Value Billing, Workplace Wellness Programs and Foreclosures in Minority Communities Among Business and Financial Topics at _ Meeting in Atlanta

CHICAGO, Feb.1, 2011— Value billing, securities arbitration practice and procedure, workplace wellness programs and the disproportionate impact of foreclosures on minorities are chief among business-related issues that will be explored at the 2011 _ Midyear Meeting, Feb. 9 – 14, in Atlanta.

Many high-profile speakers are scheduled to present at the meeting, including Rep. John Lewis (D-GA); Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree; Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham; David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP; Theodore B. Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP; and a panel of general counsel from top Fortune 500 companies.

The 560-member House of Delegates, the association’s policymaking body, will meet on Feb. 14 at the meeting headquarters, Marriott Atlanta Marquis, in the Atrium Ballroom, Atrium Level.  In addition to considering policy recommendations and voting on resolutions, the House of Delegates will hear from Atlanta congressman, Rep. John Lewis, who will provide opening remarks at the assembly.

Noteworthy programs include:

“Finding Solutions to the Crisis in Indigent Defense” This program explores solutions to the national indigent defense crisis, including the need for a federal response, building coalitions in support of indigent defense services, and structural reforms needed to ensure independence and private bar participation in assisting homeless defendants. Among panelists is Stephen B. Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta.

Feb. 11, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Marquis Level, M202

“Back to the Future:  Value Billing for the Legal Profession”

In today’s down economy, clients have become sensitive to lawyer billing practices, and are asking their lawyers to bill differently.  The ‘billable hours’ model may be replaced by other alternatives: project billing, value billing, fee incentives and success-based fees.  In this program, general counsel from top U.S. corporations will discuss how lawyers are facing these issues, as well as the importance of budgeting, project management and client relationships in today’s climate. The program will be introduced by ABA President Stephen N. Zack.

Panelists include:

  • David Boies, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP;
  • Thomas L. Sager, vice president and assistant general counsel, DuPont Company;
  • Joseph K. West, associate general counsel, Walmart;
  • Murray R. Garnick, senior vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services Inc.;
  • Amy Schulman, general counsel, Pfizer;
  • Tea Hoffmann, chief business development officer, Baker Donelson.

Feb. 11, 1 – 4 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Atrium Level, A703/704

“Combating Foreclosures and the Mortgage Crisis in Communities of Color” A panel will discuss solutions to assist minority communities that have been disproportionately affected by the mortgage crisis.  Georgia has been among the nation’s top 10 foreclosure states, according to RealtyTrac.

Feb. 12, 2 – 4 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Marquis Level, Marquis Ballroom, Salon D

“Securities Arbitration Practice and Procedure in the Wake of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act” The program will focus on the ways the securities arbitration practice has changed since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act. Panelists will discuss various studies being conducted by the Securities Exchange Commission and the likely changes to the securities industry. Panelists will also identify and analyze the various rule changes approved by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the organization that regulates the securities industry and sponsors the arbitration forum, that are designed to make the securities arbitration forum more consumer friendly.

Feb. 11, 3 – 4 p.m., Hyatt Regency, Hanover Hall D, Exhibit Level

“Do Workplace Wellness Programs Promote Health, Cost-Saving or Discrimination?”

With a growing number of employers, as well as public and private health insurance programs, adopting wellness programs to prevent or control chronic diseases among their employees and to reduce costs, this program will examine how wellness programs may shape the law governing employment and health insurance coverage. The panelists will address questions like: What, if any, requirements can and should private employers place on employees to improve their health or reduce health expenditures? What rewards and penalties can and should be offered to employees to participate in private health insurance wellness programs? Can or should the beneficiaries of public health benefit programs like Medicaid be subject to similar conditions or incentives?

Feb. 12, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Marriott Atlanta Marquis, Atrium Level, A701

During the Midyear Meeting, a press room for accredited journalists will be set up on the International Level of the Marriott Atlanta Marquis, and will open for on-site media registration at 8 a.m. on Feb. 10.  Thereafter the press room will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Feb. 14.

Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are at https://abanow.org/reporter-resources/media-credentials/.

With nearly 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.

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