Archived Presentation Handouts

9/8/2016

PowerPoint  Presentations and Handouts from LSSS and RACSS Programs | 2012-16

Bill Analysis

2015 | Bill Analysis: Tried and True and What’s New

Presenters

  • Carey Eskridge, Texas Legislative Council
  • Michael P. Gallagher, legislative attorney, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau

This session examines bill analysis methods from two different states –Texas and Wisconsin. What is the purpose of the analysis and what is the courts’ reliance on it?

  • Wisconsin Bill Drafting Manual | Handout

 

Bill Drafting

2015 | Avoiding Inartful Drafting

Presenter

  • Jamie Shanks, legislative attorney, Office of Legal Services for the Tennessee General Assembly

This session examines the realities of drafting and editing.  Examine terms of art; ordinary meaning vs. dictionary meaning vs. meaning as a whole; and versus or; and shall versus may. What are some of the judicial considerations?

  • Avoiding Inartful Drafting | Handout

2015 | The Case of the Errant Comma: A Trilogy of Comma Mysteries

Presenter

  • Jennifer Gilroy, statute revisor, Colorado

This program focuses on the critical importance of punctuation and editorial details in drafting the law. It takes a close look at the definition of "marijuana" in the Colorado Criminal Code, specifically the "Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1992", as well as Colorado's recreational marijuana law set out in Section 16 of Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution and evaluates the unintended impact that an errant comma can have. The presentation includes a study of two specific criminal cases currently pending in two different Colorado district courts to evaluate the way the courts will address the errant comma.

2015 | Redrafting “Model Law” to Fit Your Code

Presenters

  • Eric Hougland, deputy director, Legal Division, Texas Legislative Council
  • Mark J. Cutrona, Esq., deputy director, Legislative Council - Division of Research, Delaware
  • Angela Alexander, senior legislative counsel, Legal Division, Texas Legislative Council

Whether utilizing uniform code from the Uniform Law Commission or starting with a “model” from another state, the task of redrafting that code to fit your structure is not always a simple task. Hear from three drafters how they try to adapt a model or uniform law to their state's statutory scheme.

  • Drafting from a Uniform or Model Law | Handout

2015 | The Evolving Role of the Drafting Attorney After a Bill Has Been Introduced

Presenters

  • Kelly Lowe, senior legislative counsel
  • Taheera Randolph, Texas Legislative Counsel
  • Erin Smith, Texas Legislative Counsel

This presentation will explore the evolving role of the legislative drafting attorney after a bill has been introduced. The presentation will address how a drafting attorney's approach to drafting subsequent legislative documents is different from drafting bills and best practices for drafting committee substitutes and floor amendments in both the first and second houses of the legislature. Special emphasis will be placed on drafting those documents for large, complex bills. Subjects that will be covered include: fulfilling an attorney's fiduciary duty to a client, effective attorney-client communication, and the provision of legal counseling to clients in the legislative arena on topics such as the constitutionality of proposed legislation, the interaction of proposed legislation with current state and federal law, the Texas Code Construction Act's effect on the interpretation of proposed legislation, and drafting transition language to facilitate the implementation of enacted laws.

  • Evolving Role of Drafting Attorneys | Handout

2014 | The Doctrine of the Last Antecedent

Speaker

  • Jery Payne, senior attorney, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado

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.

2014 | Legal Thinking for Bill Drafters

Speaker

  • Tobias Dorsey, special counsel, United States Sentencing Commission (USSC)

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 nonspecialized 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. 

2014 | The Bill Drafting Puzzle: Recognizing and Shaping the Pieces

Speaker

  • Bryan Vincent, director, Governmental Affairs Division, House of Representatives, Louisiana

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. 

2014 | What is a Person?

Speakers

  • Lisa Soronen, State and Local Legal Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Debbie Haskins, assistant director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado

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?


Committees

2014 | Witnesses Before Legislative Committees: Issues and Law

Speakers

  • Frank Arey, legal counsel, Division of Legislative Audit, Arkansas
  • Jerry G. Jones, chief legislative counsel, Louisiana Senate

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.


Confidentiality

2014 | Defending the Legislature's Confidences in the Context of Voting Rights Act Litigation

Speaker

  • Jon Heining, general counsel, Legislative Council, Texas Legislature

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.


Editing

2015 | Paperless Bill Drafting and Editing

Speakers

  • John Bjornson, code revisor, Legislative Council, North Dakota
  • Nicole L. Brenner, Esq., Division of Legislative Services, Virginia General Assembly

This session will discuss two systems of Paperless Bill Drafting and Editing: those used in North Dakota and Virginia. Each presenter will discuss the steps gone through in their electronic bill drafting and editing process, show what each step looks like, how paper-free the system is, and difficulties and goals for each system. Presenters will also discuss how work is transferred electronically and how elected officials use the system.

