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2015 Open Government Symposium Sets Agenda

The City of Austin will host its second Open Government Symposium April 9, 2015 featuring legal experts discussing open government issues including legislation, litigation, trends and the role of an ethics and compliance program in supporting government transparency.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second St. The event is free and open to the public and attending attorneys can receive Continuing Legal Education credit at no cost.

To register for the symposium visit When responding, specify the panel(s) you would like to attend.

The City of Austin Open Government Symposium agenda:

Panel 1, Plenary: “Why Acting Legally & Ethically Matters” Speaker: Paul Liebman, Chief Compliance Officer, The University of Texas at Austin

Panel 2A: Open Government - Litigation Developments

  • Moderator: Gary Cobb, Grand Jury/Intake Division Director, Travis County District Attorney’s Office

    • Panelist: Craig McDonald, Director, Texans for Public Justice

    • Panelist: Betty Blackwell, Law Office of Betty Blackwell

Panel 2B: Open Government - Legislative Developments

  • Moderator: Karen Kennard, Interim Officer, City of Austin Intergovernmental Relations Office

    • Panelist: Denise Davis, Partner, Davis Kaufman PLLC

    • Panelist: Tim Sorrells, Attorney and Counselor At Law, Former Texas Ethics Commission General Counsel

Panel 3, Plenary: “Views From A County Attorney’s Office”  Speaker: David Escamilla, County Attorney, Travis County Attorney’s Office

  •   Moderator: Kerry O’Connor, Innovation Officer, City of Austin Innovation Office

    •  Panelist: Mary Beth Goodman, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

    • Panelist: Nathaniel Heller, Managing Director, Results for Development Institute

  • Moderator: Justin Gordon, Open Records Division Chief, Office of the Texas Attorney General

    • Panelist: Jason King, Deputy Ethics Advisor, University of Texas System

    • Panelist: Mike Kanin, Austin Monitor (invited)

Panel 4A: Open Government – Innovations

Panel 4B: Open Government - Beyond the City

Panel 5, Plenary: "Why Municipal Open Government Matters" Speaker: Nathaniel Heller, Managing Director, Results for Development Institute

Closing Remarks by Anne Morgan, Interim City Attorney, City of Austin Law Department.


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