MIAMI (August 26, 2011) — As part of the American Bar Association’s response to the massive earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, McDermott partner Anthony N. Upshaw will lead a special conference this weekend in Port-au-Prince focused on providing vitally-needed advocacy training to Haitian lawyers.
The massive quake was devastating to Haiti, leaving over 200,000 dead, over 300,000 injured, and at least one million citizens homeless. The ABA Section of Litigation resolved to do all it could to help restore the rule of law in the wake of the disaster.
“The capacity of the Haitian court system was severely strained by the earthquake even as demand for legal services dramatically increased,” noted Upshaw, who was named co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Special Project to Assist Haitian Attorneys in August 2010. “As the ABA assessed the damage, the challenge was how we could make the most meaningful impact in Haiti under these extreme circumstances.”
To get the effort started, Upshaw spearheaded discussions with Haitian lawyers, the Haitian Bar, the Minister of Justice and numerous international organizations, and together the parties determined that the best way they could help was to provide advocacy training in Port-au-Prince in a workshop fashion. These workshops involve lawyers from both countries learning from each other and providing guidance and insight on oral advocacy, written materials, argument structure and development and the application of international laws.
“On behalf of the McDermott management, we are delighted to note Tony’s leadership on such a pressing and vitally important cause,” said Lazar P. Raynal, McDermott’s Firm-wide Head of Trial. “Tony and his team will be making important contributions to Haitian society that will help advance the rule of law, promote human rights, and assure meaningful access to justice for all Haitian people. Through this work, Tony honors the best traditions of our profession.”
The inaugural conference of the Special Project to Assist Haitian Attorneys opens today, August 26, at the Karibe hotel in Port-au-Prince and runs through Sunday, August 28th. Some eleven faculty members from across the US and Canada will be offering instruction to the 37 Haitian lawyers who will be attending.
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