Human Trafficking, Cybersecurity and Other Critical Legal Issues Explored at ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas, Feb. 6-11

CHICAGO, Jan. 22, 2013 — Efforts to combat human trafficking, cybersecurity and disaster preparedness in the wake of Superstorm Sandy are the focus of just some of the legal programs at the _ Midyear Meeting in Dallas, Feb. 6-11.

The fight to end human trafficking will be examined during several programs on Feb. 8, including sessions on lawyering child victims (8:30 a.m.), exploring legal solutions (1 p.m.), and supportive housing and other “safe harbor” efforts to protect and heal victims (1:30 p.m.). Additionally, legal experts will address the growing problem of cybersecurity as it relates to the lawyer-client relationship (Feb. 8, 3:45 p.m.) and national security (Feb. 9, 3 p.m.). Information on these programs and others that will be of particular interest to reporters is highlighted below.

In addition to the more than 900 events at this premier gathering of legal professionals, the ABA House of Delegates — the association’s policymaking body — will meet Feb. 11, 9 a.m., at the meeting headquarters, the Hilton Anatole, in the Chantilly Ballroom, Lobby Level. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.

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

Among Midyear Meeting program highlights are:

Thursday, Feb. 7

“The Arab Spring: Doing Business and the Rule of Law” – This all-day symposium will include panel discussions on topics related to the Middle East and North Africa such as judicial independence; energy matters, including both conventional and renewable energy; doing business in the region; and dispute resolution. Former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will provide keynote remarks on constitutional reform at 12:30 p.m.
9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Karcher Auditorium, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

“Beyond the Fracking Wars” – Experts will explore the controversy on the shale oil and gas exploration process of fracking and its environmental, community and economic effects.
2:45 – 4:15 p.m., Senators Lecture Hall, Lobby Level, Tower, Hilton Anatole

Friday, Feb. 8

“Lawyering for Child Victims of Human Trafficking” – Panelists will address practical considerations in representing child victims.
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Lone Star 2, 4th Floor, Renaissance Dallas

“A Recap of State Referenda From the 2012 Election” – Panelists will analyze the 2012 post-election state referendums that were passed regarding same-sex marriage, immigration and recreational marijuana use.
9:15 – 10:15 a.m., De Soto B, Lobby Level, West Wing, Hilton Anatole

“Stand Your Ground Hearing” – The first of four regional public hearings of the newly created ABA National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws. Diverse leaders will provide testimony on personal experience with Stand Your Ground laws to assess their greater social impact, among other goals.
10 a.m. – noon, Morocco, Mezzanine Level, Tower, Hilton Anatole

“Help Recover: Legal Issues in Disasters” – Panelists will present the ABA-FEMA program for disaster legal aid, teaching lawyers how to assist disaster victims in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
10:30 – 11:30 a.m., De Soto B, Lobby Level, West Wing, Hilton Anatole

“Human Trafficking 101 for Lawyers and Judges: Understanding the Issue – Exploring Solutions” – Experts will review federal and state law; discuss the work of state human trafficking task forces and local legislative developments; and present the business community’s efforts to combat trafficking.
1 – 2:30 p.m., Senators Lecture Hall, Lobby Level, Tower, Hilton Anatole

“Safe Harbor Laws for Victims of Sex Trafficking & Commercial Sexual Exploitation” Panelists will discuss model state statutes known as “safe harbor laws” that divert trafficking victims from criminal prosecution and guide them toward community supportive services. Immigration issues will also be addressed.
1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Lone Star 2, 4th Floor, Renaissance Dallas

“The Unauthorized Practice of Law: Responses From the Bar on Notarios” – This program will focus on how lawyers are responding to the problem of “notarios,” unscrupulous people posing as attorneys to help immigrants obtain legal status, often ruining chances for status legalization.
2 – 3:30 p.m., Plum Blossom A, Lobby Level, Atrium II, Hilton Anatole

Saturday, Feb. 9,

“Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement” – This program will review national developments in indigent defense, such as new court decisions, legislation, funding, standards and federal actions that impact indigent defense. State Bar of Texas President Buck Files is among panelists.
7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Coronado Ballroom A, Lobby Level, West Wing, Hilton Anatole

“Active Cyberdefense: Emerging Legal Dialogue” – Law and national security experts — including Stewart Baker, former general counsel for the National Security Agency, and Steven Chabinsky, former deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division — will discuss the potential laws and regulations that could govern the boundaries of self-defense in cyberspace.
3 – 4:30 p.m., De La Salle, Lobby Level, West Wing, Hilton Anatole

During the Midyear Meeting, accredited journalists should register on-site at the Hilton Anatole, Lobby Level, Atrium III, beginning at 2 p.m. on Feb. 6. A press room for accredited reporters will be provided in the Khmer Ballroom, located on the third level of the Hilton Anatole, starting at 9 a.m. on Feb. 7. The room will be open daily thereafter from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Feb. 11.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations 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.