related to blockchain. It looks at blockchain challenges, breaks down legal developments and offers possible resolutions.

    Co-editors Mark W. Rasmussen and James A. Cox are lawyers in Jones Day’s Dallas office and part of the firm’s Business and Tort Litigation practice. Rasmussen is a seasoned litigator and investigator with more than a dozen years of experience representing clients in complex commercial litigation, securities litigation, regulatory and internal investigations and bankruptcy litigation. Cox has more than two decades of legal experience and a background in computer science and has successfully advised clients on their most challenging and difficult matters in litigation and arbitration, including complex technology-related disputes, international disputes, class actions and disputes involving corporate acquisitions.

    Title:                             Blockchain for Business Lawyers
    Publisher:                    ABA Section of Science & Technology Law
    Pages:                         276
    Product Code:             5450078
    ISBN:                            9781641051958
    Size:                              6 x 9, paperback and eBook
    Price:                            $129.95
    Orders:                        800-285-2221 or shopaba.org

    Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Dean Pappas at Dean.Pappas@americanbar.org. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Dean Pappas, ABA Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

    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.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

    American Bar Association mobilizing legal resources to respond to Hurricane Florence

    September 13, 2018 2:38 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2018 — Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local legal aid offices, the Disaster Legal Services Program of the ABA Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) has a plan in place to provide legal assistance to disaster victims in the path of Hurricane Florence.

    Telephone hotlines will be set up in the states declared disaster areas to connect victims to lawyers who can respond to disaster-related legal issues that include landlord/tenant problems, insurance claims, FEMA claims and consumer issues such as contractor fraud.  

    “With Hurricane Florence about to batter the U.S. east coast, the ABA wants everyone in its path to stay safe and secure,” ABA President Bob Carlson said. “Once the storm passes and the damage can be assessed, the ABA, through its network of volunteers, stands ready to assist those affected by the hurricane with any of the legal needs that so often arise after these natural disasters.”

    Since September 2007, the ABA YLD has responded to more than 178 declared disasters in 44 states and four U.S. territories. In the last year, hundreds of lawyers volunteered to provide legal assistance to those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as wildfires in the West and other natural disasters.

    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.

     

    Experts available to discuss legal aspects of damage from Hurricane Florence

    September 12, 2018 3:15 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2018 — The American Bar Association can refer news reporters to legal experts available to speak about the legal issues likely to result from Hurricane Florence.

    Reporters seeking analysis and comment on the possible legal consequences of Hurricane Florence may contact Priscilla Totten at 202-662-1094 or at Priscilla.Totten@americanbar.org for more information on experts available to the media.

    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.

     

    Comprehensive ABA report offers tips, roadmap for states working to improve access to justice

    September 12, 2018 7:45 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 12, 2018 – A new report by the American Bar Association provides a first-of-its-kind look at access to justice commissions nationwide, offering an in-depth analysis of their structures, activities, staffing and funding as well as best-practice recommendations.

    Across the country, 40 states and U.S. territories have established these commissions. The report, “Access to Justice Commissions: Increasing Effectiveness Through Adequate Staffing and Funding,” provides detailed steps on how commissions can improve their effectiveness and brief case studies of successful efforts in Massachusetts, New York and Colorado. The ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives, a project of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID), developed the report.

    “Some of the most significant advances in access to justice in our country have resulted from the innovative and sustained efforts of state access to justice commissions,” ABA President Bob Carlson said. “The American Bar Association is extremely proud of its longstanding support for the access to justice commission model, especially through the work of SCLAID and its Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives. We are pleased to continue to focus attention on the need and work of these commissions through this new report.”

    A 2016 study by the federal Legal Services Corporation showed that 86 percent — or nearly nine out of 10 — civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans during the prior year received inadequate or no legal help. In 1991, the ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives began collecting and cataloging numerous state studies documenting these types of unmet legal needs, generating interest nationwide to create and improve state access to justice commissions.

    The state access to justice commissions are typically created by state supreme courts and include representation from a broad range of civil justice system stakeholders within the state, such as the courts, bar associations, civil legal aid providers and law schools.

    “It is our hope that this report will be useful not only in strengthening the current infrastructure for existing access to justice commissions, but also in providing a blueprint for examining access to justice issues and developing new commissions in jurisdictions that do not have a coordinated, state-based strategy in place,” SCLAID Chair Ted Howard said.

    Among other goals, commissions work to remove barriers to civil justice by increasing civil legal aid funding, improving the delivery of pro bono legal services, simplifying court processes and forms for self-represented litigants, expanding language access resources, addressing implicit cultural bias and developing court-based self-help centers. The new report emphasizes that none of these objectives are attainable without the commission having a strong, stable infrastructure.

