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2014 LSSS RACSS Seminar Agenda

2014 LSSS & RACSS Seminar Agenda

9/16/2014

Virginia Capitol and Visitors CenterThe 2014 LSSS and RACSS Joint Professional Development Seminar offers sessions of interest to researchers, committee staff, legislative attorneys, drafters and editors. The seminar features interactive sessions and opportunities to learn from legislative colleagues in other states.

Go back to the main LSSS & RACSS seminar page, to access registration, hotel and general information about the meeting.

Continuing Legal Education

Many of the sessions are designed to qualify for continuing legal education (CLE) credits in those states that have mandatory CLE. Application materials will be made available. However, final acceptance of CLE hours is the prerogative of your state’s CLE authority.

 

SEMINAR AGENDA

SUNDAY, OCT. 5
Time Sessions

2:30-5 p.m.

Mezzanine

Registration

MONDAY, OCT. 6

7 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mezzanine

Registration

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Location TBD

Continental Breakfast

8:15 a.m. Welcome from the Staff Section Officers

8:30-10 a.m.

Plenary Location TBD

U.S. Supreme Court Update [CLE] 

From affirmative action to legislative prayer, the Supreme Court’s last term did not disappoint. What will the Court take up next?

Speaker: Lisa Soronen, State and Local Legal Center, Washington, D.C.

10:15-11:45 a.m.

Plenary Location TBD

I Didn’t Sign On For This! Dealing with Constant Change in the Workplace

Won’t it stop?! Today’s increasing pace of change can create a personal and work life that mirrors the experience of standing on the baseline at a tennis court and having your opponent fire balls from a tennis cannon at you. Moving through change, and especially leading in times of change, takes time and energy; it’s extremely stressful. Learn to recognize the effects change have on you and your organization. Discover how to use practical time and management strategies to better deal with the stress of change.

Speaker: Mike Collins, The Perfect Workday Company

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Location TBD

Luncheon

1-2:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions:

    Location TBD

Witnesses Before Legislative Committees: Issues and Law [CLE]

From routine hearings on proposed bills to intense oversight or investigation, witnesses are a key part of just about every legislative hearing. Legislative staff are often asked to consider and address a variety of legal and procedural issues that can arise regarding witness appearance and testimony. This session examines these issues, including particular questions that may arise when specific witnesses or materials are sought by a legislative committee through subpoena. Learn to identify these issues and review legal authorities that will help you conduct state-specific research.

Speakers: Frank Arey, Legal Counsel, Division of Legislative Audit, Arkansas

Jerry G. Jones, Chief Legislative Counsel, Louisiana Senate

    Location TBD

Compiling 50-State Information [CLE]

Every year, hundreds of new 50-state surveys are published in articles, cases, commercial databases, court briefs, books, government publications, loose-leaf services and websites. Join Cheryl Nyberg, author of the Subject Compilations of State Laws bibliography series, for a discussion of her successful search strategies to find the right 50-state information.

Speaker: Cheryl Rae Nyberg, Reference Librarian, Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington

    Location TBD

I’m Just a Bill … in a State Legislative Drafting Office

Have you ever considered how the physical layout of your offices affects workflow? Where in your offices does a bill draft begin its journey to introduction? Who accepts the request for a bill draft? Who drafts, edits, proofs and processes and when? Who is the last person to see the bill before it goes to the requester? How far (physically and virtually) does the drafting file travel during the process? Please join drafting attorney Elisabeth Shea from Wisconsin and senior research associate Mary Kate Felch from Virginia to hear how it all happens in their states.

Moderator: Cathlene Hanaman, Deputy Chief, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

Panelists: Mary Kate Felch, Senior Research Associate, Virginia Division of Legislative Services

Elisabeth Shea, Legislative Attorney, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau; TBD

2:30-3:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions:

    Location TBD

The Doctrine of the Last Antecedent [CLE]

Inspired by his recently published article, Jery Payne will discuss a troublesome syntax too often used in drafting statutes: the “single qualifier lazily perched on a list bewilderingly squawking a muddle” (“The Doctrine of the Last Antecedent,” The Legislative Lawyer, May 2014). This session will examine how an ambiguous modifier following a list causes problems, what some courts have ruled on the issue and practical ways to avoid or fix the problem.

Speaker: Jery Payne, Senior Attorney, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado

    Location TBD

Focusing on the Take Away: Powerful Presentations for Public Speakers

We’ve all sat through presentations that were sabotaged by boring, distracting or just plain ineffective PowerPoint slides. This session will look at techniques for improving your PowerPoint presentations and offer solutions that will make your message clear, memorable and effective.

