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Conference Workshops

The following list of 1.5 Hour Workshops, scheduled to be offered at the national conference, is subject to change.

Religious Liberty Workshops

One Amendment, Three Branches:  Religious Liberty Issues in the Federal Government, 2013-2014
Presenters:  Kim Colby, Director, Center for Law & Religious Freedom; Sally Wagenmaker,  Wagenmaker & Oberly, LLC; Stanley Carlson-Thies, President, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance

Sorting Out the Rules:  The Prohibition on Religious Questions, the State's Lack of Power Over Church Governance, and the Neutral Laws of General Applicability Standard in Smith
  Carl H. Esbeck, R.B. Price Distinguished Professor and the Isabelle Wade & Paul C. Lyda Professor of Law at the University of Missouri
It is not at all clear how these three lines of precedent are to be harmonized, so it will be the task of this workshop to do just that.  And to do so in a manner that preserves social pluralism and thus maximizes religious liberty in this otherwise fractious Nation.

Religious Liberty and Sexuality at the Crossroads
Presenters:  John Inazu, Associate Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law, and Faculty Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of  Virginia (2014-2015); and, Stuart Lark, partner, Bryan Cave LLP
This workshop will cover antidiscrimination, sexuality, public accommodations, “ministers” and “churches,” marriage, membership and use policies, and statements of conduct/belief.                    

The Churches’ social witness and religious liberty
Presenter:  Mark Tooley, President, Institute on Religion and Democracy

Some church officials and groups on the left, mostly from Mainline Protestantism, are actively defending assaults on religious liberty, such as the HHS mandate, while opposing legislation that would defend religious business owners and others from having to participate in events that violate conscience.  Of course Catholic bishops and most Evangelicals are defending religious liberty.  But a growing segment of squishy Evangelicals are succumbing to the secular culture and in some cases siding against religious freedom in favor of their notion of Christian hospitality.  Others are embracing persecution for others, if not for themselves.   What explains these trends?  And how can the churches and other religious groups best organize their public witness to winsomely defend religious liberty?

International Religious Liberty Update
Presenter:  Brent McBurney, CEO, Advocates International
What is the state of religious liberty around the globe in 2014?  This workshop, led by Brent McBurney, President/CEO of Advocate International provides the latest updates from the front lines.  You’ll find out the good, the bad and the ugly. Most important, you’ll learn how you can help and pray for the persecuted church and lawyers helping defend the Body of Christ.         

Jurisprudence Workshops

Contours of American Jurisprudence and Public Justice:  De-Regulation – Self, Re-Regulation – Caesar, or Redemption – Christ?
Presenter:  Jeffery J. Ventrella, J.D., Ph.D., Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President of Student Training and Development
Jesus told a parable about a Father and his two sons.  Drawing from this, this session will explore how that story illustrates the two ways Man has sought to order society, including the law: following the throes of one’s individual heart, the Self, or following the rules imposed by the collective, the State – Just Feel It OR Just Do It.  The first tends toward Libertarianism, emphasizing the One; the second tends toward Totalitarianism, emphasizing the Many.  Neither is redemptive, but each has infiltrated and permeated American law.  Understanding and identifying these influential trends is the first step in truly pursuing public justice.  Or put differently, who is the Culture’s God: The Self, the State, or the Sovereign One?  And, because “law is a backstage pass to theology,” how we answer that question shapes how we order the public square.

The Law’s Response to Spiritual Harm
Presenter:  John Copeland Nagle, John N. Matthews Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School
Spiritual harms have been overlooked in much of the otherwise excellent recent writing regarding religious legal theory.  To address that omission, this talk looks at three instances in which people have made allegations that they have suffered such a harm:  the claims of religious believers that they are forced to engage in practices that are contrary to their beliefs, the effects of religious observances and symbols on nonbelievers, and the management of land that is sacred to Native Americans.  In each instance, the law should empower those who seek to heed the teaching of Jesus, “Do no fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.”

Church/Non-Profit Workshops

Legal hotspots, risk management, and emerging issues for churches and nonprofits
Presenters:  Robert Showers and Dan Hebda, Simms Showers Law Firm
This fast-paced and interactive workshop will take you on whirlwind tour of some of the top legal issues that your church or nonprofit should think about in 2014.  If you suspect that your church or ministry may be facing legally sticky situations but you’re not sure what the issues are, or if your church or nonprofit Board is asking you legal questions that are not in your area of practice, this workshop is for you.  We will address topics including sending money to foreign entities and persons, incorporating and good governance, setting up effective Para-church or business-related ministries, regulating electronic use by employees, implementing meaningful child protection policies, religious healthcare issues, protecting and registering trademark and intellectual property, and funding or partnering with international ministries.  We will also look at some of the trending legal cases in the church/non-profit legal arena, including the Hobby Lobby, same sex marriage issues and the ministerial housing allowance case, and discuss what their impact is and could potentially become in the near future.

