The Frederick Fisher Memorial Program is held in conjunction with the American Bar Association's Consumer Financial Services Committee at the spring meeting of the Business Law Section. The Program format consists of a panel debate among
leading consumer advocates, regulators and finance industry representatives on a topical issue in consumer finance. The lively, informative presentation is moderated by a CCFL member.
The program is open to CCFL members and registrants at the ABA Business Law Section Spring meeting.
The Fisher Memorial Program was held on April 8, 2016 at the Spring Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The topic was “Is Fair Lending Fair for All?”
The program covered the following topics and related questions. The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly approved the disparate impact theory under the FHA in its Inclusive Communities decision, but attached some significant limitations. The Court did not address the disparate impact theory under the ECOA, which has been asserted against non-mortgage lenders using controversial proxy evidence in lieu of HMDA data that mortgage lenders are required to collect on borrowers. What does this mean for future fair lending enforcement actions and litigation? Does the disparate impact theory properly address discrimination?
The moderator was John L. Ropiequet, Counsel, Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Chicago, IL
The panelists were:
- Dr. Marsha J. Courchane, Vice President and Practice Leader, Charles River Associates, Inc., Washington, DC
- Karla Gilbride, Staff Attorney, Public Justice, P.C., Washington, DC
- L. Jean Noonan, Partner, Hudson Cook LLP, Washington, DC
Frederick Fisher gained international fame as a young associate at Hale & Dorr L.L.P in Boston when his name was unjustly besmirched by Senator Joe McCarthy in the first nationally televised hearings by a congressional committee. It was this attack that triggered the famous "Have you no shame, sir" speech in defense of Fred by Hale and Dorr partner, Joe Welch, who was representing the United States Army in the hearings. This speech on national television resulted in resounding applause by the Senate Gallery and was the catalyst for ending McCarthy's reign of terror and his censure by the full United States Senate a few months later.
Fisher spent his entire professional career at Hale & Dorr where one of early mentors was his senior partner, Reginald Heber Smith, the father of Legal Aid. Fred was a member and officer of the Governing Committee of the Conference for many years and was Chairman of the Conference at the time of his sudden death in the late 1980s. His warm and colorful personality made him much loved by the members of the Governing Committee.