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ABA Offering Free Legal Ed Classes to Lawyers Hit by Shutdown

Jan. 10, 2019, 8:14 PM

The American Bar Association is offering free continuing legal education classes to all lawyers affected by the partial federal government shutdown—including those who aren’t ABA members, the group said today.

The CLE classes, also open to non-lawyer government workers, include programs on legal ethics, disaster response, and healthcare data breaches.

“This is a way to help lawyers during this difficult time who do so much for the country,” ABA Executive Director Jack Rives said in a press release.

The partial shutdown is nearly three weeks old. The government closures have affected about 800,000 workers, according to reports. If a compromise isn’t reached before Saturday, it will become the longest work stoppage in federal history.

The shutdown is the result of a standoff between President Donald Trump, who is demanding that Congress authorize $5.7 billion in funding for construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, and congressional Democrats who have resisted Trump’s order.

Affected federal workers will miss their first paycheck tomorrow. Meanwhile, Trump has said the stoppage could last months “or even years.”

On Jan. 18, U.S. district courts are set to run out of funds. Federal criminal cases and other court matters deemed “essential” will proceed, but civil cases will be postponed or suspended.

The ABA’s offer is good through the end of February, according to the release. Lawyers taking the classes for credit have six months to complete them after registering.

The programs offered by the ABA include:

  • Government Lawyers’ Ethical Duties: Staying Current Amid 21st Century Changes
  • Flying Through Government Thunder Clouds: Navigating Cloud Procurements, Cybersecurity & Regulatory Issues in the Public Sector
  • The False Claims Act and Government Contracts: The Intersection of Federal Government Contracts, Administrative Law, and Civil Fraud
  • Disaster Resiliency: How Tax Attorneys Can Assist When a Disaster Strikes
  • Anatomy of a Healthcare Data Breach — HIPAA, FTC, and EU GDPR Implications

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at sskolnik@bloomberglaw.com

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