2021 Judicial and Bar Conference

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Judicial and Bar Conference

Agenda

2021 Event Overview 2021 Conference Speakers 2021 Judicial Honorees

Thursday, April 22, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

  • Welcome and Report on the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia
    Speaker: Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

  • Plenary Panel and Discussion – Access to Justice During the COVID-19 Pandemic (No CLE Credit)

    Moderator: Zoe Tillman, Senior Reporter, BuzzFeed News
    Speakers: Karl A. Racine, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia; Vida B. Johnson, Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Chinh Q. Le, Legal Director, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia; Jessica K. Steinberg, Associate Professor of Clinical Law, the George Washington University Law School

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • Welcome & Report on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
    Speaker: Chief Judge Anita Josey-Herring

12:00 p.m. – 12:10 p.m.

  • Break

Breakout Sessions: 12:10 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.

  • Government COVID-19 Enforcement: Harnessing Technology to Buffer a Tsunami of Consumer, Tenant, and Workers’ Rights Violations (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the D.C. Bar Antitrust and Consumer Law Community and D.C. Bar Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Community

    During the pandemic, the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia harnessed technology to enforce COVID-19 legislation and mayoral orders through a multifaceted campaign of courtroom advocacy, community outreach and education, media engagement, audits, and interagency collaboration. Technology was indispensable to buffering an onslaught of violations of civil, consumer, tenant, and worker rights during the pandemic. This informative and timely session will teach attendees how to better harness technology during these challenging times.

    Speakers: Jennifer L. Berger, Chief, Social Justice Section, Public Advocacy Division; Michelle D. Thomas, Chief, Civil Rights Section, Public Interest Division; and Benjamin M. Wiseman, Director, Office of Consumer Protection, Public Advocacy Division, all from the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia
  • As the World Turns: A Global Response to a Global Pandemic (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the International Association of Judges; cosponsored by the International Association of Women Judges; the National Center for State Courts, International Division; and JAMS

    The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed the face of justice worldwide. Judiciaries face backlogs, bandwidth shortages, and budgetary constraints in providing access to justice, which can demand practical accommodations and personal sacrifice. This diverse panel will discuss exemplars along the response spectrum, from hearings on Facebook to growing reliance on online dispute resolution.

    Moderator: The Honorable Allyson K. Duncan (ret.), United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; Vice President, International Association of Judges; and Former President, Federal Judges Association

    Speakers: The Honorable Vanessa Ruiz, Senior Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and President, International Association of Women Judges; the Worshipful Juan P. Wolffe, Senior Magistrate, Magistrates’ Court of Bermuda; and Jeffrey Apperson, Vice President, International Relations, National Center for State Courts
  • A New Normal: How COVID-19 Has Reshaped Access to Justice in the Domestic Violence Context (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Domestic Violence Division

    The COVID-19 crisis has pushed courts and legal service providers across the country to provide new ways to access the legal system. During this insightful session, our knowledgeable panel will outline the innovative methods used to increase access to justice for domestic violence survivors in the District during the pandemic and offer takeaways for the future.

    Speakers: Rita Blandino, Director, Domestic Violence Division, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Ashley Carter, Equal Justice Works Fellow, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project; Nelly Montenegro, Deputy Director, Domestic Violence Division, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; and Aida Vindell, Managing Attorney, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • The Year of the Virtual Courtroom: What Worked, What Didn’t, What’s Next (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by Bennett Doyle LLP

    Join our expert panelists as they offer advice and commentary on how litigators can adapt to the new virtual world in conducting online legal proceedings. They will discuss pitfalls, best practices, and potential benefits from the perspective of a judge, prosecutor, and defense counsel. The panel will pay special attention to the role of technology in effective communication during proceedings.

    Moderator: Lloyd Liu, Partner, Bennett Doyle LLP

    Speakers: The Honorable Maribeth Raffinan, Presiding Judge, Domestic Violence Division, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Renata Cooper, Federal Prosecutor, United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; and George P. Varghese, Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

1:10 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

  • Break

Breakout Sessions: 1:20 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

  • Providing Essential Services: How the Healthcare and Education Industries Adapted to the Global Pandemic (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the D.C. Bar Labor and Employment Law Community; cosponsored by the American Association of Nurse Attorneys

    The COVID-19 pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of work, but for industries that provide essential services, such as healthcare and education, the resulting legal issues run the gamut from regulatory compliance to labor management. This diverse and informative panel will examine the innovative ways that those industries have adapted to the global pandemic in terms of legal and other challenges they face.

