15 May Participation in Legal Conferences Means Better Client Service
May has been an especially busy month at International Fertility Law Group, with lots of travel and my participation in a series of excellent professional conferences and symposiums—all offering opportunities to meet with and learn from experienced colleagues from all over the world.
I’m just back from the American Bar Association’s annual Family & A.R.T. Law CLE (Continuing Legal Education) Conference May 6 through May 9 in Carlsbad, California. I was privileged to lead a team of CLE planners who helped to bring together experts from all over the U.S. and the world to discuss the topics that are generating the most interest and sparking the most debate in our industry.
One of the ART panels, whose members are pictured here, “The World Wide Web of ART, covered international case law, legislative update, and the ongoing work on the ABA committee to advise the Hague Conference on Private International Law on international surrogacy. Panelists were Margaret Casey of New Zealand, Dilia Leticia Jorge Mera of Dominican Republic, Ranjit Malhotra of India, Victoria Gelfand of Israel, and Sara Cohen of Canada (shown here), and Anne-Marie Hutchinson and Colin Rogerson of U.K. (not pictured).
I also helped put together the ART Plenary panel, “From the Cradle to the Grave…the ART of your Family Law Practice,” which looked at ART legal issues of which general family law practitioners must be aware in their own practices. Panelists were attorneys Steven Snyder of Minnesota, Noel Tucker of Oklahoma, Meryl Rosenberg of Maryland, and Robert Terenzio of Florida, and Judge Lisa Morgan of Kentucky.
With the hodgepodge of laws governing assisted reproductive technology and parentage, it’s particularly important for family law attorneys and those of us focusing on fertility law to stay current on the changing legal terrain and to develop relationships with professionals in other parts of the U.S. The ABA CLE also included sessions on legislative advocacy; the legal status of stored embryos, sperm and eggs in the event the intended parents’ relationship changes; and legal and ethical issues concerning the importation and exportation of eggs and sperm.
Now I’m off again, this time to London, for two important family law conferences: the LGBT Family Law Institute Regional Meeting, May 16-17, where I will moderate the discussion on ART law. The London meeting will be the LGBT Family Law Institute’s first to be held outside the United States, with a focus on LGBT family law practitioners in the U.K. and Ireland. As is the case with all institute meetings, the meeting will be off-the-record and closed-door in order to encourage the free exchange of ideas and opinions.
Next up is the followed by the I.A.M.L. International Surrogacy Symposium, May 17-19, where I have been asked to present the American Bar Association ART Committee’s position on the Hague’s study of whether to regulate international surrogacy and other general legal and ethical issues surrounding A.R.T.
While I know I’ll be glad to get home again, I’m taking full advantage of these opportunities to develop new professional contacts, reconnect with old friends and colleagues, and learn as much as I can from all of them. Staying abreast of the latest advances in fertility law, both in the U.S. and internationally, and continually expanding our knowledge ultimately advances our most important goal—our ability to assist our IFLG clients with leading edge legal advice and professional services.