NSBA Annual Meeting Coming Up Next Week


Attorney Melanie Whittamore-Mantzios, left, gives blood with the help of Samantha Cochran of the Nebraska Community Blood Bank at the Nebraska State Bar Association Annual Meeting in La Vista, Oct. 10, 2019. (Luke Koesters/Daily Record)
By 
The Daily Record

The Nebraska State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting returns to the La Vista Conference Center next week, welcoming attorneys from across the state to gather together in-person.

The 2021 Annual Meeting runs Wednesday, Oct. 13, through Friday, Oct. 15. It offers a wide array of continuing legal education programs as well as opportunities to connect with colleagues, grow professional networks, celebrate the legal profession and serve the public.

This year’s meeting has more than 65 hours of CLE programming. Some highlights include:

• “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote”

This general session features award-winning journalist Elaine Weiss, who authored the highly acclaimed narrative nonfiction books “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight for the Vote and Fruits of Victory: The Woman’s Land Army in the Great War.”

Weiss sheds fascinating light on women’s rights, suffrage, and the 19th Amendment. In remarks that are empowering and eye-opening, Weiss inspires with conversations about what it takes to change the Constitution, the power of civic engagement, how change is made, and the story of past and present voting rights.

The session is Thursday, Oct. 14, from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. It has been approved for 1.25 hours of CLE credit.

• “I Think, Therefore, I Am Biased”

The human brain is wired to recognize patterns and make generalizations, even those based on faulty or incomplete information.

 Contrary to popular opinion, lawyers are human as well and, therefore, are just as susceptible to forming biases and acting upon them. And it does not require that we harbor ill will or animus towards other people. In fact, most often, our biases are not even our own but rather those that have been taught to us.

In this eye-opening presentation, Humorist at Law Sean Carter will use videos to show lawyers just how easy it is to form these biases, how they manifest themselves in the way we treat clients, colleagues and opposing parties, and, most importantly, how we can reduce the effect of these biases by recognizing and compensating for them.

The session is Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. It has been approved for 2 hours of CLE ethics credit.

• “Ethics Lessons from The Staircase”

On Dec. 9, 2001, Michael Peterson, a veteran and author living in North Carolina with his wife Kathleen, called emergency responders to assist with his wife whom he found at the bottom of the stairs in their home. What would ensue would be played out across the national and international media — secret lives, million-dollar insurance policies, and one of the longest trials in North Carolina history.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Jean-Xavier de L’Estrade chronicled the prosecution of Michael Peterson as it was unfolding. The filmmakers gained unprecedented access to Peterson, his legal team, his family, and the state as they investigated and tried the case. The result is the true crime documentary series “The Staircase” (currently streaming on Netflix).

Lead defense counsel from the Peterson trial, David Rudolf, will utilize video clips from “The Staircase” and examples from the trial to discuss ethical obligations of criminal attorneys in plea bargains, discovering new evidence, confidentiality and duty to the client, and ethical issues involved in making decisions during a criminal client’s trial.

This session is Friday, Oct. 15, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. It has been approved for 1 hour of CLE ethics credit.

Most state bar sections and several partnering organizations and bar associations will offer seminar programs as well.

The NSBA will record all of its CLE programs offered at the 2021 Annual Meeting. For members who are unable to join in-person, it seminars will be made available in the NBSA’s OnDemand Platform, located at nebarondemand.com, starting in November. However, it is possible some programs won’t be posted due to technical problems.

In addition to CLE sessions, the Annual Meeting will provide lawyers with opportunities to reconnect with their passion for the law and colleagues across the state.

The 2021 social events and public service opportunities include:

• Alumni Lunches: The Wednesday, Oct. 13, Alumni Luncheons from noon to 1 p.m. gives local graduates the opportunity to connect with other alumni from the University of Nebraska College of Law and Creighton University School of Law. New this year is a networking lunch for NSBA members who are joining us from any other law school.

• Evening Receptions: Honor the Nebraska’s judiciary on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at our Bench and Bar reception from 5:15 to 7 p.m. A reception is planned Thursday, Oct. 14, for OctoBARfest, which will offer an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music, and trivia from 5:15 to 9 p.m.

• Nebraska Community Blood Bank: The Seventh Annual Public Service Project will include the opportunity to donate to the Nebraska Community Blood Bank, which will be parked outside the Embassy on Thursday, Oct. 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for blood donations. They are Nebraska’s only community blood bank and serve many of the hospitals in southeastern Nebraska.

• Rise Against Hunger: Also as part of the Seventh Annual Public Service Project, the NSBA Rise Against Hunger Food Drive on Friday, Oct. 15, from 9 to 11:00 a.m., offers the opportunity to work as a team to package 10,000 meals to help feed some of the 842 million people across the globe suffering from hunger.

• Legacy Lunch: On Friday, Oct. 15, the Legacy Lunch will recognize our colleagues who are celebrating 25th and 50th years of practice and remember NSBA colleagues who have passed away since the last Annual Meeting.

• Young Lawyers Section Meet and Greet: The Young Lawyers Section invites its members for lunch and relaxed, informal discussion on how the section can best serve members in the coming year. Advanced registration is required and will be paid in full by the Young Lawyers Section.  

• Other social activities include the ADR Section Breakfast, the Bank Attorneys Section Breakfast, the Real Estate Probate and Trust Section Lunch, and the Inns of Court Breakfast.

Walk-in registrations will be accepted at the event site starting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Online registration has closed.

If COVID-19 infection rates in Sarpy County are categorized as substantial or high by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the time of the event, the La Vista Embassy Suites will require all guests, including Annual Meeting attendees, to wear face masks in public areas, including all event and lobby spaces. While eating and drinking, attendees may remove their masks. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available to Annual Meeting attendees.

Find more information about the Annual Meeting at nebar.com/event/NSBAAnnualMeeting_21

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