Liability arising out of §1983 claims continues to present challenges for courts across the country, and the Supreme Court has a large impact in this dynamic area of law. Join us for this two-day in-person conference to get up-to-date on the latest cases, trends, and strategies affecting §1983 litigation. You have the opportunity to examine both the law of §1983 as well as the litigation strategies that underlie successful cases. Experts in the field address the most important issues and provide wisdom for you as you tackle this year’s cases, whether you represent plaintiffs or defendants. As always, the conference provides an analytical approach to problems and offers practical advice about how to solve them.
This conference is in-person ONLY and will not be live-streamed. On-demand video will be available 14-28 days after the conference.
The conference will be held in Oglivie Auditorium on the first floor.
CONFERENCE HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS
Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop
25 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60661
Group Code: KL6
ADDITIONAL HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS
Homewood Suites by Hilton West Loop
118 N Jefferson, Chicago, IL 60661
Club Quarters Hotel, Central Loop
111 West Adams Street, Next to the Rookery and near LaSalle, Chicago, Illinois 60603
Phone: (312) 214-6400
Sheldon H. Nahmod is a well-known expert on constitutional law, the First Amendment, civil rights and liberties and the law of Section 1983. He is the author of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 (2022-23 edition; West/Westlaw); A Section 1983 Civil Rights Anthology (1993); a casebook, Constitutional Torts (5th edition 2020) (with Wells & Smith); and numerous law review articles. He has written many certiorari petitions and amicus briefs in the Supreme Court. He has also successfully argued civil rights cases in the Supreme Court and the First, Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits. In addition, he has lectured on civil rights matters to federal judges and attorneys throughout the country, including organizing and speaking at Chicago-Kent's own annual Conference on Section 1983, now in its 39th year. Further, he lectures to lay groups on constitutional law and the First Amendment.
Nahmod graduated from the University of Chicago, Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Divinity School (1996). He practiced with a corporate law firm in Chicago and was a legal services staff attorney before entering academia. He also was a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School, where he earned an LL.M. After joining Chicago-Kent, he served as associate dean for three years, and was named IIT University Distinguished Professor in 1992. Over the years he has won awards for his teaching, most recently the Brill Award from the Student Bar Association. He was named University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2018.
Nahmod has served as chair of the Sections on Civil Rights, Law and Education and Law and Religion of the Association of American Law Schools. He founded and for many years co-directed Chicago-Kent's Institute for Law and the Humanities. In 2001, he received the Jefferson Fordham Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Section 1983 jurisprudence from the American Bar Association's Section on State and Local Government Law. In 2018, he received the Abner Mikva Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Constitution Society for his contributions to civil rights and liberties.
Nahmod blogs on Section 1983, constitutional law, the First Amendment and other law-related topics at nahmodlaw.com.
Gerald M. Birnberg is a 50+-year lawyer whose practice has been focused on civil rights litigation, primarily on the plaintiff’s side. The founding partner of Williams, Birnberg & Andersen, LLP in Houston, Texas, he is certified as a specialist in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a life fellow of the College of the State Bar of Texas, and an adjunct professor of law at South Texas College of Law-Houston, teaching a seminar course on recent United States Supreme Court cases.
Upon completing law school at the University of Texas in 1971, Mr. Birnberg served as a law clerk to the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He has been in private practice since that time, concentrating on complex litigation and appeals. Mr. Birnberg has appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States (either on the briefs or in oral argument) on several occasions, including arguing Farrar v. Hobby, 506 U.S. 103 (1992). He is admitted to practice before seven federal circuits, and has been involved in more than 100 appellate cases.
From 2003 to 2012, Mr. Birnberg was Chair of the Democratic Party of Harris County, Texas. He also served on Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Task Force on Policing Reform and is a member the Houston Independent Police Oversight Board.
A frequent lecturer, Mr. Birnberg has made numerous presentations to state and local bar seminars and published articles on attorney’s fees in civil rights cases and other topics. He also testified before the Committee on Education and Labor of the United States House of Representatives concerning the attorney’s fees provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1990.
Mr. Birnberg has represented fee claimants in major attorney’s fees litigation on a number of occasions and has been involved in several cases in which the amount of fees in issue exceeded $1 million.
Karen Blum is a Professor Emerita and Research Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School where she has taught for over forty years in the areas of Federal Courts, Police Misconduct Litigation, and Civil Procedure. She received her B.A. from Wells College, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, and an LL. M. from Harvard Law School. Professor Blum has been a regular faculty participant in Section 1983 Civil Rights Programs and Institutes throughout the United States. Since 1990, she has served as a faculty member for workshops sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center for Federal District Court and Federal Magistrate Judges. She has authored numerous articles in the Section 1983 area, including a piece entitled Qualified Immunity: Time to Change the Message, 93 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1887 (2018). She is co-author, along with Michael Avery, David Rudovsky, and Jennifer Laurin of the treatise Police Misconduct: Law and Litigation.
