Home

2023 Legal Affairs Seminar - Program

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

 

Sunday, April 2

Registration

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Nines Ballroom Foyer

Welcome Remarks and Introductions

1 - 1:30 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom
Welcomes
  • Dorval R. Carter, Jr., Immediate Past Chair, APTA; and President, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL
  • Samuel M. Desue, Jr., General Manager, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), Portland, OR
  • Karen Landers, Immediate Past Chair, Legal Affairs Committee; General Counsel, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), San Diego, CA

Developments in Equity/Environmental Justice Impacting the Transit Industry

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

The past year has witnessed a remarkable series of policy and regulatory developments advancing the Biden administration’s equity agenda.  This panel will review key agency initiatives and efforts in the transportation and environmental sectors to implement White House equity and EJ Executive Orders.  FTA’s Chief Counsel will focus on funding opportunities resulting from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act for projects and related programs that could advance equity concerns.  In addition, we will hear from the Tri-Met’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Officer on how that agency advancing policies to ensure agency compliance with its “IDEA” (Inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility) initiatives.

Presenters
  • Fred Wagner, Partner, Venable, LLP, Washington, DC
  • Subash Iyer, Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
  • John Gardner, Chief Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Officer, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), Portland, OR

Be the Leader You Would Follow in a Post-Pandemic World

2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

Hear from the “Best of the Best” lawyer leaders on how they lead through a global crisis and a world significantly more challenging than four years ago. In a question and answer format, panelists will share their learnings, strategies, and tips on a broad range of topics, from being the leader and the lawyer at the table, to the gift of failure, to what is now possible in this new landscape.

Moderator
  • Shelley Devine, General Counsel, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), Portland, OR
Panelists
  • Peter Bragdon, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and General Counsel, Columbia Sportswear Company, Portland, OR
  • Dorval R. Carter, Jr., Immediate Past Chair, APTA; and President, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL
  • Judith S. Kaleta, Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC
  • Eva Kripalani, Co-Founder, Office of General Counsel Network LLC, Portland, OR

Break

3:45 - 4 p.m.
The Nines Ballroom Foyer

Establishing A Federal Compliance Program for Federal Funded Transportation Projects

4 - 5 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

Compliance is critical to the success of any federally funded project. With the current increase in available federal funding, your agency must have an established federal compliance program that is straightforward, accessible, and user-friendly. You do not want it sitting on a shelf!
 
This seminar discusses how to establish a federal compliance program for construction management of federally funded transportation projects aimed at ensuring that projects are delivered successfully and efficiently, following federal laws, regulations, guidelines, and project management practices.
 
The seminar will help you establish a compliance program plan with the following fundamentals:
  • Help your agency foster and promote a corporate culture of regulatory compliance.
  • Conduct a needs assessment to assess the current state of compliance and identify compliance areas of highest risk.
  • Establish policies, procedures, and methods to assist your agency in ensuring that all federally funded transportation projects are delivered according to federal laws and regulations.
  • Create a governance and reporting structure to ensure program oversight and specify who is responsible for supervising, monitoring, and enforcing the compliance program.
  • Prioritize and assign accountability for managing risks related to noncompliance that could lead to funding loss, reputational damage, or worse.
  • Establish a training program to ensure that all project managers know federal compliance requirements and the compliance program’s expectations and standards.
  • Offer employees various ways to report complaints (e.g., a hotline or an online reporting system) and respond appropriately to disclosed violations.
  • Establish disciplinary processes so that policies are applied consistently to all employees.
Moderator/Panelist
  • Yolanda Williams Favors, ESQ, PMP, TSSP, Senior Project Director, AtkinsRéalis, Avondale Estates, GA
Panelists
  • Jenifer M. Ross-Amato, JD, Senior Vice President, Alternative Delivery, WSP, Denver, CO
  • Shayna van Hoften, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA

Legal Affairs Committee Meeting

5 - 5:30 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom
Chair, William R. Moseley

Welcome Reception

5:30 - 7 p.m.
Design Ballroom

Sponsored by
company logo 
 

Monday, April 3

Continental Breakfast

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
The Nines Ballroom Foyer

Registration

8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Nines Ballroom Foyer

FTA Chief Counsel Update

8:30 - 9 a.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom
Presenter
  • Subash Iyer, Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC

FRA Chief Counsel Update

9 - 9:30 a.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom
Presenter
  • Allison Ishihara Fultz, Chief Counsel, Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

No and Low Emission Vehicles, Contracting and Supply Chain Issues

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

This panel will discuss issues to consider in the shift to No and Low Emission vehicles and infrastructure, contracting and RFP issues that arise in vehicle purchases, and recent supply chain challenges that impact contract costs and schedule.  The panel will provide perspectives from the vantage point of a large urban transit agency CEO handling these challenges, an international vehicle manufacturer, the Federal Transit Administration, and transit agency outside counsel.

