DC Conference Plans Announced

The NAFUSA DC Planning Committee, chaired by President Jay Stephens, has announced the early plans for this year’s NAFUSA conference to be held at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, DC, September 26-28, 2013.


On Saturday morning, September 28, NAFUSA member Ted Olson, shown left, will anchor a panel on the Supreme Court. Olson served as the solicitor general of the United States, 2001-2004. He also served as the assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel, 1981-1984. He is currently a partner in the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Earlier this year, Olson was named one of “The Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal.

In March, he argued the historic case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, challenging California Proposition 8, which overturned a State Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage. Yesterday  the United States Supreme Court held the the case was not properly before the court. California officials had declined to appeal the trial court’s decision and proponents of Proposition 8 were determined by the Supreme Court to lack standing to step into the state’s shoes. The ruling left in place the trial court victory for two same-sex couples who had sought to marry, and is considered a major victory for Olson and David Boies, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

Charlie Savage

On Friday afternoon, following the morning CLE, the conference will hold a luncheon at the J.W. Marriott, and Charlie Savage, shown left, will once again join us, for the fourth year in a row. Savage will moderate a panel on drones.  Savage is a Washington correspondent for The New York Times. Savage covered national legal affairs for the Boston Globe from 2003 to 2008. He received a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2007. His book about the growth of executive power, Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, was named one of the best books of 2007 by both Slate and Esquire.


When the conference officially opens on Friday morning, Ronald C. Machen, Jr., shown right, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, will welcome conference attendees to Washington. Machen was nominated  by President Barack Obama on December 24, 2009 and confirmed by the United States Senate on February 11, 2010. He also serves as a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.

Before Machen’s  appointment as U.S. Attorney, he was a partner at the law firm of Wilmer,  Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr and practiced in the firm’s Investigations and  Criminal Litigation group.  Before practicing at WilmerHale, Mr. Machen  served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the  District of Columbia from 1997 to 2001.
Machen joined the  U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1997 after having served as a law clerk to the  Honorable Damon J. Keith, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Sixth Circuit.  Mr. Machen graduated from Harvard Law School in  1994.

During his career, Machen has been repeatedly recognized for his professional accomplishments. In  2012, he received a “Visionary Award” from the Legal Times for helping  to advance the practice of law during his time as U.S. Attorney.  In 2008,  the National Law Journal named him one of the “50 Most Influential  Minority Lawyers in America.” In 2007, The American Lawyer identified  him as one of the “50 Most Promising Litigators in America Under the Age of  45,” and in 2006, the Washingtonian magazine named him one of D.C.’s  “Top 40 Lawyers Under 40.”

On Friday afternoon, NAFUSA members will be invited for a “Day at Justice” in the Great Hall at Main Justice, where we will meet with senior DOJ officials. The planning committee is also working on two additional panels; one of government enforcement hot topics and one of criminal litigation ethics. Details will be announced soon.

Conference social events will include a Thursday cocktail reception on the Jones Day rooftop overlooking the Capitol, Friday evening class reunion dinners, a Saturday Potomac River cruise, and a concluding Saturday evening banquet.