2018 Annual Meeting and Convention

Join the Federal Bar Association in New York City this September! The 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention will be located at the New York Marriott Downtown, situated in the heart of NYC's Financial District. This hotel is within walking distance of some of New York's most famous landmarks, including Battery Park, Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial and Freedom Tower, and the shops and restaurants of Brookfield Place. Guests will also be able to take advantage of the ferry to visit iconic New York attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Three ways to Register:
1. Online Registration
2. Mail PDF Registration Form to: Federal Bar Association, Attn: 2018 Convention Registration, P.O. Box 79395, Baltimore, MD 21279-0395 
3. Fax
PDF Registration Form to: (571) 481-9090

Full Convention Registration

Early Bird (on or before 08/03/18) 

Regular (after 08/03/18) 

Sustaining Member 










CLE Only Registration

Early Bird (on or before 08/03/18) 

Regular (after 08/03/18)

THU+FRI Sustaining Member



THU+FRI Member



THU+FRI Nonmember


THU+FRI Student


THU Only Sustaining Member



THU Only Member



THU Only Nonmember


THU Only Student


FRI Only Sustaining Member



FRI Only Member



FRI Only Nonmember


FRI Only Student


FRI YLD Emerging Professional Program


Social Event Registration
Complimentary Evening Receptions (Open to all Full Convention and CLE Only Registrants)
CAAF Special Session (Wed.) Complimentary 
Welcome Reception (Thu.) Complimentary 
EDNY Chapter Reception (Fri.) Complimentary 
Fun Run (Fri.) Complimentary 
Swearing-in Ceremony (Fri.) Complimentary 
Ticketed Events (All ticketed events are included in Full Convention Registrations)

Younger Lawyers Division Luncheon (Thu.)

FBA Public Service Luncheon (Fri.) $125
FBA Awards Luncheon (Sat.) $125
Presidential Installation Banquet (Sat.) $215

*Full Convention registration includes: Thursday & Friday CLE Sessions; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Luncheons; Thursday & Friday Evening Receptions; Saturday Installation Reception and Banquet

*CLE Only Registration includes Thursday and/or Friday CLE Sessions and Thursday/Friday Evening Reception

**Social Event Registration is open to all Members, Nonmembers, and Guests


3:00-6:00 p.m.

Special Session with Reception
U.S District Court, Hon. John F. Keenan Ceremonial Courtroom
500 Pearl Street, New York

Start your convention experience off with access to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) specials session with an introduction to the Court presented by the Clerk of the Court followed by the hearing and a Q&A period.  Following the special session, guests will be treated to an art show featuring the work of Courtroom Artists Elizabeth Williams and Aggie Kenney while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  The event is complimentary, but registration is required.

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Registration Open

9:00-10:00 a.m. General Session
10:15-11:15 a.m. CLE Sessions
12:45-2:00 p.m.

Younger Lawyers Division Luncheon
Join us for the presentation of the Younger Federal Lawyer Awards, which are bestowed upon outstanding government and military attorneys who have attained high standards of professional achievement, and the Robyn J. Spalter Outstanding Achievement Award, which honors an FBA member who began his/her involvement with the FBA as a “younger attorney” and achieved success in the FBA and in his/her legal career.

2:15-4:30 p.m. CLE Sessions
6:30-10:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception sponsored by Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP and LexisNexis
Tribeca Rooftop
2 Desbrosses St., New York

The Southern District of New York Chapters invites registered attendees and their guests to be treated to some of the best food, drink and entertainment the city has to offer from one of NYC’s the Tribeca Rooftop’s industrial penthouse and roof deck which provides unparalleled views of downtown New York City and the Hudson River.


7:00-8:00 a.m. Fun Run
Enjoy your morning jog through Lower Manhattan and Battery Park lead by the SDNY Wellness Committee Chairs.  The event is complimentary, but registration is required.
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Registration Open

8:30-9:30 a.m. General Session
Jeffery Rosen, National Constitution Center
9:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CLE Sessions
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Legislative Update with Bruce Moyer, FBA Government Relations Council

12:15-2:15 p.m.

FBA Public Service Luncheon
Celebrate the gift of giving back at the Public Service Luncheon while honoring FBA members and Chapters on their contributions in public service.  Awards presented will include the Ilene and Michael Shaw Public Service Award, Ilene and Michael Shaw Younger Lawyer Public Service Grant, Elaine R. “Boots” Fisher Award, Hon. Sarah T. Hughes Civil Rights Award, Earl W. Kitner Award for Distinguished Service, and the FBA Chapter Community Outreach Award. 

2:30-4:30 p.m.

