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Orthodox Christian Attorney Network National Conference

October 7, 2022 - October 8, 2022

We invite you to the fifth national gathering of Orthodox Christian attorneys! This event is a chance for fellow Eastern Orthodox attorneys and law students to build relationships across jurisdictions and learn to serve our Lord together through the legal profession. This event is held in conjunction with the Christian Legal Society (CLS) National Conference. Participants are welcome to come for the OCAN event only or for the entire CLS conference.

The 2022 OCAN conference will be held at the VEA Newport Beach (a Marriott hotel) in Newport Beach, CA on October 7-8, 2022. Book your hotel rooms ASAP! The CLS guaranteed rooms are quickly running out and the discounted group rate ends Sept.13th. Book your hotel room at the VEA Newport News (Marriott) at this CLS group rate portal.


(To register for the OCAN conference only, choose “Partner Events,” click on “Register” at the bottom of the page. After completing the first registration page, select “A la Carte/Pre-con & Optional Events,” then click “Next.” Scroll down to “Orthodox Christian Attorney Network Meeting,” click “Select,” then “Next.” Follow the remaining instructions.)

The OCAN registration fee is $150.00. Scholarship funds available for law students, nonprofit/public interest attorneys, and other attorneys with financial needClick here for the scholarship application form. Application deadline is September 9th.

Questions? Email us at: [email protected]

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OCAN Conference Schedule (subject to change)

Friday, October 7th

     7:00pm   Dinner (optional, off-site)

Saturday, October 8th

     8:00am   Sign-in & Breakfast Buffet

     8:45am   Welcome, Prayer, and Introductory Remarks

     9:15am   Roundtable Discussion: How does our Orthodox faith impact
the practice of law?

     10:15am Session #1 Keynote Address: Orthodoxy and Originalism — A Judge’s
Personal Reflections on Religion and Law
Judge Gregory Katsas

     12:00pm  Lunch

     1:30pm    Session #2: Parish Legal Checkup Considerations – Important legal
issues every parish should be aware of (1 hour CLE credit)
– Joan Berg and Jesse Roberts

     3:15pm    Session #3: Orthodox Attorneys In Philanthropy – How lawyers can serve
Orthodox ministries as founders, legal counsel, board members, staff,
volunteers, and donors
– Charles Ajalat, Jasmina Boulanger, Melissa Kean

     4:45pm   Assembly of Bishops Legal Affairs Committee Update

     5:15pm   Closing Remarks

     7:00pm   Dinner (optional, off-site)

Keynote speaker 

The Honorable Gregory Katsas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Orthodoxy and Originalism:
A Judge’s Personal Reflections on Religion and Law


Judge Katsas was appointed to the D.C. Circuit in December 2017. He graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, where he was an executive editor on the Harvard Law Review. Between 1989 and 1992, he served as a law clerk to Judge Edward Becker on the Third Circuit, to then-Judge Clarence Thomas on the D.C. Circuit, and to Justice Thomas on the Supreme Court. Between 1992 and 2001, he was an associate and then partner in the Washington office of Jones Day, where he specialized in appellate and complex civil litigation. Between 2001 and 2009, he served in many senior positions in the Department of Justice, including as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division and as Acting Associate Attorney General. In 2009, he returned to Jones Day. From January to December 2017, he served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President.

Other speakers

Parish Legal Checkup Considerations

Joan T. Berg is a Partner at the law firm of Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC in Chicago, IL. Joan’s corporate and commercial real estate experience spans construction, development, land use, acquisition, disposition, lending and leasing. She works with her clients’ financial and investment goals in connection with transaction matters. Joan provides general corporate representation for her clients. She is counsel for her real estate developer and investor clients, as well as small and mid-sized businesses. In addition, Joan provides counsel to various non-profit and religious organizations. Joan provides counsel to a Christian denomination in the administration of its seminary. Joan is Co-Legal Advisor for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, a six-state region of the Greek Orthodox Church. In addition, she is a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Legal Committee. Joan is a member of the Orthodox Christian Attorney Network Steering Committee.

Jesse Roberts is an Associate at the law firm of Wagen maker & Oberly in Chicago, IL. Jesse assists nonprofits with entity formation, ongoing corporate and tax issues, regulated political activity for nonprofits, and data privacy concerns. Previously Jesse served as in-house Counsel to a committee within the U.S. House of Representatives where he advised members of Congress and their staffs on their legal and ethical requirements, in drafting numerous pieces of legislation, and in leading congressional oversight efforts over U.S. federal agencies. He has also spoken at multiple national legal conferences on lobbying and campaign finance matters. Jesse serves his local parish, Ascension of our Lord Greek Orthodox Church in Lincolnshire, IL in several capacities, including as a board member of its Koinonia Men’s Ministry.

Orthodox Attorneys In Philanthropy

Charles Ajalat is a philanthropist and founder of multiple Orthodox non-profits. He initiated through the Orthodox Vision Foundation the first National Orthodox Advanced Leadership Conference in 2017 held at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. Charles was a former chancellor for the Antiochian Archdiocese and member of the Order of St. Ignatius.  He was a co-founder of the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and helped to form the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve (FOCUS).

Jasmina T. Boulanger is the Chair of International Orthodox Christian Charities. She has practiced corporate and tax law in the US and Europe and has held senior executive and leadership positions at a variety of public companies, including Unocal, Valeant, and Conexant Systems. She has also served the nonprofit community as vice Chair of the City of Pasadena Planning Commission, Trustee of Assumption University, and President of the Serbian Unity Congress. In addition, she has served as Vice President of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church. In 2017 the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate awarded her the Order of St. Sava (2nd class). A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Boulanger completed her BA in economics at age 17 and went on to earn advanced degrees in economics (MS) and law (JD).

Melissa Kean, PhD is a board member and Secretary of the Saint Constantine School in Houston, Texas. She is a member of St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas. During her time as the Historian of Rice University, she was named one of “Houston’s 41 Most Fascinating People” by the Houston Chronicle. Dr. Kean holds a BA from Iowa State, a Master’s degree from Creighton University, another Master’s degree from Rice University, and a PhD from Rice University. In addition to four history degrees, she also earned a JD from the University of Iowa. Dr. Kean’s leadership experience extends from her work with a private religious school for children to her service on a university board.


October 7, 2022
October 8, 2022
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VEA Newport Beach
900 Newport Center Dr,
Newport Beach, CA 92660 United States
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