Tension between police and the public one of immigration and diversity highlights at ABA

The growing tensions between police and the public and the impact of family detention on refuge-seeking women and children arriving at our borders are chief among diversity and immigration legal issues that will be explored at the 2015 American Bar Association Annual Meeting July 30-Aug. 4 in Chicago.

High-profile speakers at the meeting include U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (July 31, 12:15 p.m.), U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill. (July 31, 3:30 p.m.), Attorney General Loretta Lynch (Aug. 1, 4 p.m.) and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., (Aug. 1, 10 a.m.). Also, several immigration law experts, including Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Cheryl Little, executive director of Americans for Immigrant Justice, will discuss implications of the Immigration & Nationality Act of 1965 on today's immigrant population.

In addition to the more than 1,400 events at this premier gathering of legal professionals, the ABA House of Delegates - the association's policymaking body - will meet at 9 a.m. on Aug. 3-4 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago's Grand Ballroom, Gold Level, East Tower.

Diversity and immigration programs include:

Thursday, July 30

- "From Surviving to Thriving: LGBTQ in the Work Place" - D'Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the LGBT Bar Association, is among panelists who will share real-life experiences and tangible take-home advice on what it takes for LGBTQ persons to thrive on the job.

- "The Language of Justice: Removing Language Barriers to Justice in the Nation's Courts" - In light of Department of Justice priorities to ensure the nation's courts are fully accessible, a panel of judges, including California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, will discuss the use of technology and other innovations to improve access to justice for a diverse group of court users who have limited proficiency in the English language. 3:30-5 p.m., Chicago Marriott Downtown, 4th Floor, Addison

- "Perspectives on Race, Communities, and Policing in Twenty-First Century America" - Members of President Obama's Commission on Twenty-First Century Policing are among panelists who will examine the roots of problems in relations between police and minority communities and will consider proposals for change, in the aftermath of violence in communities such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore. The discussion will include several different perspectives, from police officials and police officers unions, to community activists and lawyers who litigate cases of alleged police misconduct.

- "The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Mapping Out Solutions" - This roundtable discussion will highlight solutions to the school-to-prison pipeline, shorthand for the continuing failures in the education system where students of color disproportionately are over-categorized in special education, are disciplined more harshly, achieve at lower levels and eventually drop out or are pushed out of school, often into juvenile justice facilities and prisons. Discussion will draw from stakeholder testimony provided during a series of six town hall meetings held across the country in 2015.

Saturday, Aug. 1

- "The Ethical Implications of Bias in the Legal Profession and the Justice System" - Panelists will discuss real-world examples of how bias affects the administration of justice and point out areas where current ethics rules may be lacking in both language and enforcement. 8-9:30 a.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago, Gold Level, East Tower, Columbus Hall GH

- "A Turn to Justice: 50 Years - The Voting Rights Act of 1965" - Broadcaster Soledad O'Brien, President of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Thomas Saenz , , and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., are among panelists who will examine U.S. Supreme Court action in 2013 that invalidated portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Are ongoing assumptions of voting discrimination no longer valid?

- "Women as Lead Counsel at Trial: What You Can Do to Take the Lead" - A panel will discuss new ABA research on how women can advance into lead roles at trial, how clients can have an impact on diversity of their trial lawyers, and what firms can do to advance talented women into first-chair trial attorneys.

- "Counting the Costs: Ramifications of Dismissing the Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion and What to Do About It" - Many law firms and law departments remain unconvinced of the value that increased diversity and inclusion would bring. Experts will examine the real costs of not embracing the business case for diversity and inclusion.

Sunday, Aug. 2

"Same Sex Marriage On the Cusp: Remaining Issues of Non-recognition and a Look into the Future" - Experts will discuss the recent outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in marriage equality cases and how it changes the legal landscape regarding state laws on same-sex marriage and marriage recognition.

Published: Thu, Jul 16, 2015


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