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ABA Announces Nominations

Slate includes first woman of color chosen to serve as an officer of the association

Posted Apr 2, 2007 1:37 AM CDT
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The ABA took another important step toward achieving greater diversity in its leadership ranks in February when the Nomi­na­ting Com­mittee of the House of Delegates an­nounced this year’s slate of candidates for president-elect, two other officer positions and nine seats on the Board of Governors.

The House of Delegates will vote on the nominees in August when it convenes at the 2007 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The Nominating Committee’s selections are virtually assured of being elected.

Under the ABA Constitution, nominees for president are never actually elected to that office itself. Rather, the House elects a nominee to the office of president elect. After one year, the president elect automatically becomes president of the association.

Accordingly, H. Thomas Wells Jr. of Birmingham, Ala., will serve as president elect after his election by the House in August. He will then serve a one year term as president starting in August 2008 at the close of that year’s annual meeting.

In other action, the Nominating Committee selected Bernice B. Donald, a U.S. district judge in Memphis, Tenn., to become ABA secretary. Donald will be the first woman of color to serve as an officer of the association. The Nominating Committee also selected Alice E. Richmond of Boston to become ABA treasurer. Richmond will be the first woman to serve in that post.

Donald and Richmond will serve concurrent three year terms starting in August 2008. The nominees to the 37 member Board of Governors will serve three year terms starting in August. Six of the nominees will represent regional districts, two will represent sections, and one will serve as a woman member at large.

The Nominating Committee’s selection of Donald and Richmond is an encouraging step, says Paulette Brown of Short Hills, N.J., the nominee to the woman at large seat. But she says it’s important for the ABA to nurture other women and minorities seeking to move up in the association’s leadership ranks.

The nomination of the first woman of color to serve as an officer of the ABA is particularly notable, says Brown. “It’s to the ABA’s credit that Bernice Donald was nominated,” Brown says. “People recognized her talents. In that regard, the ABA has come a mighty long way.”

H. Thomas Wells Jr.

President-Elect

WHO HE IS: Shareholder in Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham, Ala. Chaired ABA House of Delegates in 2002 04. As Alabama state delegate in 1999 2001, served on Nominating Committee. Returned to House as delegate in 2004. Co chairs the Special Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness formed after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. Previously served on the Commission on the American Jury and the Commission on the Future of the Legal Profession. Chaired the Section of Litigation in 1999 2000. Received J.D. in 1975 from University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa.

Bernice B. Donald

Secretary-Elect

WHO SHE IS: Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee in Memphis since 1996. First African American woman to serve as a U.S. district court judge in Tennessee. Member, ABA House of Delegates in 1993 95 and 1999 2002. Member, Board of Governors in 1999 2002. Member of ABA Center for Human Rights, secretary of American Bar Foundation and treasurer of ABA Museum of Law. Member of ABA Journal Board of Editors. Chaired ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in 1994 97. Served on Commission on Governance in 2003 05 and ABA Goal VIII Task Force in 2002 03. Past member of Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund Selection Commission (2000 05); and standing committees on Membership (1997 99), Strategic Communications (1997 99) and Gavel Awards (1989 95). Served as council member for sections of Litigation and International Law. In Judicial Division, serves on executive committee of National Conference of Federal Trial Judges. Advisory board member, Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative in 1999 2001. Received J.D. in 1979 from University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

Alice E. Richmond

Treasurer Elect

WHO SHE IS: Principal in Alice E. Richmond & Associates in Boston. Member, ABA House of Delegates in 1980 2002 and since 2005. Member, Standing Committee on Audit and Task Force on General Agreement on Trade in Services. Served on Board of Governors in 2002 05. Member of Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary (1989 1993); Latin American Law Initiative Council (2000 03); advisory board to Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (1999 2001); and Fund for Justice and Education Council (1999 2003). First woman to serve as president of Massachusetts Bar Association in 1986 87. Received J.D. in 1972 from Harvard University Law School.

