2020 National Conference
2020 CLS National Conference Workshops

CLS is pleased to offer free CLE credit. Please note that this year, CLS is applying for course accreditation only in an handful of states and, as always, CLEs are subject to state CLE approval. Please click here to find the current status of CLE approval by the states and other important CLE information.

All workshop attendees seeking CLE credit must join the Zoom workshop session using the Zoom client app, which is free and easy to use. If you do not already have the app and need to download it, click on this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/download. If you already have the app on your computer or smartphone or other device, then there is no need to download it again.

Schedule subject to change. All times are Eastern. All events are virtual. Registration is required.

Thursday, October 15

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.        Workshop 1 (CLE): Legal Hotspots and Risk
Management for Churches and Nonprofits
H. Robert Showers and Justin Coleman

This fast-paced and interactive workshop will take you on whirlwind tour of some of the top legal issues that your church or nonprofit should think about in the next year. If you sit on a church or nonprofit board, or if your church or nonprofit board is asking you legal questions that are not in your area of practice, this workshop is for you. The workshop will address topics including security issues, foreign grants, good governance, regulating electronic use by employees, implementing meaningful child protection and sex offender assimilation policies, protecting and registering trademark and intellectual property, COVID-19, and hot employment issues. The workshop will also cover some of the trending legal cases in the church/nonprofit legal arena, such as new youth sport legislation, same-sex marriage issues, and the ministerial housing allowance cases, and will discuss what their impact is and could potentially become in the near future.

Friday, October 16

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.       Religious Freedom Plenary Workshop (CLE)
 The Honorable Kenneth Starr, Moderator
 Thomas Berg
 Kim Colby
 Carl Esbeck
 Douglas Layock
 Michael McConnell

This session will showcase a panel discussion featuring six religious freedom experts who routinely file briefs in the United States Supreme Court in religious freedom cases. The speakers will review the Supreme Court’s 2019 Term in which the Court delivered a number of critical decisions regarding religious freedom, as well as the Court’s docket for the 2020 Term. Attendees will gain an understanding of the Court’s decisions in key areas of religious freedom, including the ministerial exception, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses.

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.          Workshop 2 (CLE): Ethics 2020: Current Threats to
Lawyers’ Ethical Conduct

   L.O. Natt Gantt, II

The impact of technology on the legal profession continues to grow, and lawyers face increasingly complex ethical issues from their use of technology in practice. In this session, Natt Gantt will begin by discussing lawyers’ basic ethical duty to be technologically competent and will then explore how that duty affects lawyers’ use of specific technologies—from social media to cloud computing to artificial intelligence. He will also explore how lawyers’ use of technology affects their wellness.

Saturday, October 17

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.        Workshop 3 (non-CLE): Racial Justice
Michael Hernandez, Moderator
George Martin
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Monique Miles

This timely session will showcase a panel discussion featuring experts in the field of race and the law. Panelists will discuss historical and contemporary racial issues and a Christian perspective on pursuing justice, equality, and reconciliation. Specific areas of focus will include the ongoing effects of historic racial injustices; current efforts at reform, including the work of Virginians for Reconciliation, unique challenges faced in the practice of law and legal system; and the vital role attorneys play in addressing these issues.


4:00 – 5:30 p.m.          Workshop 4 (CLE): ABA Model Rule 8.4(g)
Reed Smith

In August 2016, the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates adopted a new disciplinary rule, Model Rule 8.4(g), making it professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct the lawyer “knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination” in conduct related to the practice of law on the basis of eleven protected characteristics. In adopting the rule, the ABA largely ignored over 450 comment letters, most opposed to the rule change. The ABA’s own Standing Committee on Professional Discipline questioned whether there was a demonstrated need for the rule change and raised concerns about its enforceability. Since the ABA’s adoption, several states have considered whether to follow the ABA lead and make changes to their rules of conduct. This workshop will discuss the new rule and the serious concerns it poses for attorneys’ First Amendment rights, among its other problems. The workshop will also provide an update on how states and commentators have reacted to the new rule and will offer suggestions for how concerned lawyers might respond.



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