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When the ABA House of Delegates gathered in New Orleans Feb. 6 during the association’s Midyear Meeting, the delegates adopted new policies on a wide range of issues that impact the legal profession.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, in a party line 10-8 vote Feb. 2, approved an amended version S. 1925, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act to continue to provide services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
President Obama requested $402 million for the Legal Services Corporation in the proposed fiscal year 2013 budget he sent to Congress Feb. 13.
New York City lawyer James R. Silkenat, a partner in the national law firm of Sullivan & Worcester, was nominated Feb. 6 at the ABA Midyear Meeting to become president-elect of the association.
Access to Legal Services: Supports increased funding for civil legal services through the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs, and other federal programs that provide legal services for the poor. Supports reauthorization of LSC and VAWA. Urges increased federal support for quality state public defense systems. Supports strengthening legal protections and access to legal assistance for active-duty military, their families, veterans, and low-income military personnel. Urges the development of innovative and effective ways to ensure that veterans collect their due benefits and receive appropriate services to help them achieve self-sufficiency.
ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III expressed the ABA’s concerns recently about S. 1483, incorporation transparency legislation that the association maintains would impose burdensome federal mandates on state incorporation practices and subject many lawyers to the anti-money laundering and suspicious activity reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act when they help clients establish companies.
The ABA expressed support last month for inclusion of Japan, Mexico and Canada in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which the association said would provide additional opportunities to address issues relating to the ability of U.S. firms to establish offices and to associate freely with foreign lawyers and law firms.
A House Financial Services subcommittee took a step Feb. 7 toward improving housing assistance for homeless children and youth by approving legislation to harmonize the definition of homelessness among several federal agencies.
The ABA reiterated its opposition last month to proposed legislation that the association maintains could be the “death knell” for many types of federal court consent decrees.