National security, voting laws, Zika virus, transgender rights are among highlights at ABA meeting, Aug. 4-9

National security at the U.S. border and in the cyber realm, the impact of new voting laws on the upcoming fall elections and the integration of transgendered soldiers in the U.S. military are chief among legal issues that will be explored at the 2016 American Bar Association Annual Meeting Aug. 4-9 in San Francisco.

High-profile speakers at the meeting include FBI Director James Comey on emerging issues in national security and law enforcement (Aug. 5, 4 p.m.) and Ilona Turner, legal director, Transgender Law Center in Oakland, Calif., (Aug. 5, 10:30 a.m.). Also, Hollywood writers Jonathan Shapiro and David E. Kelley (both of "The Practice," "Boston Legal," and other iconic legal TV) will examine pop culture and the perception of justice (Aug. 5, 10:30 a.m.) and O.J. Simpson prosecutor-turned-novelist Marcia Clark will discuss her high-profile cases and writing career (Aug. 5, 5:30 p.m.). And, several experts, including Sherilynn Ifill, president, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and North Carolina Rep. Paul Stam and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama, will discuss new voting laws and their possible impact on voter suppression.

In addition to the more than 1,400 events at this gathering of legal professionals, the ABA House of Delegates - the association's policymaking body - will meet at 9 a.m. on Aug. 8-9 at the Moscone Center Second Floor Ballroom.

Program highlights include:

Thursday, Aug. 4

"Knock, Knock. Who's There? The Internet of Things" - Experts will discuss the legal implications of the Internet of Things the network of electronic devices such as home security systems, cellphones and fitness trackers that collect and exchange data. Topics will include data privacy, intellectual property and product liability concerns-10:30-11:45 a.m., Palace Hotel San Francisco, 2nd floor, Twin Peaks.

"U.S. Border Wars: Preventing Terrorism and Protecting Children" - Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Court will be among panelists who will explore what our nation is doing to provide border security and protection in the homeland. Discussion will include the investigation and arrest of suspected terrorists, screening visitors who come across our borders, tracking visa over-stays, maintaining no-fly and criminal record databases and the temporary care of vulnerable populations such as children.-1:30-3 p.m., Marriott Marquis, B2 Level, Golden Gate Ballroom C2.

"Legal Issues Arising from the Zika Virus: Are We Prepared?" - Panelists, including Paul Henderson, director of public safety, Mayor's Office of San Francisco, will examine how federal, state and local government agencies are responding to the Zika virus. Are we prepared to address civil suits from the outbreak? What can we learn from the AIDS and HIV epidemic?-2-4 p.m., Marriott Marquis, 2nd Floor, Foothill B.

"Corruption's New Arena: International Sports in a Post-FIFA World" - With a focus on the World Cup and Olympics, a panel of experts will explore the corruption in international sports, the circumstances that have encouraged it and solutions for the future.-3:30-5 p.m., Moscone Center West, 3rd Floor, Room 3014.

"Getting It Right the Next Time: What the Judicial Response to Japanese-American Incarceration Can Teach Us About Providing Fair and Impartial Courts to Immigrants and Minority Groups in the Current Political Environment" - Panelists including California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin Liu and Northern California District Court Judge Marilyn Patel (ret.) will discuss the political environment faced by immigrant and minority groups today, from calls for a border wall, to hate crimes aimed at members of those groups. San Francisco attorney Dale Minami will also use his landmark 1980s case on Japanese internment to examine the lessons that can be drawn from the judicial response to Asian-American internment.-3:30-5 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 3018.

"The Housing Crunch in Desirable Cities Planning Alternatives and Legal Consequences" - Panelists including a Bay-area real estate lawyer and representative of San Francisco Rapid Transit will discuss the techniques and tools for increasing housing density in crowded, highly desirable U.S. cities.-5:30-6:30 p.m., JW Marriott Hotel San Francisco, 2nd Floor, Metropolitan Ballroom B.

Friday, Aug. 5

"When School is Your Home: Why Educating a Million Homeless Students is a Civil Rights Battle" - Nationally recognized experts and local experts from the Bay area will examine best practices for educating at-risk and homeless youth; federal interventions such as the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015; and how this issue intersects with other civil rights issues related to racism, housing and poverty.-9-11 a.m., Intercontinental San Francisco, 4th Floor, Cathedral Hill.

