Washington Lawyer

Bar Happenings: May 2014

From Washington Lawyer, May 2014

By Kathryn Alfisi

Illustration by Mick WigginsBenitez to Take Oath of Office as D.C. Bar’s 43rd President
Brigida Benitez, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, will be sworn in as the 43rd president of the D.C. Bar on June 17 during the 2014 Celebration of Leadership: The D.C. Bar Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting.

The event takes place at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW, and will open with a Presidents’ Reception at 6 p.m. to welcome Benitez, followed by the awards dinner at 7:30.

The reception benefits the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program and aims to raise money for its legal assistance programs, which target economically disadvantaged residents in the District of Columbia.

Apart from Benitez’s swearing-in-ceremony, other highlights include the announcement of 2014 D.C. Bar election results and the presentation of awards to D.C. Bar sections, pro bono attorneys, law firms, and others who have served the Bar and its community.

The evening also features the presentation of the Bar’s 2014 Beatrice Rosenberg Award for Excellence in Government Service and the Thurgood Marshall Award. The 2014 Rosenberg Award will be presented to Colonel Tonya Hagmaier, director of Civil Law and Litigation for the United States Air Force. Brooksley Born, a women’s rights and financial reform advocate, was chosen as the winner of the 2014 Justice Thurgood Marshall Award.

For more information about the Presidents’ Reception or to make a donation to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, contact Kathy Downey at 202-588-1857 or kdowney@erols.com. For more information about the Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting, contact Verniesa R. Allen at 202-737-4700, ext. 3239, or annualmeeting@dcbar.org.

Series Tackles Basics of Federal Administrative Law Practice
In May the D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program will offer the two-part “Fundamentals of Federal Administrative Law Practice Series,” a course designed for attorneys new to the practice of administrative law and for experienced practitioners seeking a refresher on the basics.

The series opens on May 7 with “The Informal Rulemaking Process,” which will provide attendees with an overview of rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act; other statutory requirements affecting the rulemaking process; alternatives and modifications to traditional rulemaking, including e-rulemaking and negotiated rulemaking; and the implementation of the rules. This session also will cover the roles of the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress, and the courts.

Neil Eisner, who recently retired as assistant general counsel for regulations and enforcement at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Jeffrey Lubbers, a professor at American University Washington College of Law, will serve as faculty.

Part two, “Judicial Review of Agency Decision Making,” on May 14 will address the scope of reviewability, including the finality and presumption of reviewability; threshold defenses and standing; time of judicial review, including mootness, ripeness, and exhaustion; statutory construction and regulatory interpretation; scope of judicial review; and remedies.

This session will be led by Jerrold J. Ganzfried, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP; Theodore C. Hirt of the Office of Immigration Litigation of the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Christopher J. Wright, a partner at Wiltshire & Grannis LLP.

The series takes place from 6 to 9:15 p.m. at the D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1101 K Street NW, first floor. It is cosponsored by the D.C. Bar Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section; Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section; Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section; Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section; Government Contracts and Litigation Section; Health Law Section; Labor and Employment Law Section; and Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Section.

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

Save the Date: Ayuda Marks 41st Year
On May 21 Ayuda will celebrate 41 years of providing legal and social assistance to low-income immigrants in the Washington metropolitan area with its annual gala. The gala takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square, Literary Hall, 801 K Street NW. For more information, visit www.ayuda.com.

D.C. Bar Judicial Reception Honors Judges, Scoutt Prize Winner
Federal and District of Columbia judges who have retired or taken senior status in the past year will be honored for their service at the 2014 D.C. Bar Judicial Reception on May 15.

The reception also features the presentation of the D.C. Bar Foundation’s 2014 Jerrold Scoutt Prize to James D. Bishop, director of the Catholic Charities Legal Network of the Archdiocese of Washington.

The prize is awarded annually to an attorney who has worked for a significant portion of his or her career at a nonprofit organization providing hands-on legal services to the District’s disadvantaged residents, demonstrated compassionate concern for clients, and exhibited a high degree of skill on their behalf.

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

CLE Program’s May Courses Include Overview of EEOC Practice
The D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program will offer several courses in May that cover a wide range of topics, from practice before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to whistleblower protection, to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it relates to businesses, to trademark protection and the Internet.

“Practice Before the EEOC: Practical Advice on Hearings” on May 8 will teach attorneys the procedure, the law, and best practices when representing a client before an administrative judge of the EEOC.

Attendees will hear both judges and practitioners discuss prehearing submissions, prehearing conferences, witness preparation, closing arguments, post-hearing briefs, and more. Faculty includes Ralph C. Conte, attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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

On May 19 the CLE Program will offer the course “How Does the ADA Affect Your Business: ADA Accessibility Requirements for Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities,” which provides an overview of ADA accessibility standards for such establishments.

