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July 20, 2022

Restorative justice, Title IX, bias fixes among hot topics at American Bar Association meeting Aug. 3-9

CHICAGO, July 20, 2022 — Progress toward reparations for past discrimination to Black and Native Americans; cheers and jeers on Title IX as President Joe Biden tinkers with law; and strategies to mitigate implicit bias in the justice system are chief among diversity and inclusion issues that will be explored at the 2022 American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago Aug. 3-9.

Among notable presenters at this premier gathering of legal professionals, newly retired U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer will receive the ABA’s highest honor, the ABA Medal, at the General Assembly (Aug. 6, 4:30 p.m. CDT), where he will also keynote the event. Additionally, Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and John Cornyn (R-TX) will be recognized for their lifetime achievements during the festivities.

In addition, the ABA House of Delegates — the association’s 583-member policymaking body — will meet in-person at 9 a.m. CDT on Aug. 8-9 at the meeting headquarters hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago. For details on the nearly three dozen proposals for debate and vote during the two-day session, click here

For reporter access, contact Media Relations and Strategic Communications at [email protected] with proof of credentials and vaccination status. Access code for online registration will follow ABA approval.

Diversity and inclusion-related programs include (all times are CDT):

Thursday, Aug. 4

“Attorneys Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” Trailblazing attorneys moving the needle on diversity and inclusion at their respective legal organizations discuss what is necessary to jump-start meaningful progress toward equity across the legal profession.

1:30-3 p.m. at Swissotel, Alpine Ballroom, Ballroom Level

Come Play in the Sandbox: Re-regulation and Limited Testing Grounds Regulatory innovations implemented to increase access to justice are thriving across the country. Stakeholders of these new efforts — including President Ron Flagg of the Legal Services Corporation and former President Christina Blacklaws of the Law Society of England — will examine how these “legal sandboxes” work, their efficacy, and issues arising from them, using notable examples from around the globe.

3-4 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Chicago, East Tower, Ballroom Level, Grand Hall I

Friday, Aug. 5

“Embracing Diverse Experiences” — First-generation law students and attorneys share the unique value they bring to the legal profession and make the business case for diversity and inclusion.

9-10 a.m. at TBD

“The Covenant Conundrum: Racial Restrictions and Enforceable Covenants with Segregative Effects” — As several states enact laws that remove or repudiate legally enforceable deed restrictions, including racial and religious covenants, a panel will examine the latest cases as well as a related model law in development from The Uniform Law Commission.

9-10:30 a.m. at Foley & Lardner LLP, 321 N. Clark St.

Is it the End of Roe and the Rule of Law? Frontline stakeholders from the Center for Reproductive Rights, EverThrive Illinois and the Hope Clinic for Women will examine the implications and share proposed next steps following the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the Texas SB8 case, while also strategizing on how to address the hundreds of laws that are being introduced by state legislatures to limit or prohibit access to reproductive health care.

9-10:30 a.m. at Hyatt Regency Chicago, East Tower, Ballroom Level, Grand Hall J

Can Courts Avoid Politicization in a Polarized America? — Pundits, academics and jurists, led by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, former Arizona Chief Justice Scott Bales and U.S. Circuit Judge Gregg J. Costa of New Orleans, will examine how partisan politics have caused expectations of party-line outcomes of judicial decisions. Are judges acting as politicians in robes as the public now largely perceives? How can the U.S. ensure that the rule of law, not partisanship, governs in both reality and popular perception? 

10 a.m.-noon at Hyatt Regency Chicago, East Tower, Ballroom Level, Grand Hall I

“The Next Step in Restorative Justice — Reparations” — Change-makers at the frontline of restorative justice for past discrimination to Black and Native Americans discuss how their efforts are thriving and the hurdles they face, as more state and local governments push forward in the face of congressional inaction since the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments,   

10:45 a.m.- noon at Foley and Lardner LLP, 321 N. Clark St.

