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2020 Legal Affairs Seminar - Program

This page is an overview of the conference schedule and subject to change.

 

Sunday, February 23

Registration

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom Foyer, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Welcome Remarks and Introductions

12 - 1 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

(Box Lunch Provided)

Welcome address from Colin Parent who is on the city council for one of MTS’s member agencies (City of La Mesa) and is also the Executive Director & General Counsel for Circulate San Diego. Circulate San Diego is a local transit advocacy group. They are very involved locally in working with MTS, local cities and community groups on issues of affordable housing near transit, first/last mile connections to transit, and other land use strategies that can encourage and increase transit ridership.  
 
company logo         company logo                  
     Colin Parent                       Nuria Fernandez
 
Welcomes
  • Anthony A. Anderson, Immediate Past Chair, Legal Affairs Committee; Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP, Washington, DC
Host Welcome
  • Karen Landers, Member, APTA Board of Directors; Chair, Legal Affairs Committee; General Counsel, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), San Diego, CA
Welcome Speaker
  • Colin Parent, Executive Director and General Counsel, Circulate San Diego, San Diego, CA
Special Welcome
  • Nuria I. Fernandez, Chair, APTA; General Manager/CEO, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA

FTA Deputy Chief Counsel - The View from Washington D.C.

1 - 2 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

FTA’s Deputy Chief Counsel will provide a retrospective summary of significant FTA actions in 2019 and a preview of what’s on the horizon in 2020.

Presenter
  • Dana Nifosi, Deputy Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC

Legislative Update

2 - 2:45 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

A review of current and potential legislative activity affecting the public transportation industry. Overview of APTA’s principles for Surface Transportation Authorization urging Congress to significantly increase public transportation infrastructure investment and provide the necessary resources to build, maintain, and operate public transportation.

Presenters
  • Stacie Tiongson, Senior Director, Government Affairs, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC
  • Mark Hybner, Sr. Legislative Representative, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC

Next Generation Fare Systems: All Cashed Out!

3 - 4 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Transit agencies are either upgrading or replacing all their legacy fare systems. There are several legal challenges that agencies should be aware that they may encounter as they move to modernize these systems. These issues include, but are not limited to contract and procurement issues, contract performance, finance (paying for the new system or how do you treat the remaining fare on a former weekly or monthly pass once a new system is in place), operational issues involving multiple transit agencies and fare collection, and the impact that Title VI or other laws, state or local, may have on a cashless systems.

Moderator
  • T. Byron Smith, Partner, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP, Washington, DC
Panelists
  • Karen Seimetz, General Counsel, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL
  • Rhonda C Thomas, partner, Thompson Coburn LLP, Chicago, IL
  • Jay Mitchell Fox, Deputy General Counsel, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia, PA

The Evolution of Transit Oriented Development and Joint Development: Coexistence or Synergy between Transit and Communities?

4 - 5:30 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

The transit industry continues to pursue transit-oriented development (TOD) and joint development (JD) as tools to generate investment in transit facilities and encourage land use that promotes transit use. An experienced panel of transit experts will examine multiple case studies to highlight best practices, lessons learned and the latest trends as TOD/JD evolves. The panel will compare legal issues facing legacy transit systems along the spectrum to newly expanded transit systems. The panel will evaluate the differences in types of projects to help practitioners understand the varied options for planning, financing, designing and building projects to benefit both transit agencies and the communities in which they operate. The panel will provide practical guidance on structuring transactions, managing interest and proposals from developers and stakeholders, and in developing processes that allow transit boards to formulate policy.

Moderator
  • Jenifer M. Ross-Amato, Secretary, Legal Affairs Committee; Deputy General Counsel, Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO
Panelists
  • Karen Landers, Member, APTA Board of Directors; Chair, Legal Affairs Committee; General Counsel, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), San Diego, CA
  • Jay Mitchell Fox, Deputy General Counsel, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia, PA
  • Jonathan J. Hunt, Senior Director of Corporate Law, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA
  • Aimee Beckwith, Associate General Counsel, Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO
  • Megan J. Strickland, Chief of Capital Compliance, Budget and Administration, New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ TRANSIT), Newark, NJ
  • Scott H. Baker, Senior Consulting Manager, AECOM, Arlington, VA
  • Kathryn Loster, Regional Counselor, Federal Transit Administration, Chicago, IL