Speaker: Mark Leutwyler, Project Manager, Dell Inc., Texas
4-5 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions:

    Location TBD

Legal Thinking for Bill Drafters [CLE]

Fifty years ago, Martin Mayer published his epic The Lawyers, taking stock of America's lawyers in every specialty and every place.  He concluded that "the greatest compliment a lawyer can receive ... is an assignment to draft a major law."  Yet many people still have the notion that bill drafting is a non-specialized task that can be done competently by any lawyer, or even by a non-lawyer.  This presentation debunks that notion.  It provides a detailed look at many legal issues that bill drafters need to be able to spot and handle, with a focus on principles of statutory interpretation. Toby Dorsey, author of the Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide, will share his insights on drafting law.

Speaker: Tobias Dorsey, Special Counsel, United States Sentencing Commission (USSC)
    Location TBD

The History and Evolution of Legislative Committee Systems

Legislative committee systems and structures developed differently across the colonial states. In some states, they mirrored the committee system in Parliament; in others there were dramatic differences. Virginia mirrored Parliament in structure, but not form. The New England states were slower to develop standing committees, with some states relying more on committees of the whole rather than standing committees. Learn about the evolution of committee structures, their important role in the legislative process and how the early committee systems serve as a model for states across the nation.

Speaker: Scott Maddrea, Deputy Clerk-Committee Operations, Virginia House of Delegates
6 p.m.

Dutch Treat Networking Dinners

Join your colleagues for informal networking dinners. Sign-up sheets for local restaurants are available at the NCSL registration desk.

Tuesday, OCT. 7

7 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location TBD

Registration

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Location TBD

Continental Breakfast
8:30-8:45 a.m. Walk to General Assembly Building
8:45-10 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions:

    General Assembly

    Building

    House Room D

Supreme Court Trends: Federalism and States’ Rights [CLE]

This session will cover trends in the Supreme Court’s federalism and preemption jurisprudence—big and small—and other trends in Supreme Court jurisprudence affecting state government.

Speaker: Lisa Soronen, State and Local Legal Center, Washington, D.C.

    General Assembly

    Building

    House Room C

Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission on the Civil War

The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission was created for the purpose of planning for and commemorating a significant milestone in Virginia’s history, the 150th anniversary of the state’s participation in the American Civil War. The sesquicentennial commemoration in Virginia is a comprehensive statewide initiative that began in 2009 with programs examining the causes of the Civil War and continues through 2015.

Speaker: Cheryl Jackson, Executive Director, Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission

    General Assembly

    Building

    House Room A

Magic Management: Hiring and Training Seasonal Proofreaders, or How to Employ the Sorcerer’s Apprentices and Avoid the Broomstick Effect

Talented seasonal proofing staff are worth their weight in gold to ensuring the quality and timeliness of document review when work volume swells and turnaround times accelerate for legislative editors and reviewers during a regular session. But how is such talent recruited, harnessed, and directed to best effect? In an economy that supplies well-qualified candidates for temporary work, what are the challenges in hiring, training, and managing talented people as seasonal proofing staff? The session will examine some of the hiring and training variables involved in managing the magic that highly qualified people bring to the temporary work of seasonal proofreading.

Moderator: Lilli Hausenfluck, Chief Editor, Virginia Division of Legislative Services

Speaker: Carolyn Magráns, Legislative Editor Supervisor, Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research
10:15 a.m.-Noon

Concurrent Sessions:

    General Assembly

    Building

    House Room D

The Bill Drafting Puzzle:  Recognizing and Shaping the Pieces [CLE]

Statutory drafting is a form of writing generally comprised of certain basic building blocks: require, authorize, prohibit, conditions on those, consequences, etc. (It is a creative process, but it is not creative writing.)  If the drafter begins by stepping back from the immediate task to determine which of those blocks he or she will be utilizing and applies standard linguistic elements to the blocks (require = "shall";  conditions = "if"), the drafter will produce a clearer and more concise product.  

Speaker: Bryan Vincent, Director, Governmental Affairs Division, House of Representatives, Louisiana

    General Assembly

    Building

    House Room C

Confronting and Managing Biases

Nonpartisan staff pride themselves on maintaining a neutral position in their work but preserving that balance has become more difficult in today’s supercharged political environment, where the line between opinions and facts can become blurred. This session will look at the challenges and discuss best practices to maintain nonpartisan integrity.

