Nearly 3,000 Lawyers Converge on New York City for Annual Meeting

By Rebecca Melnitsky

January 16, 2024

Nearly 3,000 Lawyers Converge on New York City for Annual Meeting


By Rebecca Melnitsky

The New York State Bar Association’s 147th Annual Meeting is in full swing as thousands arrive at the Hilton Midtown in New York City. Experts in a multitude of fields have gathered to tackle the biggest challenges facing the legal profession – including artificial intelligence, cannabis sales, cybersecurity, data privacy, short-term rentals, new tax regulations and much more.

Annual Meeting runs from Jan. 16 to Jan. 20. The marquee event, the Presidential Summit, will focus on the emergence of artificial intelligence, including how this technology is transforming the practice of law while also raising new ethical issues. The event, “AI and the Legal Landscape: Navigating the Ethical, Regulatory and Practical Challenges,” will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Grand Ballroom West of the Hilton Midtown.

The panel will feature a pair of world-renowned experts: Bridget McCormack, president and CEO of the American Arbitration Association and former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and Katherine Forrest, partner in the Litigation Department and co-chair of the Digital Technology Group and a member of the Antitrust Practice Group at Paul, Weiss.

Following the Presidential Summit, the association will honor lawyers who have championed diversity in the legal profession at the Constance Baker Motley Symposium from 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The event will also feature “10 Strategies to be a Culturally Effective Lawyer,” a necessity in today’s increasingly diverse world.

The association’s premier event, the Presidential Gala, will honor former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Johnson served as a co-chair of the association’s Task Force on Advancing Diversity, which provided a path forward for diversity, equity and inclusion programs at universities, graduate schools, businesses, and courts only a few short months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina were unconstitutional.

Johnson will receive the association’s highest honor, the Gold Medal Award, at a black-tie gala at the Museum of Modern Art on Jan. 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

In addition to the association-wide events, Annual Meeting offers dozens of programs with influential speakers, including:

  • Linda Baldwin, general counsel, New York State Office of Cannabis Management.
  • Josyl Barchue, associate general counsel, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
  • Deborah Enix-Ross, immediate past president, American Bar Association.
  • Joanna Halperin, privacy officer & chief privacy counsel, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
  • Daniel Lennard, assistant general counsel, Mount Sinai Health System.
  • Donna Lopiano, president and founder of Sports Management Resources, adjunct professor of Sports Management at Southern Connecticut State University and the president of The Drake Group.
  • Carolyn Maloney, former U.S. representative.
  • Jessica Ramos, New York State senator.
  • Erika Nijenhuis, senior counsel, Office of Tax Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • Daniel Werfel, commissioner, Internal Revenue Service.

Other highlights of Annual Meeting include:

The Influence of Money in College Sports: Coaches’ Salaries, Student-Athlete Name-Image-Likeness, Conference TV Deals, Gambling & Title IX. Presented by the Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section, this panel will discuss how the infusion of money in college sports is creating a question about the status of college athletes – are they amateurs, professionals, employees, or something else? Thursday, Jan. 18 from 2:55 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.

The New Federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and Pump Act. The Labor and Employment Section will discuss how new federal legislation to protect pregnant and nursing workers will impact employers and employees both nationally and in New York State. Thursday, Jan. 18 from 4:10 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.

The ERA and Women’s Equality: A Conversation with Carolyn Maloney. Hosted by the Women in Law Section, this panel will feature former Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a leading advocate for federal legislation to recognize ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Thursday, Jan. 18 from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Estate Planning in the Face of the Scheduled Sunset of the Doubled Federal Estate, Gift and GST Tax Exclusion Amount after December 31, 2025. Hosted by the Trusts & Estates Law Section. With the recent enactment of the Corporate Transparency Act, certain domestic and foreign entities will be required to submit ownership information to the Treasury Department, which could then be shared with government agencies, financial institutions, and regulators. Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Regulation of Short-Term Rentals. The Local and State Government Law Section will address developments in the regulation of short-term rentals, a topic that is highly relevant to the New York real estate market. Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 2:45 p.m. to 3:35 p.m.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, click here.

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