When Civil Liberties and Zoning Powers Collide
Presenter: Noel Sterett, Partner, Mauck & Baker
While zoning powers were given to municipalities as a tool to promote the public, health, safety, and welfare of a community, zoning codes are ever expanding in scope and are frequently being used to limit the civil liberties of those less popular. Small minority churches, crisis pregnancy centers, and homeless ministries are increasingly finding themselves zoned out of the communities they seek to serve. This session will focus on what you need to know to effectively defend the civil liberties of the ministries in your neighborhood from the local zoning powers. 

Enabling International Nonprofit Structures  - Operating Wisely and Legally Overseas  (being as wise as serpents and innocent as doves!)
Presenter:  Paul Martin, Solicitor, Wellers Law Group LLP (England)
The workshop will cover: Creating the right legal framework = maximizing the opportunities whilst minimizing the risks; joint Ventures with local entities; Sending monies overseas; visas and Work Permits - avoiding the traps; the "onion skin principle" and why it is vital; the attitude of emerging countries to NFP activity; and sourcing excellent local legal counsel.

Ethics Workshops

The Legal Ethics of Social Media
Presenter:  Phil Sechler, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Penn State University School of Law
This program will explore the ethical issues presented by the use of social media in modern law practice – including in the areas of advertising, informal discovery, and client communications.  Although the professional rules do not expressly mention social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, the familiar responsibilities of candor, confidentiality, and competence fully govern lawyers’ use of them.  We will explore how our ethical obligations apply to social media and review recent attempts of regulatory and advisory bodies to keep up with these emerging technologies.

Ethics in Legal Practice: A Discussion on Strategies and Suggestions for Living by the Spirit of the Law
Presenter:  Brian Tobin, The Tobin Law Office, P.C.
This workshop will focus on upholding and honoring the rules of professional conduct in the practice of law.  It will begin with a brief lecture and discussion of historical sources that implicate, reference, or allude to the legal profession and ethical principles.  It will continue with a brief lecture and discussion of select rules of professional conduct.  And it will conclude with a brief lecture of the relationship between morality and the rules, as well as a discussion on suggestions and strategies for adopting a lifestyle aligned with the essence of ethical conduct.

Christian Legal Aid Workshops

Criminal Law and Christian Legal Aid– Restoration and Redemption
Presenters:  Gretchen Slusser, Executive Director at Cabrini Green Legal Aid, and Beth Johnson, Director, Legal Programs, Cabrini Green Legal Aid
Workshop will explore practical ways that Criminal Law can be practiced in a Christian legal aid clinic.  The workshop will include a Criminal 101 discussion and will also include a session about how Criminal law can be used to help clients with restoration and redemption. 

Christian Legal Aid Panel
Presenters:  C.J. Masimore, Executive Director, Open Hands Legal Services; Patricia Gandy, Executive Director at Mission First Legal Aid; Jim Helfrich, Attorney Coordinator, Christian Legal Clinic Metro Denver; Jessie Fahy, Executive Director at Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles; Gretchen Slusser, Executive Director at Cabrini Green Legal Aid
This panel will briefly touch on several aspects of Christian legal aid.  The goal will be to give the attendees an accurate picture of what a successful legal aid clinic looks like as it is being planned, established, and ran, including:  office setup and management; building a strong board; ethics; making low resources work; training, and typical issues.  The panel will be useful for both new and seasoned legal aid participants and volunteers.             

Pro-Life Workshop

Abortion and the War on Women
Presenter:  Ovide Lamontagne, General Counsel, Americans United for Life
This workshop will explore how focusing on women’s health and the harms to women caused by abortion is a key to eroding and ultimately reversing Roe v. Wade.

Work-Life Balance Workshops

Wonder Woman – Navigating the Challenges of Filings, Faith, and Family
Moderator:  Jamie Grosshans, Plant Street Law Firm 
Can the modern woman really have it all? What does it take to stand as a Christian woman in today’s legal community? Do you feel empowered or just stressed? How can you advocate for your client but still maintain a gracious demeanor? Does the “perfect balance” between career and family seem to be a elusive goal? How can you advance your career and keep your faith strong? This workshop will highlight a panel of women who have experience in the public and private sectors of the law and will feature frank and encouraging dialogue about the unique challenges and privileges of being a female Christian attorney in this obstacle laden world.

