Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events

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Wednesday, February 12

10:00 am–11:45 am Board of Directors Meeting (all are welcome)
11:00 am–7:00 pm Registration
Noon– 1:00 pm New Attendee Lunch
1:15 pm–1:30 pm Welcome & Introductions
1:30 pm–3:00 pm Roll Call – Administrators
3:00 pm–3:15 pm Break
3:15 pm–4:15 pm

Plenary 1: Prosecuting the Prosecutor


Ramona Mariani (PA)


Harriet R. Brumberg (PA)
G. Michael Witte (IN)

The public perception is that disciplinary authorities, perhaps because we are prosecutors ourselves, are reluctant to prosecute other prosecutors.  However, a careful review of the cases reveals such prosecutions do indeed take place.  This panel focuses on the ethical and practical issues of prosecuting criminal prosecutors including whether or not the prosecutor is an elected official; the appropriate sanctioning: procedural issues rule violations, and the fine line Disciplinary Counsel walks when prosecuting prosecutors so as not to destroy the symbiotic relationship and cooperation that exists due to overlapping criminal and disciplinary cases.  Finally, as these prosecutions attract public interest, the panel discussion includes a consideration of the role the press plays as a source of information, admissions, and public pressure on both Respondents and Disciplinary Counsel.

4:15 pm–5:15 pm

Plenary 2: Anti-Money Laundering Tool Kit Roll Out


Billy Walker (UT)


Alison Picione (NJ)
Patricia Schwartz (DE)

Our profession is under significant pressure to provide regulatory guidance, education, and to do more to keep lawyers from facilitating money laundering.  With this in mind, NOBC Past President Melinda Bentley established the Anti-Money Laundering Committee and asked the Committee to design a tool kit to help regulators identify lawyers engaged in money laundering. The Committee created a tool kit that defines money laundering and explains how lawyers might be involved. It describes the “red flags” we might see in complaints, bank records and documents, and provides suggestions regarding investigative resources.  The tool kit covers both active involvement in money laundering, and willful blindness to a client’s unlawful activities. In this session we will present the tool kit and show you how you can put it to use in your jurisdiction.

5:15 pm–7:00 pm President’s Reception
7:00 pm Dine Arounds

Thursday, February 13

7:30 am–5:00 pm Registration
7:30 am–8:30 am Program Committee Meeting
7:30 am–8:30 am Continental Breakfast
8:30 am–9:30 am

Plenary 3: DOJ’s PRAO, OPR, and PMRU: Who We Are and What We Do


Wendy Muchman (IL)


Gregory Gonzalez (OPR)                                                  Counsel                                                                        Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility

Stacy Ludwig (PRAO)                                                      Director                                                                          Professional Responsibility Advisory Office

Mark Masling (OPR)                                                              Chief of the Professional Misconduct Review Unit            Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility

Margaret S. McCarty (OPR)                                                  Deputy Director                                                                              Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility


This presentation will feature the U.S. Department of Justice’s Professional Responsibility Advisory Office, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Professional Misconduct Review Unit, which together are responsible for ensuring  that DOJ attorneys carry out their duties in compliance with the Rules of professional conduct, as well as other ethical standards.  The speakers will provide background on the distinct roles of each office, which include advising DOJ attorneys on the professional responsibility rules, investigating professional misconduct allegations against DOJ attorneys, and disciplining DOJ attorneys who have been found to have engaged in professional misconduct. 

9:45 am–10:45 am

Plenary 4: Follow the Money II


Jenny Mittelman (GA)


Edward Duffer (FBI TX)
Amanda Kates (TX)

There was a time when we could evaluate what was happening in a lawyer’s trust account using bank statements and an adding machine.  With the advent of smart phones, banking apps, on-line banking, and person to person transfers, following the money has become a bit more complicated.  In this session, we’ll discuss mobile payment platforms like Venmo, Square and Zelle, how they work, what records might be available, and how we can use those records in disciplinary cases.