    Other key findings in the report include:

    • Broad, active stakeholder involvement increases the impact of access to justice commissions.

    • Professional staff plays a key role with effective commissions.

    • The influence of the Conference of Chief Justices, as well as individual chief justices, in expanding access to justice commissions around the country cannot be overstated.

    • The support of the legal aid community is extremely valuable for successful commissions.

    • Fundraising is critical, with approximately one-third of commissions involved with fundraising for operational expenses or special projects, and establishing broad coalitions help ensure the success of special projects.


    The report was supported with grant funding from the Public Welfare Foundation and can be found at www.atjsupport.org.

    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.

     

    ABA offers roadmap for states to improve access to justice

    September 12, 2018 7:45 AM by glynnj

    A new report by the American Bar Association provides a first-of-its-kind look at access to justice commissions nationwide, offering an in-depth analysis of their structures, activities, staffing and funding as well as best-practice recommendations.

    Across the country, 40 states and U.S. territories have established these commissions. The report, “Access to Justice Commissions: Increasing Effectiveness Through Adequate Staffing and Funding,” provides detailed steps on how commissions can improve their effectiveness and brief case studies of successful efforts in Massachusetts, New York and Colorado. The ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives, a project of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID), developed the report.

    “Some of the most significant advances in access to justice in our country have resulted from the innovative and sustained efforts of state access to justice commissions,” ABA President Bob Carlson said. “The American Bar Association is extremely proud of its longstanding support for the access to justice commission model, especially through the work of SCLAID and its Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives. We are pleased to continue to focus attention on the need and work of these commissions through this new report.”

    A 2016 study by the federal Legal Services Corporation showed that 86 percent — or nearly nine out of 10 — civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans during the prior year received inadequate or no legal help. In 1991, the ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives began collecting and cataloging numerous state studies documenting these types of unmet legal needs, generating interest nationwide to create and improve state access to justice commissions.

    The state access to justice commissions are typically created by state supreme courts and include representation from a broad range of civil justice system stakeholders within the state, such as the courts, bar associations, civil legal aid providers and law schools.

    “It is our hope that this report will be useful not only in strengthening the current infrastructure for existing access to justice commissions, but also in providing a blueprint for examining access to justice issues and developing new commissions in jurisdictions that do not have a coordinated, state-based strategy in place,” SCLAID Chair Ted Howard said.

    Among other goals, commissions work to remove barriers to civil justice by increasing civil legal aid funding, improving the delivery of pro bono legal services, simplifying court processes and forms for self-represented litigants, expanding language access resources, addressing implicit cultural bias and developing court-based self-help centers. The new report emphasizes that none of these objectives are attainable without the commission having a strong, stable infrastructure.

    Other key findings in the report include:

    • Broad, active stakeholder involvement increases the impact of access to justice commissions.

    • Professional staff plays a key role with effective commissions.

    • The influence of the Conference of Chief Justices, as well as individual chief justices, in expanding access to justice commissions around the country cannot be overstated.

    • The support of the legal aid community is extremely valuable for successful commissions.

    • Fundraising is critical, with approximately one-third of commissions involved with fundraising for operational expenses or special projects, and establishing broad coalitions help ensure the success of special projects.


    The report was supported with grant funding from the Public Welfare Foundation and can be found at www.atjsupport.org.

    For more information, contact ABA Media Relations at abanews@americanbar.org or call 202-662-1090.

    Statement of ABA President Bob Carlson Re: Immigration lawyers and judges

    September 11, 2018 4:49 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2018 — The American Bar Association applauds the work of lawyers who help assure fairness and due process in our nation’s immigration courts. During a visit last month to the border in Texas, I was very impressed by their hard work in difficult circumstances. Our Constitution guarantees certain rights to all people in the United States, including men, women and children who come here to escape lawlessness and violence in their home countries.

    The ABA strongly supports the independence of immigration judges and immigration courts. These courts should not be subordinate to any executive branch agency, including the Justice Department. Instead, we support the creation of truly independent immigration courts and judges under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. Such an arrangement would remove any perception that politics can play a role in dispensing justice with matters of immigration.

    Our American democracy rests upon the rule of law – and the rule of law rests upon the work of impartial, independent judges, as well as knowledgeable, hard-working lawyers, including immigration attorneys who pursue justice, both for the government and for immigrants who seek asylum.

    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 Health Law Section releases comments on CMS proposed rule relating to telehealth

    September 11, 2018 10:02 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 11, 2018 — The American Bar Association Health Law Section submitted comments on the proposed rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published on July 27, 2018, as corrected on Aug. 9, 2018, regarding the Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program.

    The section’s comments focus primarily on the aspects of the proposed rules relating to telehealth. The comments were approved by the section’s council on Sept. 4 and submitted to the CMS on Sept. 10, 2018.

