CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association has convened a symposium to address legal issues surrounding women’s reproductive rights.
The purpose of the seminar is to educate not only attorneys, physicians hospitals and clinics, but also women all over Ohio about the nuances of the new legal landscape.
The symposium will take place Monday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Conference Center in downtown Cleveland, and will be simultaneously webcast on Zoom and Facebook. The symposium is free and open to the public.
The need for the legal profession to come together in an organized fashion, consolidate their knowledge base, and provide clear and consistent advice to potential clients became evident early on following the Supreme Court Ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, said the symposium’s moderator Ian Friedman of Friedman & Nemecek.
The rapid enactment of new laws in Ohio, he says, raised a whole set of unprecedented legal questions that he and his colleagues found themselves being asked to address almost immediately.
“This is the largest shift in the legal landscape that most lawyers have encountered in their professional careers, and the advice that is needed is not tomorrow, it’s needed now,” said Friedman. “Individuals and professionals have questions and they need the lawyers to answer them.”
And, it would appear, there is plenty of interest. Close to 500 people are registered. Friedman expects there will be many, with an anticipated high number of registrations the day of the event and the day before.
The symposium will focus on the laws in Ohio and the impact of laws in surrounding states on Ohioans. Topics will include legal issues related to medical procedures, effective legal representation, and the new legalities of reproductive health for medical and social service providers. But most important, Friedman said, is that bringing everyone together for these discussions puts them on the same page.
“What’s always important in the law is consistency. And so how better to get consistency than to have everybody in the same place at the same time so that we can leave having heard the same thing.”
In addition, a “legal strike force” comprised of experienced lawyers across the state who understand this area of law and can be relied upon to give sound advice in real time, is being formed explained Friedman. The members of this coalition will be working together as a team, and will be announced at the symposium, he said.
The symposium is sponsored by many organizations, including the Cleveland and Toledo Bar associations, several independent legal firms, the American Civil Liberties Union, Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland and Northern Ohio.
“I expect this will be the first of many,” said Friedman. “As these issues unfold and case law evolves, education is just going to have to be routine, as it is in every other area of the law.”