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Lucian T. Pera is Treasurer of the American Bar Association and former President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. An active member of the Center for Professional Responsibility and a legal ethics authority, Mr. Pera has been engaged on all major ABA ethics and professional responsibility initiatives for a number of years. He is a litigation Partner with Adams and Reese LLP in Memphis, Tennessee
Good morning, everyone.
I’m Lucian Pera and many of you know that I’m a regular attendee at the National Conference. I’ve been asked to say a few words about the death of our friend, our mentor, our leader, Jeanne Gray, the Director of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility for some three decades.
It’s been a hard year for our ABA Center for Professional Responsibility. Over Thanksgiving, we lost our dear friend, the joyful and brilliant Professor Gary Munneke. Then, over a few days in April, we lost both Jeanne and the talented and irrepressible Marcia Kladder of the Center staff. I understand completely why, in an email to me the other day, one Center staffer referred to those days in April as the time when, as she put it, “our world collapsed.”
Here, in this place, above all others, I know that most all of you share my belief that ethics and professional responsibility is the most important thing the ABA does. It’s been that way since before any of us were born. But the continued central role of the ABA in legal ethics was by no means inevitable.