The Windy City beckons as the site of the 2005 fall professional development seminar presented jointly by RACSS, LSSS and LRL.  This first ever seminar between the three staff sections brings together research, committee, legal, bill drafting and library staff who share a vital role in the legislative process.   This is the only national training event designed exclusively for legislative staff who work in these areas of expertise. Join your colleagues from other states in exploring new ways to think about your work and learn new skills to make your job easier.  Come away refreshed by the experiences we share.

Preliminary Agenda

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005 

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005 
Friday, Sept. 23, 2005
Lakeshore Ballroom West
Legislative Documents
Explore how FOIA and confidentiality issues affect public access to research reports, memos, drafts and work products.

Patrick O’Grady, Executive Director, Legislative Research Unit, Illinois 
Terry Pastika, Executive Director/Community Lawyer of the Illinois Citizen Advocacy Center
Ann Sappenfield, Senior Staff Attorney, Legislative Council Staff, Wisconsin

Lakeshore Ballroom West
Legislative Judicial Relations
A legislator and a  judge discuss the relationship between the legislature and the judiciary, judicial activism,  legislative intent and balance of power. 

Senator Tim Wooldridge, Arkansas
Judge to be determined 

12:00-1:30 Lunch (on your own)

Business Meeting – LRL
St. Clair - Salon 1
 LRL members will hold their annual Business Meeting. 

1:30-3:15 Concurrent Sessions (choose one)
  • Why Most of What We Have Been Taught about How to Write Paragraphs Just Won’t Do
Lakeshore Ballroom East
Explore ways to free yourself from the Procrustean straightjacket of the paragraph form you were taught and begin to take control over the necessarily Protean kind of paragraphs real life professional people write and readers will want to read. 

Robert P Nelson, Sr Legislative Attorney, Legislative Reference Bureau, Wisconsin

George D. Gopen, Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke University, North Carolina

Lakeshore Ballroom West
Sections of the USA PATRIOT Act have lessened privacy rights for Americans and have had broad implications for libraries and legislatures. This session will focus on the legal questions facing legislative staff.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director, Intellectual Freedom Office, American Library Association
Scott T. Mendeloff, Partner, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, Chicago 
Colleen Connell, President, Illinois ACLU

3:30-5:00 Concurrent Sessions (choose one)
  • Use and Misuse of Statistics 
St. Clair - Salon 2
Statistics are frequently used to support conclusions but they can also be used cleverly to distort or color arguments.  Learn about appropriate use of statistical data and how to spot erroneous interpretations.   This session will help staff skillfully use logical techniques to evaluate the data they gather to support their findings.
Steve Harkreader, Ph.D. , Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, Florida Legislature

• Emerging Legal Issues in Campaigning   (CLE)
Lakeshore Ballroom West
Emerging legal issues in campaigning online, covering online fundraising, blogging, parody sites, privacy, etc. 
Harold J. Krent, Dean and Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent

• Uniform Laws   (CLE)
Lakeshore Ballroom East
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws serves the states in writing uniform laws where similarity among state provisions is desirable.  Learn about how uniform laws are adopted and how they can be of benefit to drafters and researchers. 
Howard J. Swibel, President of NCCUSL and Partner at Arnstein & Lehr, LLP 
Diane Boyer-Vine, NCCUSL Commissioner and Legislative Counsel of California 
EM Miller, Director, Division of Legislative Services, Virginia
John M. McCabe, NCCUSL Legislative Director and Legal Counsel

Saturday Sept. 24, 2005 


8:30-11:00 Breakfast Plenary:  LSSS Distinguished Scholar Series   (CLE)
Lakeshore Ballroom West Whither the Constitution and the Supreme Court?  An examination of the current debate over judicial ideology
This session will explore the current state of constitutional law in general, and the current battle over Supreme Court nominees in particular.  Professor Presser will look at issues of race, religion, and abortion, probably, as well as other things that have recently come before the Court, and he will examine the different political postures and legal theories of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Pam Ray, Staff Attorney, Legislative Council Service, New Mexico

Stephen B. Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago

Lakeshore Ballroom West

  Roundtable: Hot Issues in the States 
The pace of the legislative environment has quickened due to technology and 24-hour news cycles, while partisanship and public cynicism have increased dramatically.  New issues face the legislatures and their staff every day.  This facilitated discussion will focus on the hot topics that affect the working environment and how legislative staff are coping. 

