ABA Midyear Meeting

All-virtual ABA Midyear Meeting will offer slate of special events and programs

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Lawyers and legal professionals from around the country still have a chance to attend the 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting. The conference will now take place entirely online because of the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Board of Governors voted last month to convert the event, which runs from Wednesday, Feb. 9 through Monday, Feb. 14, from an in-person meeting in Seattle to a fully virtual format. It features special programs, panel discussions and networking opportunities as well as business meetings of association entities.

The House of Delegates Nominating Committee will vote on the next president-elect nominee after its business meeting Sunday.

The candidates, Lucian Pera and Mary Smith, both have served as ABA officers. Pera, a partner in Adams and Reese’s Memphis, Tennessee, office, is a past ABA treasurer and was on the Board of Governors for seven years. Smith, vice chair and partner at the VENG Group in Chicago, is a past ABA secretary and also served on the Board of Governors for seven years.

The Nominating Committee will make its recommendation to the full House of Delegates for a final selection at its meeting Monday. The chosen candidate will serve as president-elect for the 2022-2023 term.

Two other candidates for ABA leadership are running unopposed. Palmer “Gene” Vance II, a member in the Lexington, Kentucky, office of Stoll Keenon Ogden, is seeking to become chair of the House of Delegates for the 2022-2024 term. Frank “Fritz” Langrock, a partner in the Middlebury, Vermont, office of Langrock Sperry & Wool, is seeking to serve as treasurer-elect for the 2022-2023 term.

Midyear meeting features several special awards events and programs

One of this year’s key events is the Joint Reception: Spirit of Excellence Honorees/Alexander Award Presentation at 5 p.m. Wednesday. (All times are in Central Standard Time.) The Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline will present this year’s Raymond Pace Alexander and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Award for Excellence in Pipeline Diversity to the Youth Law Academy of Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California.

The Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession’s Spirit of Excellence Awards ceremony, honoring Gabriel S. Galanda, Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven C. González, Kay H. Hodge, Carlos E. Moore and Oregon Supreme Court Justice Adrienne C. Nelson, begins at 5 p.m. Thursday. You can find out more about this year’s Spirit of Excellence Award winners in our February-March 2022 issue of the magazine. Tickets for the event are $30 and can be purchased when registering for the midyear meeting.

The Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division will host the Present and Powerful Speaker Series at 4 p.m. Friday. Rosie Allen-Herring, the president and CEO of United Way of the National Capital Area, will speak on the topic “Unleashing the Power Within.”

At 5 p.m. Friday, the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity will present this year’s Stonewall Awards to Washington Supreme Court Justice G. Helen Whitener, Shannon Minter and Jordan Blisk. All three are longstanding LGBT activists.

The House of Delegates’ Committee on Issues of Concern to the Legal Profession will present “The Challenges of Partisan Redistricting—Does Gerrymandering Pose a Threat to Our Democracy?” on Monday. JoAnne Epps, senior advisor to the president of Temple University and former dean of its law school, moderates the 1:30 p.m. program, which focuses on recent efforts to reapportion election districts and resulting controversies around the country.

During its meeting Monday, the House of Delegates will also consider and vote on about 25 proposed resolutions. They cover a number of issues, including youth homelessness, pretrial release evaluations and immigration.

Midyear meeting programs educate on range of legal topics

The 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting will offer dozens of virtual panels, programs and networking opportunities.

The Section of State and Local Government Law is hosting several panel discussions Thursday.

“Restoring Taken Native American Land, Reclamation or Reparations” begins at 10:15 a.m. and examines the process and cost of restoring land that was taken without due process. “The Impact of Implicit Bias in the Courtroom,” a program that focuses on the responsibilities and expectations of judges during a trial, follows at 11:30 a.m.

“Restoring Taken African American Land, Reclamation or Reparations” at 12:45 p.m. also highlights the process and cost of restoring land. “Ethics Jeopardy! Where Knowing the Questions is Half the Game,” which uses a game-show style of questions and answers about ethical situations, is at 3 p.m.

The Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law sponsors “Gender Issues in the Military: Roundtable Discussion” at 1 p.m. Thursday. Topics include the involvement of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the armed services and whether gender-specific issues have impacted the accession and retention of its members.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division hosts “Big Law is Not Your Only Option: The Solo and Small Firm Experience.” Both law students and young lawyers can benefit from the program, in which several panelists will discuss their path through law and how they went into solo practice or small firms.

The Section of State and Local Government Law sponsors its fifth program, “Reconciling the Past and Planning for the Future: The Use of Racial Impact Assessments in Land Use Planning and Zoning,” at 1 p.m. Friday. Panelists will explore the use of racial impact assessments alongside environmental impact assessments and health impact assessments in land use planning.

The Criminal Justice Section hosts two complimentary CLE programs Friday.

The Lawyers’ Role in Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Programs” at 11:30 a.m. provides an overview of programs in which law enforcement and prosecutors divert individuals with unmet behavioral health needs from the criminal justice system and outlines strategies for their continued success. “The Rittenhouse Trial: Implicit Bias in Plain View” at 1:30 p.m. looks at how implicit bias played a role in Kyle Rittenhouse’s case and continues to be present in routine courtroom practices.

The American Bar Foundation also offers a CLE program at 3 p.m. Friday. During “Democracies and International Law,” panelists will discuss the state of democracy-enhancing international law and ways to move forward despite increasing authoritarianism.

The full schedule of events and additional details can be found on the 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting website. Registration is free for all ABA members and nonmembers.

Follow along with the ABA Journal’s coverage of the 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting here.

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