CANCELLED! Class 31 Induction Ceremony & Related Events
Important Update - March 8, 2020
Since our emails of last week announcing plans to proceed with the Annual Meeting, March 12-14, 2020, in Washington DC, the Executive Committee has continued to monitor and discuss the rapidly developing situation regarding the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. Based on the most current information, College leadership has reluctantly decided to CANCEL the Annual Meeting. We announce this decision today, as the deadline to cancel your hotel reservation at the Grand Hyatt without penalty is 72 hours prior to your scheduled arrival. For those scheduled to arrive on Thursday or Friday, that means you must do so ASAP.
As you can imagine, this extraordinary and painful decision was reached only after careful deliberation, the exchange of countless email memoranda and, ultimately, a frank conference call earlier today. We realize that the decision will be disruptive and potentially costly financially to you and to the College. Despite that, though, the decision was made once the CDC advised against attending large meetings and strongly recommended that those over 60 and with health concerns in particular not attend such meetings and in fact not travel if at all possible. Well over half of Fellows are over 55, and approximately 43% are over 65. We also were influenced by the cancellation of large meetings by law firms, financial institutions, and the ABA, which this weekend cancelled the White Collar section meeting in San Diego.
The work of the College will continue despite the cancelation. The Foundation and College boards will meet by conference call, with the former at the previously-scheduled 3:30 Eastern time on Thursday and the College board meeting starting at 11:00 Eastern on Friday. Dial-in information will be provided in subsequent emails. Committee chairs and others who scheduled meetings should reach out to members of their committees about scheduling details. College leadership will be discussing the rescheduling of the induction ceremony and how to treat the Distinguished Law Students.
As per the email blast circulated last week, registration fees for the Annual Meeting will be fully refunded on request. Since the College likely will have to bear the cost of cancellation fees – although we will try our best to avoid them – we ask that you consider not requesting a refund so as to help the College defray those costs. As noted above, the Grand Hyatt cancellation policy for a full refund requires cancellation prior to 72 hours before the date of arrival. The College will not be cancelling individual reservations (whether at the hotel, restaurants for Circuit events, etc.), and therefore that responsibility falls to the individual registrant or event organizer.
Thank you for your understanding. Hopefully, the Coronavirus will be in our rear view mirrors soon, and we’ll see one another at the fall meeting in San Diego.
Marc Levinson and Mark Bloom