    Moderator: Nicole C. Dillard, Dillard Legal Consultants LLC, and Assistant Professor, Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications

    Speakers: Kaitlyn Girard, Labor Relations Officer, Chicago Public Schools; Maureen Townsend, Director of Critical Care Services, the George Washington University Hospital; Carl Turpin, Arbitrator, ADR Services; and Peter Vassalo, Counsel for Special Litigation, Occupational Safety and Health Division, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Aging in the Age of COVID: Ensuring Access to Justice in a Virtual Reality (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the Legal Counsel for the Elderly; cosponsored by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

    During this informative session, our engaging panel will discuss improving access to justice for aging litigants in the virtual environment, including sharing information about resources. They will discuss: (1) how law offices and social services have adjusted their practices to meet new challenges and (2) how increased isolation during the pandemic puts seniors at increased risk for exploitation and abuse. This class is a must for those who represent aging clients.

    Moderator: Deborah Cuevas Hill, Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Counsel for the Elderly

    Speakers: Christine Kenny, Money Management Program Manager, Iona Senior Services; Amy Mix, Chief, Elder Justice Section, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia; and Bridgette Stumpf, Executive Director, Network for Victim Recovery of DC
  • D.C. Court Coronavirus Advisory 1001: Tales From the Family Law Front Lines During a Pandemic (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the D.C. Bar Family Law Community

    With court operations severely limited and many hearings held virtually, family law attorneys have gotten creative. Our expert panelists will talk about best practices for resolving disputes, keeping contested cases moving forward, accessing the courts during a pandemic, and preparing cases for the next public emergency.

    Moderator: Melissa A. Kucinski, Attorney, MK Family Law

    Speakers: The Honorable Deborah J. Israel, Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Jessica E. Adler, Attorney, The Law Office of Jessica E. Adler; and Rebekah Sullivan, Attorney, The Law Office of Rebekah Sullivan, PLLC
  • Fighting Fraud! Technology’s Role in Service of Process (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center; cosponsored by the D.C. Tenants’ Rights Center, Neighborhood Legal Services Program, Same Day Process Service, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

    Due to the pandemic and its economic impact, attorneys should anticipate a tsunami of evictions post-moratorium. Recent news reports revealed rampant service of process fraud in eviction cases, resulting in default judgments that disproportionately affect low-income communities of color. Technology can play an important role in thwarting this fraudulent and damaging practice by ensuring that process servers are attempting personal service and complying with statutory requirements. With GPS tracking, photographic evidence, proactive audits, address verification, and record maintenance requirements, technology can prevent these systemic fraudulent practices.

    Moderator: Adrian Gottshall, Managing Attorney, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

    Speakers: Josh Kaplan, Journalist, ProPublica; Gabriella Lewis-White, Managing Attorney, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, and Supervisor, Landlord Tenant Resource Center; John F. O'Connor, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and Brandon Snesko, President, Same Day Process Service
  • Protesting for Racial and Social Justice in a Pandemic: A How-to Guide for Lawyers (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild, D.C. Chapter; cosponsored by Law for Black Lives

    Since the killing of George Floyd, there have been massive public protests nationwide for racial justice, police reform, and accountability. How can individuals safely protest and have their voices heard during a pandemic? Join our expert panel as they discuss the interplay of the First Amendment and various state and local laws governing individuals’ right to protest, including recent case law and events. Among the topics discussed are new protest trends, including virtual protests and car rallies.

    Moderator: Ann Wilcox, Board Member, National Lawyers Guild, D.C. Chapter

    Speakers: Andrew O. Clarke, Principal Attorney, A. Clarke Law, PLLC, and Mark L. Goldstone, Attorney, Law Office of Mark L. Goldstone

2:20 p.m.