Welcome Reception

6 - 7:30 p.m.
Garden Terrace, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Reception Sponsored by Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP
 
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Monday, February 24

Continental Breakfast

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Garden Terrace, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Registration

8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom Foyer, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Capital Project Life Cycle in Two Acts-Transit 101 (and so much more!)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

In this session, panelists will identify and discuss key legal issues that arise in the life of a capital project where General Counsel will inevitably need to be involved. It will provide both an introduction for new attorneys as well as more in-depth analysis of hot topics for experienced attorneys. Act I of the session will focus on site selection and site acquisition issues, and Act II of the session will focus on issues related to Procurement and Contract Administration, including Project Delivery Methods, Contract Administration/Claims, DBE, and of course that all-time favorite topic, Buy America.

Moderator/Panelist
  • Michael N. Conneran, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA
Panelists
  • Fred Wagner, Partner, Venable, LLP, Washington, DC
  • James P. LaRusch, Secretary, Standards Development Oversight Council; Vice Chair, Business Member Programs Committee; Corporate Counsel, Raul V. Bravo + Associates, Inc., Reston, VA
  • Elaine Richardson, Director of Diversity and Equity, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego, CA
  • Teddy Low, Senior Deputy County Counsel, Office of County Counsel, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles, CA

First Amendment Issues and Transit: A Discussion of Speech Rights and Recent Developments in Advertising and Filming on Transit Systems

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Compliance with First Amendment free speech protections plays an increasingly important role in transit operations – both through advertising programs and activities like filming on transit properties. This presentation will examine the general framework, known as forum analysis, for free speech use of transit-owned properties. The panel will then focus in on the “bus ad wars” that have ensnared many transit systems as well as the regulation of filming on transitproperty. The presentation will discuss how to operate constitutionally compliant programs, potential areas of risk, and ways to control that risk.

Moderator/Panelist
  • David Eldred, General Counsel, King County Metro , Seattle, WA
Panelists
  • David Hackett, Attorney, King County Metro , Seattle, WA
  • Catherine J. Groves, Senior Counsel, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA
  • Robin M. Reitzes, Deputy City Attorney, City Attorney's Office, San Francisco, CA

Working Lunch

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Pick up lunch and join the roundtable discussions.
 
Lunch Sponsored by Hanson Bridgett LLP 
 
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Roundtable Discussion

12:15 - 1:45 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

This is an informal session for public transit agency attorneys to share information and strategies for handling legal issues facing their agencies. Come with questions, ideas, and news about the legal challenges your agencies have asked you to solve.

(Please note that the round-table discussion is intended as a forum for transit agency attorneys and their outside counsel to exchange information and seek advice in a non-attribution, confidential setting. To maintain this opportunity for transit agency counsel, attendees representing the FTA, vendors, unions and advocacy organizations will be asked to leave the room during this session.)
 
 Please send your roundtable questions to Linda Ford at lford@apta.com.

Labor Updates—New Challenges and New Opportunities

2 - 3 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

In this session, panelists will address the labor issues and challenges associated with a large consolidation of service to a single provider, Fair Labor Standards Act issues in collective bargaining, and section 13(c) and labor issues that arise in contracting and transitions.

Moderator/Panelist
  • Jane Sutter-Starke, Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP, Washington, DC
Panelists
  • Kerri Butcher, Chief Counsel, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, TX
  • William R. Moseley, Principal, Jackson Lewis, Jacksonville, FL
  • Justin R. Barnes, Principal, Jackson Lewis, Atlanta, GA

The Sounds of Silence: Quiet Zones and the Risks and Benefits They Create

3 - 4:15 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Quiet Zones – communities love them, railroads and transit system operators for the most part don’t. The FRA established rules for how to establish a Quiet Zone, including descriptions what supplemental safety measures are required to make the operation of trains without sounding a horn as safe as possible. This panel will explore, first, the rules that describe the process for creating a Quiet Zone – rules that apply to some light rail systems as well as conventional railroad operations. But are they a perfect solution? The panelists will discuss their experiences with development and implementation of Quiet Zones.

