Chronology

Recent Years... 2003-2009
See below for 1991- 2002

 

2009


July 7, 2009 in Vilnius

1000METIS

Lithuania’s Path to the Rule of Law:
In Celebration of the 480 Year Anniversary of the First Statutes in 1529

July 7, 2009 Program in Vilnius. LABAS members met with over 100 Lithuanian attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals in the halls of Seimas (the Lithuanian Parliament) to celebrate the rule of law in Lithuania since its First Statute in 1529. 

The program provided an overview of the rule of law in Lithuania from its beginnings, the progress of law in society, the role of the various legal professions, and projections for the law in the future. Speakers will include prominent lawyers, judges and legal academics.

Those attorneys attending who are licensed in Illinois were approved for 3.5 general MCLE credits (international law).

2008

November 29, 2008, Panel Discussion at the 14th World Lithuanian Center and Luncheon Program in Lemont, Illinois. LABAS hosted a luncheon on November 29th in Lemont, Illinois, featuring long-time LABAS friend, Professor Tadas Klimas who has served as Chief Legal Counsel to the Chairman of Parliament of Lithuania, Dean of Vytautas Magnus School of Law in Kaunas and authored a number of bills in Lithuania, among other accomplishments. Before the program, LABAS members will host a session on the law in Lithuania, chaired by LABAS co-founder Regina Narusis at the 14th World Lithuanian Symposium on Arts and Science at the Lithuanian World Center in Lemont.  

2006

2006 Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania’s Legal System: Trends and Perspectives. On July 25-26, 2006, LABAS, together the Center for Public Affairs at Elon University in North Carolina, USA, and the Lithuanian Lawyers Association (Lietuvos teisininku draugija, or LTD), concluded a successful legal professionals’ conference entitled “Lithuania’s Legal System: Trends and Perspectives.” Our delegation consisted of 30 participants and invited speakers. Together with 90 of our Lithuanian colleagues, we heard the Lithuanian point of view on Lithuania’s progress and concerns regarding its court and legislative system. LABAS is grateful to our host for the conference, the U.S. Embassy, which provided us space at The American Center in Old Town Vilnius.

    We were pleased to witness an exceptional standard of debate by participants on: (1) the Lithuanian Constitution in light of recent international agreements (2) the system of pretrial investigation; (3) the qualification, selection, and ethical performance of legal professionals; and (4) the privacy rights of individuals under investigation. As a result of these thorough discussions, a comprehensive resolution was passed in all four areas. At the conclusion of the conference, the resolution was announced and public comment taken. In the months that followed, the Resolution was finalized into one document in both Lithuanian and English.

   Overall, the conference was a great success. Lawyers from Lithuania, the United States and the United Kingdom were able to share perspectives on Lithuania’s progress on the rule of law. Ultimately, the provision of a forum facilitated an invaluable exchange of ideas between lawyers, with the ultimate goal of ensuring legal excellence in Lithuania.

   Attorneys attorneys attending were approved for 11.5 general MCLE credits (international law) by the Illinois MCLE Board. Click here to see the Conference Resolution.

2004

February 2004. With the cooperation and assistance of LABAS, Vytautas Magnus University School of Law announced continued publication of the joint Florida Coastal School of Law and VMU School of Law legal periodical, the International Journal of Baltic Law, with its second issue. It is an all-Internet publication and can be found at the Florida Coastal web site: www.fcsl.edu/baltic. By December 2004, the publication was in its fourth issue.

March 2004. LABAS Members and Guests Attend White House Ceremonies on Lithuania’s Accession to NATO. Click here for more photos from the March 29, 2004 Celebration at the White House in Washington, D.C.

2003

Members and Guests Participate in Conference in Lithuania

  June 24-29, 2003. LABAS co-sponsored a conference with the Law University of Lithuania (LUL) in Vilnius June 24-25, 2003 on the legal needs of Lithuania’s business environment, followed by three days of meetings with business and government officials and social programs. The conference, entitled “The Business Environment: What Can The Law Do?” featured presentations by representatives of Lithuanian business and law as well as American professors and LABAS members. The program featured both the Lithuanian and American perspectives on topics such as Information Technology, E-Commerce, Intellectual Property and Trade Issues, and Enforcement of Business Contracts. Sessions allowed time for questions to the speakers and open discussion; simultaneous interpretation was provided in Lithuanian and English.

The program coincided with the 750th anniversary of the Coronation of Mindaugas and Vilnius was busy with festivities. The Song Festival, originally scheduled for July 2002, was moved to July 2003 to take place with the Dance Festival and anniversary celebrations. The Conference was open to all attorneys, the business community, and any others who were interested.

From the beginning, 1991 - 2002

1991

LABAS members meet in Lithuania with government officials, lawyers and law faculty to discuss LABAS assistance and training programs.

LABAS members join with ABA delegation to Lithuania to advise on new constitution.

LABAS coordinates visit of Lithuanian parliamentarians to U.S. Congress and Illinois General Assembly

LABAS member is instrumental in helping Lithuania form a system of credit union banking.  Efforts resulted in about $1million in grant money from the U.S. government, that allowed training of Lithuanians in the U.S. By 1999 there were 29 credit unions in Lithuania.

1992

LABAS co-sponsors First World Congress of Lawyers in Lithuania. President of Lithuania, government officials, law faculty, and members of the Lithuanian Bar attend.

LABAS committee provides pro bono advice and service to Lithuanian government.

LABAS members assist ABA’s Central and Eastern European Law Initiative (CEELI) in establishing student exchanges between Lithuania and U.S. law schools

LABAS arranges living accommodations and internships in U.S. for Lithuanian students.

1994

LABAS officers meet with Chief Judge of Lithuania’s highest court regarding Lithuania’s court reorganization.

