PROFILES IN MEMBERSHIP
Linda S. Whitton
Linda Whitton, a Professor of Law at Valparaiso University, enjoys professional interests in both divisions of the Section. Before her career as an academic, she practiced business transactional law, including commercial real estate, in Indianapolis, and has taught the property classes at the law school for over ten years. Her active involvement in the Section, however, came on the Probate and Trust side through her expertise in elder law. Serving first in various committee leadership positions in the Elder Law and Disability Planning Group, Professor Whitton is now the Supervisory Council Member for that group. She also initiated the Section’s National Health Care Decisions Week campaign, which facilitates community education about planning for end-of-life health care decisions by providing program materials and grant support to state and local bar associations.
“Membership in the Section has provided a very satisfying synergy among my academic interests, law reform activities, and desire to promote professional community service,” reflects Whitton. “Many opportunities have come my way through professional friendships and projects in the Section.”
Professor Whitton also serves as the Reporter for the Committee to Revise the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act. She comments, “I have found increasing overlap in the colleagues with whom I now do my most interesting work. The common denominator in all of this seems to be a nexus to the Section. That is why I strongly encourage our recent graduates to seek out their niche interests in ABA committee work. It’s a great way to enhance a career and develop lifelong professional friendships.”
Carol Ann Martinelli
As the first chair of the Section’s Pro Bono Committee, Carol Ann Martinelli initiated a program to provide pro bono legal assistance to affiliates of Habitat for Humanity throughout the United States and to Habitat for Humanity International Legal Department’s (Americus, Georgia) document development project. More than 235 Section members (representing all 50 states) have joined her committee, volunteering to provide legal services contributing to the effort to serve the real estate needs of Habitat for Humanity. The Pro Bono Committee is also presently focusing its efforts on combating predatory lending by facilitating community education about lending practices, as well as encouraging community education on other real estate matters.
“I have been a member of the Section for almost twenty years, generally attending the Section’s Spring Symposia or the ABA Annual Meetings. When I realized six years ago that opportunities are available within committees to engage, not just in CLE programs, but in substantive real estate projects, I became a much more active Section member. I have learned that Section leadership is welcoming and supportive of member ideas and initiative.” Carol Ann is also a member of the Section’s Standing Committee for Membership, encouraging (among others) recent law graduates and law students to start early in their careers to take advantage of the benefits of Section membership.
Carol Ann’s legal career developed within the title insurance industry. She participates in real estate transactions involving major corporations, lenders, and law firms throughout the country as Vice President and NCS Counsel with LandAmerica’s National Commercial Services Division in Troy, Michigan. Her work focuses on commercial, high liability, single, and multi-site and multi-state transactions. “Section CLE programs provide opportunities to keep apprised of developing underwriting issues and the challenges of complex real estate transactions. Participation in the Section’s networking opportunities is both a pleasure and a wonderful benefit!”
Carol Ann received her Ph.D. in theology (Jewish-Catholic Studies) in 2002. Although she is a lifelong resident of Detroit and enjoys that city’s musical and other cultural activities, international travel is often on her agenda.