35th Annual Conference of the Professions

COP2022FlyerMis- and Disinformation in the Professions: Vaccines, Voting, and Virtue

Friday, May 27, 2022
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Karcher Auditorium, Storey Hall
SMU Dedman School of Law
3315 Daniel Avenue, Dallas TX 75205


8:00 am: Registration and Breakfast
8:30 am: Introduction and Welcome
8:45 am: Keynote by Christine Emba
9:45 am: Q & A
10:00 am: Break
10:15 am: Panel Discussion
11:45 am: Adjourn


Conference Subject: Mis- and Disinformation

Communicating accurate information is essential for the role physicians, attorneys, and clergy play in a flourishing society. They share a responsibility to inform the public wisely and truthfully on matters of life and death. This responsibility, however, has been rendered increasingly difficult with the spread of mis-and disinformation, leading to confusion, distrust, and suspicion about professional opinion and advice. The 2022 Conference of the Professions addressed this shared responsibility and its attendant difficulties, seeking to discern how to distinguish legitimate public inquiry from fallacious statements that undermine our physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual health and wellbeing.


Keynote by Christine Emba, Washington Post opinion columnist and editor, author of Rethinking Sex: A Provocation (Sentinel Press).


As someone who works in communicating information on pressing cultural topics through her work as an opinion columnist, Ms. Emba offered her general reflections on the place of mis- and disinformation in society, especially as it bears on the professions.


A panel of physicians, attorneys and clergy members discussed our theme, moderated by Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Chief Relationship Officer for Faith Commons.




Reeni Abraham is Associate Vice Chair of Undergraduate Medical Education, Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She practices internal medicine in the subspecialties of Hospitalist and Palliative Care.


Thomas Leatherbury is Senior Partner, Vinson & Elkins and Director, First Amendment Clinic, SMU Dedman School of Law.


Omar Suleiman is founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic research, an adjunct professor of Islamic Studies at SMU, and resident scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center.


Clergy: This event has been approved for .3 CEUs (Continuing Education Units).

Legal Professionals: This activity has been approved for 2.75 CLE Ethics Hours.

Physicians: The Texas Medical Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


About the Conference of the Professions

The annual Conference of the Professions is sponsored by the SMU Dedman School of Law, the Dallas County Medical Society, the Dallas Bar Association, the SMU Perkins School of TheologyThe University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Faith Commons, and SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Each year an ethical issue of common interest is identified. A noted expert in the field presents a keynote address, and a distinguished panel of local professionals discusses a related case that poses practical issues for law, medicine, the clergy, and other professions.


Past Conferences 

Past conference titles along with the keynote speakers are listed below.

Divisive Times: Trust and Cooperation in Professional Relationships - 04/30/21

Crossing Borders - 05/24/2019

Time's Up for the Professions? Power, Sex and the Way Forward - 05/11/2018

Responding to Racial Conflict: Responsibilities of the Professions - 05/26/2017

Coming Home: The Professions Supporting Veterans - 04/22/2016

Supersizing the Professions: Ethical Issues Facing Mega-Churches, Law Firms and Medical Practices - 04/17/2015

Agony and Ecstasy: How Your Emotions Affect Practice - 05/09/2014

Shortcuts and High Roads: Everyday Morality and the Professions - 04/26/2013

Professional Ethics and Social Media: Like? - 10/14/2011

A Lawyer, a Priest, and a Doctor walk into a bar... The Ethics of Humor in the Professions - 10/14/2010

Generational Expectations and the Professions - 02/17/2009

What in God's Name Am I Doing? - 02/11/2008

Preparing for Disaster: Fire, Flood, and the Flu - 03/30/2007

Apology and the Professions - 03/01/2006

Healthcare for the Uninsured - 10/06/2004

Sexual Misconduct Within the Professions: Restoring Public Trust - 11/13/2003

Information Privacy and the Professions - 10/17/2002

Honor Thy Children? The Challenge of a Child-Centered Practice - 11/15/2001

Technology and the Environment: Promise of Benefits, Risks of Harm - 10/19/2000

Engineering of Human Tissue - 10/01/1999

Challenges to Diversity in the Professions - 10/22/1998

Death and Dying - 10/27/1997

Politics and the Professions - 11/21/1996

The Human Genome - 10/17/1995

The Professions and Violence in the Family - 10/25/1994

Money and the Professions - 10/28/1993

Chemical Dependency - The Professional's Responsibility to Each Other and to the Community - 03/14/1992

The Role of the Professional in the Community - 03/27/1991

Women and Men in the Professions: A Question of Balance in the 21st Century - 1990

The Socialization of the Professional and Mid-Career Burnout - 1989

AIDS, The Emerging Crisis - 01/20/1988

Self Regulation for the Professions - 12/09/1986

The Meaning of Professional Responsibility Today - 10/24/1985