Immigration under Trump, justice-system bias among highlights at ABA meeting

Immigration issues under the new Trump administration as well as justice-system bias and the ways to mitigate it are chief among diversity and immigration issues that will be explored at the 2017 American Bar Association Midyear Meeting Feb. 1-6 in Miami.

With several hundred top-quality legal programs and events, and presentations by the country’s foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Midyear Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.

The 589-member ABA House of Delegates—the association’s policy-making body—will meet Feb. 6, 9 a.m., in the James L. Knight Center (3rd Floor) of the Hyatt Regency Miami. For details on the proposals for debate and vote during the one-day session, click here.   
Online registration is available for news reporters. Credential guidelines are here.

Diversity, immigration programs include:

Thursday, Feb. 2


“Judicial Clerkship Program” — The Judicial Clerkship Program, jointly sponsored by the ABA and LexisNexis®, brings together up to 75 minority law students from around the country to interact with judges and former law clerks.

Friday, Feb. 5

“Cuba Libre: The Potential Legal Costs and Benefits” — A panel will discuss the changes made to the regulations surrounding transactions with Cuban entities, litigation concerns for businesses and individuals bringing their business to Cuba, current regulations surrounding American and Cuban business transactions, navigating negotiations with the Cuban government and regulation changes on dispute resolution with Cuban entities.

“Analysis of the Latino Vote in the 2016 November Election – Trends in Latino Voting” —Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Elected Officials, will be among experts who will analyze the recent election and identify trends in Latino voting. Where did the Latino vote create the most impact? What were the surprises?

“Disability & Due Process: Equal Access to the Judicial System for People with Disabilities ” — Litigation director Matthew W. Dietz of Miami’s Disability Independence Group will join other advocates to examine access to the judicial system for people with disabilities. Panelists will highlight needed policy changes to resolve various barriers – such as lack of readers for the blind and lack of interpreting services for the deaf – as well as the need for full and equal access to Miranda rights, among other justice-system concerns.

“Bridging the Gap: Issues With Equal Pay” — A panel of leading female attorneys will discuss the gender pay gap in America and analyze current developments to address it and provide insight into what remains to be done. Speakers are: Pierce “Perry” T. MacLennan, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.; and Miami attorneys Elaine W. Keyser, Littler Mendelson P.C.; Diane Perez, Diane Perez, P.A.; and Lindsey Wagner, Scott Wagner Associates, P.A..

“Cross-Generational Collaboration to Conquer Implicit Bias” — A panel, led by diversity expert and author Kathleen Nalty, will share cross-generational perspectives on combatting implicit bias in law schools, law firms, corporate legal departments and bar organizations.
“Batson at 30: A Legacy of Partial Impartiality” — At the 30th anniversary of Batson v. Kentucky, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that a prosecutor may not exercise peremptory challenges to exclude jurors solely on the basis of race, panelists – including Stephen B. Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights – will explore the reasons for and solutions to persistent bias in the justice system.

“Grit, the Secret to Advancement:  Stories of Successful Women Lawyers” — Researcher Milana Hogan, who promotes a grit-and-growth mindset as the key to women’s career advancement, will present her latest findings and moderate a panel of successful women attorneys who will share advice and insights about the advancement of their legal careers.

“Doing Business in Cuba – New Developments” — A panel of seasoned Miami attorneys will discuss the latest regulatory developments, analyze how these developments impact the economic sector, provide insight on the realities of doing business in Cuba, and debate the effectiveness of differing strategies in establishing Cuban business relations.

“Enforcement Priorities in the Trump Administration” — Panelists, including Marcos Jimenez, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, will forecast trends in criminal and civil enforcement under the Trump administration. Topics will include the investigation and prosecution of securities and health care fraud, immigration, terrorism, cybercrime, domestic and global tax offenses, as well as sentencing and drug policy.

Saturday, Feb. 4

“12th Annual Summit on Public Defense Improvement” — This all-day conference will review national developments in indigent defense. Among programs, Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez and Charlotte, N.C., Assistant Public Defender Toussaint C. Romain will lead a panel at 1 p.m. that will explore racial injustice in the criminal justice system and the impact of implicit bias and structural racism. The panel will also promote ways that chief defenders, line defenders, investigators and others can combat racial injustice.
In another noteworthy session at 3:15 p.m., Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, author of the startling new book “Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court,” will discuss her decade working in and investigating criminal courtrooms in Cook County, Ill., and the lessons she learned that can improve criminal justice in America.

“Miami Justice Hack: Strengthening Alliances Between Law Enforcement & Communities of Color Through Technology & Innovation” — A multidisciplinary team of community members, lawyers, law enforcement officers, programmers and others with technology expertise will collaborate to develop on site innovative and technology-based solutions that can help mitigate tension between law enforcement and communities of color.

“The First 100 Days: Immigration at a Crossroads, Lives in the Balance” — Esther Olavarría, a former Department of Homeland Security counselor, and Dora Schriro, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, will be among panelists who will discuss what is known about the new Trump administration’s immigration priorities and the likely impact of them on due process, the immigration court system and the individuals whose lives could be irrevocably affected by new policies. Speakers will also include: Cheryl Little, executive director, Americans for Immigrant Justice (moderator); Dana Leigh Marks, president, National Association of Immigration Judges; and Monica Lazaro, DACA recipient.

“Spirit of Excellence Awards Luncheon” — The 2017 honorees – recognized for their efforts and accomplishments in promoting a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession – are: Thomas W. Fredericks, senior partner at Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP in Louisville, Colo.; Peggy A Nagae, principal and consultant at Peggy Nagae Consulting in Portland, Ore.; Kenneth G. Standard, general counsel emeritus of Epstein Becker Green in New York; and Stephen N. Zack, partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP in Miami.

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