Alice Richmond, ABA Treasurer“History is full of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised again.” —Kurt VonnegutAfter several years of surprises, the ABA’s Fiscal Year ending Aug. 31, 2010, (FY2010) was one of progress, showing promising signs of stability. When compared with the Association’s FY2009, we stabilized overall total revenue, slightly decreased operating expenses and saw investments rebound.Past Treasurer’s Reports have focused on the ABA’s consolidated financial performance, which includes: the ABA; the Fund for Justice and Education (FJE), the ABA’s charitable or IRS 501(c)(3) entity; the James O. Broadhead Corporation, which owns and manages the ABA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters; and the inactive ABA Museum of Law. The outside audit of these entities has been completed and I am pleased to report that it was a completely “clean” audit without any suggested adjustments.The Association’s … [Read more...] about ABA Treasurer’s Report: Fiscal Year Ending Aug. 31, 2010
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Coming as it does at roughly the halfway point of the ABA year, the aptly named midyear meeting gives the association’s leadership a chance to collectively catch its breath and measure progress on various initiatives and policy priorities.In an interview with the ABA Journal a few weeks before the Feb. 3 meeting in Orlando, Fla., President Carolyn B. Lamm said she is optimistic about the ABA’s general direction and achievements on a number of fronts.“I’m very encouraged about where we are,” said Lamm, a partner at White & Case in Washington, D.C. Her term will end at the close of the annual meeting in San Francisco. “We’ve made progress on every issue we’ve addressed.”Two of Lamm’s presidential initiatives will be prominent at the midyear, which runs through Feb. 9.The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 will hold the first in a series of public hearings to receive input on issues relating to the regulation of lawyers in the … [Read more...] about Halftime Report
As if losing a court case wasn’t enough, Justin L. suffered an additional blow: His entire financial history became part of the public record.Justin L. (not his real name) had no idea his university was suing him for services supposedly rendered until collection proceedings were under way after a default judgment. He quickly hired legal counsel and challenged the default judgment. That motion, alas, soon added insult to injury.When Justin claimed that service in the underlying suit had been improper because the complaint had been sent to an old address, attorneys for the university introduced into evidence a copy of Justin’s credit report, which indicated that his old address was his address at the time of service. Because the report was entered into evidence without redaction, it was the equivalent of making years of Justin’s personal finances available for perusal by anyone and everyone.Justin’s case is far from unique. Using credit reports in … [Read more...] about Reporting Errors
If, as Boris Pasternak, that great Russian writer, wrote “[s]urprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us,” then I have been gifted beyond my wildest expectations during my first six months as Treasurer of the American Bar Association.Throughout my candidacy and my term as Treasurer-elect, the economy was booming and, with the good stewardship of Bill Robinson, my predecessor as Treasurer and other Association leaders, as well as prudent financial management by our professional staff, the Association ended each year with a healthy surplus. We used this surplus to realize our mission of defending liberty and pursuing justice by supporting a broad spectrum of programs and services, both in the United States and abroad, benefiting both the public and our members. The Association’s activities will certainly be impacted by the economic turmoil of the past few months and my future reports to you will deal with our projections for the Association’s position in … [Read more...] about ABA Treasurer’s Report
Last spring Monica Kim, a Northwestern University journalism student, ventured into some of Chicago’s roughest and most impoverished neighborhoods as part of a class project to investigate whether a man was wrongfully convicted of murder.Kim was a little nervous at first as she knocked on doors to locate witnesses on the city’s West Side, but she pressed on because she believed she was doing important work. That work began to pay off when, one morning two blocks from where the murder took place, Kim and classmate Taylor Soppe found a woman who witnessed the crime.“We just told her that we were students and that we were investigating this case and she said, ‘I’ll tell you all about it,’ ” Kim recalls.In the span of 10 weeks, Kim and her classmates, along with the help of a private investigator, compiled dozens of interviews and thousands of documents that suggested Donald Watkins could not have committed the 2007 shotgun murder of Alfred Curry. … [Read more...] about Journalism & Justice: Did Innocence Project Student Reporters Get Too Close to Lawyers?