ABA Section of State & Government Law: 2020 Fall Virtual Meeting

  • Central Time (US & Canada)
  • By: ABA Section of State & Government Law
  • Webinars
  • Civil Rights
  • Attorneys/Legal Services
  • Government and Governmental Services

A Perfect Storm: COVID Issues Affecting State, Local, Regional & Tribal Governments


Monday, October 26

3 – 4:30pm CT

Executive Committee Meeting

Tuesday, October 27

1 – 2:30pm CT

Part 1: Predicting A Perfect Storm: COVID-19 & Election 2020 (CLE)
The 2020 presidential election was always going to be a closely anticipated and much watched election, and now with COVID-19 in the mix what can we expect? Do we have the makings of a perfect storm or perhaps it will be just a little bit of precipitation? As we adjust to a new normal, in all aspects of our lives, states, localities, municipalities, and Native nations are working overtime to ensure that our elections will be conducted in the safest and most efficient manner possible in order to allow for equitable access to the franchise for all. These bodies of government are the stewards of our democracy and we knowthat they take their responsibility very seriously.

A panel of bi-partisan experts will discuss what might go wrong, what should go right, and everything in between. As an example, we know that there will be an unprecedented and exponential increase in mail-in balloting for the November 3rd election and that election returns results may not be immediate, but that does not mean that the system is not sound and not working. After all, if elections are not administered in a traditional manner that does not mean that it will be de facto fraudulent and unsuccessful. Possible topics of discussion include issues with voter rolls; unprecedented number of ballot requests; mail reliability; timing rules for receipt; ballots rejected; signature match issues; counting time; custody; and recounts and contests.


    Elizabeth M. Yang, President, WStrong LLC (tentative)
    Charles H. Bell, Jr., Founding Partner, Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP, Sacramento, CA
    Mark D. Martin, Dean & Professor, Regent University School of Law, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, Virginia Beach, VA

3 – 4:30pm CT

Part 2: E-Rate, Equity, Education … OH MY! (CLE)
Meaningful access to technology is one of many factors that separate the haves and the have nots in achieving a high-quality public education. When dealing with existing inequities due to inadequate funding of public education, an international health crisis that limits a school district's capacity to engage in traditional learning exacerbates the already widening digital divide.

Through the dynamic speakers, this CLE will: (i) define digital inequities as it applies to public education, (ii) discuss how the FCC's E-Rate program may be one tool in addressing concerns related to broadband internet access, and (iii) highlight Cox Communication's Connect2Compete program as an example of how internet providers throughout the country can work with school districts and local governments to help close the digital divide for public school scholars.


    Aubrey B. Coleman II, Government Relations Advisor — Technology & Operations, T-Mobile, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
    Ebonee Younger, Product Manager, Cox Enterprises, Atlanta, GA


    Erika D. Robinson, General Counsel & Title IX Coordinator, Jackson Public Schools; Chair, State & Local Government Law Public Education Committee, Jackson, MS

Wednesday, October 28

1 – 2:30pm CT

Part 1: Disaster Planning Amid a Pandemic (CLE)
This panel addresses the resiliency measures municipalities, counties, states, and tribal governments should undertake before natural disasters and pandemics strike. Requisite hazard mitigation planning not only save lives and tax dollars, but it also lays a foundation for investment and insurance protection.

Speakers will discuss the unique challenges natural disasters pose to both the private and public sectors. The reconstruction of existing development impaired by a natural disaster poses one of the greatest challenges parties face in disaster recovery.


    Janice C. Griffith, Professor of Law, Suffolk University, Boston, MA
    Deborah M. Rosenthal, FAICP, Of Counsel, Fitzgerald, Yap, Kreditor LLP, Irvine, California
    Stephen R. Miller, Professor of Law, University of Idaho College of Law, Boise, ID


    Beverly McQuery Smith, Professor Emeritus, Touro College: Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center; ABA Delegate at Large, Jersey City, NJ

3 – 4:30pm CT

Part 2: Congregate Living Facilities (CLE)
The COVID epidemic raises difficult health and safety issues for people who live in congregant facilities, whether as students, prisoners, or the elderly. It also creates difficult situations for those employed in such facilities. Managing the protection of all is extremely complex. Our panelists will share their expertise on COVID’s legal issues surrounding the facilities, their residents and employees.


    Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, Professor, Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA
    Patricia E. Salkin, Provost — Graduate and Professional Divisions, Touro College, New York, NY
    Ruqaiijah Yearby, J.D., M.P. H, Professor - School of Law Center for Health Law Services, Saint Louis University, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Institute for Healing Justice & Equity, St. Louis, MO

Thursday, October 29

1 – 2:30pm CT

Part 1: Moratoria on Evictions (CLE)
On an average day, more than 20 million people, representing 50% of rental households are vulnerable to eviction, resulting in a destabilizing effect on communities and community institutions, including schools and community organizations. There is also an increased potential for criminal activity. At the same time, landlords need to rely on rental relief and rent stabilization funding. When you add the COVID pandemic to this equation, the potential outcomes are startling. Our expert panelists will share their insights on state and federal moratoria on evictions.


    Emily A. Benfer, Visiting Professor of Law, Founding Director, Wake Forest Law Health Justice Clinic, Winston-Salem, NC
    Eric Dunn, Director of Litigation at National Housing Law Project, Richmond, VA

3 – 4:30pm CT

Part 2: Homelessness & the Eighth Amendment: What’s Next for our Cities? (CLE)
This timely panel discussion will take up the implications of recent federal court decisions in Martin v. Boise and Blake v. Grants Pass. In combination, these cases limit when a municipality can criminally punish, issue civil citations and levy fines against unhoused individuals in communities where those people do not have practical access to housing or shelter.

The panel will briefly address the analysis in these cases under both the Cruel and Unusual Punishments and Excessive Fines clauses of the Eighth Amendment. Then the panelists will take up the implications for municipalities, focusing on current practices in Portland, Oregon and best practices with regard to addressing the causes rather than the effects of homelessness. The panel will also take up the confluence of these decisions and the current police reform discussions as well as shelter and law enforcement practices in the time of COVID-19.


    Tristia Bauman, Senior Attorney, The National Homelessness Law Center, Washington, DC
    Ed Johnson, Director of Litigation, Oregon Law Center, Portland, OR
    Marc Jolin, Director, The Joint Office to End Homelessness, Portland, OR


    Lani Petrulo, Board Member, Housing Land Advocates, Portland, OR

Co-sponsor: Civil Rights and Social Justice Committee on Economic Justice



Friday, October 30

3 – 5pm CT

SLG Council Meeting


Register for two sessions on one day or register for the entire fall meeting and save! Registration opens soon.

    Section Members
    One day (3 hrs CLE) - $65
    Entire Fall Meeting (9 hrs CLE) - $165
    ABA Members
    One day (3 hrs CLE) - $75
    Entire Fall Meeting (9 hrs CLE) - $195
    Non-ABA Members
    One day (3 hrs CLE) - $100
    Entire Fall Meeting (9 hrs CLE) - $275


Scholarships to defray tuition expense for ABA CLE programs are available upon application on a program-by-program, case-by-case basis. Preference will be given to public interest lawyers, government lawyers, full-time law professors, solo or small firm practitioners of limited means, and unemployed attorneys.

Scholarship applications must be received at least two (2) weeks before the program start date. You will be notified prior to the program if your application is approved. A minimum fee may be charged on all approved scholarship applications to defray expenses. For programs with tuition costs over $500, qualifying attorneys will receive at least a 50% reduction in the course fee(s).
Find Scholarship Application