"Working with the Civil Pro Se Litigant" - With the economic downturn, the amount of civil pro se litigants is at an all-time high. This program will discuss the common ethical issues encountered when dealing with civil pro se litigants, offer attendees advice on how to avoid grievances and share best practices.-9:15-10:15 a.m., Palace Hotel San Francisco, 2nd Floor, Telegraph Hill.

"A Dynamic 'Trans'-ition: A Path Forward on the Recognition of Transgender Rights, Employment Equality, and Integration of Transgender Troops Into the US Military" - As the U.S. military lifts its ban on transgender soldiers, panelists will provide a primer on the history of legal challenges in the quest for recognition of transgender rights, setting the stage for a discussion on litigation related to transgender employment matters and the unique challenges of the Department of Defense integration of transgender uniformed service members into the U.S. military.-10:30-11:30 a.m., Palace Hotel San Francisco, 2nd Floor, Sea Cliff

"America Votes 2016! Developments in Election Law" - With the presidential election on the horizon, representatives from the ACLU and Brennan Center for Justice will examine the recent Supreme Court case involving the "one person-one vote" principle as well as voter ID laws and the possible impact of voter suppression.-10:30-11:30 a.m., Palace Hotel San Francisco, 2nd Floor, Telegraph Hill.

"Pop Culture and the Perception of Justice: A Conversation with Screenwriters David E. Kelley and Jonathan Shapiro" - As Amazon Prime debuts their new legal serial called "Goliath" later this year, frequent collaborators David E. Kelley ("The Practice," "L.A. Law") and Jonathan Shapiro ("The Black List," "Boston Legal"), will examine how TV and real-life courtroom cases influence the public's perception of justice.-10:30-noon, ABA Expo, Moscone Center West.

"Effective Cybersecurity in the 21st Century: Privacy, Policy & Protocol" - Representatives from the FBI and FTC will be among experts who will review issues related to cybersecurity regulation and enforcement, including privacy investigations, trends in privacy litigation and how privacy law is (and is not) developing hand-in-hand with technological advancement.-10:30-11:45 a.m., Palace Hotel San Francisco, 2nd Floor, Twin Peaks.

"Creating a Conscious Prosecutor: The Client Pre-Indictment" - Experts will discuss the issue of implicit bias in prosecution, examine the dangers, discuss tools and solutions, as well as unveil "The Conscious Prosecutor" Program sponsored by the ABA in conjunction with the National Black Prosecutors Association and the National District Attorneys Association. It will be the first program of its kind to address the issue of implicit bias directly nationwide.-11-12:30 p.m., Moscone Center West, 3rd Floor, Room 3014.

"Forum on Judicial Independence" - The sixth annual Forum on Judicial Independence will address issues that impact the fair, effective and accountable delivery of justice in courts across the country.-1-3 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 3018.

"Implicit Bias and De-Biasing Strategies: A Workshop for Judges and Lawyers" - U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Bernice Donald, Nebraska Fourth District Court Judge Gary Randall and Federal Public Defender Rene L Valladares will host an interactive session to help attendees develop techniques and strategies to mitigate for implicit bias.-1:45-3:15 p.m. Marriott Marquis, B2 Level, Golden Gate Ballroom C2.

"The Roberts Court 2015-16: A Tragic Death, Its Impacts and the Future of the Roberts Court" - Supreme Court experts will address the legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia, how his untimely death affected the 2015-16 term and what the future holds for a court now in transition.-2-3:15 p.m., Palace Hotel San Francisco, 2nd Floor, Twin Peaks.

"The New Frontier: Surveillance Technology and the Law" - Panelists will discuss how smart phones, GPS and other new technologies that can be used in surveillance have resulted in privacy concerns, requiring judges to reconsider some of the traditional doctrines that have governed Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.-2-3:30 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 2002.

"Driverless Cars in the Fast Lane: Liability Ahead!" - Autonomous driving will radically change transportation, road safety, environmental management, insurance, land use planning and many other aspects of our society. Silicon Valley experts will discuss the legal and sociological barriers to driverless cars, as well as how liability may threaten to deter manufacturers from bringing the lifesaving technology to market.-2-3:30 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 2010.