2015 | Magic Management Part 2

Presenter

  • Carolyn Magráns, Ph.D., legislative editor supervisor, Bureau of Legislative Research, Arkansas

Hiring and training seasonal proofing staff can be challenging. During the 2014 Fall PDS, Carolyn Magráns discussed the challenges and some of the solutions for managing temporary staff. For this follow-up session, Carolyn will examine more of the hiring and training variables involved in managing the “magic” that highly qualified people can bring to seasonal proofreading.

  • Five Principal Responsibilites of the Proofreader | Handout
  • 2015 Proofreader Training Survey | Handout
  • Punctuation Practice Sheet | Handout 
  • Punctuation Practice Key | Handout
  • Proofreader Training and Orientation Schedule #1 | Handout
  • Proofreader Training and Orientation Schedule #2 | Handout
  • Proofreader Training and Orientation Schedule #3 | Handout
  • Proofreader Training and Orientation Schedule #4 | Handout
  • Proofreader Training and Orientation Schedule #5 | Handout

2014 | Magic Management: Hiring and Training Seasonal Proofreaders, or How to Employ the Sorcerer’s Apprentices and Avoid the Broomstick Effect

Speaker

  • Carolyn Magráns, legislative editor supervisor, Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research

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.


Ethics

2015 | LSSS: Legal Ethics

Speakers

  • Jeff Archer, executive director, Texas Legislative Council
  • Anita D'Souza, general counsel and chief of staff, Office of the State Auditor of Texas
  • Bryan Hebert, general counsel, Delisi Communications
  • Mark Moore, Texas Real Estate Commission
  • Christopher Griesel, parliamentarian, Texas House of Representatives

The primary purpose of this course is to provide attorneys serving or employed in the legislative branch of state government with a continuing legal education program that focuses on problems and principles of ethical conduct and professional responsibility most relevant to in-house government attorneys, especially attorneys in the legislative branch.

2011 | Legislative Staff Ethics

Speaker

  • Bruce Feustel, senior fellow, NCSL 

Legislative staff are faced with ethical concerns on a regular basis and it often goes beyond a simple question of right or wrong.  Knowing the rules and requirements are important and can help guide staff in their professional roles.  This session will look at the legal requirements of legislative ethics and apply them to legislative settings.


Management

2014 | Confronting and Managing Biases

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
  • Sharon Wenger, principal analyst, Kansas Legislative Research Dept.

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.

2014 | Generations at Work: Collision, Confusion or Collaboration?

Speaker

  • Betty Lochner, president, Cornerstone Coaching and Training

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.


Member Orientation Programs

2012 | Issue Orientation Programs for Legislators

Speakers

  • Pepper Sturm, chief deputy research director, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada 
  • Karl Aro, executive director, Deptartment of Legislative Service, Maryland 
  • Mike Nugent, division manager, Research and Legislation, Legislative Services Office, Idaho 

Getting new legislators up to speed on the issues they’ll face and keeping experienced members informed can be a challenge in the hurried days prior to session but it’s important that legislators are able to hit the ground running on day one of their legislative sessions. This program showcases orientation programs from several states.


Miscellaneous

2015 | Social Media in a Legislative Environment and a Legal World:  Your Rights, Responsibilities, and Recourses

Speakers

  • Jon Heining, general counsel, Legislative Council, Texas Legislature  
  • Eddie Weeks, legislative librarian, Tennessee General Assembly

The use of social media in legislatures and state government is becoming more prevalent. It is not unusual to see a legislator or a legislative agency with a Facebook page or a Twitter handle. While these immediate forms of communication can help legislatures stay in touch with a more technologically savvy audience, they do not come without legal dangers. There are privacy issues, concerns about liability and issues related to the speech and debate clause.

The legislative environment and the legal world are much, much older than the social media in use today. But, laws and consequences are catching up quickly. Does your legislature’s social media policy fit into the framework of the legislative environment and the laws that govern it?

2011 | Social Media Do’s & Don’ts

Speaker

  • Keith Buchholz, senior counsel, Office of Senate Counsel, Washington

Social media is increasingly being used by legislatures to communicate with members and the public.  Legislative staff must often use social networking tools to do their jobs.  This session will look at the potential pitfalls and benefits of using social media and explore practices and policies to lessen the chances of a career-altering YouTube moment.

2011 | Using Technology to Increase Efficiency and Productivity

Speakers

  • Tanya Carter, research analyst, House Office of Program Research, Washington
  • Tim Rothwell, computer information consultant, Legislative Service Center, Washington
  • Ronda Tentarelli, applications support manager, Legislative Service Center, Washington
  • Yvonne Walker, senior research analyst, House Office of Program Research, Washington 

The most successful technology projects are collaborative in nature and boost productivity by changing labor-intensive work processes. Washington’s Electronic Bill Book (EBB), developed by a team of research and IT staff, changed the way standing committees conduct their public hearings.  Learn how the EBB simplified the administration of committee hearings, made it easier for committee members to navigate through lengthy agendas, and improved public access to committee documents.


