ABA House of Delegates


Mecklenburg County Bar ABA Delegate - Clark C. Walton 

The American Bar Association convened for its 139th Annual Meeting in New York, New York, on August 9 – August 15, 2017. What a “Big Apple” of a meeting it was! More than 60 leading law firms in midtown Manhattan provided programs as the “CLE in the City Series”. There were fantastic networking opportunities, and we discussed important issues facing our profession, country, and system of justice. Highlights included: 

•The ABA Expo: There was the Trial of Two Pizzas (New York -v- Chicago); Joey Jackson, Defense Attorney & CNN /HLN Legal Analyst, serving as master of ceremony for the Legal Services Corporation Concert and Rally, and the Community Service Project “Operation Gratitude,” offering members the opportunity to volunteer their time.

•The ABA General Assembly: There was the processional of ABA Delegates with state/territorial flag, followed by New York Bar President Sharon Stern Gerstman, who welcomed attendees to the Empire State. ABA President Linda Klein recognized John D. Feerick, former Dean at Fordham University School of Law as the 2017 recipient of the ABA Medal. In his remarks, he urged his fellow lawyers to “help address the access-to-justice gap.” 

•The Membership Meeting: Candidates seeking officer positions answered questions of the membership.

•The House of Delegates met for 1½ days. The gavel was passed to President, Hilarie Bass of Florida, election results for Delegate-at-Large and Board of Governor members were announced, and the House welcomed its newly elected officer: President-Elect, Robert M. Carlson of Montana. In addition, the House addressed an array of other topics and issues – including the animal rights, civil rights and social justice, criminal justice, disability rights, dispute resolution, education, election law, gun violence, immigration, legal services, model rules/lawyer discipline, tort and trial and insurance, and veterans. The Daily Journal of the actions of the House of Delegates can be found on the House of Delegates Webpage. The Select Committee Report is a more comprehensive summary and the August edition of the ABA Washington Letter also provides a detailed report.

There are many exciting things happening at the ABA. Please visit the ABA Home page to see the most current news, but there are two exciting travel opportunities for you to consider: 

Register for the ABA 2018 Paris Sessions in Paris, France, June 7 to June 10, 2018.
Register for the Midyear Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, January 31 to February 6, 2018. 

Your commitment to the ABA makes a difference. I ask that you encourage other lawyers, especially those recently admitted to the bar, to join the ABA. The ABA works hard to benefit the legal profession and there are many member benefits. Just check out ABA Member Advantage.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, or if I can be of assistance helping you navigate the many programs and benefits of our Association, please email me.

Best Regards, 

D. Clark Smith, Jr.
ABA North Carolina State Delegate