    The views expressed herein are presented on behalf of the section. No government attorneys or government professional participated in the drafting of submission of these comments. Accordingly, the views expressed in these comments should not be construed as representing the policy or views of any government employee who is a member of the section or its council. These comments have not been approved by the ABA House of Delegates or the Board of Governors and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the position of the American Bar Association.

    The comments are available for review online.

    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.

     

     

    Updated ABA Legal Fact Check explores what constitutes treason in legal context

    September 10, 2018 2:01 PM by romeroi

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2018 — The American Bar Association posted today an updated ABA Legal Fact Check on treason that explores what constitutes the act in the legal context and explains that recent statements by President Donald Trump and others don’t meet the legal standard for treason.

    As a legal matter, treason has a very specific meaning under Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Treason is the betrayal of the U.S. by waging war against it or by consciously acting to aid the nation’s enemies. It can only be invoked, as a criminal charge, against an individual with ties to the U.S., in a time of war and when at least two witnesses can testify to an “overt act.”

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. For coverage of other timely issues in the news, these prior ABA Legal Fact Checks might be helpful:

    • Click here on whether White House confidentiality agreements can be enforced.
    • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on attorney-client privilege.
    • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on under what circumstances, if any, would a president be above the law.
    • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on the authority of a president to issue pardons.


    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.

     

    ABA Legal Fact Check: What constitutes treason?

    September 10, 2018 2:01 PM by glynnj

    The American Bar Association posted today an updated ABA Legal Fact Check on treason that explores what constitutes the act in the legal context and explains that recent statements by President Donald Trump and others don’t meet the legal standard for treason.

    As a legal matter, treason has a very specific meaning under Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. Treason is the betrayal of the U.S. by waging war against it or by consciously acting to aid the nation’s enemies. It can only be invoked, as a criminal charge, against an individual with ties to the U.S., in a time of war and when at least two witnesses can testify to an “overt act.”

    ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. For coverage of other timely issues in the news, these prior ABA Legal Fact Checks might be helpful:

    • Click here on whether White House confidentiality agreements can be enforced.
    • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on attorney-client privilege.
    • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on under what circumstances, if any, would a president be above the law.
    • Click here for an ABA Legal Fact Check on the authority of a president to issue pardons.


    The URL for the site is www.abalegalfactcheck.com. Follow us on Twitter @ABAFactCheck.

    ABA launches pledge campaign to improve mental health and well-being of lawyers

    September 10, 2018 11:45 AM by romeroi

    CHICAGO, Sept. 10, 2018 — The American Bar Association is launching an innovative campaign targeting substance-use disorders and mental health issues among lawyers, and some of the nation’s largest law firms have already pledged to support the initiative and adopt its framework for improved well-being.

    The campaign, organized by the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession, is designed to address the profession’s troubling rates of alcohol and other substance-use disorders, as well as mental health issues. Recent studies have documented that lawyers struggle with these problems at levels substantially above both the general population and other highly educated professionals.

    “I wholeheartedly support this important effort to assist and improve the health of lawyers in this country,” ABA President Bob Carlson said. “Many lawyers have struggled with alcohol, other substance-use or mental health disorders, and many more of us have watched friends wrestle with them. This pledge campaign will give these issues the attention they deserve by raising awareness throughout the profession and making help available to lawyers in need. I hope all law firms consider taking the pledge.”

    Based on a framework developed by working group member Patrick Krill, the campaign’s goals are to raise awareness, facilitate a reduction in the incidence of problematic substance-use and mental health distress and improve lawyer well-being. From education to policies to culture, the seven-point pledge identifies the core areas on which firms should focus and the concrete steps they should take as they seek to achieve those goals.

    Firms that have signed the pledge include Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Corette Black Carlson & Mickelson P.C.; Duane Morris LLP; Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; Latham & Watkins LLP; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; Nixon Peabody LLP; Perkins Coie LLP; Reed Smith, LLP; Schiff Hardin LLP; Seyfarth Shaw LLP; Snell & Wilmer LLP; and Wiley Rein LLP. The ABA hopes all legal employers take the pledge by Jan. 1, 2019, to be included in the inaugural class that is making this commitment to lawyer well-being.

    The working group was formed in September 2017 at the request of then-president Hilarie Bass to examine and make recommendations about what legal employers can do to improve the current state of attorney mental health and substance-use issues and support a healthy work environment. Carlson, her successor, has asked the group to continue its work through his one-year term.

    For more information and contacts for individual law firms signing the pledge, please email Bill Choyke at bill.choyke@americanbar.org.

    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.