  • Day One Concludes

Friday, April 23, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

  • Welcome, Report on the District of Columbia Bar, and Video Honoring Retiring District Judges
    Speakers
    : Geoffrey M. Klineberg, President, D.C. Bar

10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • Introduction of Keynote Presentation
    Speaker: Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby
  • Keynote Presentation – A Conversation with DeMaurice Smith (No CLE Credit)
    Moderator: The Honorable Joshua A. Deahl, Associate Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
    Speaker: DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director, NFL Players Association

11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

  • Break

Breakout Sessions: 11:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

  • Impacts of COVID-19 on Pro Bono in the District: Techniques, Tips, Technology, and Takeaways (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the Washington Council of Lawyers; cosponsored by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, D.C. Bar Public Interest and Courts Community, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, and District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission

    The COVID-19 pandemic has required pro bono volunteers to pivot, from appearing in court remotely to establishing secure ways to connect with clients to juggling the demands of working from home. Our experienced panel will discuss the innovations, tools, and lessons learned that will shape pro bono legal service in the post-pandemic world. Attendees will learn how pro bono programs have equipped volunteers to handle remote client interactions and court proceedings, continued to manage intakes of pro bono cases, and found ways to inspire volunteers. Our panelists will:
    • Share ways to conduct virtual intakes
    • Address client privacy concerns
    • Navigate technology requirements for remote hearings
    • Highlight various substantive, informational, and collaborative resources
    • Discuss other ways lawyers are striving to meet the increased demand for civil legal services.
    The panel will also assess areas with the greatest unmet legal needs and identify ways pro bono attorneys can best serve clients in need, including virtual opportunities. At the end of this session, attendees will gain a better understanding of how to increase access points and create a space that fosters trust and personal connection for pro bono clients and lawyers.

    Moderator: Nancy Lopez, Executive Director, Washington Council of Lawyers

    Speakers: Lise Adams, Assistant Director, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center; Nancy E. Drane, Executive Director, District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission; Paul S. Lee, Pro Bono Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and Sara Tennen, Executive Director, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Evidence-Based Networked Eviction Defense in the Time of COVID-19: What We Are Learning (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the DC Bar Foundation; cosponsored by NPC Research

    Since 2017, six District-based organizations have collaborated to provide eviction defense services for those most in need of them. In this session, the DC Bar Foundation, NPC Research (an independent evaluator), and two providers will show detailed data describing how a networked approach to service delivery allowed them to pivot when the pandemic hit. Our insightful and experienced panel will discuss networked service delivery, eviction defense under COVID-19, evidence-based decision making, intake and referral, shared decision making, and funder as servant-leader.

    Moderator: Kirra Jarratt, CEO, DC Bar Foundation

    Speakers: Kelly Jarvis, Director of Research in Community Health, NPC Research; and Mark Johnson-Lewis, Evaluation and Impact Manager, DC Bar Foundation
  • The Virtual Child: COVID-19’s Impact on Children’s Voices in Court (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the Children's National Hospital and DC Volunteer Lawyers Project

    COVID-19’s forced movement to almost exclusively virtual engagement creates unanticipated stressors impacting children and complicates access to information to evaluate the child’s well-being. This panel will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on children, challenges for courts and lawyers, and creative child advocacy in a time when ordinary supports are compromised.

    Moderator: Richard Kelley, Managing Attorney, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project

    Speakers: The Honorable Darlene Soltys, Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Dr. Binny Chokshi, Co-Medical Director, Healthy Generations Program, Children’s National Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Dr. Daniel Newman, Associate Medical Director, Children's National Medical Center at Columbia Heights, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; and Rebecca Simpson, Legal Director, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
  • Update on Remote Mediations and the Virtual Evolution of ADR (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by JAMS

    Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, attorneys, clients, and mediators have experienced the formerly inconceivable: conducting mediations by videoconference. What have we learned and how can we improve the process? Join our panel of experienced mediators and advocates as they discuss their experiences and offer tips for enhancing your performance during these virtual sessions.

    Moderator: Linda Singer, Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS

    Speakers: Debra Katz, Founding Partner, Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP; Michael Lewis, Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS; and Jason Schwartz, Partner, Co-Chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group, and General Counsel, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • FREE FORUM: So, You Want to Be a Judge on the District of Columbia Courts? (No CLE Credit)

    Sponsored by the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission

    This public forum will provide information about the judicial application, nomination, and appointment process for the District of Columbia Courts, including the qualifications for judicial office. It will also include a question-and-answer session.