The course will address questions such as what facilities are covered by the ADA, what public accommodations are governed by the statute, what are a business’s obligations to make goods and services accessible to the disabled, and what are a landlord’s or tenant’s responsibilities for ADA compliance. ADA design standards, recent litigation trends, and state law accessibility requirements and damage remedies also will be discussed.

Matthew K. Handley, project director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Project at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and Jonathan R. Mook of DiMuro-Ginsberg PC will serve as faculty.

The course takes place from 6 to 8:15 p.m. and is cosponsored by the D.C. Bar Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section; Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Section; Health Law Section; Labor and Employment Law Section; and Law Practice Management Section.

On May 22 attorneys will get a chance to review the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) and how both whistleblower disclosures and claims of reprisal are being processed and investigated by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

“Practice Before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB): What Happens After the Whistle Is Blown?” also will discuss the board’s most recent decisions interpreting the WPEA and adjudicating individual right of action appeals. Faculty includes Peter Mina, chief of the Labor and Employment Law Division of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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

Finally, on May 29 the CLE Program will tackle emerging trademark issues on the Internet with the course “What’s a Trademark to Do: Protection and Infringement on the Internet.”

Faculty members Eric Fingerhut, a member of Dykema Gossett PLLC, and Joanne Ludovici, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, will discuss top-level domains, infringement and enforcement, dilution, social media (best practices), and domain name disputes, among other topics.

The course takes place from 6 to 8:15 p.m. and is cosponsored by the D.C. Bar Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section; Corporation, Finance, and Securities Law Section; Government Contracts and Litigation Section; and Intellectual Property Law Section.

All courses will be held at the D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1101 K Street NW, first floor. For more information, contact the CLE Office at 202-626-3488 or visit www.dcbar.org/cle.  

Crisis Manager Judy Smith Named WBA Woman Lawyer of the Year
The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA) and the WBA Foundation will honor crisis management expert Judy Smith as 2014 Woman Lawyer of the Year at the organizations’ annual dinner on May 21 at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW.

Smith, founder and president of strategic and crisis communications firm Smith & Company, is a well-known attorney and crisis manager who served as inspiration for the Olivia Pope character in the ABC hit television show Scandal.

The theme for this year’s dinner is “Civility,” which exemplifies the WBA’s history of promoting the principle of civility by helping others through mentoring, volunteering, and giving back.

The dinner and awards ceremony also raises money for the WBA Foundation, the charitable arm of the association that gives out grants to local organizations serving women and children in the Washington metropolitan area. The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7.

For more information or to register, contact the WBA at 202-639-8880 or visit www.wbadc.org.

Pro Bono Program Offers Training on Landlord–Tenant Representation
In May, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program will hold a two-part training to prepare attorneys who have little or no experience in landlord–tenant matters to competently and comfortably represent pro bono clients in the D.C. Superior Court’s Landlord and Tenant Branch.

Part one will be held on May 6 and part two on May 13. Both sessions take place from 5:45 to 8:45 p.m. at the D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1101 K Street NW, first floor.

The training series will focus primarily on proceedings in the District of Columbia involving indigent or low-income families, and will cover substantive landlord and tenant law; public and subsidized housing issues; eviction procedures; complaints, pleadings, and pretrial procedures; rent control; and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

No particular expertise is required to participate. The training is appropriate for attorneys, attorney–paralegal teams (paralegals must attend with an attorney), and law students doing clinical work. Training participants must agree to accept two pro bono referrals from one of the sponsoring organizations.

The training is presented in collaboration with Bread for the City, Catholic Charities Legal Network of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC Law Students in Court, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. It is cosponsored by the D.C. Bar District of Columbia Affairs Section; Litigation Section; and Real Estate, Housing, and Land Use Section.
For questions about the training, contact Pro Bono Program staff attorney and training manager Shannon Redd at sredd@dcbar.org.

Council for Court Excellence Names 3 Justice Potter Stewart Awardees
The Council for Court Excellence (CCE) will hold its 18th Annual Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner on May 8, honoring three individuals who have made significant contributions to the law, the legal system, the courts, or the administration of justice in the nation’s capital.

This year’s awardees are Marc Fleischaker, chairman emeritus at Arent Fox LLP; the Legal Counsel for the Elderly; and Pepco Holdings, Inc. The Justice Potter Stewart Award, named to honor the memory and public service of the late associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, was established by CCE in 1997.

The event takes place at the Organization of American States, 200 17th Street NW. It begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the presentation of awards at 7.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Renee Smith at 202-785-5917 or smith@courtexcellence.org, or visit www.courtexcellence.org.

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