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Fellows Events at the 2017 ABA Midyear Meeting

  • When: February 3–5, 2017
  • Where: Miami, FL

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To register for the events below, please click click here to register online or download the PDF registration form to return by mail/fax.


Hyatt Regency Hotel Miami, 400 SE 2nd Ave

Wednesday, February 1, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Thursday, February 2, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Friday, February 3, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday, February 4, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Complimentary ribbons are available to Fellows who visit The Fellows registration desk near ABA registration.

*A $30 registration fee is required and helps cover administrative costs associated with the Midyear Meeting.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fellows Opening Reception

Whisper Lounge at the W Hotel Miami, 50th Floor
485 Brickell Avenue
 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Ticketed Event -- $85 Early Registration Fee, $100 after January 20, 2017
Enjoy the incredible, panoramic views of downtown Miami and the Biscayne Bay as we kick off the Midyear events with music, food and friends at one of the city’s most spectacular venues. Located on the 50th floor of the W hotel just a block from conference headquarters, the Whisper Lounge is a quintessential Miami experience featuring an Art Deco inspired indoor lounge and an open air sky-high patio.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Fellows Tour: "A Sandbox Full of Paradox"

9:30am – 12:30pm

Discover Miami--a distinctly American city where the weather is tropical and the lifestyle is anything but ordinary!  Led by Kevin Doran, a certified Miami Heritage Tour Guide, our driving tour of the city will introduce you to the historic Miami Beach Art Deco District, Little Havana and the Cuban exile experience, a stunning collection of graffiti and mural art in the Wynwood Art District, and Downtown Miami and the Brickell Financial District, where the architecture of I.M. Pei, Zaha Hadid, Caesar Pelli, Herzog & de Mueron, and others reflect Miami's growing importance as a 21st century city.

Fellows CLE Research Seminar (CLE Requested)

"The Unintended Consequences of American Criminal Justice"
2:00pm – 4:30pm
Junior Ballroom B/C (5th Floor),  JW Marriott Marquis Miami, 255 Biscayne Blvd Way

From mass incarceration to the death penalty, American criminal laws and policies frequently have unexpected and unintended consequences. This panel of leading experts will discuss the broad reach of our current American criminal justice system by highlighting ways in which the American criminal justice system may not align with the system we think (or hope) we have. Topics will include the effects of parental incarceration on children and the application of the death penalty to people with mental disabilities. 

This program is co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Disability Rights, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, ABA Section of Criminal Justice, ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.

Moderated By:
Marissel Descalzo, Partner, Tache, Bronis, Christianson and Descalzo, P. A.

Presenters include:
John Hagan, American Bar Foundation Research Professor
Hon. Bernice Donald, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Meredith Martin Rountree, Visiting Assistant Professor, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Neal R. Sonnett, Esq., Founder and Managing Partner, Neal R. Sonnett, P.A.

The ABA directly applies for and ordinarily receives CLE credit for ABA programs in AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, GA, GU, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MN, MS, MO, MT, NH, NM, NV, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI, WA, WI, and WV. These states sometimes do not approve a program for credit before the program occurs. This transitional program is approved for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys in NY.  Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states. For more information about CLE accreditation in your state, click here or contact Natalie Shoop at


61st Annual Fellows Awards Reception and Banquet

6:00pm – 10:00pm

The Historic Alfred I. duPont Building
169 East Flagler Street

Ticketed Event -- $130 Early Registration Fee, $155 after January 20, 2017

2017 Fellows Awards Recipients
Outstanding Service Award: Helaine Barnett, Esq.
Outstanding Scholar Award: Professor Akhil Reed Amar
Outstanding State Chair Award: Hon. Eileen A. Kato (Ret.) and Salvador A. Mungia, Esq.,Washington State Co-Chairs
Distinguished Life Fellow Award: Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.

Professor Akhil Amar will deliver the keynote address entitled "The Rule of Law and the Role of Lawyers in the Age of Trump."

Special Thanks to Presenting Sponsor:

For information about being a table sponsor at The Fellows Awards Reception and Banquet, or recognizing Award Honorees in the Banquet Program Book by purchasing a tribute ad, please contact Natalie Shoop at (312) 988-6533 or

Helaine Barnett's Award Acceptance Speech can be found here

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fellows State Chair Workshop

10:30am – 12:00pm
Junior Ballroom A (5th Floor), JW Marriott Marquis Miami, 255 Biscayne Blvd Way
This workshop is a great opportunity for State Chairs (new and experienced) to interact with the Fellows staff and officers and learn more about the role of a State Chair.

Fellows State Chair Luncheon

12:30pm – 2:00pm
Junior Ballroom B/C  (5th Floor), JW Marriott Marquis Miami, 255 Biscayne Blvd Way
A business and recognition lunch for Fellows State Chairs.

Fellows Sing-along

Metropolitan Ballroom 2 (3rd Floor), JW Marriott Marquis Miami, 255 Biscayne Blvd Way
What better way to top off a long day meetings than with a relaxed evening of sing-along favorites?  Bring a friend and enjoy this lively Fellows tradition.  Not much of a singer? No problem! Join us for a nightcap and enjoy the entertainment.

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