FBA Business Meetings

Younger Lawyers Division Emerging Professional Program (registration required)

4:30-6:00 p.m. Networking Reception host by the FBA Federal Litigation Section
6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday Food Truck Reception
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
225 Cadman Plaza E, Brooklyn

Hosted by the Eastern District of New York, attendees will have the opportunity to walk across one of the Nation’s most famous bridges – the Brooklyn Bridge – to the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn where popular NYC food trucks will be serving up their specialties.
8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Registration Open
8:00-11:00 a.m.

FBA National Council Meeting

12:00-2:00 p.m.

FBA Awards Luncheon
Support Active FBA Volunteers at this annual event, which recognizes the outstanding service and achievements of members, sections, divisions, and chapters. 

2:15-4:15 p.m.

FBA Business Meetings

5:30-6:30 p.m. Fellows of the Foundation Reception (invite only)
7:00-9:00 p.m.

Presidential Installation Banquet

Join us for a black-tie optional banquet to formally induct Maria Z. Vathis as the FBA National President for FY 2019.

Maria Z. Vathis is Of Counsel at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in Chicago.  She has been a member of the Federal Bar Association since the beginning of her legal career. She served as Chicago Chapter President in 2011 and was heavily involved in planning the 2011 FBA Annual Convention. She served as a Board Member of the Chicago Chapter from 2002-2006 and an officer starting in 2007. Maria also served as the National Delegate for the Chicago Chapter and spoke on a panel at the Chapter Leadership Training Program in 2011.

*All events will take place at the New York Marriott Downtown unless otherwise noted.


A discounted block of rooms has been reserved for conference attendees at the New York Marriott Downtown (85 West St, New York NY 10006) at $275/night (plus state and local taxes). Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. and check-out is 11:00 a.m.

Reservations must be made by 5:00 p.m. ET on August 22, 2018. Any reservations received after the above date or until the block is full, whichever is sooner, will be accepted based on a room-type and rate-available basis.

To reserve over the phone, call 877-303-0104 today and reference the group name "FBA 2018 Annual Meeting & Convention." Please have your arrival/departure dates and credit card information ready to expedite your reservation process.

In order to ensure the success of FBA meetings and programs, we encourage all participants to make their housing accommodations within the arranged room block. The Meetings Department makes every effort to keep expenses at this meeting as low as possible by negotiating the best hotel rate with its vendors. We appreciate your support and consideration.

If you have any questions regarding housing or other Annual Meeting related programming, please contact Laura Mulhern, Meeting Planner.

Contact Jordan Weiss if you are interested in sponsoring this conference. 

CLE PROGRAM (listed in alpha order by title)

An Hour with Above the Law
The site AboveTheLaw.com is one of the most popular legal news sites today. The founder and editors, all former practicing attorneys with impressive credentials, left the traditional practice of law and took alternative paths. Their paths and work with the site have given them unique experiences and insights into the legal industry. This presentation will be a question-and-answer panel discussion delving into topics like alternative careers for lawyers, transparency in the legal industry, the future of the practice of law, and many others.  Learning objective include insights to the current state of the legal industry, the future of the legal industry, alternative career paths for attorneys and transparency in law firms.

• Evan Gibbs, Associate, Troutman Sanders (moderator)
• David Lat, Founder, abovethelaw.com
• Kathryn Rubino, Editor, abovethelaw.com
• Stacey Zaretsky, Editor, abovethelaw.com

Basics of Federal Funding Agreements
The Federal Government spent $3.98 trillion in 2017. Of this, recent estimates suggest the top 100 Federal contractors alone received $262 billion, and $515 billion a year went to Federal grants. At these levels, it is important to understand the nature of contracts, grants, and related agreements. When are each of these legal instruments used? The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, 31 U.S.C. 6101-08, seeks to clarify this. Different rules apply to each instrument, so it is important for funding instrument selection to have a sound legal basis under the Act. Disputes continue to arise in recent Federal court and Government Accountability Office cases. Questions arise daily as agencies make decisions about mission-related funding, and the private sector spends the funds. In this session, learn the basis of funding agreements between the U.S. Government and non-Federal parties.

• Jana Patterson, Senior Counsel, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration and Transactions, U.S. Department of Commerce

Blockchain 101: For Lawyers Dabbling in the Area!
Panelists will identify the basic concepts of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that underlies them and explain how blockchain can become an industry disrupter with regard to banking, and other industries. The presentation will explore how to use blockchain as an IP registry as well as the use of smart contracts to assist in the sale and licensing of intellectual property.

