AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
STATE DELEGATE REPORT
Daniel A. Schwartz
As your Connecticut State Delegate, I wanted to update you on the work I am doing with the ABA and some upcoming items of interest.
Last month, I travelled to Washington, DC as part of ABA Day on the Hill. This massive lobbying effort -- now in it’s 20th year -- brings hundreds of bar leaders from across the nation to converge on DC to talk with our legislators about key legal issues.In addition to my attendance, Connecticut had a strong delegation: State Captain Steve Curley, ABA Board of Governor member Barry Hawkins, CBA-YLS Chair-Elect Dana Hrelic, CBA President-Elect Monte Frank, and ABA-YLD Delegate Austin Johns. Over the course of two days, we met in the office of every Representative and Senator from Connecticut, often times with both a staff liaison and the member of Congress too. In our discussions, we focused on funding for Legal Services Corp. (which provides the necessary funding for legal services for the poor) and criminal justice reform bills including sentencing reform and juvenile justice (which share bipartisan support in both the House and Senate). We also talked about many issues of key importance to Connecticut as well, including the rising tide of opioid addiction and business protections (including intellectual property reform).
Of course, in this age of Washington gridlock, it’s easy to be cynical about meetings like the ones we had. But each member of the Congressional delegation listened in earnest and pledged his or her support for the work of both the Connecticut and American Bar Associations. And I’m optimistic that the bonds we have been building will help lead to further cooperative efforts in the future on a bipartisan basis. I remain willing to discuss with you the work the ABA does in Washington, D.C. If you have any interest in these issues, I also urge you to consider joining us in next year’s visit as well.
In addition to ABA Day, a sneak preview has been released for the upcoming ABA Annual House of Delegates session.This agenda is tentative and is subject to further additions from state bars and revisions as well.
Among the notable items is a proposal to amends the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to create a new Rule 8.4(g) with Comment to make it professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.
We are also anticipating a proposal from the Commission on the Delivery of Legal Services; I have not yet seen a draft of it but it’s anticipated that it may propose an expansion on the scope of services that can be performed by paralegals.
If you have an interest in any of the topics on the sneak preview, again, please feel free to contact me.
Lastly, the ABA Annual Meeting registration is now open for the August meeting in San Francisco. If you haven’t been to such a meeting, I encourage you to do so. There are always terrific programs (both CLE and non-CLE) and wonderful receptions. And, of course, San Francisco in August is a lovely time to beat the summer heat.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you.
Daniel A. Schwartz
ABA Connecticut State Delegate