    Moderator: Tracy B. Nutall, Executive Director, District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission

    Speakers: The Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan, District Judge, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and Chair, District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission; the Honorable Joshua A. Deahl, Associate Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals; the Honorable Kelly A. Higashi, Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; and Addy Schmitt, Member, Miller & Chevalier, and Member, District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission

12:10 p.m. – 12:20 p.m.

  • Break

Breakout Sessions: 12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

  • From Hellhole to Hotspot: COVID-19 in Prisons and Jails (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; cosponsored by DC Justice Lab and Families Against Mandatory Minimums

    Twenty percent of prisoners have contracted COVID-19, five times the national average. Prisons have used punitive and unsafe seclusion practices and have failed to use all available options to decarcerate. Our expert panel will discuss efforts to end the use of solitary confinement as a COVID-19 quarantine and the increased need for compassionate release.

    Speakers: Devon Galloway, Associate, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP; Randy Heitman, Compassionate Release Recipient; Steven Marcus, Attorney, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia; Mary Price, General Counsel, FAMM; Jessica Sandoval, National Campaign Strategist, Unlock the Box Campaign; Jonathan M. Smith, Executive Director, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; and Patrice Sulton, Director, DC Justice Lab
  • Access to Justice in a Virtual World: How Remote Operations Impact Low-Income Litigants (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission and the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

    During this session, our knowledgeable panel will explore how remote legal operations impact litigants living in poverty. What unique challenges do they confront in this virtual world? How can those barriers be reduced? What lessons can we attorneys learn from this period of remote operations to improve access to justice in the long run? The panel will address these questions and offer practical suggestions for enhancing your representation of those living in poverty.

    Moderator: Nancy E. Drane, Executive Director, District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission

    Speakers: The Honorable Peter Krauthamer, Presiding Judge, Family Court Division, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Trisha Monroe, Supervising Attorney, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia; and Tina Smith Nelson, Managing Attorney, Legal Counsel for the Elderly
  • From Washington to Warsaw: International Child Abduction During a Pandemic (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by the D.C. Bar Family Law Community

    With treaties, conflicts of laws, and the interplay of multiple and very disparate legal systems, international parental child abduction cases are easily some of the most legally complex family law cases. But with border closures, safety and health concerns, and court backlogs, the practical challenges have been compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our expert panel will discuss these issues, including the applicable laws and treaties and how practitioners can better represent their clients and the children in these circumstances.

    Speakers: Melissa A. Kucinski, Attorney, MK Family Law, and Kelly A. Powers, Attorney, Miles & Stockbridge
  • Investigations in Quarantimes: Getting the Gotcha Moment When Surprise Can’t Be the Essence of Attack (1.0 CLE Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and Levy Firestone Muse LLP

    Widespread remote work — with its concomitant loss of in-person interviews and surprise confrontations — has complicated internal investigations. Attorneys must discover new ways to maximize witness interviews, where the only chance to ask an important question may be over Zoom. Our panel of experienced attorneys will explore how to replicate pre-pandemic results using innovative techniques and technology.

    Moderator: Monique Abrishami, Partner, Levy Firestone Muse LLP

    Speakers: Lauren Bell, Partner, Global Investigations and White Collar Defense, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP; Amy Jeffress, Co-Chair, White Collar Defense & Investigations, Arnold & Porter LLP; and Rebecca Rohr, Vice President, Anti-Corruption and Global Trade, Ethics & Compliance Office, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Our Altered Legal Landscape: Cultivating Resilience and Ethical Practice in 2021 (1.0 CLE Ethics Credit Hour)

    Sponsored by D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program; cosponsored by Caron Treatment Centers

    In this session, our multidisciplinary panel will cover the ethical implications associated with attorney well-being, with a focus on current mental health challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel will explore common barriers to resilience and help attendees identify how these barriers affect them personally. Participants will learn evidence-based practices for building resilience and increasing well-being.

    Moderator: Niki Irish, Outreach & Education Coordinator, D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program

    Speakers: Jessie Joachim, Senior Counselor, D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program; Corey Rabin, Clinical Advisor to Legal Professionals Program, Caron Treatment Centers; Eric J. Webber, Senior Clinical Advisor – Legal/Executive Professional Program, Caron Treatment Centers

1:20 p.m.

  • Day Two Concludes
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