IMAGE: "Sawtooth National Forest - Stanley, Idaho"


District of Idaho

Clerk of Court Stephen W. Kenyon

Public 1
U.S. Courts District of Idaho Seal
U.S. Courts Bench Bar Conference
2017 Conferences
2017 Bench Bar Conferences

The District of Idaho announces a humdinger of a program slate for the 2017 federal court Bench-Bar Conferences to be held in Coeur d’Alene on Friday, September 15th at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, and in Boise on Friday, November 3rd at the Boise Centre.

Always full of practical and thought-provoking program topics, you will learn about changing technologies in the world of Electronically Stored Information (remember when “ESI” was an acronym that meant nothing to you?) and best practices and pitfalls in ESI discovery in both civil and criminal cases.  In addition to the remarks from our chief judges about the “State of the Judiciary,” you will hear from our newest federal district judge, the Hon. David C. Nye, as well as our new Clerk of Court, Stephen Kenyon.  Then our lawyer-representatives along with several of our career staff attorneys will present a revamped judges’ panel program (more substance, less fluff) with questions from the Bar, tips from the Bench, and live audience polling of conference participants utilizing word cloud software and your smart phones.

You will examine the settings of your unconscious mind in a plenary session about unconscious biases that each of us bring to our work and to our interactions with other people – in court, in our offices, and in our communities – and you will learn about the impact of such biases upon decision making.  Afterwards, you will understand how to recognize and deal with unconscious biases, make better decisions, and eliminate the hidden barriers created by the unconscious mind.

Wait, there’s more!  Next will be a focused program on the use of expert economic witnesses in federal court litigation practice.  Seasoned attorneys will cover the nuts, bolts, nuances, headaches, horrors, joys, and other aspects of expert economists in discovery and trial in the types of cases in federal court where economists are commonly used.  Then learn more about the changing world of federal criminal prosecutions in a discussion between the United States Attorney for the District of Idaho and S. Richard Rubin, the executive director of the Federal Defender Services of Idaho, about the policy and direction of the Department of Justice under the Trump Administration.  It will be tremendous.

In Coeur d’Alene, we will reprise the well-received program held last year in Boise on Handling a Ninth Circuit Appeal – Preserving and Successfully Presenting Federal Appeals.  The Hon. N. Randy Smith and the Hon. Morgan Christen of the Ninth Circuit will give you the business on best practices, practical tips, and other pointers on how to preserve appellate issues, prepare persuasive briefs, and master oral argument.

The conference program will conclude with an extraordinary glimpse into Idaho and national legal history.  This year marks the 75th anniversary of the prosecution of the criminal cases which culminated in the well-known WWII era decisions of the United States Supreme Court involving the post-Pearl Harbor restrictions upon the movement of, curfews upon, and ultimately the forced relocation of American citizens and other persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast.  These cases, Korematsu, Hirabayashi, Matsui,and Endo, brought into direct conflict the provisions of our Constitution dealing with war powers and civil liberties. Nearly 10,000 of those relocated were brought to Jerome County and placed behind barbed wire and armed guard in the Minidoka War Relocation Camp, leaving behind their homes, businesses, and nearly the entirety of their property and possessions. Some were young men of military service age who first were denied the right to enter into military service, then later were allowed to volunteer for military service, and then yet later were made subject to the military draft. On a per capita basis, more Nisei (the first generation born in the United States, and therefore citizens) men from Minidoka served in WWII than from any other relocation camp in the country.  However, 35 of those Nisei men from Minidoka ordered to appear before the local selective service board refused induction into the armed services.  Each was prosecuted for draft evasion in federal court in Boise. Their trials were held before the Hon. Chase A. Clark, who only a few months earlier as Governor of Idaho had repeatedly and stridently opposed any relocation of persons of Japanese ancestry into Idaho.  In The Nisei Paradox: Japanese American WWII Draft Resisters, the remarkable history and story of those young men will be told in a one-act presentation of a fictionalized trial based upon the historic record of those cases. Written and directed by Jeffrey A. Thomson, a partner with the Elam & Burke law firm, this play explores the social and legal issues faced by the government, the military, the legal system and Idaho citizens, attorneys, judges and internees from Minidoka during a time of war. The events of that time, occurring in Idaho and elsewhere across the nation, provide a glimpse into the challenges of balancing individual rights with national security concerns.

Along with a great luncheon, good conversation, a chance to connect with old friends and make new acquaintances, and CLE credit (including that high value ethics credit), this will be the best CLE value and most interesting legal conference in the West.

Tell your friends, and we’ll see you there! 


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