Declared Emergencies: The Changing Legal Landscape During Disasters

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: April 13, 2020
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  • Federal and State Framework for Declaring Emergencies
  • Governmental Powers Under Declared Emergencies
  • Limitations and Challenges
  • Unanswered Legal and Practical Questions
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Recorded: April 13, 2020


The legal challenges of healthcare resources and standard of care must be assessed when disasters occur. Not only must one assess the necessary responses, officials must also balance the conflict of caring for the individual versus communal health objectives.

Join our expert legal attorneys as they discuss the significant legal changes that occur during times of disaster and emergencies.

This program was recorded on April 13th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Lance A. Gable

Associate Professor
Wayne State Unversity Law School

Lance Gable is an associate professor of law at Wayne State University Law School. Gable, an internationally known expert on public health law and bioethics, served as interim dean of Wayne Law from September 2016 to August 2017.

A member of the Law School faculty since 2006, he also served as associate dean from June 2014 until his appointment as interim dean in 2016. Prior to that, he was interim associate dean since June 2013. He teaches courses on Public Health Law, Bioethics and the Law, Torts and other health law subjects.

His research addresses the overlap among law, policy, ethics, health and science. He has published journal articles on a diverse array of topics, including public health law, ethics and policy; international human rights; bioterrorism and emergency preparedness; mental health; research ethics; and information privacy. He also is co-editor and co-author respectively of two books: Research with High Risk Populations: Balancing Science, Ethics and the Law and Legal Aspects of HIV/AIDS: A Guide for Policy and Law Reform.

Gable has helped the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services develop ethical guidelines for the allocation of scarce medical resources during public health emergencies. He also has assisted with the development of course materials for the World Health Organization Diploma in International Human Rights and Mental Health, and has worked as a human rights consultant for the Pan American Health Organization.

He has served as co-chair of Wayne State University's Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee, co-chair of the university's Clinical and Transnational Research Ethics Workgroup. He is the recipient of the 2010 WSU Academy of Scholars Junior Faculty Award for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Prior to joining the Wayne Law faculty, Gable was a senior fellow at the Centers for Law and the Public's Health: A Collaborative at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities, affiliated with the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He continued his affiliation with the centers as a scholar from 2006 to 2012.

He previously was project director for the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals Legal and Regulatory Issues Project, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration. He also was the Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in Bioterrorism Law and Policy at the Centers for Law and the Public’s Health, and practiced as a health care law attorney at a major international firm in Washington, D.C.

Gable holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University and master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Karen Rubin

Thompson Hine LLP

Karen is a member of the firm's Business Litigation practice group, focusing her practice on a wide variety of litigation issues.

In addition, Karen practices, teaches and writes in the area of professional responsibility, including malpractice and legal ethics. She is the chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's Ethics Committee, and a past chair of the Association's Certified Grievance Committee, which investigates allegations of attorney misconduct.

Karen was appointed in 2020 by the Ohio Supreme Court to its Commission on Professionalism. Karen is also a member and past chair of the Ohio State Bar Association's Ethics Committee, and has authored several ethics opinions interpreting the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct.

Karen is an adjunct professor of law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, teaching legal ethics. She also is co-editor of Thompson Hine’s legal ethics blog, The Law for Lawyers Today, which has twice been named as a top law blog by the ABA Journal.

Joyce Roper

Assistant Attorney General
State of Washington Attorney General's Office

Roper, who as Washington state’s Assistant Attorney General advises the health department, credits Gov. Jay Inslee with quickly responding to protect the public after the coronavirus outbreak at the Life Care Center of Kirkland.

Gregory A. Sunshine

Public Health Analyst
Carter Consulting, Inc.

Gregory Sunshine serves as a Public Health Analyst through Carter Consulting, Inc. for the CDC’s Public Health Law Program in the Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support. He oversees the Disaster and Public Health Emergency Declaration Law Project, and travels to health departments teaching response personnel about the role of the law in public health emergencies.

Mr. Sunshine earned his JD with a certificate in Health Law from the University of Maryland School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dickinson College. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland.

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