CONFERENCE PREVIEW

The ABA conference will play host to the former chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff who will be speaking on 'The management of crisis and change'. The former White House press secretary may impart useful information gleaned from a recent stint with President Clinton.

As Clinton is aware, the media plays a dominant role in the legal profession and, as is to be expected from the country whose airwaves are swamped by the OJ Simpson trial, there will be a mock hearing before a judge on the issue of cameras in the courtroom. This will be followed by a panel discussion among lawyers and judges, including Steve Brill from the American Lawyer.

There will be a demonstration of the role of experts as performing artists, which will give examples of how to use discs, video and "eyecatching demonstrative evidence to play a pivotal role in the courts".

Delegates from the UK may be more interested in a US-UK panel discussion on 'How to make international clients happy'. There is also a talk entitled 'Saying goodbye to hourly billing', as well as the intriguing ABA Dignity in Advertising Awards.

One of the social highlights will be the section of litigation dinner at Navy Pier with Martha and the Vandellas providing the entertainment. And no doubt following the new ABA president's remarks on 'Public rights, private justice: internationally sanctioned violence against women', as well as a dissection of the sexual harassment jury trial, all the delegates will be on their best behaviour.,