Erwin Chemerinsky became the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law on July 1, 2017, when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law.
Prior to assuming this position, from 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at University of California, Irvine School of Law. Before that he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and from 1983-2004 was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. From 1980-1983, he was an assistant professor at DePaul College of Law.
He is the author of sixteen books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. His most recent books are Worse than Nothing: The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism (September 2022) and Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights (2021).
He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He is a contributing writer for the Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, and writes regular columns for the Sacramento Bee, the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court.
In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States. In 2022, he was the President of the Association of American Law Schools. He received his B.S. at Northwestern University and his J.D. at Harvard Law School.
Jamie Franklin joined the Chicago-Kent College of Law faculty in August 2020 as supervising attorney of the C-K Law Group’s Civil Litigation Clinic. Her practice areas include employment discrimination and retaliation, wage and hour law, qui tam (False Claims Act) litigation, class actions, and other complex litigation on behalf of plaintiffs. She also teaches employment-related classes at the Law School. More information about her clinic’s cases can be found at the Civil Litigation Clinic’s website.
From 2011 to 2020, Professor Franklin owned and operated the Franklin Law Firm in Chicago, where she litigated extensively in federal and state courts nationwide on behalf of plaintiffs in the areas of employment discrimination, class actions, wage and hour law, employee benefits, consumer law, qui tam (False Claims Act) and whistleblower litigation, oil and gas royalties, and historic preservation law. Her goal was to provide the highest level of legal representation to those who were historically outmaneuvered in the legal arena. She also successfully resolved many employment disputes in mediation and arbitration and handled numerous appeals.
Before starting her own firm, Professor Franklin was a partner and an associate at Meites, Mulder, Mollica & Glink, a plaintiff-side firm in Chicago that specialized in employment matters, class actions, and consumer law. There, she practiced in federal courts throughout the country, seeking to bring cases that served two goals: to help the employee or plaintiff in need and to have a broader impact on an area of the law affecting plaintiffs. Prior to that, she practiced consumer law at Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin. Professor Franklin’s interest in plaintiff’s law extended to law school, where she was awarded a Consumer Law Fellowship while attending the University of Chicago Law School that enabled her to represent consumers at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.
Professor Franklin is a member of the Illinois State Bar and the federal Trial Bar, and she is admitted to numerous federal circuit and district courts. She is rated as AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and was selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer each year from 2017 until she joined Chicago-Kent's faculty.
Rosalie Levinson was the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Professor of Law and a Senior Research Professor at Valparaiso Law School, where, for 43 years, she taught constitutional law, civil rights litigation, and federal practices.
She previously worked as a staff attorney for a public interest organization and has been involved in substantial litigation. She has argued several civil rights cases before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and has been a frequent lecturer for continuing legal education programs, including those sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center for Federal Judges and the Practice Law Institute. In addition, she has team taught with Justices Scalia, Ginsburg and Thomas in conjunction with Valparaiso University School of Law’s summer program in Cambridge, England.
Professor Levinson received her J.D. at Valparaiso University School of Law (1973), her M.A. at Indiana University (Woodrow Wilson Fellow) (1970), and her B.A. at Indiana University (Phi Beta Kappa) (1969).
Noah Smith-Drelich is an assistant professor of law at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. His scholarship seeks to better understand the incentive structures underlying tort law, with a current focus on constitutional torts. Smith-Drelich also writes on the constitutional right to travel. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Ohio State Law Journal, Florida Tax Review, Southern California Law Review (twice), Indiana Law Journal, Public Health Nutrition, and Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, as well as the California Law Review Online and Texas Law Review Online.
In addition to his academic research, Smith-Drelich maintains an active pro bono practice in civil rights and civil liberties impact litigation with a focus on indigenous rights and environmental justice. Currently, Smith-Drelich is the originating attorney and lead counsel on Thunderhawk v. County of Morton, a putative class action lawsuit challenging police abuses related to the Standing Rock-led resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The case is in discovery against two defendants. The remaining defendants filed an interlocutory appeal of the district court's denial of their motions to dismiss, which Smith-Drelich argued in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in February 2022.
Before joining the legal academy, Smith-Drelich worked as a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming affiliate, and as an attorney at the litigation boutique Korein Tillery. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School, where he was an articles editor on the Stanford Law Review and the editor-in-chief of the Stanford Law & Policy Review.
A review of the current law and cutting edge issues with regard to absolute and qualified immunity.
In this session, Professor Blum will address the following:
A review of the major decisions from October 2021 (including on abortion rights, gun rights, and separation of church and state) and a preview of the current, October 2023 term (including affirmative action, civil rights, election law, and freedom of speech and religion)
Section 1983 litigation has given rise to a number of interesting questions associated with remedies. In this session, we will discuss compensatory and punitive damages, as well as issues related to injunctive relief.
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