The following is a listing of past lunchtime speaker series events.
January 15, 2003: Shredding Documents and Other Bad Advice: Legal Ethics in the Age of Enron. The panelists explored the impact of recent corporate scandals on attorneys and legal ethics. They focused on legal ethics considerations in examining the role attorneys have played in creating and compounding these corporate scandals. The panelists were: Stephen Cutler, Director of Enforcement, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Michael Frisch, Ethics Counsel and Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility, Georgetown University Law Center; Ernie Lindberg, Director of Legal Ethics, District of Columbia Bar; and Judge Stanley Sporkin, Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Former U.S. District Court Judge.
February, 2003: Reparations for African Americans: Compelling Goal or Insurmountable Challenge? This event, held in honor of Black History Month, was co-sponsored by the Washington Bar Association and the National Conference of Black Lawyers. Panelists discussed legislative and litigation initiatives seeking reparations for African Americans and the feasibility of such endeavors. The panelists were: Richard America, Georgetown University School of Business; Gilda Sherrod Ali, Litigation Team, National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America; Keenan Keller, Democratic Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee; Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, Corporate Restitution Activist; Moderator: Nkechi Taifa, Washington Council of Lawyers, National Conference of Black Lawyers, and Washington Bar Association.
March 5, 2003: Going Public. First held in 1995, this forum aims to educate lawyers contemplating a move to full time jobs in public interest and public service. Panelists were all be former law firm lawyers who have switched to full time public interest careers. They shared their experiences and offered advice to attendees who are planning such a career change. The panelists were: David Colodny, Staff Attorney, D.C. Employment Justice Center; Da'aga Hill-Bowman, Director of Foundation Outreach and Public Information, Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; Jonathan Meyer, Counsel to Senator Biden, Senate Judiciary Committee; Scott Moore, Deputy Chief, Employment Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Dept. of Justice; Moderator: Julia Gordon, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Law & Social Policy.
April 9, 2003: Reentry Roadblocks: The Obstacles Ex-Offenders Face. People reentering society from prison and seeking to lead productive lives face numerous obstacles. These reentry roadblocks are in areas essential to successful rehabilitation and range from public housing and public benefits to education, employment, and voting. The panelists discussed this range of barriers and how they may be overcome. The Panelists were: Patricia Allard, Policy Analyst, The Sentencing Project; Cedric Hendricks, Associate Director, Office of Legislative Intergovernmental & Public Affairs of Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA); Kelly Poff Salzmann, Staff Attorney, Community Defender Program, Public Defender Service; Kemba Smith, Reentry Issues Advocate; Jeremy Travis, Senior Fellow, The Urban Institute; Co-Chair of the Reentry Roundtable; Moderator: Nkechi Taifa, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Institute Washington Office
May 21, 2003: School Vouchers: Good Policy for Washington, D.C.? In June 2002, the United States Supreme Court decided that school vouchers are constitutional. The policy debate, however, rages on. Now, the Bush Administration and some Members of Congress want to institute a school voucher program in Washington, D.C. and local government officials are divided. At this forum, the panelists discussed whether school vouchers are sound policy generally, and whether they are right for the District of Columbia. The Panelists were: Hon. Adrien Fenty, Councilmember, D.C. City Council; Gregory McCarthy, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Legislative Affairs, Executive Office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C.; Elliot Mincberg, People for the American Way and Clark Neily, Institute for Justice. The Moderator was Lashawn Warren of the American Civil Liberties Union.
September 17, 2003: From Battered to Empowered: Providing Legal Assistance in Domestic Violence Cases. This forum examined the work attorneys are doing in the domestic violence area, what more needs to be done, and how attorneys can help. The panelists were Joan Meier, Founder of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeal Project; Marc Dubin, Executive Director of CAVNET (Communities Against Violence Network); Robin Runge, Director, Commission on Domestic Violence, American Bar Association; and Lydia Watts, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE).
October 22, 2003: Lawrence v. Texas: The Supreme Court's Decision and the Future of Gay Rights. On June 26, 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the rights of a gay couple to privacy and due process. The panelists discussed the Lawrence case and the implications of the Supreme Court's decision for gay rights in America. The panelists were Chai Feldblum, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality; Christopher R. Labonte, Deputy Director for Legislation, Human Rights Campaign; Dan Mach, Jenner & Block.
January 22, 2004: Considering Civil Gideon: Should Low-Income People Have the Right to Counsel in Civil Cases? In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Gideon v. Wainwright that the state must provide attorneys for indigent criminal defendants who cannot otherwise afford counsel. The Maryland Court of Appeals recently heard argument in Frase v. Barnhart, on whether low-income litigants in certain civil cases enjoy a "Civil Gideon" right to counsel under Maryland law. Although the Court declined to decide the issue in its December 11, 2003 opinion, three judges concluded in a strong concurrence that the Maryland Constitution provides a right to counsel in cases involving the "fundamental right of parents to parent their children." A panel of experts discussed the Frase decision and the prospects for a right to counsel in civil cases. The panelists were Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr., Executive Director, Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland; Stephen Sachs of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering who handled the Maryland case on behalf of the indigent plaintiff; and Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. The Moderator was Camille Holmes, Senior Counsel, Center for Law & Social Policy.
February 26, 2004: Tulia, Texas: The Lawyers' Perspective. In 1999, 46 people were arrested in a drug raid in Tulia, Texas, based solely on the word of undercover agent Tom Coleman. Forty of the arrested individuals were African-American and the remaining six had biracial children or close ties to the African-American community. Ultimately, attorneys were able to show that these arrests were unfounded and racially motivated, and the convictions were subsequently overturned. In this panel, the "Tulia Team" provided first-hand accounts of how veteran and junior lawyers representing D.C. law firms teamed up with a major civil rights organization to win an unprecedented legal victory in a small Southern town. The panelists were: E. Desmond Hogan, Adam Levin, and Tara Patterson Hammons of Hogan & Hartson; Ted Killory and Winston King of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering; Vanita Gupta of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and the moderator was Nkechi Taifa of the Open Society Institute.
