To: Clifford Law Offices <email@example.com>; ABAJournal.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>; “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Matt Senator Kirk <email@example.com>;
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: ABA Annual Meeting Report
A Message from Paula H. Holderman, Illinois State Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
|Amazing Chicago architecture at Millennium Park|
|The ABA holds its Annual Meeting in August in Chicago — its lovely lakefront from the top of the Hancock Building.|
As the Illinois State Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, this message represents a report of the 137th Annual Meeting in Chicago, my home town, packed with continuing legal education programs that were most timely and informative with an emphasis on criminal justice reform and recent decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States.
With a real Chicago flavor, the meeting included some very interesting and informative showcase programs, as well as numerous networking opportunities and social events. Hundreds of activities took place over the five days that included nationally and internationally recognized guest speakers. The weather was near perfect except for a quick storm that passed through the city, again forcing the evacuation of nearby Grant Park loaded with thousands of Lollapalooza attendees. Never a dull moment in the Windy City.
News on the Annual Meeting can be found on the ABA website at www.abanow.org
The Opening Assembly began in a different way – with each state delegation proudly carrying in its state flag.
Sarah Gorecki, a Loyola University Chicago School of Law student, sang the National Anthem with a voice that was breathtaking.
|Loyola Law School student sings the National Anthem at the Opening Assembly.|
The Invocation was delivered by the South Carolina minister whose congregation had recently suffered a terrible tragedy with the shooting of several of its parishioners. His moving words and heartfelt sorrow actually was uplifting for the ABA members present. “Let justice roll down like a mighty stream of waters,” he said in prayer. “Faith is stronger than fear, and faith overtakes hate.”
Thurgood Marshall Award
|Tom Sullivan helped countless people in his legal career spanning decades.|
Sponsored by the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (whose name was changed at the Annual Meeting to the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice), the annual Thurgood Marshall Award dinner was held honoring Chicago legendary attorney Thomas Sullivan of Jenner & Block. His eloquent speech had everyone hanging on to his every word. Many attendees repeated the mantra that it is incredible that one man could have accomplished all he did in one lifetime, particularly his indefatigable commitment to civil rights. He is perhaps best known for his investigation into “the famously soiled courts of Chicago,” as Scott Turow put it, that came to be known as the Operation Greylord investigation, leading to the indictment of 92 people, including 17 judges and 48 lawyers. Sullivan also represented 300 death row inmates and is said to have saved many lives in working to eradicate the death penalty in Illinois, and he has been to Guantanamo Bay eight times, putting himself at risk. He said 50 men are still incarcerated there, some being held since 2001. He represents one of them. “They have lost complete faith in the justice of America,” he said, and questioned the destruction of habeas corpus there. He said it’s “not sport for the short-winded.” And at 85 years old, he told the crowd he’s not done yet. Sullivan said, “Inside every elderly person there is a young person who asks, ‘What the hell happened?’ Time does go quickly,” he said to much laughter in the audience.
|Scott Turow reminisces about his days working with Thurgood Marshall honoree Tom Sullivan.|
The keynote address at this dinner, one of the highlights of the Meeting, was author/attorney Scott Turow who worked with Sullivan in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago decades ago. He regaled with stories of his working relationship with Sullivan including a call at 7 a.m. on a Sunday to go to work just weeks after becoming a father for the first time.