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January 11, 2019

Homeless youth, human trafficking in casinos, immigration among local highlights at American Bar Association meeting Jan. 23-28 in Las Vegas

CHICAGO, Jan. 10, 2019 — Solutions to the homeless youth problem in South Nevada, ending human trafficking in the casino industry and the rise of hate crimes against immigrants are chief among local legal issues that will be explored at the 2019 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting Jan. 23-28 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

With several hundred top-quality legal programs and events, and presentations by America’s foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.

The 589-member ABA House of Delegates—the association’s policy-making body—will meet Jan. 28, 9 a.m., in Augustus Ballroom (Emperors Level) of the Conference Center at Caesars Palace. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.    

Online registration is available for news reporters. Credential guidelines are here.  

Programs of local interest include:

Friday, Jan. 25

“Improving Outcomes by Removing Legal Barriers in Southern Nevada” Solutions to youth homelessness in Nevada will be examined by local lawyers, advocates and providers. Led by Director Darla Bardine of the National Network for Youth and Program Officer Casey Trupin of the Raikes Foundation, a roundtable to experts will discuss the recently released “Southern Nevada Plan to End Youth Homelessness,” covering such topics as existing legal resources, unmet needs and gaps in services, referral systems, as well as current local campaigns and model responses.

9 a.m.-Noon, Pompeian Ballroom I, Promenade Level

Trafficking in the World of Chance: Human Trafficking in the Casino Industry and Beyond An expert local panel – including Las Vegas Judge Linda Bell of the Eighth Judicial Court, Director William Brunson of the National Judicial College of Reno, Security Vice President George Jenkot of Firekeepers Casino and Deputy Chief Cristina Silva of Nevada’s U.S. Attorney’s Office – will examine the human trafficking industry and its role in the casino industry, with a focus on the ways to identify victims and the steps that must be taken to help end this type of modern human slavery.

1-2:30 p.m., Forum Ballroom 15-16, Pool Level


Saturday, Jan. 26


“The Rising Tide of Hate:  How Welcoming the Stranger in a Nation of Immigrants Has Turned Violent” As the majority of hate crimes in the United States are now based on race and ethnicity, an expert panel – including MALDEF President Thomas Saenz, HIAS President Mark Hetfield and Michael Kagan and Mayra Salinas-Menjivar of the University of Nevada Las Vegas – will examine the alarming rise in American nationalism and xenophobia that has led to anti-immigrant rhetoric, intensified immigration enforcement and incidents such as the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Among topics, the panel will discuss what can be done to reverse the anti-immigrant fervor and restore faith in America as a beacon of opportunity for migrants.

9-10:30 a.m., Octavius Ballroom 7-8, Promenade South

New Release: ABA Update Report on Reforming the U.S. Immigration System — As the nation’s immigration courts and other adjudicative systems face untenable backlogs and growing concerns about due process and independence, the ABA will release an update to its 2010 report on U.S. immigration system, highlighting necessary legislative action for vital systemic reform. Overall, the ABA report will offer a practical blueprint to improve the system so that it protects our most vulnerable, while also promoting fairness and due process.

Noon-1 p.m., Octavius Ballroom 7-8, Promenade South

“Maybe There’s an App for That: New Legal Technologies, Access to Justice and the Changing Practice of Law” — New technologies have automated aspects of legal practice and service delivery, forever changing the way law is practiced, empowering non-attorneys, as well as altering the definition of the practice of law itself. A panel of researchers and academics studying the trend as well as those who are practicing law while also changing how it is done, including Executive Director Barbara Buckley of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada as well as representatives from the Self-Represented Legal Network and, will detail contemporary developments and explore their implication.

2-3:30 p.m., Forum Ballroom 17-18, Pool Level


Tinker at 50: Student Rights at the Schoolhouse Gate and Beyond In the 50 years since the Supreme Court recognized that students have freedom of speech and other constitutional rights in public schools with its ruling in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, what has changed? Academics – including Professor Kay Kindred of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Boyd School of Law – will answer the question in light of five decades of evolution in technology, education and societal values.

2:30-4 p.m., Florentine Ballroom II, Promenade Level



During the Midyear Meeting, accredited journalists should register onsite or pick up their preregistered press credentials at the Promenade Level foyer of the Conference Center at Caesars Palace beginning at 9 a.m. on Jan. 23. A press room for accredited reporters will be provided in the Roman Room on the Promenade Level starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 25. The room will be open daily thereafter from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Jan. 28.

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 and on Twitter @ABANews