ABA Conference: Stranger in a Strange Land: Cross Cultural Issues in the Courts

What does “the rule of law” mean in today’s multi-cultural society?

In a growing number of cases in state and federal courts all across the country, immigrants are pleading “the cultural defense” – invoking the customs and traditions of their homelands to explain their actions. Even when it is not raised per se, culture plays a role in many cases – both civil and criminal.

In this engaging and highly-interactive presentation, audience members will use hand-held TrialGraphix technology to “vote” on the outcome of vignettes drawn from fascinating and controversial real-life cases “ripped from the headlines” and presented by an inter-disciplinary panel of some of the nation’s leading cross-cultural experts.

Does the adage that “all men are presumed to know the law” apply to recent immigrants? Should immigrants be held to the same standards as everyone else, on the theory of “When in Rome . . . ?”
You be the judge!

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Moderator Professor Jonathan Turley • George Washington University School of Law • Frequent TV Commentator • Contributor, USA Today
Panelists Professor Alison Dundes Renteln • Professor of Political Science and Anthropology – USC • Lawyer and Author, “The Cultural Defense”
Rene L. Valladares • Chief of the Trial/Appellate Division • Office of the Federal Public Defender – Las Vegas • Editor/Contributor, “Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense”
Mark J. Mills, J.D., M.D. • Forensic Sciences Medical Group – Washington, D.C. • Nationally-renowned forensic psychiatrist Hon. Bernice B. Donald • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee • Frequent consultant on international rule of law issues
Program Chair Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway • U.S. Court of International Trade – New York
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Book Signing Professor Renteln will be signing copies of her award-winning book, The Cultural Defense, following the program. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

ABA 2008 Midyear Meeting February 6-12 • Los Angeles www.abanet.org/jd/ncftj

SPONSORED BY: ABA Judicial Division, Nation Conference of Federal Trial Judges and a large, diverse group of Co Sponsors.

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