ABA Midyear Meeting

Privacy law specialty certification program narrowly approved after spirited debate in ABA House

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Midyear House of Delegates 2018

The ABA House of Delegates at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A spirited debate preceded Monday’s vote by the ABA House of Delegates to allow the accreditation of a privacy law specialty certification program.

The program was proposed by the International Association of Privacy Professionals from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The Standing Committee on Specialization from the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility reviewed the IAPP’s proposal and reported to the House that it found that the organization had met the requirements to administer a lawyer specialization program. Resolution 103 accredited the IAPP’s privacy law program for a five-year term as a designated specialty certification program for lawyers.

Several people spoke in opposition of the resolution expressed concerns, including issues with the way the IAPP defined privacy law, and the potential for client confusion about what a privacy law specialization entails. Enough people rose to speak for and against the resolution that ABA President Hilarie Bass delayed her planned address to allow the debate to continue.

Standing Committee on Specialization Chair Barbara Howard was the last to speak, and she reminded the delegates that her committee’s purview was only to evaluate whether an organization had met the requirements set out in the ABA’s Standards for Accreditation of Specialty Certification Programs For Lawyers, and if so, to approve it for accreditation. It is not empowered to tinker with the IAPP’s definition of privacy law, she said.

The voice vote was close enough that Deborah Enix-Ross, the chair of the House of Delegates, had to call for a second voice vote, after which she declared that the resolution had been approved.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “ABA House is asked to accredit program that certifies lawyers as privacy law specialists”

Link to Resolution 103A updated Feb. 7.

Follow along with our full coverage of the 2018 ABA Midyear Meeting

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