Washington Lawyer

Bar Happenings

From Washington Lawyer, February 2011

By Kathryn Alfisi

happenings New CLE Courses Tackle Adoption, Immigration, Employment Issues

The D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program will offer new courses on adoption, immigration, and employment law in February.

“Adoption Law and Process in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia” on February 16 will teach participants how to guide their client through the adoption process.

The course will discuss the different types of adoption, private versus public adoption, termination of parental rights, the home study, implications of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, filing the adoption petition, working with birth parents, state and local services, medical care and insurance coverage, role of the guardian ad litem, and adoption of special needs children.

The course takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and is cosponsored by the D.C. Bar Family Law Section. Jennifer Fairfax of Jennifer Fairfax, LLC and Peter J. Wiernicki of Joseph, Reiner & Wiernicki, P.C. will serve as faculty.

Also offered on February 16 is the course “The Role of Federal Government Agencies in Immigration Compliance and Employment,” which will provide insight into immigration compliance from a government agency perspective.

It will address issues such as knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens, failing to comply with I-9 employment verification requirements, immigration-related unfair employment practices as well as document fraud and other nonconformities, and the development of the law on National Labor Relations Act remedies for undocumented workers.

Faculty includes Peter F. Asaad, managing partner at Immigration Solutions Group, PLLC; Brett Dreyer, chief of Worksite Enforcement Unit at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Ellen Farrell of the National Labor Relations Board’s Division of Advice; Bruce Friedman, senior policy advisor for the DHS’ Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; Elizabeth Hack, special litigation counsel for the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division; Katherine Lotspeich, deputy chief of the Verification Division of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, also a component of the DHS; and Ellen K. Thomas, administrative law judge in the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer under the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.

The course takes place from 5:30 to 8:45 p.m. and is cosponsored by the D.C. Bar Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section; International Law Section; and Labor and Employment Law Section.

On February 23 the course “Avoiding and Litigating Wage and Overtime Claims Under the FLSA” will teach participants how to advise employers on wage and overtime requirements, represent employees seeking back pay and overtime, defend Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state lawsuits, and determine when to settle.

Faculty members Daniel A. Katz of Andalman & Flynn, P.C.; Mark Papadopoulos of Isler Dare Ray Radcliffe & Connolly, P.C.; and attorney David Simonsen Jr. will explain the whole process—from drafting employer policies to using experts in the courtroom. Attendees also will learn the most common mistakes employers make and how they can be avoided.

Topics include exempt classifications, absence and leave policies, forms of pay, practical ways to deal with travel time, particular concerns raised in alternative work arrangements, misclassification claims, effective strategies for litigating and defending FLSA and state lawsuits, calculating damages for unpaid overtime compensation, collective actions, and U.S. Department of Labor initiatives.

The course takes place from 6 to 9: 15 p.m. and is cosponsored by the D.C. Bar Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section; Government Contracts and Litigation Section; and Labor and Employment Law Section.

All three courses will be held at the D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1101 K Street NW, first floor.

For more information, contact the CLE Program at 202-626-3488 or visit www.dcbar.org/cle.

Women’s Bar Offers Diverse Programming in February
The Women’s Bar Association (WBA) of the District of Columbia has lined up a variety of programs this month, starting with its 8th Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction on February 3.

The event takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at WilmerHale LLP, 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. It is presented by the WBA Foundation and will benefit the WBA Foundation Founders Fellowship.

Established in 2006, the fellowship provides a stipend to an area law student to work with a local legal services provider on projects to benefit women and children in the District. This year’s fellowship is being granted to Georgetown University Law Center.

On February 10 the WBA Communications Law Forum will hold the program “Rising Technologies: The Future of Broadband,” featuring Phoebe Yang, former senior advisor on broadband to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Julius Genachowski.

Yang led the core team that manages the FCC’s broadband priorities and worked with other federal, international, state, and local entities on advancing the agency’s broadband agenda. She served as FCC’s representative to the executive branch interagency working group charged with the implementation of the National Broadband Plan across the federal government.

The program takes place from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, 1875 K Street NW.

On February 16 the Communications Law Forum, joined by the Federal Communications Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Committee, will present a mentoring program for communications lawyers.

Mentors include Diane Cornell of Inmarsat Inc.; Michele Farquhar of Hogan Lovells; Stacy Fuller of DIRECTV, Inc.; Kathleen O’Brien Ham and Luisa Lancetti of T-Mobile USA, Inc.; Julie Kearney of the Consumer Electronics Association; Kathleen Kirby of Wiley Rein LLP; Jane Mago of the National Association of Broadcasters; Mary Beth Richards of the FCC; Bryan Tramont of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP; Richard Whitt of Google Inc.; Andrea Williams of CTIA–The Wireless Association; and Alexandra Wilson of Cox Enterprises, Inc.

The program takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hogan Lovells, 555 13th Street NW.

For more information on these events or to register, visit www.wbadc.org.

Save the Date!
American Bar Association Air and Space Law Update
The American Bar Association’s Forum on Air & Space Law will hold its Update Conference on February 23 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Avenue SW. For more information, contact Dawn R. Holiday at holidayd@staff.abanet.org.

D.C. Courts Mark Black History Month
The District of Columbia Courts will celebrate Black History Month in February with an event each Friday following the theme “A Glimpse of Glory.”

The annual celebration opened with the traditional step show on January 28. It will continue on February 4 with a Buffalo Soldiers reenactment and a presentation by the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, followed by a speech on black inventors by University of the District of Columbia history professor Sandra Jowers-Barber and a performance depicting the life of Frederick Douglass on February 11.

