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July 25, 2019

Bay Area human trafficking, opioid crisis among criminal justice highlights at ABA Annual Meeting Aug. 8-13

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2019 — Measures to stem the trafficking of at-risk youth in the Bay Area, responses to the national opioid crisis and the effectiveness of law enforcement-directed diversion programs are chief among criminal justice issues that will be explored at the 2019 American Bar Association Annual Meeting Aug. 8-13 in San Francisco.

High-profile speakers at the meeting include the general counsels for Lyft, Microsoft, 23andMe and Oracle (Aug. 9, 10 a.m.) on the legal challenges posed by emerging technologies; U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson for the Northern District of California and Senior Counsel Monique Winkler of the SEC Regional Office in San Francisco (Aug. 8, 10:30 a.m.) on the enforcement priorities of their respective agencies; and former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine Banks with other criminal justice experts (Aug. 9, 10 a.m.) on the ethical issues raised in the Robert Mueller investigation.

Other notable speakers include U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (Aug. 10, 8 p.m.) on U.S. civil rights; general counsels for Lyft, Microsoft and Oracle (Aug. 9, 10 a.m.); state Supreme Court justices from California, Washington, Kansas and Ohio (Aug. 9, 3:30 p.m.) on attacks on judicial independence and freedom of speech; and Republican National Committee member Hermeet Dhillon in debate with President Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense Fund (Aug. 9, 2 p.m.) on voting rights. Plus, 2019 ABA Medal recipient Dale Minami (Aug. 8, 2 p.m. and Aug. 10, 4:30 p.m.) will reflect on his landmark case against convictions related to World War II Japanese-American internment and its relevance to the Muslim “travel ban.”

In addition to the nearly 650 events at this premier gathering of legal professionals, the ABA House of Delegates — the association’s policymaking body — will meet at 9 a.m. on Aug. 12 and 8 a.m. on Aug. 13 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis’ Yerba Buena Ballroom (Lower B2 Level). For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the two-day session, click here

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

Criminal justice programs include:

Thursday, Aug. 8

“Views from West Coast DOJ and SEC Leadership on Current Priorities and Recent Developments” — Senior leaders from the San Francisco U.S. Attorney’s Office and SEC Regional Office will share recent developments in white collar and SEC enforcement, as well as each office’s current priorities.

10:30 a.m.-Noon, Fenwick & West LLP, 555 California Street

Cyber Court Review: Recent Decisions from Federal and State Courts Addressing Issues in Computer Crime, Security and eCommerce — In the past year, the courts have issued several opinions interpreting the statutory and constitutional provisions in light of technological advances, and a panel will examine the most important recent cases in this area.

1:30-3 p.m., Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom III, 3rd Floor

“The Collection and Use of Evidence from Abroad” — A panel will focus on the collection and use of evidence in foreign criminal proceedings, examine requests for evidence made under Letters Rogatory and MLATs, and review the impact of the CLOUD (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) on gathering electronic evidence abroad, especially in relation to U.S.-based technology companies responding to subpoenas for data stored in foreign jurisdictions.

3:30-5 p.m., Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom III, 3rd Floor

“Internal Investigations on Cutting Edge: Perspectives from the Front Lines” — As the “standard of care” in internal corporate investigations continues to evolve, a panel that will include a senior SEC regulator, in-house counsel managing an investigation, outside counsel running investigation and individual/pool counsel will share insights regarding evolving trends in this area of investigations.

4-5:30 p.m., Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom I, 3rd Floor

Friday, Aug. 9


“Strategies for Litigating Workplace Sexual Harassment and Assault Cases in the Post-#MeToo Era” — Using employment case scenarios, experts will advise on what counsel should and should not do in cases involving allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

8:30-10 a.m., Westin St. Francis San Francisco, Elizabethan Room C, 2nd Floor


“How Courts and Counsel Can Stem the School-to-Prison Pipeline: The ABA Standards in Action” — Panelists from law enforcement, the judiciary, the defense bar and prosecution will discuss how the decrease in both juvenile crime and referrals to juvenile court from “feeder” systems like schools and foster care may be reinforced by behavioral management and other alternatives to the court system, and how standards adopted by the ABA in 2017 can be a tool to reinforce current best practices.

9-10:30 a.m., Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom III, 3rd Floor

“Risky Business: The Mueller Minefield and Ethical Dilemmas for Lawyers Involved in Government Investigations” Watergate assistant special prosecutor Jill Wine Banks will be joined by legal ethics experts in a discussion on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct’s starring role in the Robert Mueller investigation. Panelists will reflect on the relevance of the rules relating to confidentiality, conflicts of interest, fairness to opposing parties and counsel, publicity during the litigation of a matter and contact with represented parties.

10-11:30 a.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salons 4-6, Lower B2 Level


“The Well-Being of Public Interest Professionals” — A panel that includes Public Defender Jose Varela of Marin County, Executive Director Kristine Hamann of the Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence and Supervising Deputy Public Defender Raul Ayala of the Central District of California will discuss the particular stressors and cultural issues affecting legal professionals working in public interest practice settings, an often overlooked segment of the profession in recent efforts to address the high incidence of mental health and addiction concerns among lawyers.