10:45 am–11:00 am Break
11:00 am–12:30 pm

Plenary 5: Current Developments


Melissa Smart (IL)


David Curtin (RI)
Aaron Johnson (IN)
Melissa Selman Scott (MS, TN)

This panel of bar counsel, each representing a geographic region of the United States, will highlight significant legal decisions issued within the past six months in various jurisdictions across the country related to attorney discipline, ethics, and associated topics.

12:30 pm–2:00 pm Lunch on own
2:00 pm–3:30 pm

Concurrent I
Navigating the Disciplinary Process of USPTO, DHS, ICE, and SEC


Elizabeth Francis, USPTO


Thomas Karr, SEC
Robert Berger, DHS ICE                                                            Christa Shriber, (DVA)

Regulation Counsel from the United States’ Patent & Trademark Office, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Securities and Exchange Commission will explain the disciplinary process of their respective offices and provide guidance on how to navigate their respective agencies when you are seeking reciprocal discipline.

Concurrent II
The ABA Professional Regulation Committee Discipline System Consultation Program — Everything You Want to Know


Ellyn S. Rosen (IL)
Regulation and Global Initiatives Counsel
ABA Center for Professional Responsibility


Hon. Daniel J. Crothers
Justice, Supreme Court of North Dakota and Member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Regulation

Lynda C. Shely
The Shely Firm, PC, and Past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers

Mark A. Weber
Council for Discipline & The Unauthorized Practice of Law
The Nebraska Supreme Court

The ABA Standing Committee on Professional Regulation (formerly Discipline Committee) has conducted 66 lawyer discipline system consultations at the invitation of state supreme courts.  Courts in some states have utilized the Committee’s services more than once.  What is a discipline system consultation and how can it help? How are the Committee’s recommendations implemented by the Courts and its regulators?  Panelists from jurisdictions that have received a discipline system consultation are joined by members of consultation teams to answer all your questions. In addition, the Regulation Committee wants to hear your ideas for incorporation into this longstanding successful program.

Concurrent III
Litigation Skills: Oral Appellate Advocacy


Charles Centinaro (NJ)


Hamilton P. “Phil” Fox III (DC)                                                  Disciplinary Counsel                                                            Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Washington DC

The Honorable Phil Johnson
Former Texas Supreme Court Justice

Justice Melissa Goodwin
Third Court of Appeals
Austin, Texas

A finding of unethical conduct by an adjudicator or a hearing panel is generally not the end of an attorney disciplinary matter.  In most States, there is a review of that finding by a review board and perhaps even oral argument before the State Supreme Court.  In this Litigation Skills Program on Appellate Advocacy, a senior appellate attorney, a Third Court of Appeals Justice, and a former State Supreme Court Justice will share their insight, techniques, tips and advice on how to prepare for and make effective and impactful arguments before disciplinary review boards and the Supreme Court.

3:30 pm–3:45 pm Break
3:45 pm–5:00 pm

Plenary 6: Vicarious Trauma Compassion Fatigue in Regulators


Katie Uston (VA)
Assistant Bar Counsel
Virginia State Bar
Alexandria, VA


Jennifer Zampogna, M.D.
Director of Operations
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania

“Regulator, Heal Thyself” – In the years since the publication of the landmark study on lawyer impairment by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, we have engaged in a nationwide conversation on the importance of lawyer health and wellbeing as a vital component of the sustainability of the legal profession.  As regulators, we see the detrimental results of stress, depression, alcohol and substance use disorders in the lawyers we prosecute, but we are not immunized against these destructive forces in our own lives.  In this session, we will learn about the physical and psychological toll that trauma (primary and vicarious) can take in our own lives and professional endeavors and how to minimize the impact by practicing self-care and resiliency skills. 

