The 2011 J. Reuben Clark Law Society Annual Conference was held Thursday through Saturday, 17-19 February, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Speakers and panels addressed the theme “Liberty through the Rule of Law.” Speakers included The Honorable Harriet Miers, Partner at Locke Lord and former White House Counsel; The Honorable Judge Michael Mukasey, former U.S. Attorney General; U.S. Ambassador Robert King, Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues; Elder Lance Wickman, General Counsel of the LDS Church, and BYU Law Dean James Rasband. Judges panels were led by Judges Catharina Haynes and Jennifer Elrod, US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; Justice Tom Lee; Utah Supreme Court; and Judges Jane Boyle, Sam Sparks, and Dee Benson, US District Courts. Topical panels discussed domestic legal developments, national security issues, professional relationships, and trends in religious, corporate, energy, and non-profit law. Panelists included lawyers from government (US Department of Justice), industry (ExxonMobil, Raytheon, Frito-Lay, BNSF), the private bar (including Sidley Austin, Bracewell & Giuliani, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Kirton & McConkie), and academia (University of Michigan, SMU, and BYU). Breakout discussion sessions by practice area reflected the diversity of professional experience among JRCLS professionals.
“Religious Liberty Law: The First Freedom at Home and Abroad” was the subject of a panel comprised of W. Cole Durham, Jr., Founder, BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Professor, BYU Law School; Kevin “Seamus” Hasson, Founder and President, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; Douglas Laycock, Professor, University of Virginia School of Law , with moderator Hannah C. Smith, Senior Counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
“The Laws of Many Nations: Perspectives from the Office of General Counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” was discussed by William F. Atkin, Associate General Counsel, Richard G. Johnson, Jr., Area Legal Counsel (Central America), Patrick J. Thurston, Area Legal Counsel (Caribbean), and William H. Wingo, Area Legal Counsel (South America South & Chile).