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January 18, 2023

Reproductive rights, juvenile justice among topics at American Bar Association meeting Feb. 2-6 in New Orleans

CHICAGO, Jan. 18, 2023 — Legal developments in Louisiana since the Dobbs decision, alternatives to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ transfer of juveniles to Angola and gun violence in New Orleans are chief among local issues that will be explored at the 2023 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in New Orleans Feb. 2-6.

With several dozen top-quality legal programs, 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 591-member ABA House of Delegates – the association’s policy-making body – will meet in-person-only on Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. CT in the Grand Ballroom of the Midyear Meeting headquarters hotel, Sheraton New Orleans (500 Canal St). For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.    

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

Local interest programs include:

Thursday, Feb. 2

Sending Children to Angola Prison Death Row: Implications for Families, Justice, & Reform New Orleans stakeholders sound the alarm on Gov. John Bel Edwards’ recent decision to transfer children, mostly Black youth, from a juvenile facility to the Louisiana State Penitentiary, the largest maximum-security prison in the United States, which has a long history of inmate abuse, violence and other inhumane treatment; and portend the long-term consequences of the placement on the incarcerated youth and the broader Crescent City community.
1:30-3 p.m. at New Orleans Marriott, 2nd Floor, Galerie 1

Reproductive Justice & Gender-Based Violence Post-Dobbs: Living at the Intersections of Oppression and Bodily Autonomy — Louisiana-based and national experts on reproductive rights – including leaders of Lift Louisiana, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Women with a Vision and Center for Reproductive Rights – update on legal developments since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision and strategize on a response plan, focusing discussion on the decision’s impact on survivors of gender-based violence, people of color and other underserved populations.
3:40-5 p.m. at Louisiana State Bar Association, 601 St. Charles Avenue

Pathways to Monumental Change Louisiana attorneys involved in Confederate monument removal will each share the unique legal path in their respective areas of the Bayou State that led to the extraction of these public works from a bygone era.
4:15-5:15 p.m. at New Orleans Marriott, 2nd Floor, Studio 2

Friday, Feb. 3

Addressing Heirs' Property Matters Using a Multiplicity of Approaches— Local practitioners, including those from Louisiana Appleseed and the Southern University Law Center, will highlight the often thorny legal and non-legal issues related to the bequeathment of generational land and property when title concerns remain, including the best ways to resolve probate disputes on high-value assets.
10:15-11:15 a.m. at New Orleans Marriott, 2nd Floor, Studio 2

Dare to be Different: Think Outside the Box to Improve Juvenile Justice in Your Community Three innovators of the juvenile justice system – Judge Ranord Darensburg of Orleans Parish Juvenile Traffic Court, Judge Ernestine Steward Gray of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court (retired) and Judge Stephanie Domitrovich of Erie County Court of Common Pleas – will each share their unique alternative to traditional punitive measures, all of which successfully reduced recidivism, maintained the familial unit and boosted positive overall outcomes for the youth offenders.
1-2:30 p.m. at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 3rd Floor, Borgne

Big Freedia Got a Gun: Community Perspectives on Gun Violence in New Orleans— A community discussion on how cities like New Orleans can best reduce gun violence will follow a screening of the documentary film “Big Freedia Got a Gun,” about the Bayou State musician’s loss of her brother to crime involving firearms.
1:30-4:45 p.m. at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 5th Floor Grand Ballroom DE

Climate Migrants or Refugees: A Case for Protection Under U.S. Immigration Law— Forced climate displacement in Louisiana will be the launch point to explain how U.S. immigration laws should respond to citizens impacted by natural disasters. Panelists include immigrants who rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina, legal experts from the displaced Terrebonne Parish indigenous community and climate immigration legal experts, who will debate policy reforms and relief measures and counsel on how to make forced climate migration arguments under existing law.
3-4:45 Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 5th Floor Grand Ballroom AB

The Future is Now:  A Conversation with Donna Brazile— American political strategist and television analyst Donna Brazile shares lessons learned from her long career as the first Black woman to direct a U.S. presidential campaign and who also served twice as acting chair of the Democratic National Committee.
4-5:30 p.m. at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 1st Floor, Rodrigue Gallery

NOTE: Midyear Meeting programming is available to news reporters according to the ABA Open Meeting policy. Media credentials include free access to fee-based association events, including the Spirit of Excellence Awards. For general assistance regarding the Midyear Meeting, contact [email protected] or 202-662-1090. Stay up to date on conference developments at the Midyear Meeting Reporter Resources webpage.

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.