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July 13, 2012

Human-Trafficking Solutions, Court Underfunding and Cybersecurity to be Explored at 2012 Annual Meeting


Fighting human trafficking, addressing court funding shortfalls, ensuring access to justice and assessing cybersecurity risk are some of the compelling topics speakers will tackle during programs at the _ Annual Meeting Aug. 2-7 in Chicago.  The Annual Meeting also marks the start of a special initiative to encourage lawyers to volunteer at the polls in the November election.

With more than 1,400 dynamic presentations and events featuring high-profile law experts, the ABA Annual Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals. Renowned speakers include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (“Arias of Law: The Rule of Law at Work in the Performance Arts” and “Comparative Constitutional Law: North America and Middle East,” Aug. 3); Lindsey Graham, U.S. senator (keynote address at the ABA Opening Assembly, Aug. 4); Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, co-chairs of the ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System (“Saving Our Underfunded Courts: Is Anybody Listening?” Aug. 4, 2 – 3:30 p.m.); Donald Verrilli Jr., U.S. solicitor general (“Arias of Law: The Rule of Law at Work in the Performance Arts,” Aug. 3); Tony West, acting associate attorney general (”Parallel Enforcement: Practical Implications of Increasing Coordination of Federal and State Regulation and Prosecution,” Aug. 4); Scott Turow, best-selling author (“The Law as a Platform for Writing: Best-Selling Authors Panel,” Aug. 3) and Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition (“The New Voter Registration Laws: Fighting Voter Fraud or Suppressing the Vote,” Aug. 5).

“This Annual Meeting offers dynamic programming on the critical issues that our profession faces and sharpens the skills of lawyers in a wide range of disciplines,” said ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III.  “The Annual Meeting is expected to draw legal professionals from throughout the country and around the world to Chicago, home to the ABA’s headquarters.”

Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are at https://abanow.org/reporter-resources/media-credentials/. Stay updated before and during the Annual Meeting by visiting abanow.org.

The 560-member House of Delegates will meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 6 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 7 in the Hyatt Regency Chicago East Tower (Gold Level, Grand Ballroom) to consider policy recommendations and vote on resolutions. During the two-day session, Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will receive the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor.

Among other noteworthy House activities, Robinson will address the policy-making body on Aug. 6, and later that day, incoming President Laurel G. Bellows will make remarks following the ceremonial passing of the president’s gavel.

Other Annual Meeting highlights include:

Thursday, Aug. 2

“Beyond Diversity: How Stereotype and Implicit Bias Contribute to Status Gap”A panel will discuss the implicit, or unconscious, bias and stereotypes that can limit career opportunities for underrepresented groups. Speakers will present approaches to understanding diversity that can help drive real change to solve the problem.
10:30 a.m. – noon, Hyatt Chicago West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom C

“Access to Justice: Confronting the Ethical Challenges of Self-Represented Litigants, Language Interpretation and Inadequate Funding”This program will focus on solving language and cultural barriers, identifying case- and trial-management techniques to assist self-represented litigants, and dealing with the effect of budget-driven delays and other impediments to justice.
3 – 5 p.m., Westin River North, River Level II, Grand Ballroom A

Friday, Aug. 3

“Human Trafficking—Modern-Day Slavery on a Global Scale” – The second-largest criminal industry in the world, human trafficking affects every country and economic sector, from brothels to sweatshops, and from farms to private homes where domestic workers toil in forced labor. The program will feature Luis CdeBaca, director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and ABA President-Elect Bellows.
10:30 a.m. – noon, Hyatt Chicago West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom D

“Volunteering at the Polls 101”Learn about the basic duties of volunteering as a poll worker for your local precinct and how to apply.
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Fairmont Hotel, B-2 Level, Royal Room
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Aug. 5), Fairmont Hotel, 2nd Level, Ambassador Room

“Comparative Constitutional Law: North America and Middle East” – Experts will compare the constitutional systems in the United States, Israel, Canada and the emerging Middle East. Speakers include Justice Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada, Israeli Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg.
2 – 3:30 p.m., Hyatt Chicago West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom D

“Lawyer as Citizen: Assisting in the Administration of Elections”Experts will discuss lawyers serving as nonpartisan poll workers to further the public’s understanding of, and confidence in, the rule of law as it pertains to elections. The session features the debut of the ABA webpage, ambar.org/vote, which will help facilitate the process for lawyers to assist in the electoral process.
2 – 3 p.m., Hyatt Chicago West Tower, Bronze Level, Buckingham

“Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Fortune 500 Legal Departments” – Prominent female corporate counsel will discuss strategies on how women, particularly women of color, can overcome the barriers they face as they aim for the upper ranks of their profession.
3 – 5 p.m., Fairmont Hotel, 2nd Level, International Ballroom

“The Cybersecurity Legal Puzzle” – An attack by a hacker or foreign power on a government computer system could not only threaten data integrity but also the operation of financial and electrical systems, among other infrastructures. What are the largest risks? What can and should lawyers do? Harvey Rishikof, national security expert, moderates the discussion.
3:45 – 5:15 p.m., Hyatt Chicago East Tower, Gold Level, Columbus Hall KL

Saturday, Aug. 4

“Leave My Child Alone or I’ll … What?: Using the Law to Stand Up to Bullies” – Increased bullying of children and teens has caused more jurisdictions to implement anti-bullying laws. A panel will discuss the scope of the problem and the complex legal issues that bullying presents.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Hyatt Chicago West Tower, Green Level, Crystal Ballroom A

“Parallel Enforcement: Practical Implications of Increasing Coordination of Federal and State Regulation and Prosecution” – Federal and state government leaders and experienced litigators provide practical tips, successes and dangers, and priorities when working on interconnected efforts with state- and federal-enforcement authorities. Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West is part of the panel.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Hyatt Chicago West Tower, Bronze Level, Comiskey

Sex, Drugs and Taxes – At the end of 2010, state and local government Stimulus Act funds were discontinued. Panelists—including Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto—will explore the pros and cons of state and local government regulation of activities beyond tobacco, alcohol and gambling to fund government.
8:30 a.m. – Noon, Hyatt East Tower, Lobby Level, Plaza Ballroom A

“Can My Employer Really Require Me to Friend It?” – How do social media impact the employer-employee relationship? How can an employer lawfully use social media information? Where do privacy rights start and stop? What is a protected concerted activity and what does it have to do with social media? A panel of employee, employer and union lawyers will provide the latest update on social media in the employment arena.
9 – 10:30 a.m., Fairmont Hotel, 2nd Level, Gold Room

“The Healthcare Reform Cases: The Court Speaks on the Limits of Congressional Power” – Panelists will discuss the monumental decision and fundamental questions about the limits of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause and the appropriate characterization of provisions in the Internal Revenue Code as an exercise of Congress’ taxing power. Panelists will also explore the profound implications for the reach of federal legislation affecting individual behavior that will extend far beyond the effect on healthcare reform legislation.
10:30 a.m. – noon, Hyatt Chicago West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom C

“On the Docket 2012: The 2011-2012 Supreme Court Term” – An expert  panel will review the 2011-2012 U.S. Supreme Court term and look ahead to the 2012-2013 term.
2 – 3:30 p.m., Hyatt Chicago East Tower, Gold Level, Columbus Hall CD

Sunday, Aug. 5

“New Voter Registration Laws: Fighting Voter Fraud or Suppressing the Vote?” — A panel will discuss experiences involving voter fraud and registration. Experts will review the full range of new laws aimed at the registration process, voter identification and proof of citizenship, residency restriction limits on early and weekend voting, as well as proposed changes to the Electoral College.
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Hyatt West Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom B

“Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Luncheon” – The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession will honor five outstanding women lawyers with a Brent Award for advancing opportunities for women. The recipients are Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, chief justice of the California Supreme Court; Marcia Devins Greenberger, co-president, National Women’s Law Center; Joan M. Hall, retired partner, Jenner & Block LLP, in Chicago; Arlinda Locklear, lawyer, Arlinda Locklear Law Office, in Washington, D.C.; and Amy W. Schulman, executive vice president, Pfizer.
Noon – 2 p.m., Hyatt Chicago East Tower, Gold Level, Regency Ballroom D

“Immigration, Race and Incarceration in the United States” – A 2011 report found that although Hispanics make up 16 percent of the population, they account for more than 35 percent of all individuals sentenced to date. What are the immigration policy decisions that led to this level of incarceration? What are the costs to the system?
2 – 3:30 p.m., Hyatt Chicago West Tower, Bronze Level, Comiskey

Reporters may pick up their press badges at the meeting registration area at Riverside Center of the Hyatt Regency Chicago (East Tower, Purple Level). During the Annual Meeting, a press room for accredited journalists will be open in the same area, starting at 9 a.m. on Aug. 2. Thereafter the press room will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will close one hour after the House of Delegates adjourns on Aug. 7.