Speakers: Jerry Howe, Managing Policy Analyst, Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
Sabrina N. Lewellen, Deputy Director, and Assistant Secretary of the Arkansas Senate

Noon-12:15 p.m. Walk to Capitol

12:15-1:30 p.m.

House Room 3 & Senate Room 3

Luncheon

Movie: "Keepers of the Flame" (approx. 26 minutes)

1:30-2:30 p.m.

State Capitol House Chamber

Virginia State Capitol Tour & Virginia Legislative Staff Services

Attendees will divide into two groups, for a tour of the Virginia State Capitol and a presentation on Virginia Legislative Staff Services.

Speakers: Jeffrey A. Finch, Deputy Clerk, House of Delegates, VIrginia

Hobie Lehman, Committee Operations, Senate, Virginia

Amigo Wade, Senior Attorney, Division of Legislative Services, Virginia

2:30-3:30 p.m.

State Capitol House Chamber

Virginia State Capitol Tour & Virginia Legislative Staff Services

Attendees will divide into two groups, for a tour of the Virginia State Capitol and a presentation on Virginia Legislative Staff Services.

Speakers: Jeffrey A. Finch, Deputy Clerk, House of Delegates, VIrginia

Hobie Lehman, Committee Operations, Senate, Virginia

Amigo Wade, Senior Attorney, Division of Legislative Services, Virginia

3:30-4:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions:

    State Capitol

    Senate Room 3

What is a Person? [CLE]

The U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United said that corporations have free speech rights. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the U.S. Supreme Court held that closely held for-profit corporations fall under the definition of “person” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and that the contraceptive mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion. Essentially the court held that protecting the free exercise rights of the closely held corporation protects the religious rights of the people who formed the corporation. What does this mean for legislative drafters? Should drafters ask legislative sponsors if they want the bill to apply to corporate forms of “persons” or if they want the bill just to apply to “natural persons”? How does the general definition of “person” affect the legislative intent of bills following these court decisions?

Speakers: Lisa Soronen, State and Local Legal Center, Washington, D.C.
Debbie Haskins, Assistant Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado

    State Capitol

    Senate Room 3

Ethics Commissions

The powers and duties of ethics commissions include a variety of statutory powers and duties, including the authority to develop forms and manuals, examine reports, monitor compliance, subpoena witnesses, issue advisory opinions, and conduct training. Learn about the work of ethics commissions that provide oversight for legislative members and staff.

Speaker: Peggy Kerns, Director, Center on Ethics in Government

John Schaaf, Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission

Scott Maddrea, Deputy Clerk-Committee Operations, Virginia House of Delegates

    State Capitol

    Senate Room 1

Editors’ Roundtable: Coping with Deadlines and Other Stressors on the Job

During this conversational roundtable for editors, we will first learn how to do a short, seated workplace meditation that is more clarifying and energizing than a cup of coffee. Then we will discuss other tried and true ways to cope with the deadlines and other stressors that we as legislative editors encounter during the legislative session.

Moderator: Wendy Jackson, Senior Legislative Editor, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

4:45-6:15 p.m.

State Capitol Rotunda

Welcome to Virginia Capitol Reception

Hosted by the House Clerk’s Office, Senate Clerk’s Office and the Division of Legislative Services
Wednesday, OCT. 8

7:30 a.m.-Noon

Location TBD

Information Desk

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Location TBD

LSSS and RACSS Joint Continental Breakfast

Welcome: Peggy Piety, Staff Attorney, Legislative Services Agency, Indiana, and NCSL Staff Chair

8:30-10 a.m.

Location TBD

Defending the Legislature's Confidences in the Context of Voting Rights Act Litigation [CLE]

The legislative and attorney-client privileges are ancient and powerful tools for protecting legislatures from external interference. The federal Voting Rights Act, however, makes confidential legislative communications highly desirable to parties attempting to challenge changes in state election laws. This session will discuss Texas's efforts to maintain the confidences of its legislature during federal VRA litigation, as well as provide some potential strategies for protecting legislative and attorney-client privileges in other contexts.

Speaker: Jon Heining, General Counsel, Legislative Council, Texas Legislature

10:15-11:45 a.m.

Location TBD

Joint Plenary

Generations at Work: Collision, Confusion or Collaboration?
For the first time in history, today's workplace includes four generations. Never before has the work place been so age diverse. In this workshop you will discover how to better relate to and motivate all groups by understanding their perspectives, values and distinctive work ethics. Gain hands-on skill to improve communication across all generational and management levels.

Speaker: Betty Lochner, President, Cornerstone Coaching and Training

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