Sunday, August 06, 2006

Business Meeting of the Committee

Candace opened the second of our two plenary sessions for the CLC in Hawaii -- This one, unlike yesterday which was intended to be our 'substantive' discussion, was intended for committee business.

Rae Cogar and Tim Chorvat discussed their ongoing projects for the Electronic Evidence Working Group. They wish to develop a few short articles for BLT followed by a program for one of our future ABA meetings. Candace suggested that what we need to is find the angle for business lawyers, since otherwise we will be (a) taking on more than we as a committee could chew, and (b) our expertise is not as litigators but rather as business advisors.

(Editor's note: Many lamented that management is not willing to engage in these issues, assuming that this is a lawyer's, and more particularly a litigator's, problem. What gets business managers' attention? If something will cost them money. Remember that system auditing controls were a non-issue until Sarbox came along, and consumer privacy issues were a minor issue for senior managers until the PCI standards came along threatening a merchant's ability to access credit card systems. As the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure roll out in the next few months, which will be addressing deep-level electronic data concerns in discovery, management will eventually realize this is a bottom line issue. We best be ready to advise once that happens.)

Vince Polley raised the possibility of a project to advise primarily in-house attorneys regarding their companyies' receipt of a National Security Letter from the U.S. government (as provided in the USA-Patriot Act). This proposal would be jointly operated with other ABA constituencies such as the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security and the BLS Committee on Banking Law, each of which have indicated interest in working with the Cyberspace Committee. A lively discussion followed, with a few war stories and the like. For the moment, Michael Power and Peter McLaughlin in the Privacy Subcommittee will take the lead on organizing a project, although we will still be thinking about whether this is best in a particular subcommittee or organizing a task force, and maybe even setting up the task force as joint with other ABA groups. -- Stay tuned, but there was clearly a topic of great interest to this group.

Judie Rinearson opened up discussion of her sub-committee's work on how anti-money laundering laws (AML) will impact stored payment systems. Again, we pointed out that we should be looking to collaborate with other groups, such as Consumer Financial Services. Judy heard from others who offered help.

Candace announced that the upcoming Winter Working Meeting will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas. ABA is about to sign a contract with the Doubletree Inn in downtown. We will be pushing committee leadership to plan well ahead. Note that because the Spring Meeting in DC will be March 15-18, which is earlier than usual, we may well be too late at the WWM to prepare materials for Spring. (Unfortunately, we don't have hard deadlines yet, so this is surmise for the moment.)

Candace asked folks who participated in the prior day's CLC meeting, which was the "Un-Conference" format for setting up substantive discussions around the round table. All who were there yesterday thought it was a great exercise. One comment was that the size of the audience was probably important to how it worked, and that a typical full-sized CLC meeting would probably be too large for the format to work.

Candace mentioned the committee is being asked to provide a beta-testing group for the upcoming replacement of the ABA's listserve system (using the Fusetalk platform). A couple of the subcommittees volunteered to be guinea pigs. We will be learning more about the system in coming weeks.

Vince and Juliet Moringiello both mentioned that they are on the publications board for Business Law Today. They mentioned that cyberspace topics are much desired for that publication. We could provide the full-sized article of about 3000 words in the BLT format of chatty (no footnotes!), and there is now a smaller format of about 600 words that allows for very fast turnaround.

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