Speakers Include Yankees Manager Joe Torre, New York State Chief Judge
Judith S. Kaye, New Jersey Attorney General Peter J. Harvey and ABA President
Robert J. Grey Jr.
CHICAGO, April 7 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — Trial lawyers from around the country will get tips from seasoned litigators on all aspects of effective advocacy when the ABA Section of Litigation, the largest group of trial lawyers,
convenes for its annual conference in New York City April 20-23. Highlights
of the meeting include a luncheon address by New York Yankees Manager Joe
Torre, a plenary panel on “The American Jury Trial,” and a companion
discussion on juries at LaGuardia High School. The annual presentation of the
John Minor Wisdom Awards will feature an address by Peter J. Harvey, attorney
general of New Jersey.
All sessions for the annual conference will be held at the Waldorf Astoria
Hotel in New York. More than 1,200 lawyers, judges, academics and leaders in
the legal profession will be in attendance.
The opening plenary on jury trials on April 21 will feature New York State
Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and ABA President Robert J. Grey Jr. Kaye chairs
the ABA Commission on the American Jury.
Joining them in the plenary will be Section Chair Dennis J. Drasco,
Roseland, N.J.; Thomas Munsterman of the National Center for State Courts;
legal analyst and commentator for CNN and The New Yorker Jeffrey Toobin; and
Patricia Lee Refo, chair of the ABA American Jury Project. The program, which
begins at 8:45 a.m., will illuminate work being done to promote understanding
of, and participation in, the jury system. Speakers will report on the state
of the American jury, initiatives to increase juror comprehension and enhance
juror comfort, national efforts to improve citizen participation, and new jury
principles adopted by the ABA.
The presentation of the annual John Minor Wisdom Public Service and
Professionalism Awards will take place at a luncheon at noon on Thursday,
April 21, with a keynote address by New Jersey Attorney General Peter J.
Harvey. The award, named for Judge John Minor Wisdom, a scholar and jurist
whose tenure on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is best known
for its recognition of constitutional rights for all citizens and his
courageous decisions to establish the right to vote, implement equal
educational opportunity and strengthen the right to effective counsel. Wisdom
stood up to threats against himself and his family for his efforts. This
year’s recipients of the award are Jerold S. Solovy of Chicago and the law
firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, L.L.P., of Columbia, S.C.
“This year the Section of Litigation is launching an effort to reach out
across the country to begin a dialogue about the value of the jury trial and
the important role of juries in preserving and upholding the rule of law.
Every section member is urged to bring this important discussion to their
communities,” said Drasco.
“The section meeting is a gathering of leaders committed to public
service, to the rule of law and a fair and just legal system, and who believe
in the jury trial as a cornerstone of our democracy. Our speakers include
judges, government officials, corporate counsel, top academics and leading
trial advocates,” he said.
The conference will address recent developments in the law, how to manage
and litigate a high profile trial, best practices, trial techniques, jury
research, ethics, and new technologies. Program tracks in fundamentals,
skills, hot topics, ethics, technology and corporate counsel will provide a
full complement of continuing legal education for attendees. More than 30
programs are designated for continuing legal education credit.
Meeting highlights include:
Wednesday, April 20
Drasco, Grey and Kaye will conduct a Dialogue on the American Jury with
students at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music and the Performing
Arts at 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, April 21:
— “Taming the Hydra-Headed Monster: Fighting Cases on Multiple Fronts”
— “Old Dogs and New Tricks”
— “Reconstruction After a Disaster – Terrorism, Weather and Other Acts
of God and Man”
— “The Courtroom as Stage”
— “The Daubert Dozen: Twelve Expert-Witness Issues That Can Make (or
Break) Your Day”
— “Who’s Running This Company Anyway? Prosecuting and Defending
Shareholder Derivative Suits to Force Corporate Change in the Post-
— “The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Revolutionary Changes in Class
Friday, April 22:
— Plenary and booksigning: “Professor James McElhaney on Trial Strategy
and the Language of Persuasion”
— “The Ethics of the Deal: The New Proposed Model Standards of Conduct
— “Leaks and Confidential Sources: Should Lawyers and Government
Officials Leak Information and Should the Press Print it?”
— “What Do Judges Want?”
— “Is My Expert Evidence Admissible: How to Prepare for and Succeed at a
— “Driver’s Ed for the Cyber Road”
Saturday, April 23:
— “Mock Trial: The Manhattan Well Mystery Revisited – Crossing and
Rehabilitating Interested Witnesses” – a trial with arguments from
the days of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr
— “Tracking Down the Bad Guys”
— “Politics, Sport and Business Torts: Litigating in the Big Leagues”
In conjunction with the meeting, the ABA Task Force on the Attorney-Client
Privilege will hold hearings on Thursday, April 21, from 2 to 5 p.m. For more
information visit http://www.abanet.org/buslaw/attorneyclient .
For more information about the Section of Litigation’s Annual Conference,
including a complete list of all programs, visit the section’s Web site at
The ABA Section of Litigation, with more than 76,000 members, includes
trial lawyers, judges, and others involved in all aspects of litigation and
the dispute resolution process. The section is dedicated to promoting justice
both domestically and internationally and enhancing public understanding of
and respect for the legal profession.
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.
Web Site: http://www.abanet.org