Records Retention

2012 | Records Retention: What to Keep and How to Keep It

Speaker

  • Walker Reagan, division director, Research Division, North Carolina 
  • Kristin Ford, legislative librarian, Legislative Reference Library, Legislative Services Office, Idaho 
  • Sonia Gavin, legislative information resource manager, Legislative Reference Center, Montana 

Legislative documents are generally considered public records and as such, must be preserved. But not all documents are the same. Staff working papers, emails and internal communications may have different requirements. This session will look at the requirements for preserving legislative documents to ensure appropriate use and legal compliance.

2011 | Records Retention for Staff Documents: What to Save, How to Save, & Why You Save It

Speakers

  • Walker Reagan, director, Research Division, North Carolina General Assembly

Legislative documents are generally considered public records and as such, must be preserved.  But not all documents are the same.  Staff working papers, emails and internal communications may have different requirements.  This session will look at the requirements for preserving legislative documents to ensure appropriate use and legal compliance.


Research

2014 | Compiling 50-State Information

Speaker

  • Cheryl Rae Nyberg, reference librarian, Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington

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.

2014 | Focusing on the Take Away: Powerful Presentations for Public Speakers

Speaker

  • Mark Leutwyler, project manager, Dell Inc., Texas

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.

  • PowerPoint (Click the orange comment box in the upper lefthand corner of each slide for slide explanations.)

2012 | Helping the Public: Constituent Services Programs

Speaker

  • Beverly Mobley, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada
  • Sabrina Lewellen, constituency services/research & special projects manager, Arkansas Senate
  • Mark Gordon, director, Communications and Public Affairs, Senate Republican Staff, Illinois 

Thousands of citizens turn to their legislators when they encounter problems with government or businesses. Consequently, many legislative staff agencies and personal staff are called on to help constituents on behalf of those legislators. Several states have established constituent services programs to help citizens and maximize limited staff resources. Learn about the challenges and best practices in providing constituent services.

2012 | Researching the History or Intent of Legislation

Speakers

  • Eddie Weeks, legislative librarian, Tennessee General Assembly 
  • Deborah Haskins, assistant director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado 
  • Mark Kuster, attorney, Legislative Council, Texas 

Legislative history is important in determining why a law was passed and what legislators meant by the language they used. Legislative history and intent is used by courts to establish the intended meaning of language in the law and ensure its correct implementation. This session provides guidelines for researching state legislative history and intent.

2012 | Avoiding Bias and Preparing Balanced Research

Speakers

  • Eddie Weeks, legislative librarian, Tennessee General Assembly 
  • Sharon Wenger, principal analyst, Legislative Research Department, Kansas 
  • Jerry Howe, managing policy analyst, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah

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.

2011 | When Serving the Legislature Means Serving Constituents

Panelists

  • Maryanne Jefferson, chief of staff, Senator Richard Ross, Massachusetts
  • Sabrina Lewellen, constituent services and special projects manager, Senate, Arkansas
  • Pepper Sturm, chief deputy research director, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada.

Thousands of citizens turn to their legislators when they encounter problems with government or businesses. Consequently, many legislative staff agencies and personal staff are called on to help constituents on behalf of those legislators. Several states have established constituent services programs to help citizens and maximize limited staff resources. Learn about the challenges and best practices in providing constituent services.

2011 | Ready, Fire, Aim! Planning Effective Policy Research

Panelists

  • Pepper Sturm, chief deputy research director, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada
  • Bryant Howe, assistant director, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah
  • Annie Pennucci, senior research associate, Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Research projects can miss the mark if careful planning isn’t done at the beginning. Discovering the real problem can help identify the appropriate issues to be researched. Learn how to identify the problem being addressed, ask the right questions and focus the research to make sure research projects are effective and on point.

2011 | Using GIS for  Legislative Research and Policy Analysis

Speaker

  •  Richard Leadbetter, Esri Inc.

Geographical information systems (GIS) offers tools to organize and analyze data, interpret results, spot trends, visualize findings, and make better-informed policy decisions.  This session provides an overview of practical uses for GIS in the legislature and include a demonstration of GIS tools


Supreme Court

2015 | U.S. Supreme Court Update

Speaker

  • Lisa Soronen, executive director, State and Local Legal Center

Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, has filed amicus briefs on behalf of the states, represented the states in cases before the U.S. supreme court and is an expert on legal issues affecting the states. Hear an overview of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent term, and decisions in several cases with implications for states and states' rights.

2014 | U.S. Supreme Court Update

Speaker

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

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

2014 | Supreme Court Trends: Federalism and States’ Rights

Speaker

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

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.