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Just as they have dominated the headlines in the past year, fallout from Sept. 11 and the continuing effort to combat financial fraud will take up most of the active discussion at the ABA’s House of Delegates session as well. Delegates from across the country will vote on a number of resolutions concerning the government’s anti-terrorism efforts, and on suggested controls to make rogue companies more accountable to the public. Perhaps the most controversial proposal comes from Delegate-at-Large Seth Rosner, a New York lawyer who advocates expanding the circumstances in which a lawyer can report his client to authorities. Currently, a lawyer may violate the attorney-client relationship when he discloses a suspicion that his client will commit a crime that causes harm to others. Rosner proposes that the “crime” be extended to fraud and other crimes that could result in “substantial injury to property of another.” The hotly debated proposal, the product four years of ABA wrangling, was defeated in a different form last year. But as Nancy Slonim, an ABA spokesperson, says, “The landscape has changed.” Another flash point will be a resolution that comes from a report from the ABA’s Coordinating Committee on Immigration Law, which argues for increased rights for those detained by the government in its war on terrorism. The resolution asks that the Immigration and Naturalization Service disclose the names of detainees and where they are being held, as well as the charges they face, and to ensure they get immediate access to attorneys and family members. It also asks that detainees be charged immediately or released if charges are not brought within a certain time. It promises to be controversial. The ABA has established a task force to probe a related issue: legal rights for American citizens like John Walker Lindh who are labeled “enemy combatants.” That task force hasn’t finished its recommendations, and Neil Sonnett, a Miami lawyer who chairs it, doubts anything will be ready in time for the delegates’ session. “We are trying to be careful. We are trying to be thorough. And we are trying to be right,” Sonnett says. Resolutions separate from those concerning anti-terrorism and financial fraud promise to spark debate. One from the ABA’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities is a statement of support for scientific research involving stem cells, as long as such research doesn’t further cloning efforts. And C. Boyden Gray, the Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering partner and former White House counsel to the first President George Bush, is promoting a resolution asking that the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on judicial nominees within two months of their nomination. While the measure, on its face, isn’t partisan, Gray’s involvement and the political nature of judicial appointments suggest that there will be some disagreement. It is possible that other issues will come to the floor during the delegates’ session. State and local bar associations have the opportunity to submit resolutions during the course of the annual meeting, and other matters can be brought up for a vote. Place: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel Date and time: Mon., Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tues., Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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