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AI, H2O Among Hot-button Issues Covered at Denver’s ABA Annual Meeting  

It is now just mere days before legal intelligentsia from around the U.S. descend upon Denver for the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Annual Meeting. The robust agenda features topics ranging from environmental resiliency to the role artificial intelligence will have in the legal landscape. Noteworthy guests, like U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, will also be featured during the six-day-long event running from Thursday, Aug. 3 to Tuesday, Aug. 8.

The meeting will feature several keynote speakers, informational roundtables and a gathering of the organization’s 597-member rulemaking body to discuss, debate and vote on a number of proposals over a two-day period at the end of the week.

This year’s iteration of the annual event will feature at least one panel sure to pique the interests of attendees from host-state Colorado, which has been at the heart of the national debate over free speech. To that end, the Saturday, Aug. 5, “Section Showcase: Bar-b-q, Wedding Cakes and Websites: The First Amendment vs. Anti-Discrimination Laws” panel discussion will feature Solicitor General Emeritus Eric Olson of the Colorado Attorney General Office, Legal Director Sunu Chandy of National Women’s Law Center and Chief Legal Officer Jenny Pizer of Lambda Legal.

“Somehow, Colorado recently has become ground zero for issuance of invitations to the United States Supreme Court to expand First Amendment rights at the expense of LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination rights,” according to the trade group. “From wedding cake bakers to website designers; from religious liberty claims to free speech arguments – and the tenor of the arguments to the Court last December in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis seemed to indicate that a majority is receptive to at least some of the business owner’s expressive conduct arguments in that case for an exemption from Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.”

From Twitter

ICC Project @ABAICCProject ·Jun 20

Merrick Garland"US AG Merrick Garland recently visited the ICC, meeting with the ICC Prosecutor, President & Registrar. Reuters:… The ABA has long encouraged the US to expand engagement & cooperation w/ the ICC, a key institution strengthening justice for atrocities."

For those ensnared in the ever-sprawling artificial intelligence sphere of influence, the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force and Section of Science and Technology Law will be hosting “The AI Trap: The Missing Guardrails for Lawyers” from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 5.

“Could you tell whether this Program Description was written by an AI app? Most of us couldn’t. With the emergence of ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Bing AI, artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay,” reads the event description. “Lawyers, law firms, and academia have embraced AI in a high-profile way – with AI systems passing law school exams, reviewing evidence, and nearly actively representing a client. With the increasing ubiquity of AI systems, the legal community must consider the ethical and professional risks and responsibilities as we embrace these new technologies.”

Per the ABA, other noteworthy speakers invited to attend the meeting include Native American Rights Fund Executive Director John Echohawk, Colorado Attorney General Philip Weiser, Assistant Attorney General Kurt Morrison of Denver and Colorado District Court Judge Adam Espinoza, among others.

Echohawk has worked with the Department of the Interior, Western States Water Council, the Western Governors Association, the National Congress of American Indians and the Joint Federal Tribal Water Funding Task Force, among other groups, to “promote favorable Indian water rights settlement policies,” reads information from the Water Foundation.

For additional information regarding the ABA meeting, visit its homepage here.

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