US Flag TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 2019
IMAGE: "Sawtooth National Forest - Stanley, Idaho"


District of Idaho

Clerk of Court Stephen W. Kenyon

Public 1
U.S. Courts District of Idaho Seal
U.S. Courts Bench Bar Conference
Moscow Agenda
2019 Moscow Agenda


Date: 13 September, 2019
University of Idaho
Bruce M. Pitman Center
709 Deakin Avenue, 83843
Moscow, Idaho

____ CLE credits (pending)

7:45 a.m.


8:00 a.m.


Honorable Ronald E. Bush, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge

8:10 a.m. 

State of the Judiciary

United States District and Bankruptcy Courts in Idaho

Honorable David C. Nye, Chief District Judge
Honorable Joseph M. Meier, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Honorable Richard C. Tallman, Senior Circuit Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

8:45 a.m.

A Silver Lining in the Silver Valley

William F. Boyd, Ramsden, Marfice, Ealy & Harris, LLP;
Darrell G. Early, Chief, Natural Resources Division, Office of the Idaho Attorney General;
Rob Hanson, Retired Environmental Cleanup Unit Manager, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (retired);
Curt A. Fransen, Retired Director, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (retired);
Clifford J. Villa, Associate Professor of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law and former attorney with the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10.

A SILVER LINING IN THE SILVER VALLEYThis program presents the remarkable story of how lawyers and the Idaho federal courts began the reversal and started remediation of decades of heavy metal mining pollution in the Coeur d’Alene River basin of North Idaho and changed opposing minds in doing so.

Considered by many to be the richest mining district in the world, the hard rock mines of the Silver Valley run deep into the earth and have yielded extraordinary riches of silver, lead, zinc and other minerals from the days when placer and later lode mining began in the 1860’s.  Companies and mines with names like Bunker Hill, Hecla, Lucky Friday, Day, Sunshine and others have followed the zigzagging ore veins miles deep underneath the mountains and steep canyons of Shoshone County. More than a century of tailings, holding ponds, mills and smelters created a landscape of toxic streams and poisoned soils, which led to serious and permanent damage to the environment and to human health.

In the 1980’s, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the State of Idaho filed lawsuits seeking to stop and repair the damage caused by the air and water pollution coming from the mining activities.  Soon thereafter the Environmental Protection Agency joined the fray, bringing the term “Potentially Responsible Party” into the Silver Valley and ultimately leading to the designation of one of the most profoundly polluted Superfund sites in the country. An uproar ensued in North Idaho and the legal proceedings created a political firestorm in Idaho and the Northwest. The financial stakes, which were as large in scope as the decades of pollution, led to one of the most significant bankruptcy cases in Idaho history when the Gulf Resources conglomerate which had purchased the Bunker Hill Company filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11.

Idaho lawyers and judges were at the center of these cases and helped write the environmental and legal history which unfolded as a result – a history which will continue to be created in the years ahead as consequences of heavy metal pollution remain and remediation efforts continue.  You will hear from these lawyers in a conversational setting, complete with photographs, maps and information which illustrate the history of the Silver Valley, describing the environmental catastrophe which was years in the making, the remediation efforts already accomplished and still continuing, and the essential role of lawyers and the courts in protecting Idahoans and their environment.  You’ll be interested in what you learn, surprised by what you didn’t know about this subject, and gratified by the work done by your profession in bringing important changes to the Silver Valley and beyond.  

Moderator: April Linscott - Lawyer Representative and Partner - Owens McCrea Linscott

10:45 a.m.

Morning Networking Break

11:00 a.m.

A Little Knowledge is a Necessary Thing – What the non-Bankruptcy Lawyer Needs to Know About Bankruptcy Law Issues in non-Bankruptcy Cases

Faculty: Tecla E. Druffel, TED BK, PLLC, Bob Faucher, Lawyer Representative and Partner, Holland & Hart LLP

Ever had that nagging worry that there might be a bankruptcy issue lurking in that new civil case that just came across your desk, or that an opposing party might be playing possum while a bankruptcy filing is waiting in the wing?  This program will feature lawyers and judges who know about such things talking about when and why you need to be aware of bankruptcy law issues and what you need to know.  Good medicine for helping you sleep through the night.