Career Options Panel
Presenters:  Brent Amato, Vice President and General Counsel for Heritage Crystal Clean; Sylvia Chen, Senior Patent Counsel, Motorola Mobility LLC.; Kevin Outterson, Professor of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights, Boston University School of Law
Wondering how your faith might be important in various areas of law practice? Still undecided about what path to pursue? Come hear from and talk with attorneys about their own career and educational paths. Panelists have experience in big firms, small firms, Christian firms, government work, and in-house jobs. Feel free to come with questions!     

Spiritual Formation Workshops

The Advocate’s Advocate – Practicing Law in the Power of the Holy Spirit
Presenter:  Robert Trierweiler, Senior Legal Counsel and Director of Legal Ministries for Campus Crusade for Christ
In our own strength and power, we cannot consistently practice law in a manner that brings glory to Jesus Christ, our Lord.  It is Impossible!  Only when we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, can we hope to achieve this goal.  This seminar will introduce the Advocates’ Advocate, the Holy Spirit, and give a brief Biblically based understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and what His role is in our life as a Christ-following lawyer.  The focus will then turn to practical steps that can be taken to walk day-by-day and minute-by-minute in the power of the Holy Spirit so that we might bring forth the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) in our practice of law.  It is the difference between futility and fulfillment; between making a living and making a difference for Christ’s Kingdom.

Seven Things Books Can Do: Reminders About Why Reading Is a Vital Spiritual Discipline
Presenter:  Byron Borger, Owner, Hearts & Minds Books
Our resident bookseller from Hearts & Minds Bookstore will inspire us to read widely and seriously, offering 7 reminders about why reading is important and to be valued for the Christian leader.  Along the way there will be plenty of book references, suggestions of good authors, ideas for topics, themes, authors and titles.

 Life AfterThe Practice of Law-One Lawyer’s Exit Strategy
Presenter:  Brent Amato, Vice President and General Counsel for Heritage Crystal Clean
Few lawyers consider, much less have one.  Why?  How can you be content but cautious in your calling to the profession of law?  What standard “retirement criteria” should not be part of a Christian lawyer’s “exit strategy”?  What can be detours or impediments to the process?  What should be the criteria? What are four “non-negotiables” for executing such a strategy?  Come consider one who, after years of wrestling with the concept, is in the midst of “final countdown to take off”!

Human Trafficking Workshops

The Locust Effect--Why the End of Global Poverty Requires the End of Violence
Presenter:  Eric Ha, General Counsel, International Justice Mission
A hidden plague of everyday violence--rape, kidnapping, police abuse, forced labor, land grabbing, human trafficking--victimizes billions in the developing world.  Until the poor have access to functioning public justice systems that restrain the hands that perpetrate these abuses, traditional efforts to combat global poverty will continue to be undermined by this pervasive problem of violence. Learn how International Justice Mission is working to rescue thousands, protect millions, and prove that justice for the poor is possible.

Human Trafficking: Priceless Goods
Presenter:  Wendy L. Patrick, JD, PhD, National Chief Instructor and Director of Sex Crimes Training Operations for the National Law Center for Children and Families
San Diego Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick spends her days prosecuting criminals who earn their living marketing priceless goods – human beings.  Image bearers of God. Human trafficking is a crime many people have only seen on television documentaries, and believe happens in other countries.  In reality, human trafficking is taking place right in our own backyard. Debunking the stereotypical image of trafficking victims as young women imprisoned and chained, this program will discuss the “invisible chains” that bind trafficking victims – which are often stronger than physical chains.  It will discuss what to look for in terms of identifying red flags displayed by both predators and victims that often fly under the radar, in order to be better able to recognize the signs of exploitation associated with this insidious crime. This program will cover the laws relating to human trafficking, new developments both federal and state, and how evolving laws affect the way human trafficking cases are handled.  It will also discuss many of the practical challenges and issues that arise when handling human trafficking cases, stemming from the relational dynamics between traffickers, victims, and witnesses. This program will also discuss the unique and sensitive issues involved with working with human trafficking victims  - many of whom do not present as the typical crime “victim.”  It will include a discussion of victim-law enforcement interaction, immunity concerns, and impeachment.

Practice Specific/Practical Workshops

Principles of Christian Advocacy: Trial Tips and Techniques for the Christian Litigator
Presenter:  Justin Vaughn, The Vaughn Law Offices
In the legal profession, there are ongoing challenges and temptations which might lead us to stray from Biblical principles.  This presentation is a thorough review of how to be a successful litigator while retaining Christian integrity.  In every aspect of litigation, including settlement conferences, discovery and investigation, and trial, there are effective, Christ-like techniques for success.  It is entirely possible for accomplished trial lawyers to demonstrate the love of Christ and accomplish justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord. 

