American Bar Association 2005 Salt Lake City Midyear Meeting Monday, F…

American Bar Association 2005 Salt Lake City Midyear Meeting Monday, Feb. 14

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 13 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — Proposals that address the asbestos litigation crisis, oppose government interference with a patient’s ability to get information from health care providers, and consider how to
compensate people who serve time for crimes they did not commit are among the
issues to be debated Monday by the American Bar Association House of Delegates
during the association’s Midyear Meeting in Salt Lake City.

The House of Delegates, the ABA’s 546-member policymaking body, will meet
to consider these and other policy recommendations on Monday, Feb. 14 from 9
a.m. to 5 p.m. The House will meet in the Grand America Hotel, Lobby Level,
Grand Ballroom.

Recommendation 104 opposes government actions and policies that would
interfere with patients’ abilities to receive from health care providers all
relevant and necessary information they need to make fully informed health
care decisions and information with respect to access to medically appropriate
care. The resolution is intended to prevent government interference that would
undermine longstanding principles of informed consent, and is intended to
insure patients receive complete, accurate, unbiased and timely information
about their treatment options. The resolution does not require health care
providers to offer or endorse any particular medical service; or to offer
information about alternative or experimental treatments that do not meet the
medical standard of care.

Recommendation 108A urges jurisdictions to adopt statutes to compensate
people who have been convicted and incarcerated for crimes they did not
commit. According to the accompanying report, more than 150 people have been
exonerated by DNA testing. Recommendation 108B calls for ensuring that no
prosecution is based solely on uncorroborated jailhouse informant testimony,
and 108C urges governments to establish standards for defense counsel to
identify capital cases that demand greater expertise and resources.

Recommendation 109A recommends that the federal government undertake an
urgent study of the impact of the federal government in the causation of
asbestos-related injuries, and to identify an appropriate role for the federal
government in solving the “asbestos litigation crisis.”

Among other recommendations are proposals to:

* Support the repeal of annual caps on green cards that result in delays
in granting lawful permanent residence to individuals who have already
been granted asylum in the United States (Recommendation 112).

* Adopt policy supporting change in U.S. law to award a patent to the
first inventor to file an application for a patent, in order to reduce
uncertainty and unpredictability in the U.S. patent system
(Recommendation 102).

* Adopt the ABA Principles Relating to Juries and Jury Trials and urge
appropriate entities to review their various sets of jury standards
and revise them as necessary to conform to the Principles
(Recommendation 113).

A summary of all recommendations is available online at Full
text of any recommendation and accompanying report is available by clicking on
the relevant report number. Copies of all reports and recommendations will be
available in the ABA Press Room during the Midyear Meeting.
Reporters with ABA credentials are welcome to attend and cover any event
at the meeting. Credentials can be obtained in the full-service Press Room
that has been set up for journalists in the Grand American Hotel Imperial
Ballroom. Credentialing guidelines can be found online at

The Press Room is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one
hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Monday. The on-site
Press Room phone number is 801/258-6437. The fax number is 801/258-6499.
With more than 400,000 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 in a democratic society.

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