     

    New ABA book is a comprehensive guide to public speaking for lawyers

    September 10, 2018 10:07 AM by romeroi

    CHICAGO, Sept. 10, 2018 —  The American Bar Association new book release, “Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys,” is a comprehensive guide that provides lawyers with basic as well as advanced techniques to enhance presentations, whether in or out of court.
     

    While many people dread public speaking, it is a skill that can be learned, like writing, playing an instrument or becoming fluent in another language.

    Attorneys and non-attorneys alike will find in this book techniques that can be used immediately to improve their presentation skills. From researching the audience to creating the perfect message to body language and delivery tips, this wide-reaching guide provides the tools needed to be a better speaker.

    Author Faith Pincus is an accomplished speaker who has trained attorneys, CEOs, elected and appointed officials, candidates and management for more than 25 years. As an attorney and former federal law clerk, she is uniquely positioned to understand the speaking skills required of attorneys.

    Title:                             Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys
    Publisher:                    ABA Book Publishing
    Pages:                           208
    Product Code:             1620763
    ISBN:                           9781641051873
    Size:                             6 x 9, paperback and eBook
    Price:                           $39.95
    Orders:                        800-285-2221 or shopaba.org

     What others are saying about “Being Heard”:

    “Faith Pincus, simply put, is both an exceptional speaker and an exceptional writer. She has personally been my coach and mentor for presentation skills and it has been a life-changer! Her book, “Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys”, is a must-read.” — Joseph E. Ankus, Esq., President/Founder, Ankus Consulting, Inc.

    “Faith has written a fun, thoughtful and most helpful book for anyone who speaks—or needs to speak—in public. The sections for lawyers are full of good advice, and lawyers and others will also benefit greatly from the other public-speaking and media-handling advice she offers. These are truly words from the wise!” — Ken Masters, Masters Law Group

    “This is the book I wish existed when I was a young prosecutor and during my 31-plus years as a senior writ attorney at the California Court of Appeal in San Francisco doing CLE presentations. Faith brings her own expertise and experience, as well as that of her many contacts, to create a book that is witty, an easy read, and a bible for any public speaker. It’s one I’ll now always keep at hand for reference.”  — Susan Horst, of counsel, California Appellate Law Group; former career senior writ attorney, California Court of Appeal

    Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Dean Pappas at Dean.Pappas@americanbar.org. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Dean Pappas, ABA Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

    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.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

     

     

    Systemic bias in legal profession confirmed by new report

    September 6, 2018 2:45 PM by glynnj

    Despite efforts to reverse the trend, a new study confirms widespread gender and racial bias permeates hiring, promotion, assignments and compensation in the legal industry.  Fifty-eight percent of women attorneys of color, and half of white women lawyers surveyed say they have been mistaken for administrative staff or janitors, according to the new study, You Can’t Change What You Can’t See, released today. In glaring contrast, only seven percent of white male lawyers report a similar occurrence.

    Conducted by the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law on behalf of The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) and The American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, the report examines implicit gender and racial bias in legal workplaces and offers new solutions and tools  for interrupting bias across the legal profession.

    “This report paints a stark picture of the obstacles that block many lawyers from achieving their potential,” said ABA President Bob Carlson. “The remedies it suggests – using metrics to encourage fairness – will lead the way to better employment practices and greater diversity, which will benefit the entire legal profession and our clients.”

    Overall, women of color reported the highest level of bias in almost every workplace process in the survey.

    • Sixty-three percent of women of color report having to go “above and beyond” to get the same recognition as their colleagues.

    • The report notes that men of color and white women experience prove-it-again bias at a higher percentage (nearly 25 percentage points higher) than white men. In comparison, women of color experience prove-it-again bias at a higher percentage than any other group - 35 percentage points higher than white men and 10 percentage points higher than men of color and white women.

    • Two-thirds of women of color (67 percent) report being held to higher standards than their colleagues. Men of color and white women also feel like they are held to higher standards considerably more often (58 percent and 52 percent respectively) than white men.

    • About half of women of color (53 percent) report that they had equal access to high-quality assignments compared to 81 percent of white men.

    • Three-fourths of white men believed they have been given fair opportunities for promotion, but just over half of women of color (52 percent) believe the same.


    “This study confirms what many of us have known about the legal profession for some time, that women, especially women of color, face a lot of barriers to success and aren’t measured as equals by their employers and peers,” said MCCA CEO Jean Lee. “We need to take a different approach to diversity issues and use the findings of this study and metrics from across the industry to drive meaningful solutions to combat workplace discrimination in the legal field.”

    Across the board, respondents reported negative career consequences after taking parental leave. Women of all races said they were treated worse after having children by being given low-quality assignments, passed over for promotions, demoted or paid less and/or unfairly disadvantaged for working part-time or with a flexible schedule. Fifty-seven percent of white women and about half of people of color (50 percent of women of color and 47 percent of men of color) agreed that taking family leave would have a negative impact on their career. Forty-two percent of white men surveyed also felt taking parental leave would have a negative impact on their career demonstrating the flexibility stigma surrounding leave affects all lawyers.