Restorative Justice and the Law:  A Framework for Translating Restorative Justice Principles Into Policy Solutions
Presenters:  Jesse Wiese, Policy Analyst, Justice Fellowship, Prison Fellowship Ministries and Heather Rice-Minus, Senior Policy Advisor, Justice Fellowship at PFM
An informative session on the status quo of our criminal justice system and how restorative justice principles can provide effective policy solutions.  This session will challenge the current cultural concepts of justice that involve victims, communities, and lawbreakers.      

Attorney fee-shifting: How to get paid in the modern, contingent fee marketplace
Presenter:  Andy Norman, Mauck & Baker, LLC
Fee-shifting has become a common method of payment throughout the United States for attorney litigation services rendered on behalf of those with meritorious cases who lack resources to pay. This includes civil rights, constitutional law, consumer and environmental protection, employment disputes, breaches of business contracts, landlord/tenant disputes, and many more.  Upon prevailing in court, or obtaining settlement, the practitioner will be entitled to a reasonable attorney’s fee from his client’s adversary.  The outline and workshop will focus on the basics of fee-shifting such as guidelines from the courts on the ten do’s and don’ts in time keeping records, the basic principles of calculating the lodestar including determining reasonable hourly rates in the locale, the contents of the fee-petition and supporting declarations, and using the code of ethics and “related claims” doctrines to best avoid having fees reduced.

Labor & Employment Issues for Non L&E Attorneys
Presenter:  Jeff Fowler, Partner, Laner Muchin, Ltd.
The workshop will provide an overview of the labor and employment laws.  The program is designed primarily for those attorneys whose practice does not concentrate on these topics to help them spot issues as they arise.  In addition, there will be an emphasis on employment-related religious discrimination and accommodation issues.

Render to Caesar the Things That Are Caesar’s and to God the Things That Are God’s:  The Ascendancy of Tax Planning for Estate Planning Clients
Presenter:  Case Hoogendoorn, Senior Partner, Hoogendoorn & Talbot LLP
2013 saw an end to historically low income tax rates for the well-to-do. The return of the phase down/out of itemized deductions and personal exemptions, the introduction of a higher capital gains tax rate, the 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income and an equivalent higher Medicare tax on higher earned income and the return of the 39.6 income tax rate, all applicable to higher income Americans and to trusts with retained income over $12,000, even as the federal estate tax exemption has increased dramatically, has changed tax planning for estate planners. Pre-year end planning is more important than ever. The value of charitable giving, including the use of charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts, has risen significantly. The session also will touch on estate planning in a post estate tax world and on threats to the charitable deduction in income tax reform discussions.       

Health Care Sharing Ministries and the Affordable Care Act
Presenter:  Paul Brodersen is the Deputy General Counsel for Samaritan Ministries International
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires individuals to purchase abortion-subsidizing insurance policies. However, the ACA exempts certain individuals from this requirement, including members of “Health Care Sharing Ministries” as defined in 26 USC 5000A(d)(2)(B). This workshop will give a brief overview of Health Care Sharing Ministries operations and the relation to plausible clients, nonprofits, churches, employers, and individuals. Additionally, this workshop will present different opportunities for religious and other employers to make informed decisions on how to react to the current health care legal changes.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  How to be Your Best in the Worst of Litigation
Presenter:  Michael Gillis, Gillis & Bikofsky, P.C.
Ever faced the difficult litigator, insurer, or client and wonder how to perform at your best when others are showing you their worst?  This workshop will discuss the difficulties faced by ethical lawyers in the heat of litigation on hotly contested matters. Using as examples from insurance bad faith claims, dram shop litigation, and related topics, the workshop will discuss practical steps that can be taken to assist ethical Christian lawyers from being mired down in the unsavory tactics of other counsel and clients while maintaining their integrity and succeeding through ethical advocacy.

Boston Tour Workshop

Beacon Hill Tour
Presenter:  Rev. Kevin M. Ford, InterVaristy Christian Fellowship Graduate/Faculty Ministry Team Leader, MIT
Two of Boston’s most famous nicknames originated with Massachusetts founder John Winthrop: “The City on a Hill” — and Oliver Wendell Holmes:  “The Hub of the Universe”.  Both were talking about Beacon Hill, Boston’s most famous neighborhood and since 1790 the center of its social, political, and intellectual life.  A stroll of its gaslit streets will include the homes of Daniel Webster, SCOTUS Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Sec. of State John Kerry, “Neutron Jack” Welch, abolitionist sites and Underground Railroad escape routes—and the inspiration for the television show “Cheers”.



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