Panelists
  • Demetrios Hadjis, Nova Bus
  • Dorval R. Carter, Jr., Immediate Past Chair, APTA; and President, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL
  • Jane Sutter-Starke, Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP, Washington, DC
  • Dana Nifosi, Acting Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC

Break

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.
The Nines Ballroom Foyer

Navigating Major Transitions with Contractors

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

Transit agencies are often reliant on contractors to deliver transit services but those relationships with contractors change over time. This session explores the challenging legal aspects of navigating major transitions with those contractors. A transition might involve rebidding a new long-term contract, termination of a contract, breaking out one big contract into multiple contracts, or taking work in-house that had previously been contracted out. While transitions have been happening for bus and rail contracted services for a long time, but as transit delivery becomes more complex, transit agencies are reliant on contractors for other aspects of their transit systems including converting to electric fleets, fare collection, and security services. Transit infrastructure built using an alternative delivery method (DBOM  or DBFOM) will have to navigate the hand-back process. All of these transitions require the transit agency’s legal counsel to work closely with the operations and procurement staff and others in the organization, helping them to understand and navigate some complex legal processes. This session will first explore the legal issues involved in the transition or handover process itself, and then explore contract terms that can prove tricky to navigate, aiming to help owners and contractors understand the other party’s objectives so that a contract can be quickly and amicably negotiated.

Presenters
  • Jenifer M. Ross-Amato, JD, Senior Vice President, Alternative Delivery, WSP, Denver, CO
  • Ayelet Hirschkorn, Esq., Partner, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell, New York, NY
  • Marguerite Lucila, Assistant Vice President, Alternative Delivery Advisory Services, WSP, New York, NY
  • Shayna van Hoften, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA

Break/Pick Up Lunch

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
The Nines Ballroom Foyer

Lunch Sponsored by
company logo 

Working Lunch: Transit Worker Assaults

12:15 - 1:15 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

FTA data reports that from 2008 to 2021, there were 241 worker assault events per year: 192 occurring on transit vehicles; 44 occurring in transit revenue facilities and 5 in non-public locations. During this working lunch, you will hear from transit agencies that believe quantifying and managing the root cause of transit worker assaults is the first step to addressing them. Hear from King County Metro and New York MTA about how they have quantified the problem and then determined mitigations including de-escalation and other training.

Presenters
  • Paige Graves, General Counsel, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, NY
  • Rebecca Frankhouser, Chief Safety Officer, King County Metro , Seattle, WA
  • Jesse A. Milner, CSP, Transportation Safety Administrator, King County Metro , Seattle, WA
  • Robyn Austin, Emergency Management Program Administrator, King County Metro , Seattle, WA

Passenger Rail: Regulatory Proceedings and Litigation Aimed at Bringing Improvements in Service and Reliability

1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

CP and Metra, Amtrak v. SEPTA:  Commuter Rail Access Issues.  This session will discuss two recent examples of commuter railroads seeking to ensure adequate and reasonable access to shared rail corridors: (1) Chicago-area commuter railroad operator Metra’s involvement in the CP-KCS merger proceedings at the Surface Transportation Board; and (2) a recent decision by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit regarding property and statutory rights of access to the Northeast Corridor and its implications for commuter operators.

Moderator
  • Christian Lorenz Alexander, Associate, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP, Denver, CO
Panelists
  • Sue-Ann Rosen, Metra, Chicago, IL
  • Daniel Dwyer, Special Counsel, Commerce & Regulatory Compliance, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia, PA
  • W. Eric Pilsk, Partner, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP, Washington, DC

Build America, Buy America – What Does it Mean?

2:15 - 3:15 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

When the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was enacted on November 15, 2021, the Build America Buy America Act (BABA) included in IIJA introduced a new emphasis on Buy America principles throughout the federal system.  Even FTA’s Buy America program, probably the most comprehensive and well-defined in any federal program, was not immune to the uncertainty introduced in BABA.  The Act’s discussion of construction materials and its applicability to FTA grants came into force in November 2022, even in the absence of government-wide guidance.  Our panel will help us make sense of the new requirements within the context of FTA Buy America practice.

Moderator
  • James P. LaRusch, Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Counsel, Raul V. Bravo + Associates, Inc., Reston, VA
Panelists
  • Richard A. Juliano, IOM, CAE, General Counsel, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Washington, DC
  • David F. Innis, Deputy City Attorney, City Attorney's Office, San Francisco, CA
  • Dana Nifosi, Acting Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC

Break

3:15 - 3:30 p.m.
The Nines Ballroom Foyer

Affordable/Workforce Housing Projects on Transit Property

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

Many communities are experiencing a lack of sufficient affordable housing for residents and workers.  As a result, affordable housing is emerging as a specific policy goal of the FTA, transit agencies, and local communities. This panel will discuss how transit agencies can directly address this policy goal with joint development projects for affordable/workforce housing on transit-owned properties. Topics will include balancing developer versus transit operational needs, agency first steps, soliciting a development partner, transaction methods/types, common negotiation points, and new issues/emerging questions.

