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September 08, 2020

ABA Business Law Section to host Virtual Annual Meeting, Sept. 21-25

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2020 — The American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting will be held virtually from Sept. 21-25, completely free for section members. The five-day online conference will offer more than 70 sessions, including a keynote program on the cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and daily showcase events.

Business Law Virtual Section Annual Meeting
Sponsored by the ABA Business Law Section

Monday-Friday, Sept. 21-25

The keynote program on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 3:30-5 p.m. CT, will feature a panel discussion on the many legal and other issues facing the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese organizers, sponsors, broadcasters and athletes that arose from the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moderating the panel will be Richard “Dick” Pound, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee and an attorney at Stikeman Elliott LLP in Montreal, Quebec.

Program highlights include:

“Access to Justice in Light of COVID-19: Benefits, Burdens and Lessons” — A panel of judges and practitioners will share insights and experiences concerning the impact of COVID-19 on courts, the business community, business lawyers and law firms. The panel will discuss the challenges with maintaining and even improving access to justice during the pandemic. Speakers are Judge Jerome Abrams, First Judicial District Court of Minnesota; Judge Maureen Tighe, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Woodland Hills; and Judy Perry Martinez, immediate past ABA president and of counsel at Simon Peragine Smith & Redfearn LLP in New Orleans.
Monday, 12:15-1:45 p.m. CT

“Privacy Twilight Zone: Returning to Work in the Age of COVID-19” — Panelists will share their insights on privacy issues arising from the reintroduction of employees into the workplace under new screening technologies related to social distancing surveillance and the bulk collection of COVID-19 data. Distinctions between government and the private sector requirements will be drawn, followed by legal issues arising from what type of data will be collected, where, how and most importantly what happens to it in the age of artificial intelligence. Speakers include Brian Flock, senior attorney, Global Employment, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington; Jennifer Harkins Garone, North American Privacy Officer, Carnival Corporation, Seattle; and John Isaza, vice president, Information Governance Advisory Services, Access, Boston.
Tuesday, 12:15-1:45 p.m. CT

“COVID-19 is Not Colorblind: Equity Considerations and the Impact of the Pandemic on Diverse Communities” — Diverse communities have been hit hard by COVID-19 and they are facing a range of challenges: higher infection and death rates; lower rates of health insurance; a disproportionate share of arrests for not complying with social distancing policies; higher rates of job loss; and coronavirus relief measures that exclude some immigrants and other diverse communities. The novel coronavirus pandemic exposes long-standing disparities in health insurance rates, pay, employment, law enforcement, housing, and more. Speakers are Patrice Alexander Ficklin, assistant director, Fair Lending, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, D.C.; Jenn Jones, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington, D.C.; Anthony Sharett, general counsel, Meta Bank, Phoenix, Arizona; and Odette Williamson, attorney, National Consumer Law Center, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, 12:15-1:45 p.m. CT

“Fairness Gone Viral: Fair Lending Considerations for Financial Institutions Amid COVID-19” — Members of protected classes, especially minority communities, are suffering outsized financial repercussions as a result of COVID-19. At the same time, financial institutions struggle to manage credit risk. The intersection of these trend lines underscores the importance of ensuring that considerations related to fairness in lending and servicing remain top of mind. Speakers: Patrice Alexander Ficklin, assistant director, Fair Lending, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, D.C.; and Brian Larkin, senior director and associate general counsel, Capital One, McLean, Virginia.
Thursday, 12:15-1:45 p.m. CT

“Anti-Racist Speech and Action: Where Does the Legal Profession and Amended Model Rule 8.4(g) Go from Here” — This program will follow up on the BLS Black Lives Matter Statement and focus on BLS member attorneys discussing their experience and perspectives as African American attorneys in law firms, corporations and the judiciary. The panelists will provide their recommendations for specific actions the legal profession can take to address systemic racism, particularly within the context of Amended Model Rule 8.4(g). Speakers include E. Christopher Johnson, Jr., CEO, Center for Justice, Rights & Dignity, Coppell, Texas; and Judge Clifton Newman, South Carolina Circuit Court in Kingstree.
Friday, Sept. 25, 12:15-1:45 p.m. CT

Click here for the complete program schedule.

This event is open to members of the press. For media registration, please contact Robert Robinson at [email protected].

The American Bar Association is the largest voluntary association of lawyers 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 and on Twitter @ABANews.