• Alex Tsankov, Cambrian Crypto, LLC
• Michael Zussman, Counsel, Olender Feldman

Blockchain: From Innovation to Regulation
Tremendous innovation has taken place in applications for blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. It is clear that blockchain could benefit numerous industries and forever change the way business is conducted on a global scale. With blockchain innovation, many new legal challenges are created and more strict regulation seems to be on the horizon; with recent statements from governing bodies like the SEC and CFTC regarding token offerings as securities. In this panel, expert speakers will discuss blockchain, current regulatory measures that are already underway and address challenges facing attorneys that are practicing in the blockchain and cryptocurrency technology space. They will also address some best practices for legal evaluation of blockchain technologies, ICOs and cryptocurrency as well as address what may be in store for the future of blockchain regulators and innovators.

Copyright v. Fair Use: Rights v. Remedies
Copyright - It's Complicated! With millions of images being uploaded every day and far too many users believing that the Internet is the public domain creating a sense of entitlement that everything found there is free for the taking - what are visual creators to do to enforce their rights? Most images are not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to an infringement. In most cases the licensing fees being sought are relatively small. The majority of copyright attorneys require significant retainers before taking a case. Fair use has been raised as a successful defense in a growing number of cases. DMCA take down notices are like a game of whack-a-mole where as soon as an infringing work comes down it goes up somewhere else. So is IP enforcement a right without a real remedy when it comes to visual works? Does trying to enforce these rights equal "trolling?" Is a copyright small claims board the answer? Listen to some experts discuss these and other issues.

• Ken Norwick, Norwick & Schad
• Mickey Osterreicher, Genral Counsel, National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
• Nancy Wolff, Cowan, Debaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP

Drafting, Negotiating, and Enforcing Intellectual Property License Agreements: Strategies and Pitfalls
In this program, panelists will explore the main clauses of a licensing agreement that require particular attention. Panelists will highlight common pitfalls encountered when negotiating these agreements and the complex set of transactions in which they arise. Panelists will also go over essential strategies in ensuring that the most salient considerations are properly addressed. Panelists will consist of two in-house counsel and two outside counsel. Topics will be addressed from both perspectives, from negotiation to litigation. Panelists will also touch upon potential Trademark Trial and Appeals Board issues that may require special consideration, both from a licensing and enforcement perspective. The program will also include mock negotiation strategies, as well as an analysis of a hypothetical dealing with two parties entering into a licensing deal, and the deal subsequently turning sour. In the litigation context, panelists will go over the latest case law as it pertains to the topics discussed. Panelists will also explore litigation strategies, and the perspective of in-house counsel in managing outside counsel. The panel will close with a brief outline of best strategies to follow when negotiating licensing deals.

• Donna Frosco, Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP
• Olivera Medenica, Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP
• Viviana Mura, Head of global trademark practice, Luxottica Group
• Rita Odin,  VP and trademark counsel, Estee Lauder Companies, Inc.
• Maria Z. Vathis, of Counsel, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP (moderator)

Easiest Catch: Don't Be Another Fish in the Dark 'Net
You've read the headlines. Unfortunately, the question now is not if your information is going to be accessed or stolen but when. Organizations are not immune to these attacks. In an effort to inform the attendees of current developments in the digital underground as well as provide realistic advice for cyber protection, Mark Lanterman will be discussing recent high-profile cyber crime events, including website breaches impacting retailers, banks, and government agencies, as well as discuss particularly dangerous types of threats that might affect individuals involving the Dark Web, the Internet of Things, phishing, and Wi-Fi attacks.

• Mark Lanterman, Chief Technology Officer, Computer Forensic Services

Effective Representation in Mediation
Experienced mediator, Simeon H. Baum, President of Resolve Mediation Services, Inc. will moderate a panel of highly recognized Bar leaders and who draw on their deep experience as former Magistrate Judge now at JAMS (Hon. Frank Maas), longstanding icon of the ADR world (Dean John Feerick), renowned litigator and proponent of ADR (NY City Bar President John Kiernan of Debevoise), and experienced litigator and mediator (Paul Sarkozi, former NYSBA Commercial & Federal litigation Section Chair) to present advice to counsel on effective representation in mediation. Utilizing interactive panel discussion and dialogue with all attendees, this panel will present tips on mediator selection, the varieties of mediator types and orientations, mediation strategy, client preparation, conducting pre-mediation conferences, pre-mediation submissions, the opening statement, conduct of joint session or caucuses, information gathering and strategic disclosure, effective communication, handling leverage, risk and transaction cost analysis, impasse breaking, deal analysis, closure, and overall negotiation theory, strategy and skills. (Anticipate FBA's ADR Section Support.)

