Going Virtual: NYSBA’s 2021 Annual Meeting Preview

By Brendan Kennedy

November 30, 2020

Going Virtual: NYSBA’s 2021 Annual Meeting Preview


By Brendan Kennedy

The New York State Bar Association’s 144th Annual Meeting will look and feel a bit different this year due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Rather than gathering for a week in late January at the New York Hilton Midtown, this year the Annual Meeting will be going virtual over the course of two weeks from January 19–29. In total, members will get nine days of programming from several NYSBA Committees and all 26 Sections.

NYSBA President Scott M. Karson will host the Presidential Summit on Wednesday, Jan. 27, focusing on Legal, Constitutional and Public Health Issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit will feature an in-depth discussion featuring constitutional and public health experts on the efficacy and utility of the emergency orders enacted at the onset of the pandemic.

Attendees can still expect to take part in the most up-to-date and relevant programming that focuses on some of the most pressing legal topics facing the profession, including discussions on the legalization of gestational surrogacy, data privacy in commercial litigation, promoting female leadership in the COVID-19 era, and the impact COVID-19 is having on the business of sports across the globe.

Several non-traditional events are scheduled for the 2021 Annual Meeting, including a trivia competition, yoga, and a special “Piano Bar” evening event.

Registration for the 2021 Annual Meeting is open now.


Wednesday January 20
Commercial & Federal Litigation Section

The Commercial & Federal Litigation Section will host two continuing legal education (CLE) panels, the first of which will discuss how attorneys can take advantage of court-sponsored ADR programs, special masters, and other tools available to them to move along their cases in the pandemic-affected court system. The second panel will address how data privacy is impacting commercial litigation and discuss the increasing number of cyber breach lawsuits being filed, along with steps that attorneys can take to protect client data in a world where hackers are looking to law firms and where data privacy is of growing importance.

Tuesday January 26
Women in Law Section

The Women in Law Section will host a CLE program titled Ready to Lead: Advancing Women Leaders During the Pandemic and Beyond that will provide insight from experienced female leaders in the legal profession on how to lead law firms, in-house law departments, public sector organizations, and other organizations during these unprecedented circumstances, including attracting, retaining, and promoting a diverse slate of talented professionals. This interactive presentation also tackles ethical considerations, including handling complex ethical dilemmas during a public health crisis, taking responsibility for the actions of others, and complying with ethics rules in areas such as data privacy and cybersecurity.

Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section

The EASL Section will be offering three separate programs focusing on the following areas: Diversity, Alternative Dispute Resolution in Fine Arts, Sports and COVID-19.

  • Diversity – The first in a series of forums exploring the legal community serving individual EASL industries. Each program will focus on past and continuing racial inequality and injustices that continue in each industry.
  • ADR/Fine Arts – A two-panel program that first offers a deep dive on arbitration and mediation, and how it is well-suited for EASL fields.
  • Sports – Part 2 of The Impact of COVID-19 on Sports: A Legal Perspective, regarding the uncertain path forward and potential long-term impact of the pandemic on world sports.

Wednesday, January 27
Presidential Summit

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Legal, Constitutional and Public Health Issues

The COVID-19 public health crisis has affected all aspects of American life, altering travel, work, education – even everyday activities like buying groceries. Lawmakers and public health officials at both the state and federal level quickly implemented emergency orders at the onset of the crisis to stabilize the spread of the disease and balance the precautions that public health and safety demand with recognition of constitutional, economic, and liberty interests. Now, after months of living with COVID-19, the efficacy and utility of these policies, and their corollary legal, constitutional, and public health impacts, can be deliberately examined. We invite you to attend this informative session.

Health Law Section

The Health Law Section’s program will focus on current topics of interest to health law practitioners in New York, including COVID-related topics and regulatory updates, telehealth, Stark law changes, and other hot and upcoming topics relevant to health law attorneys in New York. Attendees can expect to gain an understanding of the multiple regulatory changes made by the federal government affecting health care providers and be able to consider the issues with regards to telehealth and how telehealth may be used in the future.

Thursday January 28
Family Law Section

The Family Law Section’s program will discuss the lifting of the ban on gestational surrogacy, which takes effect in February 2021. This program will address these protections, the process to ensure the child’s legitimacy, the process to ensure parentage and a step-by-step analysis of the statute’s requirements to obtain the birth certificate. The lifting of the ban will create an entirely new field of practice for our practitioners, and attendees will gain the education necessary to represent the surrogate and the intended parents and to obtain the legitimacy of the child.

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