A Preview of the 2014 Midyear ABA House of Delegates Meeting

by Rich Cassidy on January 13, 2014

20140113.ABAfooter_logoThe American Bar Association House of Delegates meets in Chicago on Monday, February 10, 2014, as part of the ABA Midyear Meeting.

As of January 10, 2014, only 19 resolutions are listed the meeting agenda.

Of these, only a few strike me as of broad interest. Of course, I speak primarily from the perspective of those I represent in the House: Vermont Bar Association Members. Most Vermont Lawyers work in small firms, for government agencies or not-for-profit entities.

So, for example, the three resolutions that relate to patent law — while perhaps of great absolute importance — would attract the attention of only a small slice of my constituency. The same is likely true of the two resolutions proposed by the Commission on Youth at Risk. The first, Resolution 109A urges governments to enact policies to reduce the risk that foster children will slide into homelessness. The second, Resolution 109B urges lawyers, law schools and bar associations to adopt trauma-informed, evidence-based approaches and practices on behalf of justice system-involved children and youth who have been exposed to violence. The report on children affected by trauma is particularly compelling reading.

In thinking about this agenda, here is what strikes me as most important for “main street” lawyers:

  • Resolution 105 is a proposal from the Section of International Law supporting the modernization and simplification of the law relating to the verification of signatures and notarial practice in cross border contexts. In today’s world nearly every lawyer will on occasion face the need to obtain a verified signature of a person located in another country. The existing law is too cumbersome and expensive.
  • Resolution 100, currently on the consent calendar, approves the Uniform Powers of Appointment Act. Powers of appointment are routinely included in trust instruments, but no comprehensive legal structure governs their use. The Uniform Act provides one.
  •  Resolution 106 urges governments to adequately fund security for the judicial system.
  •  Resolution 177C would raise ABA dues for FY 2015 and authorize the Board of Governors to increase dues for FY 2016 through 2018 to keep pace with the Consumer Price Index.

Some ABA entities can file late reports, so additions remain possible.

You can get access the Reports and Resolutions and related material at the 2014 Chicago Midyear Meeting page here.


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