July 24, 2019

Supreme Court, voting rights, free speech among highlights at American Bar Association meeting Aug. 8-13 in San Francisco

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2019 — The impact of the two new justices on the U.S. Supreme Court; securing the right to vote and recent gerrymandering cases; and the implications of social media on First Amendment concerns are chief among legal 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 U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (Aug. 10, 8 p.m.) on U.S. civil rights; General counsels for Lyft, Microsoft, 23andme and Oracle (Aug. 9, 10 a.m.) on legal challenges posed by emerging technologies; 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; Miguel Estrada, former assistant to U.S. solicitor general and Pamela Karlan, professor of law at Stanford (Aug. 9, 2 p.m.) on the U.S. Supreme Court’s new era; 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. Additionally, 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.  

Programs of note 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

“Keeping Order in the New Public Square: Freedom of Content vs. Social Responsibility” —San Francisco-based representatives from the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Santa Clara University School of Law will discuss the use of social media to promote hate speech and subvert democratic institutions. What are the obligations of social media platforms to moderate such posts and when does editorial discretion become censorship? 10:30 a.m.-Noon, Goodwin, Three Embarcadero Center, 28th Floor

Due Process Issues Facing the U.S. Immigration Courts” — Immigration lawyers and judges, including Judge Dana Marks of the Immigration Court in San Francisco, will review the measures implemented by the nation’s immigration courts to address their growing backlog of cases, pending court challenges to progress and proposals for restructuring the immigration judiciary by the creation of an Article I Immigration Court.

1:30-3:30 p.m., Hotel Nikko, Golden Gate, 25th Floor

And Then They Came for Us: The Perils of Silence" — Panelists will discuss the obligation of lawyers to speak out against injustice, using as examples the role of lawyers in World War II events, including the internment of Japanese Americans, as well as the Nuremberg trials, during which international lawyers helped to restore the rule of law in Germany. Among speakers, San Francisco-based lawyers Dale Minami and Lorraine Bannai, who in 1983 helped to overturn the conviction of Fred Korematsu for refusing detainment during World War II’s incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, will share the evidence that toppled the government’s case and reflect on their landmark victory in light of the nation’s Muslim “travel ban” and the government’s reliance on unexamined “national security” claims.

2-3:45 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 9, Lower B2 Level

Good Guys program” — The latest in a series of programs designed to break the impasse in women’s advancement by engaging men, missing from the conversation for too long. By working together, a bigger impact is possible.

3:30-5 p.m., Morrison & Foerster LLP, 425 Market Street

Friday, Aug. 9

“Unintended Consequences: Examining the Disparate Impact of the Administration of Student Discipline on Students of Color and Students with Disabilities” — A member of a school-district board of education, a civil rights attorney and an educational advocate will describe from their unique perspectives the impact of the decision last year by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to rescind guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education four years earlier on the obligations of elementary and secondary institutions to “administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin.” Now, how do educational institutions ensure that their disciplinary processes do not disproportionately impact students of color and those with disabilities?

9-10:30 a.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 2, Lower B2 Level

“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” — A Watergate assistant special prosecutor, Jill Wine Banks, will be joined by legal ethics experts in a discussion on the 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

“Shaping our Future: Top Tech Company Lawyers on Innovation and Diversity” — General counsels from Lyft, Microsoft, 23andme and Oracle will explore their roles in shaping socially responsible policies, working in cutting-edge areas of the law, such as those involving AI and autonomous vehicles; as well as anticipating the future challenges posed by the groundbreaking advances of the revolutionary tech companies they represent.

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

New Media Brings New Challenges: Emerging Issues in Free-Speech Litigation” — A panel will explore the implications of social media on the litigation of free-speech cases. Do the protections afforded newspaper and TV journalists apply to bloggers and podcasters? Who is a “public figure” and what constitutes a “public concern” as we increasingly receive information from online forums and viral posts?

10:30 a.m.-Noon, Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom I, 3rd Floor

“Court in Transition?” — Experts will review of the major decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest term and analyze how (and whether) the two new justices are changing the High Court’s direction.

10:45 a.m.-Noon, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 2, Lower B2 Level

“Partisan Gerrymandering: 2019 Update” — Panelists will discuss the future drawing of U.S. election maps through the lens of the upcoming Supreme Court decisions in Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek, on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina and Maryland.

11 a.m.-Noon, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Nob Hill C, Lower B2 Level

“The Well-Being of Public Interest Professionals” — A panel – including 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

“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

“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

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

“Trump Presents: The New Era of the U.S. Supreme Court” — Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, replacing swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, fundamentally shifted the balance of the High Court – perhaps for the next generation.  What does the new conservative majority mean for lightning rod issues like abortion, LGBT rights and affirmative action?  Experts, including former assistant to the solicitor general of the United States Miguel Estrada, read the tea leaves to predict what comes next. 