    Large amounts of bias were reported by both women of color and white women in compensation. Almost 70 percent of women of color say they were paid less than their colleagues with similar experience and seniority, while only 36 percent of white men report the same. Similarly, 60 percent of white women reported they were paid less than comparable colleagues.

    Following a disturbing national trend, a quarter of women reported that they had encountered unwelcome sexual harassment at work, including unwanted sexual comments, physical contact, and/or romantic advances. Sexist comments, stories and jokes appear to be widespread in the legal field, with more than 70 percent of all groups reporting encountering this type of activity in the workplace.

    “This study confirmed that many lawyers report exactly the kinds of racial and gender bias long documented by social psychologists,” said Joan C. Williams, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. “While research has found that bias trainings are often ineffective, this report includes a new approach to interrupting bias that is evidence-based and metrics-driven.”

    To help corporate legal departments and law firms mitigate the potential negative impact of an unconscious bias, the survey report includes Bias Interrupters Toolkits. Derived from the research, these “bias interrupters” are incremental steps that tweak basic business systems to produce measurable change in behaviors and outcomes.

    The survey of 2,827 in-house and firm attorneys was conducted from April-June 2016 (525 respondents included comments). The Likert scale questions were based on social science studies documenting implicit bias in the workplace.

    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.

    The Minority Corporate Counsel Association was founded in 1997 with the purpose of making the next generation of legal leaders as diverse as the world we live in. From publishing research insights to providing professional development opportunities to offering advisory services, today MCCA is the preeminent voice on diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. MCCA empowers members with the tools needed to disrupt business as usual – and to blaze a path forward for their company, industry and corporate America.

    Joan C. Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Law, Hastings Foundation Chair, and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. The Center for WorkLife Law is a research and advocacy organization at UC Hastings College of the Law that seeks to advance gender and racial equality in the workplace and in higher education. WorkLife Law focuses on initiatives that can produce concrete social, legal, and institutional change within three to five years.

     

    Statement of Bob Carlson, ABA president Re: Passage of the POWER Act

    September 6, 2018 1:31 PM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2018 — The American Bar Association applauds enactment of the POWER Act on September 4, which requires the chief judge from each judicial district to annually promote pro bono legal services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. An underlying goal of this law is to let victims know that legal assistance is available to them and empower them to move forward with their lives.

    The American Bar Association has long promoted access to justice for victims of domestic and sexual violence and urges every lawyer to provide legal services to those who have a limited ability to pay. Today, the ABA renews that call to action for the legal profession and urges state and local bar associations across the country to work with the chief judge in their district to facilitate annual implementation of this important new law.

    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.

     

    New study finds gender and racial bias endemic in legal profession

    September 6, 2018 6:49 AM by glynnj

    First-of-its-kind survey shows systemic bias across the legal profession presents significant barriers to gender and racial equity

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2018 – Despite efforts to reverse the trend, a new study confirms widespread gender and racial bias permeates hiring, promotion, assignments and compensation in the legal industry.  Fifty-eight percent of women attorneys of color, and half of white women lawyers surveyed say they have been mistaken for administrative staff or janitors, according to the new study, You Can’t Change What You Can’t See, released today. In glaring contrast, only seven percent of white male lawyers report a similar occurrence.

    Conducted by the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law on behalf of The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) and The American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, the report examines implicit gender and racial bias in legal workplaces and offers new solutions and tools  for interrupting bias across the legal profession.

    “This report paints a stark picture of the obstacles that block many lawyers from achieving their potential,” said ABA President Bob Carlson. “The remedies it suggests – using metrics to encourage fairness – will lead the way to better employment practices and greater diversity, which will benefit the entire legal profession and our clients.”

    Overall, women of color reported the highest level of bias in almost every workplace process in the survey.

    • Sixty-three percent of women of color report having to go “above and beyond” to get the same recognition as their colleagues.

    • The report notes that men of color and white women experience prove-it-again bias at a higher percentage (nearly 25 percentage points higher) than white men. In comparison, women of color experience prove-it-again bias at a higher percentage than any other group - 35 percentage points higher than white men and 10 percentage points higher than men of color and white women.

    • Two-thirds of women of color (67 percent) report being held to higher standards than their colleagues. Men of color and white women also feel like they are held to higher standards considerably more often (58 percent and 52 percent respectively) than white men.

    • About half of women of color (53 percent) report that they had equal access to high-quality assignments compared to 81 percent of white men.