Richard Merkle, Judiciary Division Chief, Legislative Service Commission, Ohio
Jamie Franklin, Committee Staff Administrator, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky

8:00-5:00 Registration
8:30-9:15 Welcome and Introductions: Planning Committee
Lakeshore Ballroom West
Work Issues in a Legislative Service Agency 

9:15 – 10:30 am  Can’t We All Get Along?
Legislative service agencies provide a range of professional services, but professional staffers may be known as much for their people skills as they are for any subject area or other expertise.  Further, legislative service agency colleagues need to be able to work together and rely on each other.

10:45 – 12:00 noon  The Legislative Environment
Legislative staffers work in an environment that is politically charged, fast-paced and grueling.  Although they have to be good at the skills stated in their job descriptions, they usually have to be adaptable and good at prioritizing work assignments.  Further, their agencies must be able to respond to the changes demanded by legislators.

Bruce Feustel, Senior Fellow, Legislative Management, NCSL

Mary Janicki, Director, Office of Legislative Research, Connecticut
Nancy Cyr, Legal Counsel, Legislative Research Division, Nebraska
Clare Charlson, Senior Research Analyst, Legislative Research Council, South Dakota

Lakeshore Ballroom East & Grand Ballroom Salon
Plenary luncheon

Susan Clarke Schaar, Clerk of the Senate, Virginia; Staff Chair, NCSL
Steve Miller, Chief, Legislative Reference Bureau, Wisconsin:  Staff Vice Chair, NCSL

1:30-3:15 Concurrent Sessions (choose one)
  Media Training 
St. Clair - Salon 2
Learn how to develop skills that you need to address media questions, even when the topic of discussion is sensitive or politically volatile. Find out why it's important to build a relationship with the media and how to turn media interviews into opportunities to deliver important messages about your legislature. Gene Rose, NCSL's Director of Public Affairs, will help you develop a checklist on how to handle your office's next encounter with the media.

Gene Rose, Director of Public Affairs, National Conference of State Legislatures, Denver, Colorado

• Evaluating Research Resources 
Club Lounge, 16th Floor
With the explosion of information resources on the Internet, knowing how to determine whether that information is solid and accurate is vital. Learn how to evaluate both print and web-based information, using basic criteria. 

Kerry Fitz-Gerald, Reference Librarian, Seattle University School of Law, Washington

Legislative Immunity/Privilege   (CLE)
Lakeshore Ballroom West
This session explores the limits of legislative immunity. Staff attorneys share privileged communications with legislators on a daily basis. Legislators regularly speak in public forums. Are these communications privileged? Are legislative records kept by a computer services agency subject to discovery in a criminal action? What protections, if any, are provided by our state constitutions? This session attempts to shed light on these questions and more. 

Peter Wattson,  Senate Counsel, Research & Fiscal Analysis, Minnesota 
Larry Shapiro, Chief Legislative Attorney, Legislative Commissioners' Office, Connecticut 
Michael Reig, Legislative Technology Services Bureau, Wisconsin

3:15-5:00 Concurrent Sessions (choose one)
  • Research Skills: Finding 50-state Compilations
Lakeshore Ballroom West
50-state research is the stock-in-trade of legislative staff.  Finding up-to-date and reliable 50-state information can significantly reduce research time and be a tremendous resources for library and research staff.  This session will explore techniques for finding compilations of state laws and using government information, including Census Bureau data.
Speaker: Cheryl Rae Nyberg, Reference Librarian, University of Washington, Seattle

• Statutory Construction and Statutory Drafting
Club Lounge, 16th Floor
Learn about best practices in crafting and editing bill drafts and amendments. 

Jack Stark, retired Assistant Chief Counsel, Legislative Reference Bureau, Wisconsin

Lakeshore Ballroom East
Sponsored by West Group
3:00-5:00 Registration

2005 Joint Fall Seminar
September 21-24, 2005
Chicago, Illinois
Wyndham Chicago

Legal Services Staff Section
Research and Committee Staff Section
Legislative Research Librarians
bulletPreliminary Agenda