Public Health Measures in Response to COVID-19

Level: Beginner
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: April 10, 2020
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  • Health Care System Response to COVID-19
  • Legal System Response to COVID-19
  • Overview of the ABA Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: April 10, 2020


This program will explain current obstacles to identifying and treating persons with COVID-19 and how to reduce them through existing and proposed laws. In the absence of complete information about the affected population, governments at all levels recommend social distancing to minimize transmission of infection. The program will identify new and proposed laws that facilitate social distancing, comparing them with laws that may hinder containment of the pandemic.

This program was recorded on April 10th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Wendy K. Mariner

Professor of Law
Boston University School of Law

Professor Wendy Mariner’s research focuses on laws governing health risks, including social and personal responsibility for risk creation in conceptions of insurance, as well as national health systems, including the Affordable Care Act and ERISA, health information privacy, and population health policy.

She has published more than 100 articles in the legal, medical and health policy literature on patients and consumers’ rights, health care reform, insurance benefits, insurance regulation, public health, AIDS policy, research with human beings, and reproductive rights, and co-authored the law school textbook, Public Health Law (with Ken Wing, George Annas, and Dan Strouse). She also serves as a Program Chair of the Program in Health Law & Human Rights, a joint project with the Public Health Regulations Analysis Center of the National School of Public Health of the New University of Lisbon. Currently, she serves on the Health Information Exchange-Health Information Technology Council Advisory Committee for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and chairs its Legal and Policy Workgroup. She is also a member of the Council of the American Bar Association’s Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section.

Professor Mariner has served on state, national, and international boards and commissions, including the Massachusetts Health Facilities Appeals Board, the Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council Advisory Committee, the National Institutes of Health’s AIDS Policy Advisory Committee, Institute of Medicine Study Committees, the CIOMS/WHO Steering Committee for the International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, and the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association. Her university activities have included serving as Chair of the Boston University Faculty Council, Co-Director of Regulatory Knowledge and Research Ethics of Boston University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and legal director for the Boston University School of Public Health project providing technical assistance to the Russian Federation in developing health reform legislation.

She has served as contributing editor for health law and ethics for the American Journal of Public Health and currently sits on the editorial boards of Journal of Health Politics, Policy & Law, the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, and Human Rights and the Global Economy. She and Professors Annas and Glantz have submitted amicus curiae briefs to the United States Supreme Court in cases involving health law issues, including the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia

Infectious Diseases Physician
Boston University School of Medicine

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia is an infectious diseases physician and the medical director of Special Pathogens Unit at Boston University School of Medicine. She oversees the medical response program for Boston University’s maximum containment biosafety level 4 program at National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories. She serves on national and interagency groups focused on medical countermeasures, the intersection between public health preparedness, research and clinical care for emerging pathogens. Her research focuses on identification of safe and effective clinical interventions and infection control measures related to viral hemorrhagic fevers.

During the West African Ebola epidemic, she served as a clinician in several Ebola treatment units, working with World Health Organization and Partners in Health. She currently serves as the clinical lead for the Joint Mobile Emerging Disease Intervention Clinical Capability (JMEDICC) program which a joint US-Ugandan effort to create clinical research capacity to combat viral hemorrhagic fevers in Uganda at the border of Democratic Republic of Congo.

She has served as a subject matter expert to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and World Bank.

Dr. Bhadelia is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Human Security at the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where she teaches a course on human security and emerging infectious diseases.

Judy Perry Martinez

Immediate Past President
American Bar Association

Judy Perry Martinez of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans is Immediate Past President of the American Bar Association, the largest voluntary association of attorneys and legal professionals in the world.

Over the past 35 years, Martinez has held various leadership positions with the ABA, including chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all nominees to the federal bench. Earlier, she served as the ABA’s lead representative to the United Nations and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee.

She also has served on numerous ABA committees dealing with critical issues in law and society. She served as chair of the ABA’s Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services and its Commission on Domestic Violence. She was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, and the Council of the ABA Center on Diversity.

Between 2003 and 2015, while at Northrop Grumman Corporation, Martinez served as assistant general counsel-litigation before becoming vice president and chief compliance officer in 2011. After retiring from the aerospace and cyberspace industry, she spent a year as a fellow in residence at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. Martinez returned to Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, where she had worked as a commercial litigator from 1982 to 2003, rising to partner and member of the management committee.

Martinez has held several leadership positions within the New Orleans and Louisiana State Bar Associations, and she served on the board of the Innocence Project-New Orleans, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and as an officer of the World Justice Project. She also has served as a Distinguished Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellow for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. Among her various honors, Martinez received the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Counsel, the Distinguished Attorney Award from the Louisiana Bar Foundation, the Alliance for Justice Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Michelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys. She was honored in 2017 with the Louisiana State Bar Association’s David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the New Orleans Bar Association’s Presidents’ Award.

She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation, a member of the American Law Institute, and a former member of the board of directors of the American Bar Foundation.

Martinez earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and her juris doctor, with honors, from Tulane Law School.

James Sandman

President Emeritus
Legal Services Corporation

James J. Sandman was president of the Legal Services Corporation from 2011 to 2020, before serving as president emeritus. He practiced law with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years and served as the firm’s managing partner for a decade. He is also a past president of the 100,000-member District of Columbia Bar and a former general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Sandman is chairman of the board of the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and a member of the boards of Washington Performing Arts, the College of Saint Rose, Albany Law School, and the Tahirih Justice Center. He is a member of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, the District of Columbia Bar Pro Bono Committee, the American Law Institute, the Advisory Council of the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation, the Board of Advisors of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center on the Future, and the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee.

Sandman previously served as chair of the District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and as a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, as chairman of the boards of the Meyer Foundation and of Whitman-Walker Health, and as a member of the boards of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia, the International Senior Lawyers Project, the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, and Wilkes University. He also has served on the scholarship selection committee of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

Sandman was named one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” by the Legal Times in 2008. The University of Pennsylvania Law School has honored him with its Alumni Award of Merit and its Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award. He has also received the District of Columbia Bar’s Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Award, the Wiley A. Branton Award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Legal Rights and Urban Affairs, the Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award from the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia, the D.C. Commission on Human Rights’ Cornelius R. Alexander Humanitarian Award, D.C. Law Students in Court’s Celebration of Service Award, the Washington Council of Lawyers’ Presidents’ Award, the Council for Court’s Excellence’s Justice Potter Steward Award, Tahirih Justice Center’s Wings of Justice Award, and Legal Aid Society of Cleveland's Louis Stokes Paragon Award. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the College of Saint Rose and has received Villanova University’s Medallion Award. He has given commencement addresses at the College of Saint Rose, Villanova Law School, Rutgers Law School, and the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.

Sandman is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received his law degree cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as executive editor of the law review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Max Rosenn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

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