    • Three-fourths of white men believed they have been given fair opportunities for promotion, but just over half of women of color (52 percent) believe the same.


    “This study confirms what many of us have known about the legal profession for some time, that women, especially women of color, face a lot of barriers to success and aren’t measured as equals by their employers and peers,” said MCCA CEO Jean Lee. “We need to take a different approach to diversity issues and use the findings of this study and metrics from across the industry to drive meaningful solutions to combat workplace discrimination in the legal field.”

    Across the board, respondents reported negative career consequences after taking parental leave. Women of all races said they were treated worse after having children by being given low-quality assignments, passed over for promotions, demoted or paid less and/or unfairly disadvantaged for working part-time or with a flexible schedule. Fifty-seven percent of white women and about half of people of color (50 percent of women of color and 47 percent of men of color) agreed that taking family leave would have a negative impact on their career. Forty-two percent of white men surveyed also felt taking parental leave would have a negative impact on their career demonstrating the flexibility stigma surrounding leave affects all lawyers.

    Large amounts of bias were reported by both women of color and white women in compensation. Almost 70 percent of women of color say they were paid less than their colleagues with similar experience and seniority, while only 36 percent of white men report the same. Similarly, 60 percent of white women reported they were paid less than comparable colleagues.

    Following a disturbing national trend, a quarter of women reported that they had encountered unwelcome sexual harassment at work, including unwanted sexual comments, physical contact, and/or romantic advances. Sexist comments, stories and jokes appear to be widespread in the legal field, with more than 70 percent of all groups reporting encountering this type of activity in the workplace.

    “This study confirmed that many lawyers report exactly the kinds of racial and gender bias long documented by social psychologists,” said Joan C. Williams, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. “While research has found that bias trainings are often ineffective, this report includes a new approach to interrupting bias that is evidence-based and metrics-driven.”

    To help corporate legal departments and law firms mitigate the potential negative impact of an unconscious bias, the survey report includes Bias Interrupters Toolkits. Derived from the research, these “bias interrupters” are incremental steps that tweak basic business systems to produce measurable change in behaviors and outcomes.

    The survey of 2,827 in-house and firm attorneys was conducted from April-June 2016 (525 respondents included comments). The Likert scale questions were based on social science studies documenting implicit bias in the workplace.

    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.

    The Minority Corporate Counsel Association was founded in 1997 with the purpose of making the next generation of legal leaders as diverse as the world we live in. From publishing research insights to providing professional development opportunities to offering advisory services, today MCCA is the preeminent voice on diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. MCCA empowers members with the tools needed to disrupt business as usual – and to blaze a path forward for their company, industry and corporate America.

    Joan C. Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Law, Hastings Foundation Chair, and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. The Center for WorkLife Law is a research and advocacy organization at UC Hastings College of the Law that seeks to advance gender and racial equality in the workplace and in higher education. WorkLife Law focuses on initiatives that can produce concrete social, legal, and institutional change within three to five years.

     

    Declaración de Bob Carlson, presidente de ABA Re: Investigaciones de corrupción pública en Guatemala

    September 5, 2018 8:34 AM by glynnj

    5 de Septiembre - El Colegio de Abogados de EEUU (ABA por sus siglas en inglés) muestra su preocupación por la reciente decisión adoptada por el Presidente de Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, de poner fin al trabajo de la Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad (CICIG), apoyada por las Naciones Unidas. Conforme a información de público conocimiento, existiría en curso una investigación liderada por el Ministerio Público con apoyo de la CICIG sobre el presunto financiamiento ilícito de la campaña presidencial de Jimmy Morales. ABA considera que la no renovación del mandato de la CICIG podría tener un impacto negativo en la resolución de la anterior investigación, así como en otras relacionadas con casos de corrupción de alto nivel que se encuentran en curso.

    Gracias al apoyo de la CICIG se han logrado grandes avances en el desmantelamiento de redes criminales que han cooptado al estado guatemalteco.  No obstante, este trabajo aún está lejos de completarse. De no renovarse el mandato de la CICIG, ABA considera que existirían serios obstáculos para que Guatemala continuara avanzando en el fortalecimiento del Estado de Derecho.

    ABA urges Supreme Court to adopt speedier approach to enforce copyright infringements

    September 4, 2018 10:59 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 4, 2018 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court today, asking the justices to settle a split among lower courts by establishing an “application approach” to enforce copyright claims.

    The Supreme Court has agreed to decide this coming term when the “registration of [a] copyright claim has been made” within the meaning of 17 U.S.C. § 411. The U.S. Courts of Appeal for the 5th and 9th Circuits have set the prerequisite for infringement suits when the copyright holder delivers the required application, deposit and fee to the Copyright Office while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th and 11th Circuits say it is when that office acts on the application.