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom III, 3rd Floor


“Law Enforcement Led Diversion: Examples from the Field” A panel will demonstrate the effectiveness of law enforcement-led diversion and deflection programs that provide alternatives to the court system by introducing successful models from across the country in the areas of juvenile justice, mental health and substance abuse.

1-2:30 p.m., Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom III, 3rd Floor


“Advocate for Survivors: Trafficking of Homeless/At-Risk Youth and Young Adults in the Bay Area and How Lawyers Can Make a Difference” An estimated 4.2 million young people experience homelessness annually and 800,000 of these youth are victims of sex or labor trafficking. A survivor, a representative from Bay Area Legal Aid and the executive director of the National Network for Youth will discuss trafficking in the Bay Area and across the country, including the range of legal needs, related law and policy, gaps in legal services and how lawyers can help address the problem.

12:30-2 p.m., Westin St. Francis San Francisco, California East, 2nd Floor


Smoking Out the Issue and Challenges in the Legalization of Recreational Cannabis As the legalization of recreational marijuana expands in the United States, what lessons can be gleaned from the states that have already passed laws to decriminalize the drug? Those on the frontlines of the issue from both California and Washington – judges who adjudicate licensing and other issues related to dispensaries, as well as industry and regulatory representatives – will explore the developing regulatory landscape on the burgeoning industry and share the challenges they face, including the possibility of criminal sanction on the federal level.

1:45-3:15 p.m., Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom I, 3rd Floor

“Law Firm Cybersecurity Requirements You Never Dreamed Of: Emerging Threats, Ethical Obligations to Clients and Survival Tactics”Jill Rhodes, formerly of the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the CIA, will offer an eye-opening keynote on the particular vulnerabilities of law firms to cyberattacks, now prime targets because they are seen as treasure troves of client information and money – and relatively unprepared for continually emerging threats. Authors of the award-winning ABA Cybersecurity Handbook will follow with practical advice for both solo practitioners and those in BigLaw.        

2-3:30 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salons 4-6, Lower B2 Level

 “Supreme Court Review of Criminal Cases” — A district court judge, federal prosecutor and defense attorney, all from the Bay Area, will review the criminal justice cases that came before the Supreme Court during the current term. Constitutional cases, evidentiary issues and habeas

cases will be addressed.

3-4:30 p.m., Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom II, 3rd Floor

Saturday, Aug. 10

“The #MeToo Reckoning: How Far We’ve Come & Where We Go from Here” A panel that will include representatives from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and National Women’s Law Center, as well as plaintiffs and defense counsel, will examine the tactics, strategies and risks of sexual harassment litigation in the #MeToo era. Panelists will also discuss the legislative responses in the wake of the growing movement to address the pervasive problem and affirmative steps being taken by the broader business community to proactively address issues of harassment, gender and racial equity and other related concerns.

10-11:30 a.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salons 1-3, Lower B2 Level


“Responding to the National Opioid Crisis” — The opioid epidemic is one of the greatest public health epidemics in our nation’s history, with the annual number of overdose deaths exceeding the human casualties of the entire Vietnam War. Panelists, including Susan R. Bailey, president-elect of the American Medical Association, will discuss the progress toward legislative and regulatory solutions; ways to address the inadequate funding and availability of treatment options; current cases involving opioids, including multi-district litigation and litigants seeking to recover losses from opioid manufacturers, distributors, retail sellers, pharmacists and prescribers; and what attorneys can do to help move the needle forward.

10-11:30 a.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salons 4-6, Lower B2 Level

“Black to the Future: The Harsh Realities of ‘Living While Black’ in the 21st Century, and Where We Go from Here” — A panel that will include representatives from the NAACP, National Bar Association and Southern Poverty Law Center will explore the current inequities impacting African-Americans and the role of both the citizen and the lawyer in dismantling policies and practices that perpetuate inequity and undermine the life experiences and outcomes of many African-Americans today.

1-2:30 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salons 1-3, Lower B2 Level

“Cybersecurity: Where Are the Gaps?” — Technology is moving at breakneck speed, revolutionizing and overturning traditional methods and paradigms. This evolving space is creating opportunities and unique challenges for industry, government, the military and universities. A panel will explore the trends in technology and the resulting legal and policy gaps that are emerging in national security.

2-3:30 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Nob Hill B, Lower B2 Level

“Privatization of the Criminal Justice System” — Across the country, private companies are running critical aspects of the criminal justice system from pretrial monitoring to diversion programs, from drug testing to GPS tracking, from prison telephone services to commissaries. Often the criminal defendant is required to bear the costs of these services. A panel will explore the increasing role of private companies in the criminal justice system and the impact on criminal defendants, particularly the indigent.

3-4:30 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salons 1-3, Lower B2 Level



Reporters may pick up their press badges at the meeting registration area at the Marriott Marquis (Lower B2 Level). During the Annual Meeting, a press room for accredited journalists will be open at Sierra Suite E of Marriott Marquis starting at 9 a.m. on Aug. 8. Thereafter the press room will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will close one hour after the House of Delegates adjourns on Aug. 13.

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