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August 9, 2010

ABA President Carolyn Lamm Cites Challenges to Lawyers of Globalization, Technology, In Opening Session of House of Delegates

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Accepts ABA Medal

ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm addresses the House of Delegates at the 2010 Annual Meeting in San Francisco

ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm addresses the House of Delegates at the 2010 Annual Meeting in San Francisco

On the first morning of the meeting of the 560-member policy-making House of Delegates, the _ began debate on recommendations brought to it from association entities and local or state bars.  In addition, the delegates heard from ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm and witnessed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg receiving the ABA Medal.

President Carolyn B. Lamm spoke about the challenges that lawyers currently face.  “It is the role of the association to ensure they don’t face those challenges alone.” Among the challenges are the rapid changes in technology and increasing globalization. “Our profession must rise to meet these challenges,” continued Lamm.

Lawyers need to be as deliberate and reasoned as ever, “but we must respond faster,” said Lamm.  This includes working on “service to our members and service to the public.”

It’s been a difficult year, to be sure, pointed out Lamm. She spoke about her initiatives, specifically the Ethics 20/20 Commission, addressing the economic crisis and her diversity initiative.

Lamm also outlined the association‘s Governmental Affairs Office’s efforts, specifically in opposition to the Federal Trade Commission’s Red Flags Rule and in combating excessive regulation of the legal profession in the new Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Further, she spoke to the association’s involvement in evaluating the qualifications of two Supreme Court nominees by the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary; the caseloads of the courts and the need to fill judicial vacancies; and judicial compensation, including the association’s filing an amicus brief in Beer v. United States.

The house had a heated debate on whether to amend the association’s Constitution to provide House seats for certain territories, to include the American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands.  The resolution fell short of the 2/3 margin it needed, failing by a vote of 301-155.  The House continues its debate after a luncheon recess.