H. Ritchey Hollenbaugh

District 7

WHO HE IS: Head of the litigation group at Carlile Patchen & Murphy in Columbus, Ohio. Member, ABA House of Delegates since 1993. Chaired Commission on Advertising in 1993 97. Member of Standing Committee on Strategic Communications in 1998 2000 and co chaired National Conference of Lawyers and Representatives of the Media in 2002 04. Past president of Ohio State Bar Association (1992 93) and Columbus Bar Association (1987 88). Received law degree in 1973 from Capital University Law School in Columbus.

Richard Pena

District 8

WHO HE IS: Founder of the Law Offices of Richard Pena in Austin, Texas. Member of ABA House of Delegates since 1998. As current state delegate for Texas, serves on ABA Nominating Committee. Chairs Commission on Immigration. Served on Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund Selection Commission (2001 03) and Task Force on Hurricane Katrina (2005 06). Vice president of American Bar Foundation board of directors. Member of executive council for National Conference of Bar Presidents in 2000 03. First Hispanic to serve as president of State Bar of Texas in 1998 99. Past president of Travis County Bar Association (1990 91). Received J.D. in 1976 from University of Texas School of Law in Austin.

David R. Gienapp

District 10

WHO HE IS: Presiding judge of Third Circuit Court of the South Dakota Unified Judicial System, with chambers in Brookings. Represents State Bar of South Dakota in ABA House of Delegates. Vice chair of Judiciary Committee in Senior Lawyers Division. President of State Bar of South Dakota in 1994 95. Received J.D. from University of Wyoming College of Law in Laramie.

Don Bivens

District 11

WHO HE IS: Partner at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix. As state delegate for Arizona in ABA House of Delegates, serves on ABA Nominating Committee. Chaired House Rules and Calendar Committee in 2002 04. Member of Standing Committee on Judicial Independence. Co chairs ABA Resource Committee in Section of Litigation. Chaired Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems in 2000 03. Past president of Western States Bar Conference (2003 04), State Bar of Arizona (1998 99) and Maricopa County Bar Association (1991 92). Received J.D. in 1977 from University of Texas School of Law in Austin.

Katherine H. O’Neil

District 13

WHO SHE IS: Partner at Graff & O’Neil in Portland, Ore. ABA House of Delegates member in 1991 2006. Member of Standing Committee on Gavel Awards. Past member of Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services and Commission on Women in the Profession. Past president of National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations. Received J.D. in 1997 from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

Kathleen j. Hopkins

District 18

WHO SHE IS: Member of Real Property Law Group in Seattle. Member of ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. Council member for Section of Business Law. Editor of Business Law Today, published by Business Law Section. Assistant editor of electronic newsletters published by General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. Chairs division’s Real Estate Law Committee. Received J.D. in 1991 from University of Washington School of Law in Seattle.

John Hardin Young

Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice

WHO HE IS: Partner at Sandler, Reiff & Young in Washington, D.C. Past chair of ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Co chairs section’s Professional Education Committee. Member of Standing Committee on Election Law. Past member of Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education. Received J.D. in 1973 from University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville.

Scott F. Partridge

Section of Science and Technology Law

WHO HE IS: Partner at Baker Botts in Houston. Past chair of ABA Section of Science and Technology Law. Section representative in House of Delegates since 2000. Member of Commission on Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts. Executive committee member for Section Officers Conference. Received J.D. in 1974 from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Paulette Brown

Woman Member At Large

WHO SHE IS: Partner at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge in Short Hills, N.J. Member of ABA House of Delegates since 1997; currently represents National Bar Association. Member of Commission on Women in the Profession. Council member for Section of Litigation. Chaired Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice in 1998 2000. Served on Governance Commission in 2003 05 and Commission on Asbestos. President of National Bar Association in 1993 94. Received J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, N.J.

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