• Simeon H. Baum, President, Resolve Mediation Services, Inc. (moderator)
• John D. Feerick, former Dean & Norris Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law
• John S. Kiernan, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton
• Hon. Frank Maas, JAMS neutral, former United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York, including a two-year term as Chief Magistrate Judge
• Paul D. Sarkozi , Partner, Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 2015 Amendment Update: Proportionality, Principles, Perspectives and [Pilots or Preservation]
The amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that took effect on December 1, 2015, placed an increased emphasis on the speed of proceeding with case scheduling, and initiating meaningful and appropriately-targeted discovery. Since then, courts and litigants have faced a variety of challenges in implementing both the letter and the intent of these rule changes.  This presentation will provide an update on the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as they pertain to electronic document discovery, with the objective of providing insights from the field of what’s been learned and observed over the two-plus years since their implementation. The presentation will consist of four main modules: 1) Rule 26(b)1 and Proportionality; 2) The Sedona Conference’s Principles on Proportionality published in October 2017; 3) Perspectives from the Field - Prioritizing Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”); and 4) To Be Selected from either of (a) the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot rolled out in mid-2017 in the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois and the District of Arizona, or (b) Case Developments involving Rule 37(e)’s guidance on Preservation and Spoliation.

• Stephen L. Buffo, Managing Director, Dispute Consulting at Stout Risius Ross, LLC
• Justin J. Joyce, Associate, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

First Amendment Street Protest & Current trends in Policing
From Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter to students to end gun violence, protest activism of the 1960’s has woke and those participating in street protest are getting younger and younger. In February 2018, students at Univ of Vermont blocked a main thoroughfare in downtown Burlington during rush hour. Local police were on scene liasing with the protesters, but took no enforcement action. After a few hours, the student road block dispersed and traffic resumed. The Burlington Police Department issued a statement explaining the balancing needed of enforcement actions taken while policing First Amendment activity. In July 2016 in Baton Rouge nearly 200 protesters were arrested following the shooting death of Alton Sterling. At least 3 separate lawsuits were filed and a settlement elicited a response from the Baton Rouge Police Union President calling the settlement a slap in the face of its police officers. This panel will discuss various standards to balance expressive speech activity protected by the 1st Amendment with the rights of others to enjoy the use of their roads, subways and to generally enjoy their lives without inconvenience.

• Brandon Del Pozo, Chief, Burlington Police Department
• Eileen Rosen, Past Chair, FBA Civil Rights Law Section
• Wylie Stecklow, Chair, FBA Civil Rights Law Section

How Alcohol Beverage Companies Stand Out in 2018: Digital Brand Promotion Challenges within the Regulatory Framework
Alcohol beverage companies exist in one of the most highly regulated industries in the country. Federal, state and local laws that vary widely across jurisdictions govern the distribution, sale, advertising, and consumption of alcohol. With the advent of new technologies, alcohol companies are finding new and creative ways to promote their brands and reach their audience, such as by using virtual reality to create a new experience for consumers, having the ability to narrowly target certain demographics and communicate directly with anyone with a social media account through messages, images, and video, and by collecting valuable data and user information on their websites. How does an alcohol company create and promote its brand in 2018, and where are the lines between the freedom to use technology freely for advertising, and existing laws? This panel explores these challenges and how a highly regulated industry is navigating relatively unregulated technologies.

• Donna H. Hartman, OlenderFeldman, Esq.
• Michael J. Zussman, Counsel, OlenderFeldman, LLP

How to Win a Case from a Judge's Perspective
The program will discuss important ways to use the procedural rules and statutes to win cases in federal court. It begins with the basics of subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, removal, venue, and summary judgment. The panel also discusses the importance of knowing local rules and practices. Attendees will benefit from the latest develeopments in federal civil procedure, the importance of attention to local rules and practices as well as gaining Insight from judges how to persuade.

• James Wagstaffe, Principal, The Wagstaffe Group
• Hon. Loretta A. Preska, Senior U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York
• Roger J. Maldonado, Partner, Smith Gambrell & Russll and President-Elect New York City Bar Association

#MeToo: Implementation and Administration of an Effective Anti- Harassment Policy
Sexual harassment has become center-stage like no other time in history. Even lawyers who do not specialize in Labor & Employment will have an interest in this topic, and those who do practice in this area will benefit from the discussions on how recent public outcry has impacted this practice area. The panelists will discuss (a) what constitutes sexual harassment, (b) why reporting sexual harassment is critical, (c) how to properly investigate a charge, (d) what is prompt remedial action and (e) recent tax consequences governing confidential sexual harassment settlement agreements.

