ABA Midyear Meeting Daily Advisory for Feb. 12 – 13

BOSTON, Feb. 12, 2009 — Given allegations of lapses in the past, what is the appropriate oversight role by the federal government vis-à-vis the financial bailout?  What changes, if any, will the new administration, Congress and the judiciary make with regard to cameras in the courtroom, judicial compensation and ethics reform?  How will the Massachusetts health care reform impact the national debate on reform?  These are among the issues that will be part of the discussion during the _ Midyear Meeting in its first days today and Friday.
In addition, the Robert F. Drinan Award will be presented to Boston lawyer and former president of the ABA Michael S. Greco during a reception Friday evening.  The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the Sheraton Boston, Independence Ballroom West, 2nd Level.  The award is presented by the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities to an individual who furthers the section’s mission of providing leadership to the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice.
Highlights of Thursday and Friday’s sessions of the meeting, which lasts from Feb. 11 – 17, are listed below.  Click here to see the full Midyear Meeting program agenda.
Thursday, Feb. 12
“Managing the Bailout: Execution and Oversight of the Federal Response to the Financial Crisis” 
4 – 5:30 p.m.
Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Room 285
Friday, Feb. 13
“Foreclosing on the American Dream: The Housing Crisis and the Role of Lawyers and Laws in Securing Housing Justice”
Families are losing their homes, often with no place to go.  Innocent tenants paying their rent on time every month are being evicted on short notice when their landlords go through foreclosure. These are just some of the fallout of the housing crisis.  This interactive program will focus on a hypothetical family in crisis and explore how lawyers can assist those facing such turmoil as well as ways to bolster efforts to create new affordable housing options.
8:30 – 10 a.m.
Hynes Convention Center, Level 3, Room 308
“Recent Developments in Education Law”
The emerging area of professors suing students, parents’ right to “opt out” of curriculum they find offensive; and student speech and the “Columbine factor” are among the areas of discussion during this program.
9 – 10:30 a.m.
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Lower Lobby Level, State Suite B
“Mindbugs: The Psychology of Ordinary Prejudice”
Panelists will discuss how human interactions are greatly affected by implicit and unconscious biases.  These biases have significant implications for all members of the legal profession, particularly women and minorities, as they impact decisions with respect to hiring, assignments, evaluations, promotions and layoffs.
10 a.m. – noon
Hynes Convention Center, Level 3, Room 312
“The Assumption of Justice: A Dialogue on Color, Ethnicity and the Courts”
Expert panelists will provide an understanding of institutional racism and the reality of disparities in the charging and sentencing of minorities in the courts. Attendees will consider ways to develop solutions within their communities.
10 a.m. – noon
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Lower Lobby Level, Forum Room
“The New Administration, the New Congress and the Federal Judiciary – Judicial Appointments, Compensation and Judicial Relations”
Join veteran Potomac insiders for key insights into what can be expected—both at the White House and in the Senate—concerning federal judicial appointments, as well as issues of judicial compensation, court-stripping, cameras in the courtroom and ethics reform.
1 – 2:30 p.m.
Sheraton Boston, 2nd Level, Back Bay Ballroom A
“Implementing Health Care Reform: The Massachusetts Example”
When Massachusetts enacted an act providing access to affordable, quality, accountable health care in 2006, it undertook a comprehensive and visible effort to reform health insurance and health care practices.  This panel will explore the Massachusetts experience in implementing the universal coverage mandate and the areas in which the state’s experience may or may not provide a useful model for the nation.
1:45 – 3:30 p.m.
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Lower Lobby Level, State Suite A
“Health Care for Immigration Detainees: What Should be the Standard?”
Issues of detainee medical care and the adequacy, implementation and enforceability of medical standards will be addressed by panelists. Also explored will be the critical role the health care profession plays in ensuring successful service delivery, and the detainee health care system lawyers need to understand to more effectively assist their individual or institutional clients.
2 – 4 p.m.
Hynes Convention Center, Level 2, Room 208
On Monday, Feb. 16, the association’s 555-member House of Delegates will meet in the Hynes Convention Center, Ballroom, Level 3 to consider policy recommendations and vote on resolutions.  For details of proposals for debate and vote, click here.  Click on the recommendation number to read the full text and supporting report. 
Accredited reporters are welcome to attend and cover all sessions for free.  A press room for working journalists will be at the Hynes Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D, starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, and will remain open for on-site media registration daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The press room will close one hour after the adjournment of the ABA House of Delegates.  For more information, please contact the press room at 617-954-2896, or call the ABA Division for Media Relations and Communication Services at 312-988-6139 or 202-. Credential guidelines are at www.abanews.org/credentials.html. 
With more than 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization 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.