New York State Attorney General Letitia James To Give Keynote Address at Presidential Summit

By David Howard King

January 11, 2022

New York State Attorney General Letitia James To Give Keynote Address at Presidential Summit


By David Howard King

The Presidential Summit, the marquee event of the New York State Bar Association’s 2022 Annual Meeting, will focus on two critical social justice and civil rights issues with which society continues to grapple: a reevaluation of the #MeToo Movement and the intersection of transgender rights and sports.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James will kick off the summit with a keynote address following welcoming remarks by NYSBA President T. Andrew Brown. The summit will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 20.

James, a veteran New York City elected official, has garnered national attention as a result of her investigation into the Trump Organization, her dogged prosecution of the National Rifle Association and the sexual harassment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo, among other efforts.

The summit’s first panel, A Reassessment Of #MeToo: At A Critical Juncture in State & National History, Where Do WeTruly Stand?, will examine how the national landscape has changed on the subject of sexual harassment and abuse since the inception of the #Metoo movement. Over the three years since the movement’s inception, America has elected its first woman vice president and New York has its first woman governor, but panel participants will address how much work remains to establish true gender equity.

A 2018 New York Times report found at least 201 prominent male business leaders lost their jobs after the fall of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein broke open the #MeToo floodgates, but less than half of their replacements were women. This panel will re-examine whether changes to the law have, in fact, been successful in protecting and advancing women in the workplace and whether the movement itself needs a reset – including a review of the #MeToo movement’s impact on communities of color.

Running from 2:30 p.m. to 3:35 p.m., the panel discussion on #MeToo will be moderated by Susan L. Harper of Bates Group with panelists Kathryn Barcroft of Solomon Law Firm; Carrie Goldberg of  C. A. Goldberg; Taa R. Grays of MetLife, who is also NYSBA secretary; and Debra S. Katz of Katz, Marshall & Banks.

The second panel, Transgender Rights and Sports: Civil Rights Now and Into the Future, will focus in part on legislation introduced across the nation intended to exclude transgender youth from school sports. The panel will also explore how laws that protect transgender athletes adopted in New York could be invalidated by higher courts, putting members of this vulnerable community at risk.

The panel will run from 3:35 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. with Jacqueline J. Drohan of Drohan Lee moderating the discussion among panelists Professor Erin Buzuvis of Western New England School of Law, Sasha Buchert of Lambda Legal, Jennifer L. Levi of GLAD, and Dr. Emma Forbes-Jones, a clinical psychologist.

The 145th Annual Meeting will focus on more than 65 different topics and run Jan. 18 – 28. Subjects of discussion will include but not be limited to Law and Ethics during the Pandemic: Individual Rights vs. the Common Good; New York State’s Surprise Billing Law Against the Backdrop of the Federal No Surprises Act; New York Energy Leadership: Can NY Become a Hub for the Energy Industry?; and Prosecutors and the Color of Justice: The Role of the Prosecutor in Reforming the Criminal Justice System.

Other featured speakers at the Annual Meeting include Court of Appeals Judge Anthony Cannataro; Lily Batchelder, assistant secretary for tax policy, Department of the Treasury; and retired Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Stein, director of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, click here. Media are invited to most virtual programs but please notify Susan DeSantis at [email protected] or 201-575-5756 and Brandon Vogel at [email protected] or 518-487-5644.

Follow Annual Meeting proceedings on Twitter at @NYSBA (#NYSBA22), Facebook (New York State Bar Association) and Instagram (@nystatebar).

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated, and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.


Contact: Susan DeSantis
[email protected]

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