Increasing FREE CLE opportunities for members is one of many implementation steps our Section adopted in September as part of our 2013-2016 Business Plan. In the coming months, you will begin to see additional steps the Section is taking to increase the value of your membership. You will see more high-quality content, and you will be able to find it more quickly when you need it. Through increased use of technology tools, you will be able to interact and collaborate with other Section members more easily. Your opportunities for professional growth and networking will increase. So be looking for these new ways to expand your knowledge, engage with others in your legal community, and gain experience.
The Business Law Section also is working behind the scenes to support the profession in ways that serve not only Section members, but all lawyers—and sometimes other professionals as well. For example, current draft legislation in the U.S. House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees would significantly and negatively impact law firms, accounting firms, engineering and architectural firms, and other personal service businesses with annual gross receipts over $10 million. The legislation would require these firms to use the accrual method of accounting rather than the traditional cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting. This would require those businesses (and therefore their owners, such as law firm partners) to pay tax on income they have not yet received and may never receive. To add a strong voice in opposition to this proposed legislation, the Business Law Section sponsored a Resolution opposing the draft legislation. Seven other Sections, Divisions and state bars co-sponsored the Resolution, and on Nov. 16, 2013, the ABA Board of Governors formally adopted it. As a result, the ABA can now add its strong voice to those opposing the legislation.
Your Business Law Section leaders are very excited about finding new ways to include more members in creating valuable content, making the content more accessible, providing technical comments to financial regulators, increasing collaboration and networking opportunities, and generally serving the profession. We welcome your ideas and involvement, and we wish you all the best of this holiday season. Here's to a very happy and peaceful New Year!
Dixie L. Johnson
Chair, ABA Business Law Section