The South Carolina Law Review’s 2019 symposium, “The Opioid Crisis and the Practice of Law,” will examine the implications of the opioid epidemic on the practice of healthcare and tort law, as well as legislative and law enforcement efforts in response to this national crisis. The symposium will take place on Friday, February 8 at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that in 2017 over 42,000 deaths were attributable to opioid overdoses, with approximately 2.1 million people characterized as having an opioid use disorder. These chilling statistics have spurred great national concern, leading President Trump to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in October of 2017. While the efforts of lawmakers have the potential to curtail the crisis, determining the appropriate balance between government intervention and access to prescription opioids is nothing short of a challenge. Questions concerning rehabilitation, addiction treatment drugs, and Good Samaritan laws will continue to arise and difficult trade-offs will be required by any response employed. These issues and more will be addressed during the South Carolina Law Review’s symposium.
“The Opioid Crisis and the Practice of Law” will feature distinguished speakers from a wide variety of areas, all experts in their respective fields. More specifically, the keynote address will be given by James Hodge of Arizona State University Law School, whose scholarship focuses on topics within public and global health law, including emergency legal preparedness, obesity law and policy, vaccination laws, and public health information privacy. Symposium attendees will also hear from Luther Strange, formerly a United States Senator from Alabama and Alabama’s Attorney General, who plans to speak on opioid litigation involving local governments.
Interdisciplinary panels will be a central aspect of this year’s symposium, comprising of judicial members like the Honorable Bruce Williams of the South Carolina Court of Appeals; agency professionals, such as Christie Frick, Director of the Prescription Monitoring Program for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control; and legal practitioners, including Joseph F. Rice, Motley Rice LLC; E. Fielding Pringle, Chief County Public Defender for Richland County; Rick Hubbard of the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office; and Andy Moorman, Narcotics Deputy Chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Panels will also include healthcare professionals like Craig Burridge of the South Carolina Pharmacy Association; law enforcement officers, such as Leon Lott of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department; and legislators, including Senator Tom Davis. These individuals will discuss modern opioid issues alongside other prominent academic professors, healthcare professionals, and legal practitioners. A full list of speakers can be found at the South Carolina Law Review's website.
The symposium has been approved for 4.75 hours of CLE credit.