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

“The 19th Amendment Then and Now: Lessons for the 21st Century” — With the centennial of the 19th Amendment, panelists – including Hermeet Dhillon of the Republican National Committee and NAACP Legal Defense Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill – will explore the legacies of the amendment and debate how to ensure full and equal exercise of the right to vote for all. Moderated by NBC News’ Pete Williams.

2-3:30 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 10, Lower B2 Level

“Undermining the Courts: The Consequences for American Democracy” — This nonpartisan symposium brings together State Supreme Court justices from Washington, Kansas, Ohio and California, other major figures in the judiciary and news media reporters to discuss the recent attacks on judicial independence and freedom of the press and the potential consequences for American democracy.

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

“Legal Services Corporation Access to Justice Event” — Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Reiber and California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin Liu will discuss access to justice and the judiciary. In addition, to highlight the LSC Opioid Task Force Report, an investigation into the intersection of civil legal aid and coordinated responses to the opioid epidemic, attorneys from Bay Area Legal Aid and a medical partner will discuss local efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. 

3:30-5 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Nob Hill C/D, Lower B2 Level

Census 2020: Litigation, Data Confidentiality and Getting Out the Count – Panelists – including the president of MALDEF and representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau, Brennan Center for Justice and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – will examine implications from the 2020 census, which will determine the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives for the coming decade. With 16 states expected to gain or lose a congressional seat, the panel will discuss the ramifications.

4-5:30 p.m., Westin St. Francis, California East, Second Floor

“Suppressing Public Protest in America: Do Free Speech and Free Assembly Matter Anymore?” — A panel will examine the pros and cons of limiting free speech and free assembly rights secured by the First Amendment of the Constitution, including the relevance of the amendment’s right to peaceably assemble.

4:30-6 p.m., Pillsbury Corporation, 4 Embarcadero Center, 22nd Floor

Saturday, Aug. 10

“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

“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

“Where are the Women of Color? Experience of Women of Color in the Legal Profession” —Women of color make up less than 3% of law firm partners and less than 4% of C-suite positions in corporations. What do these women say helps or harms their career trajectories and what can legal organizations do to better support them? Panelists will discuss the unique experiences of women of color in the law and the ways these lawyers may overcome the roadblocks to success.

10:30 a.m.-Noon, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 15, Lower B2 Level

2019 Pro Bono Publico Luncheon” — The ABA Pro Bono Publico Award is presented each year to honor those in the legal profession who have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor. The 2019 honorees are Faegre Baker Daniels of Minneapolis; McCarter & English, LLP of Newark, N.J.; Marc S. Ehrlich of Troy, N.Y.; and Arturo Gonzalez of San Francisco.

Noon-1:30 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 7, 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

“Beyond the Numbers: Sidebar on the 2019 ABA Profile of the Legal Profession” — A panel will discuss demographics, including diversity, women, legal education, technology and more in the legal profession, and copies of a new ABA report will be available.

2-4 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Foothill C, Second Level

“Interrupting Bias: The Keys to Doing Diversity Right in the Workplace” — Despite years of well-intentioned training on diversity, the legal profession is still not reflective of the pool of talented and qualified women and minorities. Panelists will discuss their ongoing challenges to advance workplace diversity; present new ABA research that addresses the biases experienced by women, minority, LGBT and disabled lawyers in the legal workplace; and share the next generation of diversity and inclusion tools at the organizational level to reduce bias and affect cultural change.

2-4 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salons 10-12, Lower B2 Level

General Assembly” — San Francisco attorney Dale Minami, a lifelong champion of the civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans and other minorities, will be presented with the ABA Medal — the association’s highest honor. Minami is best known for leading the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu, an American of Japanese descent who was arrested for refusing to enter an internment center in 1942. His case led to the historic challenge of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II in the case Korematsu v. United States. The event will also include a keynote from Chief Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

4:30-6 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 7, Lower B2 Level

Thurgood Marshall Award Reception” — Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), one of the original 13 Freedom Riders and a 17-term congressional leader, will be honored for his individual commitment to U.S. civil rights and will keynote the event. The program will also include a performance by Grammy Award-winning artist, Rhiannon Giddens.

8-10:30 p.m., Westin St. Francis San Francisco, Colonial Room/Italian Foyer, Mezzanine Floor

Monday, Aug. 12

“Rule of Law Luncheon” — Justice Rosalie Silberman, senior judge on the Supreme Court of Canada, will give a keynote address on “The Rule of Law in a Changing Global Landscape.”

Noon-2 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate Ballroom A, 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 the 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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