SVU Conference in Chicago | June 23–25, 2019

Chicago, by GE



Sunday June 23
Architectural Walking Tour starting @ HERO Coffee BarMEETING at 439 S. Dearborn Street
sponsored by the Prague Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Welcome Reception @ The Czech Consulate General – ENTRANCE at 205 N. Michigan Avenue
sponsored by the Prague Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Note: This event is reserved for registered and confirmed attendees.
More Culture and Sightseeing Options – see bellow

Monday June 24
Conference DAY 1 @ The John Marshall Law School – ENTRANCE at 304 S. State Street
Morning Sessions 09:00 AM – 12:05 PM
Afternoon Sessions 01:15 PM – 05:00 PM

Tuesday June 25
Conference DAY 2 @ The John Marshall Law School – ENTRANCE at 304 S. State Street
Morning Sessions 9:00 AM – 01:15 PM
Afternoon Sessions 02:15 PM – 05:15 PM
Farewell Reception @ The Cliff Dwellers Club (everyone pays their own bill) from 06:00 PM

Registration has been closed.


(everyone pays their own ticket)

1) Art Institute – web link
Notable Special Exhibit: Manet and Modern Beauty

2) Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise – web link

3) Bohemian National Cemetery – web link
(Approximately 10 miles NW of John Marshall Law School)

4) Grant Park Music Festival – web link
Friday 6/21 and Saturday 6/22: Brahms Violin Concerto
Wednesday 6/26: A Night in Vienna (Strauss)

5) Chicago Symphony Orchestra – web link
Sunday 6/23 3:00 PM and Tuesday 6/25 7:30 PM – Muti conducts Verdi’s Aida

Prof. Michael Seng, SVU Vice President, Director for Academic Exchanges

Format of the sessions – discussion panels bringing the best practitioners in their fields, made accessible to a non-lawyer audience. Program Brochure can be downloaded here.

Monday June 24

09:00 AM … Welcome and Introductions

09:15 AM … A Tribute to Czech Lawyers – Founding Personalities of the SVU
The three founding fathers of SVU were lawyers. Jaroslav Němec obtained his Juris Doctor at Masaryk University Law School in Brno (1937) and served as judge and chief military prosecutor. Jaroslav Polach (Jay George) obtained his Juris Doctor also at Masaryk University (1938) and received a number of war hero honors, including RAF, worked for the CIA and later for the IRS. Václav Mostecký, studied law at Charles University (1946) and was professor of law at Harvard and Berkeley. SVU personalities of legal education include Minister Ladislav Karel Feierabend (the first chair of our DC chapter), Prince Frantisek Schwarzenberg (one of our founding directors, SVU President in 1972-1974), Josef Hasek (SVU donor, President of Czechoslovak-American Education Council), Jan Viktor Mládek (SVU President in 1970-1972), Vladimir Kabes (SVU Vice President in 1984-1988), John Lexa (SVU Secretary General in 1968-1978), or SVU distinguished member Karel Holbik (JUDr. from Charles University, 1948), senior official of the United Nations. SVU founding membership of legal background includes also the CIA’s notable personality Milan Miskovsky (JD from GWU in 1956).

10:15 AM … Coffee Break

10:30 AM … Across Borders: Wills and Decedent’s Estates; the Private Ownership of Property; Environmental Issues; Disputes involving the Custody of Children
Our nation state system raises practical questions involving the handling of decedent’s estates when property or heirs are located in another state, when and under what conditions foreigners may own property in another state, protecting the environment, and how disputes over the custody of children are resolved when the parents reside in different states. This panel will consist of practicing attorneys who will address these concerns.

12:05 PM … Lunch Break (everyone on their own)

01:15 PM … Discussion of New Book: A History of Czech Economic Thought

01:45 PM … Language and Justice – The Problem of Translation
The challenges of translation and court interpreting; how translation can affect a legal proceeding.

02:30 PM … Coffee Break

02:45 PM … Across Borders: Nationality, Citizenship, Immigration, Refugee Status, Protecting National Security, and Halting Sex Trafficking
Countries in modern Europe are distinguishable largely based on their ethnic composition. The United States has been a “melting pot” for different ethnic and racial groups. Both models are under scrutiny today. This panel will discuss the nature of citizenship, immigration policies, and how the world has reacted and is reacting to the refugee problem. To what extent are new definitions and policies required? The relationship between national law and international law is disputed. National security is often cited as an important consideration in discussing these issues. Sex trafficking adds another dimension to the free flow of persons between states. This panel will discuss vital issues related to law and policy that affect everyone.

05:00 PM … Business Meeting of SVU Officers and Members

Tuesday June 25

09:00 AM … Civil Society: The Role and Governance of Not-Profit Organizations
Perhaps more than any other country in the world the United States has relied on volunteers and not-for-profit organizations to provide assistance and services to individuals and the public. The private sector supports the arts and sciences, education, and many social welfare programs. Traditionally Europeans have relied more on government support for these kinds of programs. How not-for-profit organizations operate and how they are regulated and governed will be the topic of this discussion.

10:30 AM … Coffee Break

10:45 AM … The Rule of Law: Judicial Independence Balanced against Judicial Accountability
This session will focus on the role of judges and courts in our society. It will discuss the importance of judicial independence under the concept of separation of powers and judicial ethics. It will also explore how judges can be held accountable while protecting their independence. Focus will be on the criminal and civil liability of judges and how corrupt judges can be held accountable. Panelists will make suggestions on how the judiciary can earn the trust and respect of the public.

01:15 PM … Lunch Break (everyone on their own)

02:15 PM … Justice in Resolving Disputes: Case Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Restorative Justice Models
Judicial backlog is a problem everywhere, but it is especially acute in the Czech and Slovak Republics. “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Participants will discuss how judges can manage their caseloads more efficiently. At the highest appellate levels, American judges often have discretion in deciding what cases to hear. Similar flexibility is not present in Middle Europe. American courts are now using mandatory mediation as a means of settling disputes without going to trial. A worldwide movement urging the use of restorative justice techniques in both civil and criminal cases is underway. Chicago has a new restorative justice community court. The efficacy of these models will be explored.

05:00 PM … Conclusion

The John Marshall Law School
Room 1200
304 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60604 (check the venue)