Moderator
  • Charles A. Spitulnik, Partner, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP, Washington, DC
Panelists
  • Roger Kane, Associate General Counsel, Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO
  • J. Carlos Orellana, Deputy General Counsel, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA
  • Michael N. Conneran, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA
  • Suzanne Silverman, Partner, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell, New York, NY

Legal Affairs Committee Meeting

4:15 - 4:45 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Chair, Karen Landers

Legal Affairs Reception

6 - 8 p.m.

San Diego Museum of Art
1450 El Prado
Balboa Park 
 
Reception Sponsored by Thompson Coburn LLC

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Tuesday, February 25

Continental Breakfast

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Garden Terrace, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Registration

8 - 11 a.m.
San Diego Ballroom Foyer, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

PTASP 7-20-20: Is Your Agency Ready?

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

As of July 20, 2020, all rail transit operators and public transportation providers who directly or indirectly receive Urbanized Area Formula grant funds must have a Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan certified and ready to implement. FTA’s new Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan rule requires agencies to establish performance targets that reflect the measures, report on progress towards achieving those targets, develop performance-based plans for safety, and implement a performance-based approach to planning and programming. This session will focus on the legal requirements for certifying your agency’s safety plan including determining whether your agency is responsible for assembling its own safety plan or is eligible to have a safety plan certified at the State level.

Moderator
  • Linda Ford, General Counsel, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC
Panelists
  • Allison I. Fultz, Partner, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP, Washington, DC
  • Candace Key, Director, Office of System Safety, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
  • Elisa Nichols, President, Kensington Consulting LLC, Kensington, MD

Early Claims Assessment—What You and Your Client Need to Know Now

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Early tort claim assessment means that claim resolution, which doesn't necessarily include payment, is closer in time to the alleged injury. The session will use data and examples to show how early assessment and litigation planning saves time and expense for claimants and the agency, and how it uses risk management, legal, and judicial resources effectively and achieves good will. The session will also share the impacts of early claim resolution on reserve forecasting, budgeting, and the lessons learned feedback loop.

Presenters
  • David Eldred, General Counsel, King County Metro , Seattle, WA
  • Jennifer Hills, Director, Office of Risk Management Services, King County Metro , Seattle, WA

Local Initiatives: Success or Bust, Or Is There Something More?

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Local funding (or defunding) initiatives can greatly propel or stall development of transit improvements. For systems that rely on dedicated funding sources, local initiatives can threaten those sources and jeopardize existing services or lead to increases to fund expanded services. The panelists will discuss firsthand experience with pro-transit and anti-transit initiatives.

Moderator
  • Anthony A. Anderson, Immediate Past Chair, Legal Affairs Committee; Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP, Washington, DC
Panelists
  • Scott Smith, Member, APTA Board of Directors; Chief Executive Officer, Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ
  • Dorval R. Carter, Jr., Member, APTA Executive Committee; Chair, Legislative Committee; President, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL
  • Cydonii V. Fairfax, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston, TX

Break

11:45 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Garden Terrace, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Break Sponsored by Venable, LLP
 
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The Appearance of Impropriety—Its Continued Viability in Ethics Compliance

12 - 1:30 p.m.
San Diego Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

For years, professional responsibility courses in law schools around the country reminded aspiring lawyers that 'even the appearance of impropriety' was something to be avoided. Yes, one might technically be in compliance with a state’s Rules of Professional Conduct dealing with conflicts of interest, confidences, etc., but conduct should be avoided that created the slightest appearance of failing to live up to the standards to which members of the Bar should adhere. The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct have deleted the “appearance of impropriety” standard as a means of enforcing key provisions. But does the concept of the “appearance of impropriety” still live on? Is it an imprecise, but crucial notion for members of the Bar in understanding the full spectrum of a lawyer’s ethical behavior? This session will trace the use of this concept, through evolution and modification of the Model Rules Of Professional Conduct, and scholarly interpretations of the term even the most casual fans of ‘Law and Order’ could most likely recite.

Please note that attendees may submit their ethics questions to Bruce and Fred by filling out a notecard available at the registration desk onsite.  Simply submit your notecard to an APTA Staff member to have it included in the discussion.

Presenters
  • Fred Wagner, Partner, Venable, LLP, Washington, DC
  • Bruce M. Smith, Member, Apperson Crump PLC, Memphis, TN