    In endorsing the application approach, the ABA brief said it better reflects the nature of copyright law by focusing on the “copyright holder’s conduct not that of the Copyright Office.” The brief points out that as of July, the Copyright Office reported that a certificate of registration may take between three and 28 months to process, and the delay can prevent a copyright holder from filing suit immediately to prevent widespread dissemination of the infringing work.

    The brief also noted that the U.S. became a signatory in 1989 to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and that subsequently has led to a discrepancy between foreign and U.S. authors in the ability to sue in the U.S. for copyright protection.

    “The application approach reduces the burden of this registration formality and lessens discrimination against the owners of copyrights in U.S. works,” the ABA brief said, before adding: “It is hard to see the logic in interpreting the term ‘registration’ in a way that exacerbates the already significant impediment on the ability of authors of the United States works to enforce their rights.”

    The ABA amicus brief, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall Street.com and Jerrold D. Burden, is available here.

     

    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.

     

    Statement of Bob Carlson, ABA president Re: Public corruption investigations in Guatemala

    September 4, 2018 10:26 AM by glynnj

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2018 — The American Bar Association is deeply concerned about the decision of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales to end the work of the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (known by the Spanish acronym, CICIG). In light of CICIG-supported scrutiny into campaign finance violations concerning President Morales, the decision to terminate CICIG's mandate appears motivated by a desire to prevent it from completing critical investigations into high-level corruption.

    CICIG has made great strides in dismantling criminal networks within Guatemala, but this work is far from complete and must be allowed to continue to protect Guatemala from a return to lawlessness.

    Haga clic aquí para la traducción al Español.

    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.

     

    Timely new ABA book tells fascinating, controversial stories of immigration

    September 4, 2018 9:39 AM by glynnj

    CHICAGO, Sept. 4, 2018 — Rather than traveling over immigration’s well-worn legal and political terrain, the new American Bar Association release, “Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door,” tells stories – tales of children kidnapped to foreign countries in bitter divorce battles, families all but destroyed by the attack on the World Trade Center, a hero’s shabby treatment after standing up to terror and a young DACA recipient becoming the target of a hate attack.

    “Safe Haven” presents the human face of immigration, covering cases that are as fascinating as they are controversial. The case histories read more like espionage thrillers, populated with KGB agents, nuclear whistle-blowers and even accused terrorists fighting for their lives as well as legal standing in the United States.

    Whether it’s about the long-term impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on immigration policy or the latest twist in separating migrant children from their asylum-seeking parents at the border, author Michael Wildes’ opinion has been sought by a range of news organizations, from Fox News to CNN. He speaks with the hard-won experience of more than a quarter-century on the front lines of immigration, as an attorney and as managing partner of Wildes & Weinberg, the premier immigration law practice in the country.

    Title:                             “Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door”
    Publisher:                    Ankerwycke, ABA Book Publishing
    Pages:                         200
    Product Code:             1620764
    ISBN:                            9781641051897
    Size:                              6 x 9, hardcover and eBook
    Price:                            $34.95
    Orders:                        800-285-2221 or shopaba.org

    What others are saying about “Safe Haven”:

    “As the cases in this book show, Michael Wildes continues the struggle—in courtrooms, in the halls of government and in front of the cameras, fighting for the values to which I hope our country will always remain true.” — Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor and author

    “I appreciate Leon Wildes and his son, Michael, from when they handled my friend John Lennon’s green card, right up to Michael’s handling of my very own visa. Their legend as champions of international immigration is well-deserved.” — Pele, soccer legend/icon

    “With respect to the specialized and highly complex area of immigration litigation, there is no better lawyer than Michael Wildes. Period.”  — Benjamin Brafman, criminal defense lawyer

    Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Dean Pappas at Dean.Pappas@americanbar.org. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Dean Pappas, ABA Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

     

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    “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” offers lessons on common ethical challenges

    September 3, 2018 2:45 PM by glynnj

    A recent issue of the ABA Journal opined upon the “25 Greatest Legal Movies.” However, one film that raises interesting ethical quandaries is absent from the list – Roman J. Israel, Esq.  As I encourage everyone to see the movie (despite its imperfections), I will avoid overt spoilers – but can’t promise you won’t get some hints.


    This article was prepared by Dennis A. Rendleman of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility and originally appeared in the September 2018 edition of the YourABA member newsletter.

    Click here to view the entire issue.

    The movie, to give it the IMDB-style summary, is a “dramatic thriller” set in the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as Roman J. Israel, a rather obsessive but idealistic and brilliant behind-the-scenes defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis that leads to extreme action. Colin Farrell co-stars as the successful front-page criminal defense lawyer who brings Roman into his firm and tries to rescue him.