LABAS officers meet with officers of Lithuanian Bar regarding control of legal profession, independence of bench and bar, and attorney discipline.

1995

LABAS officials meet in Vilnius to plan Second World Congress of Lithuanian Lawyers. Judges of Constitutional and other courts, prosecutors, members of Parliament and various executive departments, faculty, law librarians, officers of Lithuanian Bar, and representatives of ABA/CEELI and the SOROS Open Society Fund attend.

LABAS forms organizing committee for Second World Congress of Lithuanian Lawyers and begins preparation for June 1996 Congress.

LABAS recruits university and government experts for Congress. Preliminary agenda includes trial procedure, bankruptcy, international arbitration, and commercial and criminal law.

LABAS members submit articles on American law for publication in AIDAS, a widely circulated Lithuanian newspaper.

LABAS works with Lithuanian librarians on computer network and public support of library.

LABAS forwards to Lithuania training film prepared by Friends of Library, USA, and doctoral thesis on organizing community-based library volunteers.

LABAS establishes scholarship fund for U.S. and Lithuanian law students.

1996

LABAS co-sponsors Second World Congress of Lithuanian Lawyers. Over 700 lawyers from 18 countries attend. LABAS feted to champagne reception by Mayor of Vilnius, President of Seimas, Lithuanian Bar Association, and Kaunas Bar Association.

LABAS applies for and receives federal non-profit status. Bylaws and articles of incorporation are amended accordingly.

1997

LABAS sends law library materials to University of Vilnius. Library materials are a gift of various law schools, including The John Marshall Law School of Chicago.

LABAS members draft programs for possible use in Lithuania. Topics include U.S.-style security agreements, leases, organizing a private practice, and pre-nuptial agreements.

1998

LABAS works with law faculty of the Vytautas Magnus University of Kaunas providing LABAS assistance in individual and group levels.

LABAS discusses legal problems associated with European Union and possible programs of assistance.

1999 

LABAS ships law library material donated by The John Marshall Law School to the law school at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas.

LABAS and The John Marshall Law School Center for International Studies co-sponsor an open forum in Chicago featuring Tadas Klimas, the new Dean of the law school at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, discussing legal education and professional development in Lithuania.

LABAS President Hon. Thomas Griglun and Vice President Patricia Streeter are added to the VMU Law School adjunct faculty and each teach an intensive two-week courses in Kaunas in the Fall Semester.

2000

On March 6, LABAS Vice President Patricia Streeter addresses a joint committee of the Lithuanian American Community and Seimas regarding Lithuanian attorney ethics as compared to European Union ethics for cross-border transactions (CCBE). Fellow LABAS Board Member Regina Narusis is also present and participates in the discussion.

On May 31, LABAS hosts a Farewell Reception for Gintarija Samajauskatie, who completed a month-long internship observing the Cook County court system with the Honorable Jennifer Duncan-Brice, Cook County Law Division. Ms. Samaujauskaite, a PhD student at Vytautas Magnus University Law School in Kaunas, Lithuania, received a living stipend from the LABAS Scholarship Fund during her stay. See her Comments about her internship on the LABAS Scholarship Fund page.

LABAS officers continue working with the VMU law school. Patricia Streeter and Al Sirvaitis supervise graduating students’ papers in the Spring, and Patricia Streeter and the Honorable Thomas Griglun each lecture condensed courses in the Fall (Admiralty and Trusts, respectively)

LABAS sends funding to VMU to print the next (third) issue of the VMU law journal.

On October 21, 2000, the Board of Directors met at the Roosevelt Hotel for a long lunch meeting and discussion on Lithuanian law and politics. Joining the Board to discuss the role of LABAS and future projects were attorneys from New York and Washington, D.C., as well as a representative from the Lithuanian Permanent mission to the United Nations.

2001

On March 11, 2001, LABAS Welcomes Lithuania’s New Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C.

On June 21, 2001, LABAS invited to participate in the ceremony in which the Vytautas Magnus University School of Law in Kaunas and the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University in East Lansing simultaneous signed their cooperation agreement by video conference. The agreement provides that beginning in 2002, MSU/DCL will offer a certificate of completion to each VMU Law School graduate that will essentially state that the recipient, while engaged in a course of study at Vytautas Magnus University School of Law leading to a Masters of Law degree, successfully completed the requirements for a Michigan State University-Detroit College of Law Certificate in International Business Law.  

On August 4, 2001, LABAS Co-Sponsored the ABA/CEELI Award Ceremony and Luncheon at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. The Central and Eastern European Law Initiative (CEELI) honored President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, who accepted the award by video taped statement.

In November, 2001 LABAS entered into a joint publication agreement with the Vytautas Magnus University School of Law (VMU) for the VMU law review, Teises Apzvalga. Under the agreement, Teises Apzvalga would publish materials that promote legal scholarship in Lithuania or foster understanding of Lithuanian legal issues abroad, and encourage articles for a Lithuanian audience about Western concerns or capabilities. Issues would also include other documents of legal interest, such as such as draft laws, translations, and essays. This agreement was later modified when the Florida Costal Law School agreed to publish the law review online, renamed the Baltic Law Journal. The current editions can be found at the Florida Coastal web site: www.fcsl.edu/baltic. LABAS continues to promote the journal’s publication

2002

On May 11, 2002, New York City. The 2002 Annual Membership Meeting was held in conjunction with the Spring Meeting of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association May 8-11, 2002, which LABAS co-sponsored. Our program Saturday afternoon featured NY Consul General Rimantas Morkvenas and Tadas Klimas, Dean of the Law School at Kaunas’ Vytautas Magnus University on the topic, “The Interplay Between Legal Education and Legal Reform Efforts in Lithuania, at the Scandinavia House in New York City.” 

This page last revised October 3, 2009

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