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Joe Whitley to Chair 11th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute

Ernie Abbott and Alisa Chestler Among Speakers

(Washington, D.C. / July 26, 2016) The 11th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute (HSLI), presented by the American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, is taking place on August 24 – 25. Joe D. Whitley, a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C. and Atlanta offices and chair of the Firm's Government Enforcement and Investigations Group, is the founder and chair of HSLI.

This year's HSLI will examine the state of security from infrastructure to exports, immigration to chemical safety and the roles of the Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement, the military, FEMA, the National Protection and Programs Directorate, the NSA, the FBI, the CIA and the legal profession in keeping the country secure.

"From the terrorist attack on America in September 2001 to Katrina's ravaging of New Orleans to the most recent acts of domestic terrorism in San Bernardino, Orlando and Dallas, there is one common denominator: homeland security and the myriad of legal and policy issues that both the private and corporate lawyer must understand in representing their clients effectively in these and other situations," said Mr. Whitley. "The American Bar Association's Homeland Security Law Institute is for lawyers who want to know more about the legal and policy issues associated with homeland security.‎ Over a two-day period, lawyers who practice in some or even all of the disciplines available on the program will be presented with the latest legal tools to give them a professional advantage. The agenda is geared to give the practitioner first-hand access to the legal leadership of the Department of Homeland Security in a range of areas including cybersecurity, immigration enforcement, emergency response, supply chain, customs enforcement, privacy laws, the U.S. SAFETY Act and U.S. oversight of foreign acquisition of critical American infrastructure."

HSLI, which this year will feature panels taught by more than 100 experts in homeland and national security law and policy, is the only program of its kind developed for lawyers and others interested in cutting edge legal issues surrounding topics such as cybersecurity and drone usage. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network with representatives from government agencies, the military, private practice and academia.

In addition to chairing the HSLI, Mr. Whitley will moderate a panel discussing "Homeland Security and the Private Sector – A General Counsel's Perspective" (9:00 – 10:00 a.m., Thursday, August 25). Also included among the speakers are two other Baker Donelson attorneys: 

  • Ernie Abbott, former general counsel of FEMA and Baker Donelson Emergency Management and Disaster Recovery practice leader, will moderate "Legal & Policy Considerations in Emergency Management" (Breakout Session I, 10:55 a.m. – 12:25 p.m., Wednesday, August 24).
  • Alisa Chestler, chair of Baker Donelson's Privacy and Information Security Team and a Certified Information Privacy Professional, will be a panelist on "A Challenge for All: Preserving Privacy and Ensuring Data Security" (1:15 – 2:45 p.m., Wednesday, August 24).

Mr. Whitley represents clients nationally and internationally in white-collar criminal matters and regulatory enforcement, corporate internal investigations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.S. export controls and compliance. Prior to joining the firm, he had a wide-ranging career in the Department of Justice. Mr. Whitley also served under five U.S. Attorneys General and four presidents in a number of key operational and policy positions, including his appointment in 2003 by President George W. Bush as the first General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the highest-ranking legal official in DHS. Mr. Whitley continues to have a Homeland Security practice, and he has chaired the ABA's Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Homeland Security Law Institute for the last 11 years.

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