The speaker for the February 18 event was not yet confirmed by the time Washington Lawyer went to press, but the courts will end the month-long celebration on February 25 with a musical celebration of the arts.

For more information, contact Tom Feeney at 202-879-1700.

Save the Date!
2011 Presidents’ Reception & Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner
The 2011 D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program’s Presidents’ Reception and the Bar’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner will be held on Thursday, June 30, at the historic Mayflower Renaissance Hotel located at 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW.

The Presidents’ Reception will honor incoming D.C. Bar president Darrell G. Mottley of Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. and will benefit the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, which is supported entirely by voluntary contributions.

Highlights of the Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner will include the announcement of the 2011 D.C. Bar election results; the presentation of awards to D.C. Bar sections, pro bono attorneys, law firms, and others who have served the Bar and its community; and Mottley’s swearing-in ceremony.

The dinner also will include the presentation of the Beatrice Rosenberg Award for Excellence in Government Service and the 2011 William J. Brennan Jr. Award.

For information about the 2011 Presidents’ Reception or to make a donation to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, contact Kathy Downey at 202-588-1857 or

For information about the 2011 Annual Dinner, contact Verniesa R. Allen at 202-737-4700, ext. 3239, or vallen@dcbar.org.

Health Law, Essential Trial Skills Series Among February Offerings
The D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program will offer the remaining sessions of its six-part “Introduction to Health Law Series 2011” in February, as well as bring back its “Essential Trial Skills Series.”

The health law series, which began in January, will go into part four on February 3 with “Compliance Issues and Privacy” for an overview of key health care laws and fraud and abuse statutes.

The session also will focus on confidentiality and privacy compliance issues such as HIPAA Administrative Simplification and current status of HIPAA rules, electronic data transactions, national identifiers, privacy and confidentiality of health information, anti-kickback statute, physician self-referral laws (Stark I and II), federal False Claims Act (FCA); health care enforcement initiatives of the Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Justice, and Medicaid fraud.

Barbara H. Ryland, counsel at Crowell & Moring LLP, and Heidi A. Sorensen, of counsel at Foley & Lardner LLP, will serve as faculty.

Part five, “Health Care Transactions and Managed Care Contracting,” on February 10 will discuss key issues in health care transactions and uncertainties in transactions due to Stark II regulations.

The session also will focus on how key legal issues are addressed in the different managed care relationships with providers, employers, and members, including the impact of the Health Care and Education Reconcilation Act of 2010 (which amends the Patient Protecton and Affordable Care Act) on those arrangements.

Cathy Zeman Scheineson, a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery LLP, and Patricia M. Wagner, a member of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., will lead this class.

The final part of the series, “Health Care Quality and Patients’ Rights,” takes place on February 17 with Jane Hyatt Thorpe of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University (GWU) as faculty.

Thorpe will discuss current public and private payer as well as other community-based initiatives to improve health care quality, legal issues impacting provider performance measurement and reporting initiatives, interaction with health care payment reform, the role of health information technology, and the role of compliance programs and use of the FCA for quality of care issues.

The series is cosponsored by the Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program of GWU’s School of Public Health and Health Services and the D.C. Bar Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice Section; Health Law Section; and Labor and Employment Law Section.

The “Essential Trial Skills” series will examine everything from jury selection and opening statements to witness preparation, direct examination, cross-examination, and closing arguments. The course also will discuss both civil and criminal trial considerations.

The series opens on February 1 with “Jury Selection,” where faculty will examine the process and procedures of jury selection, including learning the composition of the jury pool, peremptory strikes, and using jury selection services.

Paulette Chapman of Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.; Janet Mitchell of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia; and Dwight Murray of Jordan Coyne & Savits, L.L.P. will lead this session.

Part two, “Opening Statements and Closing Arguments,” on February 8 will look at opening and closing arguments from several key perspectives, including preparation, presentation, and objections, as well as the legal and ethical considerations.

Serving as faculty are Debra S. Katz of Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP and Michael F. Williams of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Part three, “Witness Preparation and Direct Examination,” on February 15 will cover the vital task of preparing witnesses to testify credibly at trial. It will examine techniques and strategies for effective direct examination, maximizing a witness’ potential and minimizing his or her weaknesses.

Faculty members Bernard Grimm of Cozen O’Connor and attorney Jon W. Norris will discuss legal ethics issues in the context of witness preparation and direct examination.

The final part of the series, “Cross-Examination,” takes place on February 22, where participants will learn how to use cross-examination to tell their story, to control the witness, and to impeach the witness.

This session is useful for attorneys who have yet to cross-examine a witness as well as for practitioners who have a modest level of trial experience. It will delve into the objectives, strategies, tactics, mechanics, and legal principles governing effective cross-examination, and look at the ethical concerns involved.

Patrick J. Attridge of King & Attridge and Barry Boss, a managing partner at Cozen O’Connor, will serve as faculty.

The series is cosponsored by the D.C. Bar Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section; Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice Section; Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section; Family Law Section; Government Contracts and Litigation Section; Labor and Employment Law Section; Law Practice Management Section; Litigation Section; Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Section; and Tort Law Section.

All sessions in both series take place from 6 to 9:15 p.m. at the D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1101 K Street NW, first floor.

For more information, contact the CLE Program at 202-626-3488 or visit www.dcbar.org/cle.

Reach D.C. Bar staff writer Kathryn Alfisi at kalfisi@dcbar.org.