May 1, 2002 Regular News Dees to speak at Bedell luncheon Dees to speak at Bedell luncheon Legendary civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center more than 30 years ago, will be the speaker at the Trial Lawyers Section’s Chester Bedell Memorial Luncheon at the Bar’s upcoming Annual Meeting.The luncheon, held on Friday, June 21, will continue with its annual theme of the “Independence of the American Lawyer.”And it might be hard to find a better example of that than Dees.Born and raised in Alabama, Dees has been at the forefront of the civil rights movement. He filed suit in 1968 to integrate the Montgomery YMCA and, with Joseph J. Levin Jr., founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971.The Center has been involved in several notable cases, including seeking the integration of Alabama state police and in landmark litigation against the Ku Klux Klan. In 1980, the center began Klanwatch in response to a resurgence in Klan activity.Lesser-known about Dees is that he was also a successful book publisher, beginning a company while an undergraduate at the University of Alabama. The firm specialized in national direct mail sales, and he continued that company even after graduating from the UA School of Law in 1960 and opening a law office in Montgomery.His company published much-needed sex education books for children and an aerospace encyclopedia in conjunction with NASA and the Smithsonian Institute. He sold the company in 1969.Dees has written several books, including his autobiography and a look at right-wing militias in America, and a TV movie, Line of Fire, has been made about his life. He was also active in both George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign and Jimmy Carter’s 1976 campaign, where he served as national finance director.In addition to litigation, the Southern Poverty Law Center also provides a tolerance education kit to over 75,000 schools across the country.To register for the Chester Bedell Memorial Luncheon, see the May issue of The Florida Bar Journal for convention schedule and registration forms, or visit the Bar’s Web site, www.FLABAR.org. Registration forms and schedules can also be accessed by clicking here.
The UK’s top financial regulators have established a committee to monitor and respond to the risk posed to the finance sector by climate change.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) hosted the inaugural meeting of their new Climate Financial Risk Forum on 8 March.As well as the two regulators, 15 financial services groups were in attendance as members of the committee, including asset managers BlackRock, Hermes, Invesco, Schroders and Standard Life Aberdeen.The new group also includes five banks (BNP Paribas, HSBC, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Yorkshire Building Society) and five insurers (Aviva, Legal & General, Lloyd’s of London, RSA and Zurich). The London Stock Exchange and Green Finance Institute – a UK government-backed project launched last year – are also members of the committee. The entrance to the FCA’s headquarters in Stratford, LondonIn a statement published this morning, the FCA and PRA said: “Climate change and society’s response to it presents financial risks that are relevant to the PRA’s and FCA’s objectives.“While these risks may crystallise in full over longer-time horizons, they are becoming apparent now. Firms are enhancing their approaches to managing these risks, but face barriers to implementing the forward-looking, strategic approach necessary to minimise the risks.“The Climate Financial Risk Forum aims to reduce these barriers by developing practical tools and approaches to address climate-related financial risks.” At the meeting on Friday, the regulators said, four working groups were established to focus on risk management, scenario analysis, disclosure, and innovation. These working groups will meet more frequently than the main committee and include a broader membership, aiming to produce “practical guidance” for the finance industry.Sam Woods, CEO of the PRA, which oversees systemically important banks and insurers, said: “Climate change has the potential to create significant financial risks for the firms the PRA regulates. The challenge we face in mitigating these risks is unprecedented, and we need to begin to act now if we are to ensure an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy.“The establishment of the Climate Financial Risk Forum will provide a platform through which the PRA, FCA and industry can share experience and build expertise as we begin this work.”This article was edited on 12 March to amend the caption of the photo The PRA’s Sarah Breeden, executive director of international banks supervision, and the FCA’s Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition, will chair the group.