"Controversy Delays Progress: Prospects for Immigration Initiatives in the Next Administration" - Implementation of President Obama's immigration policy has been delayed as contentious issues are battled out in Congress and throughout the judicial system. Experts including President Thomas Andrew Saenz of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund will examine the controversy and the potential impact of a new president who may reverse many of the programs and policies of the current administration.-3:30-5 p.m., Marriott Marquis, Lower B2 Level, Yerba Buena Salons 12/13.

"Emerging Issues in National Security and Law Enforcement" - FBI Director James Comey will be among experts who will examine the use of emerging technology by criminals and terrorists to evade detection. Given the recent FBI-Apple encryption dispute, does the FBI have the tools it needs to address such problems?-4-5:30 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 2004-06.

"High Profile Cases: A Conversation with Marcia Clark" - Marcia Clark, a former member of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, who was the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case, will discuss her career as a best-selling author and the first book in her new fictional series, "Blood Defense," about a criminal defense attorney with a twisted past and darkly secret present.-5:30-6:30 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Main Stage.

Saturday, Aug. 6

"Refugee Crisis: Challenges in Europe and at the U.S. Border" - Immigration experts, including Alexander Aleinikoff, former deputy United Nations high commissioner for refugees in Geneva, will look at issues related to the surge of refugees from the Middle East and Africa to Europe, the U.S. response to the mass migration, and the immigration crisis at the U.S. southwest border, where more than 120,000 children have fled the violence and abuse in their home countries.-10-11 a.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 2010.

"Fortune 500 General Counsel Share the 3Cs of Diversity and Inclusion: Commitment, Candor and Collaboration" - Top general counsel for some of the nation's leading companies and former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer will discuss ways that corporate America can move the needle on diversity and inclusion within their ranks.-10-11:30 a.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 2008.

"The Law as a Platform for Writing" - Annette Gordon-Reed, Philip Margolin, Corban Addison and Talmage Boston will be among the bestselling authors who will come together to discuss law as a platform for writing.-10 a.m.-Noon, ABA Expo, Moscone Center West.

"High on Their Own Supply? Legal Issues Facing the Burgeoning New Medical Marijuana Industry" - Professionals in the legal marijuana industry, including a compliance officer for medical marijuana companies, investor and financial analyst will debate a host of issues, such as the conflict between federal and state law, quality control and industry standards, as the legal market for the drug tops approximately $3 billion, with 23 states legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.-2-3:30 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 2008.

"The Future of Legal Services Closing the Access Gap" - The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services presents its final report on why meaningful access to legal services remains out of reach for too many Americans and recommendations for ensuring that the next generation of legal services more effectively meets the public's needs.-2-4 p.m., Marriott Marquis, B2 Level, Golden Gate Ballroom C3.

"Post-Shelby Voter and Election Laws: Necessary Measures to Prevent Voter Fraud, the Result of Budgetary Limitations or a Denial of Access to Justice?"- Panelists including North Carolina Rep. Paul Stam, President Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama will examine whether voter laws following the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder have a disparate impact on minorities' access to voting or are necessary measures to prevent voter fraud and preserve state budgets.-2-3:30 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 2010.

"Sexual Assault on College Campuses: Balancing the Rights and Interests of the Accused and the Victim" - Experts, including Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, White House advisor on violence against women, will offer practical guidance on handling sexual violence on campus for colleges and universities as well as for those who represent them. Discussion topics will include balancing the due process rights of the accused with the interests of the victim; Title IX complaints and compliance; best practices and policies for handling allegations of sexual assault and other campus violence; the issue of consent; and best practices for reporting allegations to the government and the police.-2-3:30 p.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 2002.

Sunday, Aug. 7

"How the Militarization of Law Enforcement Has Affected Peace Officers and the Communities They Serve" - Representatives from the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, the Coalition for Police Accountability and the NAACP's Ethics Project will be among panelists who will discuss the increasing militarization of law enforcement, which has led to frequent confrontations that escalate to lethal force, particularly in communities of color, and consider forward-thinking proposals to address the problems.-10-11:30 a.m., Moscone Center West, 2nd Floor, Room 3014.

For additional information on the ABA Annual Meeting, visit

Published: Tue, Jul 26, 2016