ABA News

Legal experts to discuss trade, ­terrorism and privacy issues at ABA Homeland Security Law Institute

Homeland security experts will offer insights on the state of national security at the 11th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute, Aug. 24-25 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Experts will look at issues such as homegrown threats, cybersecurity and use of drones, as well as review the progress of several government agencies and organizations created to combat terrorism and enhance domestic safety.

Notable participants include:

Leonard Bailey, special counsel for National Security for the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice;

Stevan Bunnell, general counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

Bruce Davidson, director, Office of SAFETY Act Implementation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

Reginald C. Govan, chief counsel, Federal Aviation Administration;

Brian Kamoie, assistant administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency;

Joseph Maher, principal deputy general counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

Dominic Mancini, deputy administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget;

Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

James McCament, deputy chief of staff (acting), chief, office of legislative affairs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

Thomas McDermott, deputy assistant secretary for cyber policy (acting), U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

David S. Newman, director, Office of Legal Affairs, Visa Services Directorate, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State;

Benjamin C. Richardson, deputy director, security policy and oversight, counterintelligence and security directorate, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Department of Defense;

David M. Wulf, director, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Program highlights include:

“A View from the Top: Challenges and Changes to America’s Homeland Security Against Terrorism and Homegrown Threats in 2016 and Beyond” – Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of the Department of National Security, will provide an overview of current and ongoing terrorism threats, including the rise in homegrown attackers. Wednesday, 8:45-9:15 a.m.

“Legal & Policy Considerations in Emergency Management” – This panel will focus on the legal and regulatory issues generated by the growing number and cost of disasters. These issues include legislative and regulatory efforts to make disaster response and recovery more flexible and cost efficient. But federal, state and local governments must assure that our communities and infrastructure are more resilient to, and suffer less damage from, disaster events. The panel will describe the kinds of incentives and regulatory requirements that have been adopted, and are still needed, to reduce the impact on people, property and the economy from disasters. Wednesday, 10:55 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.

“The Supply Chain – The Weakest Link: Vulnerabilities and Solutions” – Several major new pieces of trade and customs legislation were signed into law by President Obama in 2015 and 2016 including the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the Trade Preferences Extension Act (TPEA) and the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA). Panelists will discuss how the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will enforce these laws including how the industry will seek to comply with them. Wednesday, 2:55-3:55 p.m.
“The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act: An Overview and Update” – The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act is one of the most important pieces of federal cyber-related legislation enacted to date. The act establishes authority for monitoring information systems and taking defensive measure to protect an information system, as well as a mechanism for cybersecurity information sharing among private-sector and federal government entities that provides safe harbors from liability. This panel of experts will provide an overview of the legislation including an update on its implementation and use. The panel will discuss the relevant guidelines and procedures required by the act, as well as the various sharing mechanisms, information systems and potential defensive measures made available by this landmark legislation.Thursday, 12:30-1 p.m.

Other program highlights include:

• “A Challenge for All: Preserving Privacy and Ensuring Data Security”

• “Drones 2.0: A Discussion with FAA General Counsel Reggie Govan”

• “The Role of Military in Homeland Defense”

• “The U.S. Immigration Agenda”

• “Latest Developments: Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS)”

• “Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things”


ABA futures panel recommends sweeping changes in delivery of legal services

The American public faces significant, unmet legal needs that require considerably more innovation and other efforts to bolster access to affordable legal services, the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services said in a report issued today.

The commission, releasing findings from a two-year study, offered 10 recommendations to build on past national efforts and to ensure that everyone has meaningful assistance for essential legal means. The recommendations call for sweeping changes to both the civil and criminal systems of justice.

One recommendation, urging state courts to adopt model regulatory objectives for the delivery of legal services, was approved as ABA policy by the House of Delegates in February. Other recommendations have been debated but not embraced by the Association, such as alternative business structures (ABS) for U.S. law firms. As part of a broader recommendation, the commission said future “exploration” of ABS would be “useful.”

The commission’s 10 recommendations, all accompanied by sub-recommendations and supporting materials, are:

• The legal profession should support the goal of providing some form of effective assistance for essential civil legal needs to all persons otherwise unable to afford a lawyer.

• Courts should consider regulatory innovations in the area of legal services delivery.

• All members of the legal profession should keep abreast of relevant technologies.

• Individuals should have regular legal checkups, and the ABA should create guidelines for lawyers, bar associations and others who develop and administer such checkups.

• Courts should be accessible, user-centric, and welcoming to all litigants, while ensuring fairness, impartiality and due process.

• The ABA should establish a Center for Innovation.

• The legal profession should partner with other disciplines and the public for insights about innovating the delivery of legal services.

• The legal profession should adopt methods, policies, standards, and practices to best advance diversity and inclusion.

• The criminal justice system should be reformed.

• Resources should be vastly expanded to support long-standing efforts that have proven successful in addressing the public’s unmet needs for legal services.


Nashville lawyer to chair ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

Sam H. Poteet Jr., a principal with Manier & Herod in Nashville, Tenn., has been elected to a one-year term as chair of the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. He will begin serving his 2016-17 term at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting Aug. 4-9 in San Francisco.

“I am privileged to serve as chair of TIPS and look forward to working with the members, the leadership and all the general committees,” Poteet said.

Poteet practices in the areas of surety law, financial institution bonds, fidelity law, D&O and E&O insurance, taxation, estate and business law. He is a frequent speaker at ABA, Fidelity Law Association and Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Association meetings.
Poteet has handled surety claims and workouts/bankruptcies for numerous sureties. He also handles fidelity and financial institution bond claims and litigation. In addition, Poteet has represented clients in numerous purchase and sale transactions of business. He also handles estate tax planning for large estates, many of which have involved closely held businesses.

Poteet has been actively involved in the ABA. He previously held leadership roles within TIPS, having served as past council member, past chair of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee and past chair of the Section Conference Task Force.

He received his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1982 and his B.S. from Tennessee Technological University in 1979. He has been a certified public accountant since 1986 and is a Nashville Bar Foundation Fellow.