5:00 pm–6:00 pm Networking Reception
6:30 pm–10:00 pm Optional Evening Activities
  • Austin Live Music Crawl
  • Esther’s Follies

Friday, February 14

6:45 am NOBC Member Wellness Experience: Fun Walk led by Royce LeMoine (TX)
7:00 am NOBC Member Wellness Experience: Fun Run led by Katie Uston (VA)
7:30 am–12:30 pm Registration
7:30 am–8:30 am Continental Breakfast
8:30 am–9:15 am Annual Business Meeting (Agenda)
9:15 am–9:30 am Break
9:30 am–11:00 am

Concurrent IV:                                                                              Transparency of Disciplinary Process


Julia Porter (DC)


Richard A. Dove (OH)

Jerry Larkin (IL)

Root Edmonson (NC)


The decades since the creation of professional Bar Counsel offices have seen a  significant trend toward transparency of disciplinary proceedings. Once shrouded  in secrecy with threat of contempt for disclosures, most courts now recognize that secret proceedings impair the public's right to know about disciplinary processes and  dilute confidence in the fair and efficient operation of the system of self-regulation. The transparency of each state discipline system is now largely a function of the quality of its web page. Some state court web pages make easy access to every pleading and finding in every bar case a high priority while many remain user unfriendly.

Concurrent V:                                                                                                 Red Light/Green Light:  The How’s, When’s, and Why’s of Utilizing Alternatives to Discipline


Aria Eee (ME)


Rachel Craig (TX)
Margaret Funk (CO)
Michael Zhang (IL)

Alternatives to Discipline may (or may not) be a readily utilized process.  Please join our panelists as they discuss strategies and protocols for exercising this discrete option in bar regulation.

Concurrent VI:                                                                                  Technology in Your Courtroom and Office


Donald Scheetz (OH)


Michael Ko
Groundwork Trial Consulting
Chicago, IL

Technology in the courtroom: A roundtable taking you from capturing online evidence through how to set up and use trial presentation software and seamlessly move between software programs during trial.  In this panel, you will learn how to capture evidence from various social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as other websites; discuss chain of custody and a professional service to use when necessary for that purpose; learn what Trial Pad can do for you during trial, what equipment you need, and how to set it up; and learn how to smoothly move between  programs like Trial Pad and PowerPoint during trial.

11:15 am–12:30 pm

Plenary 7: Decisions, Decisions—Avoiding the Circumstances that Create Poor Judgments


Lea S. Gutierrez (IL)


Destiny Peery
Assistant Professor of Law and Psychology
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Cedric Thurman
Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer
Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

Decision making is one of the basic cognitive processes of human behavior by which a preferred option or course of action is chosen from among a set of alternatives based on certain criteria.  As regulators, we make decisions daily ranging from whether or not to pursue formal charges of misconduct, what sanction to recommend, and determinations  about credibility.  However, our minds, personalities, life experiences, and social structures all influence how we think about the information we have to make decisions, as well as influence the decision we have to make. If our decision making can be degraded  by all of these factors, we have to ask ourselves how do we make the “right” decisions? In this session, we will explore: 1) the cognitive science of decision making, 2) the  implications of flawed decision making for attorney regulators, and 3) some preventative measures and techniques that we can use to improve individual decisions and organizational decision making processes.

Saturday, February 15

8:00 am–Noon Registration
8:00 am–9:00 am Chiefs Breakfast
Deputies Breakfast
8:00 am–9:00 am Continental Breakfast
9:00 am–10:15 am

Plenary 8: Wimpicus Maximus—Coping with Querulants, Handling Hostiles, and Vying With Vexatious Complainants in the Information Age


Tara van Brederode (IA)


Doug Ende (WA)
Adam Kilgore (MS)

Doug, Adam, and Tara will share strategies for dealing with "querulous complainants," those members of the public whose frustrations with lawyers, judges, and the legal system cause them to complain loudly and often. These complainants and their meritless complaints consume disproportionate amounts of time and staff resources in each of our disciplinary offices.

10:15 am–10:30 am Break
10:30 am–11:45 am

Plenary 9: Proving Dishonesty and Violations of Rule 8.4 (c)


Peter Rotskoff (IL)


Susan Humiston (MN)
Marianne Lee (MD)
William D. Slease (NM)

At the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting in Las Vegas, an NOBC panel used the Urban Meyer case to show that in any context, proving intentional or knowing dishonesty presents significant challenges and often requires proof approaching “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Using hypotheticals based on recent disciplinary cases, the panel and the attendees will continue to explore methods of proving dishonesty in a variety of contexts.

11:45 am–Noon Closing Remarks & Resolutions