I will have the honor of serving as the moderator on a panel at the American Bar Association’s conference in Washington, D.C. today. The panel is entitled “Stranger in a Strange Land: Cross Cultural Issues in the Courts.” This is part of an internationally successful program organized by Judge Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway of U.S. Court of International Trade. Judge Ridgway has brought together jurists and lawyers from around the world to discuss difficult cultural issues that are increasingly appearing in criminal and civil cases. These cases deal with arguments or defenses that turn on the cultural norms or practices of a given defendant or litigant. The cases have forced the question of when and how courts should recognize such defenses.
I will be appearing at 9 am at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill with Judge Ridgeway, Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Dr. Mark J. Mills, the renowned forensic psychiatrist.
We will be discussing some of the more difficult cases and allowing the audience to participate as a “jury” in voting on the use of the cultural defense in these different situations.