Moderator: Honorable Joseph M. Meier, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge 

11:30 p.m.

Luncheon (included with your paid registration)

Remarks from Jerrold Long, Dean, University of Idaho College of Lawa
Introduction of and remarks from C. Scott Green, 19th President of the University of Idaho

12:45 p.m.

Respectful Workplaces in the Field of Law – Employment Practices and Policies in the Federal Courts and Law Firms and an Employment Law Update 

Faculty: Honorable Candy W. Dale, U.S. Magistrate Judge and Member, Ninth Circuit Ad Hoc Committee and Workplace Environment;
Kara Heikkila, Principal, Witherspoon Kelley;
Melissa Luna, Landeck | Forseth | Luna, P.C.

In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, employers are reevaluating employment practices and policies to ensure a healthy and productive workplace.  The legal profession is no exception, including the courts.  Come hear about the efforts in the Ninth Circuit and District of Idaho to improve their employment practices and, policies, followed by a discussion of employment policies and practices your law firm and business clients should consider, including recent decisions addressing social media influences in employment law and other important employment law developments.

Moderator: DeAnne Casperson, Lawyer Representative and Partner - Casperson Ulrich Dustin PLLC                 

1:45 p.m. Afternoon Networking Break
2:10 p.m.

Tomorrow’s Lawyers Today – A Conversation with Law Students, Placement Officers and Hiring Partners About Expectations, Realities, and Changing Times

Faculty: Barry McHugh, Prosecutor, Kootenai County;
Kara Heikkila Principal, Witherspoon Kelley

Law Students:  Gaylen Edmo, Kierra Mai, Jennifer Tengono

In this rare opportunity, third year law students will describe their expectations for a career in law and how it fits their own lifestyle and hear from lawyers who hire and employ lawyers about how this generation of new lawyers is better or maybe just different than those who have come before.  Prepare to be educated, perhaps surprised, and gain a better insight about this generational change in our profession. Mobility seems to be the new norm, and flexibility seems to be the new expectation.

Moderator: The Honorable Ronald E. Bush, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge

2:40 p.m.

The Lawyer as Advocate and Problem Solver in Federal Court – Fundamentals, Craft and Virtuosity

A panel of federal court practitioners: 
April Linscott - Lawyer Representative and Partner - Owens McCrea Linscott;
Sonyalee R. Nutsch - Clements, Brown & McNichols, P.S., Lewiston;
Michael E. Ramsden - Ramsden, Marfice, Ealy & Harris, LLP, Coeur d'Alene;
Bentley G. Stromberg - Clements, Brown & McNichols, P.A., Lewiston.

A panel of federal judges discuss the hallmarks of effective lawyering from the perspective of the Bench, followed by a panel of experienced federal court practitioners discussing best practices and tips in handling cases in federal court with an emphasis upon the part of the case iceberg that the Court seldom sees.  This will be a chambers-eye view of how to present your best case to the court, followed by an even rarer opportunity to hear from lawyers who have been there and seen that, as they discuss the “virtuosity” of practicing law in federal court in Idaho – everything from the interactions between opposing counsel at the outset of the case in regard to initial disclosures, litigation/discovery plans for Rule 16 conferences, resolving discovery disputes, deciding upon when to bring a motion to the court, off-the-record agreements between counsel to vary from the Court’s scheduling order; decisions about whether to file in a federal court with an overloaded docket and frequent use of visiting judges, and more. This will be lawyers talking to lawyers about details that judges may never see – in other words, reality (federal litigation) TV.

Moderator:  Bob Faucher, Lawyer Representative and Partner, Holland & Hart LLP

3:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Honorable Ronald E. Bush, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge


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