Speakers
  • Jonathan J. Hunt, Esq., Deputy Chief Legal Officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA
  • Karen Landers, Immediate Past Chair, Legal Affairs Committee; General Counsel, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), San Diego, CA
  • James Silverwood, CEO, Affirmed Housing, San Diego, CA

Mega Projects, Mega Problems: the Arc of Legal Issues for Mega Projects

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

As transit projects become larger, more complex and more expensive to plan, manage and deliver, the associated legal issues must be properly managed to both minimize risk and comply with the multitude of federal, state and local regulations that often govern these projects.  This panel will highlight several key legal concerns that arise as Mega Projects develop, including: planning and legislation, governance, contract modifications, litigation and claims.  The panel will also share some lessons learned from their respective agency’s experiences as well as provide insight, advice and share best practices.

Panelists
  • Ayelet Hirschkorn, Esq., Partner, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell, New York, NY
  • Edmund J. Caulfield, Acting General Counsel, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and Board Secretary, Gateway Development Commission (GDC), Newark, NJ
  • Peter Andrews, Chief Legal Officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA
  • Paige Graves, General Counsel, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, NY
  • Julie Sweeney, Principal Counsel, Maryland Transit Administration, Baltimore, MD

Closing and Wrap Up the Day

5:30 - 5:45 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom
 

Tuesday, April 4

Continental Breakfast

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

Personally Identifiable Information - Transit Agency Obligations & Risks

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

Efforts to modernize and improve public transit operations for the purpose of providing more efficient and effective services are in part achieved through the collection and use of personally identifiable information of transit system users.  The who, what, when, where and how of transit service usage is utilized not only to support electronic tolling but also to facilitate interoperability amongst transit agencies in varying regions to streamline and enhance the user experience, among other transit agency objectives.  However, the collection and use of personally identifiable information creates obligations and risks for transit agencies, which increases the importance of having robust data management protocols and privacy protection policies in place.  This session will provide an overview of the obligations and risks associated with a public transit agency’s collection and use of personally identifiable information, and will provide general guidance on how to manage those risks while still utilizing the data collected to improve operations.

Moderator
  • Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor in Chief, Mass Transit Magazine, Arlington Heights, IL
Panelists
  • Erik Van Hagen, Director, Legal Services, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), Portland, OR
  • Gretchen Sprigg Wisehart, Deputy General Counsel - Corporate, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia, PA
  • Alexandra Atencio, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA
  • David C. Casarrubias, Senior Counsel, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA

The Role of the Transit Attorney in Cybersecurity Incident

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

Cybersecurity threats represent a growing challenge for organizations, especially public entities.  A cyber-attack may require quick action in an uncertain legal environment, making preparation and planning essential. This session will cover: (1) an update on current cybersecurity threats and threat activity, especially for local governments; (2) what lawyers should do to help their organization prepare for a cybersecurity event; (3) what is the role of the attorney and best practices if a cybersecurity event occurs.

Moderator
  • Erik Van Hagen, Director, Legal Services, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), Portland, OR
Panelists
  • Donna Maddux, Partner, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP, Atlanta, GA
  • Evelynn Tran, General Counsel, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA

Break

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.
The Nines Ballroom Foyer

Sponsored by
 
company logo 
 

Civility and Professional Responsibility: Nice Guys (and Gals) Can Finish First

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom

(Ethics)
For years, we have heard complaints about colleagues and opposing counsel who take the adversarial nature of the legal system to extremes.  Whether it is enduring “Rambo” style litigation tactics from the other side, dealing with abusive written or oral discovery practices, or seeing litigants and court personnel (even judges) being treated with intemperance or hostility, we probably have all experienced the anxiety-inducing effects that incivility in our profession creates.  The Model Rules, rules of civil procedure, and numerous court cases interpreting these rules provide guidance on how civility and professional responsibility overlap.  In this way, maintaining a professional and civil demeanor in carrying out our duties as officers of the court clearly goes beyond living by the “Golden Rule.”  This session will discuss how the Model Rules speak to civility.  We will review the many examples of “civility codes” and oaths of admission to practice law around the country that address expected standards of conduct.  We will also provide examples of how courts have increasingly implemented severe consequences in an effort to promote civility and to punish bad behavior.
 
Finally, we will briefly update attendees on recent actions taken by the courts and disciplinary boards stemming from the 2020 presidential election challenges.
 
Presenters
  • Bruce M. Smith, Member, Apperson Crump PLC, Memphis, TN
  • Fred Wagner, Partner, Venable, LLP, Washington, DC

Closing Remarks

12:15 - 12:30 p.m.
Culture & Fashion Ballroom
Remarks
  • William R. Moseley, Chair, APTA Legal Affairs Committee; Principal, Jackson Lewis, Jacksonville, FL