Critical Legal Issues on Agenda for ABA House of Delegates at Midyear Meeting in Los Angeles

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Premiere gathering of legal professionals held Feb. 6 – 12.

Legal issues related to the government’s role in addressing climate change, fee levels for immigration benefits, and law school bar passage rates will be considered by the American Bar Association’s policy-making House of Delegates when it meets to debate and vote on more than two dozen proposals on Feb. 11 in Los Angeles during the association’s 2008 Midyear Meeting.

Among the resolutions scheduled for consideration are ones that:

  •     Press for the National Detention Standards used by Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to become regulations, and for increased oversight of ICE. (Recommendation 111B)
  •     Outline a fair approach to fee levels for immigration and naturalization benefits. (Recommendation 111A)
  •     Suggest that states assign the congressional and legislative redistricting process to independent commissions. (Recommendation 102A)
  •     Urge the U.S. government to lead on the issue of climate change and, separately, urge governments at all levels to preserve and enhance ecosystems when considering new laws, regulations and policies. (Recommendation 109)
  •     Interpret the Standards for Approval of Law Schools considering the sufficiency of a law school’s bar passage rate. (Recommendation 113)
  •     Propose a vigorous new approach to combating elder abuse, including creation of special elder abuse units within prosecutors’ offices. (Recommendation 105A)
  •     Outline safeguards to balance pain management medication prescription and reduction of prescription drug diversion and abuse. (Recommendation 100)
  •     Urge new pro bono and legal programs to assist identity theft victims.    (Recommendation 102B)
  •     Encourage increased understanding of the “religion clauses” of the U.S. Constitution. (Recommendation 106)
  •     Call for adoption of a Model Code Governing Assisted Reproductive Technology. (Recommendation 107)

Reports with recommendations can be accessed at http://www.abanet.org/leadership/2008/midyear/docs/SUMOFRECS.doc . Click on the recommendation number to read the full text and supporting report.

The proposals will not constitute ABA policy unless adopted by the House of Delegates during the Feb. 11 session.

The 554-member House of Delegates will convene at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in the Los Angeles Ballroom, California Level, from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. The deliberative session includes members from state and local bar associations around the country, ABA affiliates and ABA entities, and is the finale of the ABA Midyear Meeting in Los Angeles, Feb. 6 - 12. The ABA is the largest voluntary professional association in the world and a vigorous policy advocate before the federal government.

During the Midyear Meeting, a press room for working journalists will be set up at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in the California Showroom, California Level, and will open for on-site media registration at noon on Feb. 6. Thereafter, the press room will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates.

Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever, and accredited journalists are welcome to cover the Midyear Meeting for free. Credential guidelines are at http://www.abanews.org/credentials.html.

With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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Contact: Stephanie Ortbals-Tibbs
Phone: 202/662-1091
E-Mail: ortbalss @ staff.abanet.org
Online: http://www.abanews.org

Press Room: Feb. 6 – 11
310-551-7569

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