• Phillip Kitzer, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel
• Donna Phillips Currault, Member, Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett
• Hon. Lisa Margaret Smith, U.S. Magistrate Judge, SDNY
• Mary A. Smith, Principal, Jackson Lewis

Navigating Maritime Personal Injury & Death Cases and Other Hot Topics
The program covers the basics of the Admiralty applicable to personal injury and death claims depending on the location of the incident and the status of the claimant.  The presentation is lead by a number of experienced maritime practitioners from throughout the country in a town hall format which provides the speakers with the best ability to gauge the experience of the audience and raise or lower the sophistication of the seminar from beginner to advanced based on the attendance. Disucssion will focus on understanding when the maritime law applies to an accident or injury, the impact of location of the injury and status of the claimant on the theories of recovery, remedies available to passengers and the lack of a heightened duty of care for common carriers, the definition of "seaman" and the trilogy of remedies available including the difference between Jones Act Negligence, Unseaworthiness and Maintenance and Cure obligation as well as the definition of Longshoreman and the compensation scheme applicable to land based workers

• Scott Bluestein, Esq., Bluestein Law Firm, P.A.
• Eric Daniel, Esq., Thompson Hine, LLP
• Michael W. McLeod, Rumrell, McLeod & Brock, PLLC

Perspectives on Class Action and Multi District Litigation
Class action and multidistrict litigation remain an integral and evolving part of federal litigation, in various substantive areas including antitrust, products liability, securities, and consumer fraud. The “Perspectives on Class Action and Multi District Litigation” presentation will provide attendees an opportunity to hear from some of the top practitioners in the country on critical and topical issues related to class actions and MDL proceeding, including emerging class action and MDL trends such as application of the Supreme Court’s recent Bristol Meyers Squibb decision on personal jurisdiction to class actions, changes in the federal rules of civil procedure impacting class action litigation, and proposed revisions to the rules on multidistrict litigation. Attendees will also learn effective strategies for litigating all aspects of the class action and MDL, from both plaintiff and defense counsel, from inception of the litigation through MDL proceedings, class certification, dispositive motions, settlement negotiation and approval, objections, and trial.

• James Cecchi, Partner, Carella Byrne
• Chris Seeger, Seeger Weiss LLP
• Marty Steinberg, Partner, Hogan Lovells

Statutes, Regulations, Policy and Executive Orders: Sorting out the Immigration Mess
A review of the various changes in Trump Administration policy, regulations, and other orders which are frequently touted as changes to the immigration law in various media outlets. Clients are bombarded with conflicting information which causes confusion about eligibility for relief, what the changing landscape means, and how it can be addressed. With constantly conflicting stories and interpretations, it is important that immigration attorneys arm themselves with simple explanations for clients, colleagues, and the public. After presentation, the panel will open to discussion of various ideas in addressing misinformation campaigns.

• Danielle Fackenthal,  Attorney, A Salmon Firm
• Rebeca E Salmon, Executive Director, Access To Law Foundation

Sex Trafficking and Criminal Street Gangs: A Survivor's Tale
Traditionally focused on drug trafficking and other crimes, gangs across America have moved into the world of sex trafficking as a lucrative, low-risk crime. From the east coast to the west coast, cases are springing up in multiple jurisdictions leaving multiple victims in their wake. These resource-intensive cases involve multiple perpetrators and, oftentimes, multiple victims, requiring a depth of collaboration at the local and federal level. The U.S. Department of Justice has made investigating and prosecuting sex trafficking a national priority within the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2017) and by expanding the Project Safe Childhood initiative to include trafficking offenses where minor victims are involved. This presentation will provide an overview of pervasiveness of the problem across every corner of the United States and discuss federal human trafficking statutes used to combat the problem. This presentation will also provide a unique perspective, that of a trafficking survivor who was trafficked by her school mate’s father for almost a year. She will provide her view point as she shares her story about the journey from her recovery to the conviction and sentencing of her trafficker.

• Hazel Fasthorse, Human Trafficking Specialist and Victims' Advocate
• Joseph Orabona, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice
• Alessandra Serano, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice


Women's Human Rights -- The Plight of the Migrant Domestic Violence Victim
Understand the Human Rights Protections afforded at the Global Level and explore how these protections have been further solidified at the regional level.  Attendees will also learn how to Identify the limitations of implementation at the state level and examine regional efforts to monitor state compliance.

• Deborah Anker, Professor, Harvard University
• Francesca Braga, Research Assistant, Leitner Center for Law and Social Justice
• Gemma Solimene, Professor, Fordham Law School
• Mimi Tsankov, Immigration Judge, U.S. Department of Justice

September 13 - 15, 2018
New York Marriott Downtown Hotel
New York, NY

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