Former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff to Discuss Capitol Hill Campaign Finance Corruption at Charlotte School of Law

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Against Backdrop of 2012 Elections, CharlotteLaw’s Annual Spring Symposium Will Also Examine Issues of Election Law, Role of First and 14th Amendments

Charlotte School of Law will host Jack Abramoff, former lobbyist and Washington, D.C., insider, on Friday, Feb. 10 as part of the Charlotte Law Review’s annual Spring Symposium, a day-long event that will showcase the relationship of election law and the First and 14th Amendments. Abramoff, author of Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist, will deliver a keynote address on the scandal that resulted in his criminal convictions of mail fraud and conspiracy and the role of campaign finance corruption on Capitol Hill today.

“In anticipation of the 2012 elections and Charlotte’s role in the Democratic National Convention, this year’s symposium will examine the pertinent issues surrounding election law,” said Denise Spriggs, interim dean at Charlotte School of Law. “I applaud the Charlotte Law Review for securing some of the foremost experts on election law and for including such a marquee keynote speaker in Mr. Abramoff.”

The 9 a.m. panel will discuss the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission on the 2012 election and the struggle to balance free speech protected by the First Amendment with campaign finance reform. Panelists for the discussion include:

  •     Cynthia Bauerly, commissioner, Federal Election Commission
  •     Joe Sandler, member, Sandler, Reiff, Young & Lamb and former general counsel for the Democratic National Committee
  •     Scott Thomas, of counsel, Dickstein Shapiro and a former Federal Election Commission member
  •     Bob Phillips, executive director, Common Cause North Carolina
  •     Daniel Piar, dean, Charlotte School of Law Professor of Constitutional Law

Abramoff, whose career as a lobbyist was derailed following several high-profile felony convictions for conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion, will deliver his address at 10:45 a.m.

The afternoon panel discussion is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. and will focus on controversies that surround ballot access restrictions. Guests include:

  •     Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow/manager, Civil Justice Reform Initiative, Heritage Foundation, and a former Federal Election Commission member
  •     Marcia Johnson-Blanco, co-director, Voting Rights Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  •     Michel Daisley, attorney, Daisley Law
  •     Katie O’Conner, staff attorney, Voting Rights Division, ACLU

The event is open only to registered attendees and offers Continuing Legal Education credit for North and South Carolina legal practitioners.

About Charlotte School of Law
Charlotte School of Law, fully accredited by the American Bar Association, offers a student-centered orientation that focuses on the hands-on learning needed to equip graduates with leadership, management and interpersonal skills needed for career success. As the only law school in North Carolina’s most populous city, Charlotte School of Law offers full-time and part-time day programs as well as an evening part-time program for working professionals. On the Web at

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Sharon Reichard
Charlotte School of Law
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