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State bar holds 137th annual meeting

The New York State Bar Association’s 137th annual meeting will feature discussions on legal education, the future of the legal profession, social media and Internet security, and the need for greater civics education.

More than 4,000 attorneys are expected to attend the weeklong conference at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan. The event began Monday and runs through Saturday.

Scheduled speakers include James R. Silkenat, president of the American Bar Association; Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman; Judith S. Kaye, former chief judge; Michael Danilack, deputy commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service; James M. Cole, deputy U.S. attorney general; Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union; and Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project.

On Saturday, Long Island attorney Louis A. Craco, an advocate for professionalism and reform in the legal profession, will receive the Gold Medal, the association’s highest award. It recognizes lifelong excellence in the legal profession and constructive contributions to civic and community matters.

The centerpiece of the annual meeting will be the Presidential Summit from 2 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The summit, hosted by President David M. Schraver of Rochester (Nixon Peabody), will feature panel discussions on legal education and the legal profession.

The first forum will address developments in legal education, including the cost of law school, curriculum, the bar exam and its relevance to legal practice, and the job market facing new law school graduates.

Silkenat, who heads the ABA as it prepares to issue a comprehensive report on legal education, will moderate the panel. The keynote address will be delivered by William M. Sullivan, founding director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers and primary author of the groundbreaking 2007 Carnegie Report on the future of legal education.

The second forum will discuss the challenges facing the legal profession, including new technology, the changing economic climate, new demands from clients, globalization and changes in law-related services. The panel will be moderated by former state bar President Stephen P. Younger of New York City (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler). The keynote address will be delivered by Bruce MacEwen, president of Adam Smith Inc. consulting group and author of “Growth is Dead: Now What? Law firms on the brink.”

The Presidential Summit will be available via live webcast at www.nysba.org/AMSummit.

On Friday, the state bar’s House of Delegates will hold its quarterly meeting. Among the items on the agenda are a report and recommendations on civics education by the association’s Law Youth and Citizenship Committee.

The House of Delegates meeting will be available via live webcast at www.nysba.org/HODWebcast.

Other highlights include:

• Til Death Do Us Part: Speakers of the Trusts and Estates Law Section will address changes in marriage and estate law in the wake of the United States v. Windsor decision on same-sex marriage, and other developments in the law. 9 a.m. Thursday, immediately followed at 12:55 p.m. with a recounting of the case by Alexia D. Koritz of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the law firm that represented Edith “Edie” Windsor.

• Education Under Fire: The Committee on Law Youth and Citizenship will cover education-related issues such as student data privacy, free speech rights and the right to a sound basic education. 9 a.m. Wednesday.

• Digitally Interactive: The Commercial and Federal Litigation Section will encourage tweeting live from the event. Panelists will address incriminating postings, requests for legal services made in a chat room and the potential conflicts of being “connected” to individuals on social media sites. 8:40 a.m. Wednesday.

• Hydrofracking: The Environmental Law Section will host a forum on the state’s natural gas regulations and the ethical and practice issues created for environmental lawyers. 8:40 a.m. Thursday.

For a complete list of speakers, programs and events, as well as registration information, visit www.nysba.org/AM2014. Also follow annual meeting proceedings on Twitter at @NYSBA (#NYSBA2014) and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NYSBA.

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