ABA leadership pledges to continue fight for justice, efforts to advance the legal profession
Amid voting on numerous resolutions to become American Bar Association policy, members of the House of Delegates heard from ABA leadership on the state of the legal profession, the state of the association and the ABA’s continuing efforts to further access to justice.
>> New President James R. Silkenat outlined his initiatives

ABA House of Delegates adopts policies on ‘gay panic’ defense, genocide, mental health
The meeting of the House of Delegates — made up of 560 members representing state and local bar associations, ABA entities and ABA-affiliated organizations — marked the culmination of the Annual Meeting.
>> Clinton, Holder appearances are highlights of two-day meeting

Hillary Clinton urges ABA to take up cause of voting rights
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged the American Bar Association and its members to protect and advance the right to vote during her appearance at the group’s Annual Meeting to accept the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor.
>> See video of Clinton’s remarks

Attorney General Eric Holder asks for ABA’s help in efforts to overhaul criminal justice system
Attorney General Eric Holder unveiled a comprehensive plan that seeks to ease federal prison overcrowding and correct unfairness in the justice system during a speech Monday.
>> What Holder asked of America’s lawyers

Veterans Affairs, ABA, Legal Services Corp. announce program to help with veterans’ disability claims
The Department of Veterans Affairs, the ABA and the Legal Services Corp. announced Aug. 10 a new partnership and pilot program aimed at reducing the veterans’ claims backlog and making it easier for unrepresented veterans to receive assistance developing claims for disability pay.
>> Free legal assistance for a targeted group of unrepresented veterans

Same-sex marriage advocates explain their work in the legal arena
Three heavyweight litigators at the forefront of advancing marriage equality spoke Aug. 9 during a panel discussion titled “More than an Equal Sign: DOMA, Prop 8, the Supreme Court and Your Practice.”
>> Panelist predicts that all existing versions of DOMA will be overturned within five years

Experts debate government secrecy, privacy rights at ABA program
Divided public opinion driven by recent disclosures of the intelligence-gathering activities of the National Security Agency was fully displayed Aug. 10, as experts debated hot-button topics of government secrecy, privacy rights and concerns over collection of Big Data.
>> A national discourse has not been welcomed but forced, said one panelist

Legal writers use the practice of law as a springboard into storytelling
Lawyers who happen to be authors shared their journey into the literary scene and what it takes to make the transition from the practice of law to the writing of a narrative.
>> Authors included Talmage Boston, Marcia Clark, David O. Stewart, Sheldon Siegel

Immigration experts disappointed with pace of reform but hopeful for legislation
Panelists at “What’s Next With Immigration? Behind the Scenes With the Decision Makers” were optimistic that immigration reform would become a reality within a year or less.
>> Reform would affect an estimated 11 million undocumented people in the U.S.

New uniform trafficking law focuses on assisting survivors in their pursuit of justice
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy weighed in during a discussion at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting on the potential adoption of the Uniform Act on Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking.
>> New law is a “major milestone,” one panelist said

For more stories from the 2013 Annual Meeting, see abanow.org.


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