“Cornerstones of Democracy: Could You Pass the Test?” — The ABA calls on the legal profession to lead the way in restoring confidence in our justice system and protect the rule of law by promoting civics, civility and collaboration. A new nationwide initiative aims to establish related programming and resources and kicks off with its first explanatory meeting and brainstorm.

11 a.m.-noon at Hyatt Regency Chicago, West Tower, Ballroom Level, Acapulco

“The Sights, Sounds & Statistics of Injustice: Identifying and Mitigating Implicit Bias in Civilian and Military Courts”Benjamin Crump, who leads the George Floyd family's legal team, will be among practitioners and academics discussing how to identify and mitigate implicit bias in the justice system, using their high-profile cases as examples.

1-3 p.m. at Swissotel, Alpine Ballroom, Ballroom Level

The Forgotten 40 Acres: Repairing Racial Wealth Disparity Using the Estate Tax and New Charitable Incentives — Can reparations close the racial wealth gap? Wealth-transfer experts and advocates look at past remediation efforts for Japanese Americans incarcerated in the United States during World War II and update on the progress of California’s Reparations Task Force, giving insight into how a Black reparations program might be modeled. Experts also examine proposals to use the estate tax and other taxes on property for reparation funding and describe how new charitable incentives in the tax law could create a public-private partnership to redress the "forgotten 40 acres" and narrow economic inequities.

3:30-5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, East Tower, Ballroom Level, Grand Hall I

Saturday, Aug. 6

Title IX’s 50th Anniversary: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Where We Need to Be — As President Joe Biden proposes to reverse Title IX changes made by the Trump administration, representatives from Equal Rights Advocates, Know Your IX and National Women's Law Center discuss how far women have come since the law's passage 50 years ago and the progress yet to be made, examined through the lens of access to education, athletics, sexual harassment, campus sexual assault and more. Should Title IX be amended (or just reinterpreted) to fully achieve its goals?

9-10:30 a.m. at Hyatt Regency Chicago, East Tower, Ballroom Level, Grand Hall I

The Roberts Court 2021-2022: Abortion, Guns and Separation of Powers – High court watchers dissect the U.S. Supreme Court’s sharp rightward turn and its most controversial decisions, while also examining the apparent turmoil between justices and the perceived politicization of decision-making. Additionally, panelists will read the tea leaves on what to expect next from the justices.

10:30 a.m.-noon at Hyatt Regency Chicago, East Tower, Ballroom Level, Grand Hall J

“NAACP’s Sherrilyn Ifill Honored with Thurgood Marshall Award” The former president and director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Sherrilyn Ifill, receives the 2022 honor for advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights in the spirit of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

7:30-10 p.m. at The Fairmont Chicago, 2nd Level, International Ballroom

Former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer at ABA General Assembly The ABA’s highest honor, the ABA Medal, will be presented to assembly keynote speaker Stephen G. Breyer, newly retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, who will be recognized for his extraordinary career as a public servant, defender of the rule of law and promoter of judicial independence. Additionally, Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and John Cornyn (R-TX) will be recognized for their lifetime legislative achievements and support for legal aid.

4:30- 6 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Chicago, East Tower, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom C/D North

Sunday, Aug. 7

Women Lawyers of Achievement: Margaret Brent Awards — Five trailblazing female attorneys will be recognized with the 2022 Margaret Brent Award. Honorees are Michele Goodwin, professor, University of California, Irvine School of Law; Christina L. Martini, partner, McDermott Will & Emery, Chicago; Laura J. Schumacher, vice chairman and chief legal officer, AbbVie, Chicago; Myra C. Selby, partner, Ice Miller, Indianapolis; and Wendy Shiba, principal, Red Bee Group, Altadena, Calif.

3-5:30 p.m. at Swissotel Chicago, 2nd floor, Event Centre, Vevey 2/3/4

The ABA 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.