April 20, 2004: At Risk Youth: The State of Juvenile Justice in D.C.. A panel of experts discussed the state of Juvenile Justice in the District of Columbia. Issues included legislation pending before the D.C. Council to increase the number of juveniles tried as adults; the conditions in D.C.'s juvenile facilities such as Oak Hill; and reform efforts at the Youth Services Administration, including the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Youth Safety and Juvenile Justice Reform. The panelists were: Marceline Alexander, Interim Director, District of Columbia Youth Services Administration; Judge Eugene Hamilton, Retired Chief Judge, Superior Court; Chair of Blue Ribbon Commission on Youth Safety and Juvenile Justice Reform; Kenny Barnes, Sr., Executive Director, ROOT Foundation (Reaching Out to Others Together); and Marc Schindler, Staff Attorney, Youth Law Center.
May 20, 2004: Pending and Proposed Immigration Legislation: Hope or Heartache? As concerns over national security have increased since 9/11, the debate over immigration issues has intensified in this country. Panelists discussed pending and proposed immigration legislation including the DREAM Act, which would create immigration benefits for undocumented students who attend college; the CLEAR Act and its Senate counterpart, which propose delegation of authority to enforce federal immigration laws to state and local police; and proposals to create some type of legal status for agricultural workers, including the President's plan and competing bills. Panelists also examined the practical impact of those proposals on affected immigrants. The panelists were Kristi Gaines, Legislative Counsel, ABA Governmental Affairs Office; Judy Golub, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs, American Immigration Lawyers Association; Deborah A. Sanders, Executive Director, CAIR Coalition (Capital Area Immigrants' Rights); Bari Schwartz, Counsel, Rep. Howard Berman (D- CA); and Paromita Shah, Detention Project Director, CAIR Coalition. The Moderator was Karen Grisez, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.
September 23, 2004: Beyond Housing: Considering the Legal Impact of Homelessness. In the course of a year, nearly 17,000 people experience homelessness in the District of Columbia. But the impact of homelessness extends far beyond a lack of housing. Panelists discussed a range of consequences of homelessness including obstacles in exercising the right to vote, barriers in sending children to public schools, the criminalization of homelessness, and hurdles to overcome in order to claim public benefits and social services. The panelists were: Joy Moses and Tulin Ozdeger of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty; and Ann Marie Staudenmaier from the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. The moderator was Nkechi Taifa of the Open Society Institute.
October 7, 2004: Special Presidential Debate: The Council hosted a debate of representatives from the campaigns of President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry. The Kerry campaign was represented by: Edward Correia, Latham & Watkins; Advisor on Legal Policy Issues to Kerry-Edwards '04; Former Special Counsel on Civil Rights to President Bill Clinton. The Bush campaign was represented by George J. Terwilliger III, White & Case LLP; Former Deputy Attorney General for President George H.W. Bush. The surrogates debated a variety of issues regarding the administration of the Department of Justice; the Supreme Court; judicial nominations; countering terrorism; crime; and tort reform. The debaters were questioned by a panel of reporters who cover the courts and/or legal issues for national news organizations, namely: Marcia Coyle, Washington Bureau Chief, The National Law Journal; Charles Lane, Supreme Court Reporter, The Washington Post; and Stuart Taylor, National Journal Columnist and Newsweek Contributor. The moderator was Paul Smith, Jenner & Block.
December 7, 2004: Civil Rights Class Actions: Considering the Wal-mart Case: In June 2004, in an employment discrimination suit filed against Wal-mart, a federal court certified a national class including all women who worked at Wal-Mart retail stores anywhere in the United States at any time since December 26, 1998. Wal-mart has appealed this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Panelists discussed the litigation and its implications for civil rights class actions. The Panelists were: Stuart Ishimaru, Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Don Livingston, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, Presenting the Employer Perspective; Joseph Sellers, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfield & Toll, Presenting the Plaintiffs' Perspective; Moderator: Carolyn Lerner, Heller, Huron, Chertkof, Lerner, Simon & Salzman.
February 10, 2005: Protecting Our Security and Our Rights: Privacy and Civil Liberties Under the 9/11 Commission Legislation: On July 22, 2004, the 9/11 Commission released a report recommending steps to protect the United States against future terrorist attacks. In December 2004, Congress passed legislation designed to implement many of the Commission's recommendations. Panelists outlined the steps from creation of the 9/11 Commission through passage of the legislation enacting many of the Commission's recommendations. They then examined in particular the legislative provisions creating a Civil Liberties Board as well as the privacy and civil liberties implications of the legislation as a whole. The panelists were Timothy Edgar, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union; Johanna L. Hardy, Senior Counsel, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate; Carie Lemack, Co-Founder, Families of September 11; Daniel Marcus, General Counsel, 9/11 Commission; and Moderator: Richard Jerome, Richard Jerome PC.
March 10, 2005: Going Public: This biannual forum is designed to assist law firm attorneys seeking to switch to full time public interest or public service careers. The panelists were all former law firm lawyers who have transitioned to full time public interest careers. They shared their experiences and offered advice to others planning such a career change. The Panelists were: Camille Holmes, Center for Law and Social Policy; Richard Katskee, Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Rachel Toker, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia; and Moderator: Julia Gordon, D.C. Legal Aid Society.
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