    The key to the film is the character created by Washington. Roman J. Israel is a three-dimensional lawyer who is on a believable professional and ethically challenging journey. As more attention is paid to lawyer wellness, career satisfaction and succession planning, Roman is a real picture and not a caricature. These are all factors that move the plot. Of particular relevance for lawyers is that the plot moves along via legal ethics conundrums.

    The film brings to mind two recent ethics opinions. First is ABA Formal Opinion 479, “The ‘Generally Known’ Exception to Former-Client Confidentiality.” The headnote to the opinion reads, in part:

    The “generally known” exception to the duty of former-client confidentiality is limited. It applies (1) only to the use, and not the disclosure or revelation, of former-client information; and (2) only if the information has become (a) widely recognized by members of the public in the relevant geographic area; or (b) widely recognized in the former client’s industry, profession, or trade. Information is not “generally known” simply because it has been discussed in open court, or is available in court records, in libraries, or in other public repositories of information.

    Recently, in a case pending in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, information that had been filed under seal was mistakenly made available on PACER, the federal court documents online database. The information was published in the Los Angeles Times. The court ordered the publication clawed back and deleted.

    In essence, the court ordered the bell be unrung. 

    While not a perfect analogy, under Opinion 479, that information would not be generally known if it was about your former client – regardless of the court’s order or how widely the information might have been circulated by the disclosure. Indeed, several commentators have criticized the Opinion for not interpreting the Rules more narrowly.

    Perhaps a related issue is connected to an ongoing debate over lawyer whistleblowing and the concomitant question of whether such a lawyer may collect a financial reward or “bounty” when that is a feature of the law involved, for example, the Dodd-Frank Act. In 2013 the New York County Lawyers Association issued Formal Opinion 746, saying in part:

    New York lawyers who are acting as attorneys on behalf of clients presumptively may not ethically collect whistleblower bounties in exchange for disclosing confidential information about their clients under the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act because doing so generally gives rise to a conflict between the lawyers’ interests and those of their clients. 

    This opinion is not uniformly shared. A recent commentator has criticized the opinion as a misinterpretation of both law and ethics. See, Dennis J. Ventry, Jr., “Stitches for Snitches: Lawyers as Whistleblowers” 2017 UC Davis School of Law 1455.

    Another issue that arises in the film suggests the continuing debate over succession planning.  Most states have a state supreme court rule providing for the appointment of a receiver for the protection of client interests. Several states require individual lawyers to specifically designate a successor lawyer to assume responsibility. As the film opens, Roman has been working for more than 25 years for a sole practitioner who treats him as an equal professionally, but pays him as the lowly associate that he is. When the sole practitioner dies suddenly, Roman is left out.

    It is unfortunate that succession planning remains an issue and is not standard practice. In 1992, ABA Formal No. 92-369 said, in part:

    [A] lawyer should prepare a future plan providing for the maintenance and protection

    of those client interests in the event of the lawyer’s death. Such a plan should, at a minimum, include the designation of another lawyer who would have the authority to review client files and make determinations as to which files need immediate attention, and who would notify the clients of their lawyer’s death.

    Indeed, Roman’s situation recalls the plight of the approximately two dozen lawyers who were similarly stranded when acclaimed Chicago lawyer Leonard Ring died suddenly in 1994.  Because there was no succession planning and because of the laws and ethics of Illinois at that time, the estate transferred the substantial case “inventory” to other firms. See, Mark Hanson, “Death Shutters a Law Firm,” ABA Journal, October 1994.

    Nowadays, ABA Model Rule 1.17 allows the sale of a law practice without fear of violation of Rule 5.4(a)(2) as that Rule specifically allows payment to the estate or other representative of the lawyer. Thus, there is no improper sharing of legal fees with a nonlawyer.

    Finally, though the film occurs in the present day, one cannot help but notice that Roman is a vintage character – he is a civil rights activist of the 1960s wearing clothes of the 70s with a flip phone from the 90s and iPod from the 2000s. But the ethics issue may actually be found in his office equipment, which does not appear to be consistent with Rule 1.1 Comment [8]: “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes…including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”

    “’Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ offers lessons on common ethical challenges” originally appeared in the September 2018 edition of the YourABA member newsletter. Click here to view the entire issue.

    The ABA Center for Professional Responsibility advances the public interest by promoting and encouraging high ethical conduct and professionalism by lawyers and judges. The Center provides leadership and guidance to the legal profession and the judiciary by developing, interpreting and promoting the implementation of policies and standards that govern the conduct and regulation of lawyers and judges, including examining the challenges and opportunities of today’s global legal environment, and by producing scholarly and other resources. These efforts seek to assure that lawyers and judges perform their duties in a manner that advances respect for the rule of law, the legal process, the legal profession and the judiciary.