History Project: 1960s and 1970s

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1975 First International Meeting of the CLA in Japan

In August 1975 Richard ("Dick") Bernacchi of the CLA co-chaired the First USA-Japan Joint Computer Law Conference in Japan. Mr. T. Hayakawa of the Japanese Computer Law Association was his co-chair. In 1991 on the 20th anniversary, Dick Bernacchi recalled:

"One of the most memorable events I can recall was the first USA/Japan Joint Computer Law Conference, co-hosted in Tokyo by CLA and its Japanese counterpart in 1975. Roy Freed, Professor James Chandler and I participated in the conference, where I first met Professor Takeo Hayakawa, who was the "papasan" (I hope I spelled it right) of computer law in Japan. The conference left a strong impression with me as it reflected CLA's willingness to reach out to exert its positive influence in the world community.

It was the first conference of its kind, held at a time when most other people were not focusing on international or global markets much less the unique computer law issues posed by those markets . I viewed it as a very forward thinking activity on CLA’s part."

Dick Bernacchi served as President of the CLA and remained active in the CLA for many years. He also trained such other CLA notables as Mark Gordon, who became the President of the CLA in 1993.

Bob Bigelow recalled the CLA’s early efforts at Internationalization in this way:

"Although the CLA began as a domestic US organization, international issues have been on the minds of its members from the very beginning, even before its incorporation . At the third meeting, October 27, 1972, Kenneth Katz of the Canadian Department of Communications, and Professor Bryan Niblett, Chairman of the Law Specialist Group of the British Computer Society, spoke on "Some International Aspects of Computer Law" . In August 1975 the CLA co-sponsored a meeting in Japan with the Japanese Computer Law Association. This was followed by a major international meeting in Toronto in 1978, co-sponsored by the Jurimetrics Committee of the Canadian Bar Association."

1976 First US West Coast Conference

The CLA began as a Washington based association and it took 5 years before a conference was held outside of the District of Columbia. Not surprisingly the CLA’s first foray out of DC was for a conference held in San Francisco, not far from Silicon Valley. Paul Bent, who would later be President of the CLA and a force for professional organization within the CLA, chaired the conference. It provided an overview of the "State of the Art" in various aspects of Computer Law. CLA returned to the West Coast yearly for many years. Many of those conferences were held in Silicon Valley or its environs, with the occasional visit to Los Angeles. Paul Bent chaired a number of the early West Coast events.



Herb Marks recalled in 1991:

1978 First Canadian Meeting

In 1978 Dan Cooper, who would later become the first non-US lawyer to be president of the CLA, co-chaired a program on System Design and Acquisition Considerations in Toronto with Bob Bigelow. The Jurimetrics Committee of the Canadian Bar Association co-sponsored the event. Dan Cooper was the father of computer law in Canada and an important early mover in the CLA’s efforts to become more international.

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