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ABA sets lawyer assistance workshop for Niagara Falls.

The American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) will hold its 13th National Workshop October 18-20 at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

It's billed as "a unique opportunity for volunteers, members of state and local lawyer assistance committees, bar leaders, judges and disciplinary counsel to learn how to help lawyers in distress from addiction, substance abuse, depression, gambling, chronic anxiety and stress."

At the same time, the workshop promises to provide "an enjoyable time, meeting interesting people, and earning CLE credit."

Each fall since 1987, lawyers, judges, and lawyer assistance personnel from the United States, Canada, England, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands meet to exchange information on how their programs are going, discuss the latest advances in additional research and treatment, receive disciplinary case law updates and learn about mental health disorders.

Presenters include judges, lawyers, doctors, lawyer assistance program directors and other experts who provide practical information on how to start, fund, staff and run a lawyer assistance program. Participants will explore the latest research available on major, life-threatening illnesses, and discuss other quality of life issues and treatments.

In addition, the workshop offers a forum to debate the proper use of diversionary programs to allow lawyers in early recovery to continue to practice law while not putting their clients at risk.

Following the ABA National Workshop, on October 20-22, also at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is the annual meeting of International Lawyers in Alcoholics Anonymous (ILAA). This meeting is for lawyers and judges who are in recovery from alcoholism. Attorneys from around the world gather to renew old friendships and make new ones.

For further information on the ABA 13th National Workshop for Lawyer Assistance Programs, go to

For more information on the International Lawyers of AA Annual Meeting, go to, or contact Donna Spilis, staff director, ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs at 312-988-5359; e-mail:

For information on related issues, The Florida Bar Quality of Life/Stress Management Committee, in cooperation with the Florida State University College of Law, also has an interactive bulletin board on the web, called "Happy Lawyer is Not an Oxymoron: Health and Satisfaction in the Profession." (see story in June 1 edition of The Florida Bar News.)

The Happy Lawyer board is located at Or, it can be accessed from the Quality of Life/Stress Management web page at
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Publication:Florida Bar News
Date:Aug 1, 2000
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