The total attendance at last weeks annual conference at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington was 227, including 147 NAFUSA members. It was the largest attendance in NAFUSA’s 38 year history. President Bart Daniel and his wife, Cindy, along with the planning committee, are to be commended on their efforts in organizing what many considered the best conference ever.On Friday evening, Bart passed the gavel to Hal Hardin, who was elected NAFUSA’s newest president. Hal announced the 2018 conference will be held in Nashville on October 24-26. The following were elected officers for 2017-2018: Terry Flynn, president elect; Paul Coggins, vice president; Karen Hewitt, secretary; Chuck Stevens, treasurer, and Bart Daniel, immediate past president.
The NAFUSA board serves three year terms, and Bart thanked the class of 2017, whose terms have ended: Zach Carter, Ken Wainstein, Chuck Stevens, Bob Miller and Neil MacBride. The following were elected as the class of 2020: Ann Tompkins, Donna Bucella, Ken Wainstein, Paul Charlton, and John Richter.The conference opened on Wednesday evening with a reception, sponsored by Ernst & Young, on the Jones Day rooftop, perhaps the finest venue in D.C., with its commanding view of the Capitol. CLE programs began on Thursday morning. Following a welcome from Jessie Liu, the US Attorney for the District of Columbia and the traditional introduction of sponsors and the roundhouse introduction of members, the Bradford Award was presented to Evan Norris. Jack Selden led an outstanding panel on the False Claims Act, with Michael Granston, Jack Boese, Bill Nettles and Carmen Ortiz. NAFUSA members were then bused to DOJ for private meetings with DAG Rod Rosenstein, Associate AG Rachel Brand and Deputy EOUSA Director Norman Wong. Class reunions were held on Thursday evening. The Friday CLE program began with ethics presentation moderated by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, and featuring the three DOJ “watchdogs” Michael Horowitz, Robin Ashton and Scott Schools. It was followed by an outstanding Supreme Court panel moderated by the Adam Liptak of the New York Times and featuring Ted Olson, Paul Clement and Neal Katyal. Liptak mentioned that he had served on many Supreme Court panels, but none with this firepower. The three advocates have together argued more than 180 cases before the court, and are scheduled to argue most of the important cases currently pending this term. The final panel of the morning was on the impact of social media, moderated by Jay Stephens, with Paula Hannaford-Agor, Judge Herbert Dixon, and Demian Ahn.
On Friday afternoon, all enjoyed a luncheon cruise of the Potomac River. The conference closed with a dinner on Friday night at The Mayflower, featuring keynote speaker DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players’ Association.