Chair's Messge

Vol. 36 No. 3

By

Mary Kay Klimesh is a partner in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and the Chair of the Section.


The mission of the State and Local Government Law Section is to serve as a collegial forum for its members, the profession, and the public, as well as to provide leadership and educational resources in state and local government law and policy. Recent Section leadership efforts have furthered this mission as CLE and Section meetings have been planned and implemented, as publications and books continue to be edited and drafted, and as our Section Council supports the establishment of new opportunities for member involvement.

Highlighting these efforts are the Section’s plans for the upcoming Spring Meeting, which will be held at the Hilton Nashville Downtown Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, from May 2−5, 2013. For the second consecutive year, the Section’s Spring Meeting is a joint meeting with the ABA’s Section of Public Contract Law, and programming includes the 8th Annual State & Local Procurement Symposium. The CLE for the Spring Meeting kicks off on Thursday afternoon with a practicum entitled the Basics in Government Contracts Law—What State & Local Practitioners Should Know and follows with a Networking Reception with plans for participants to be welcomed with remarks from Karl Dean, Mayor of Nashville. CLE programming continues for a full day on Friday addressing state and local government and land use hot topics, public contracting in emergency situations, government outsourcing and public-private partnerships, and ethical considerations in public contracting. Not only will the programming provide quality continuing legal education, but the Spring Meeting plans include networking and group activities in the heart of Nashville, including dinner and entertainment at the Bluebird Café. I’m very excited about our upcoming meeting and encourage you to visit our Section’s website to review the program and to register at www.ambar.org/SLspringmeeting for the learning and fun set for the Music City in early May 2013.

Another recent Section highlight includes the formation and development of a new Section Committee—the State Attorneys General and Department of Justice Issues Committee. This Committee will be a home within the ABA for those attorneys dealing with the work of state Attorney Generals and its objective is to create a collegial, quasi-academic environment in which attorneys can address, debate, and share knowledge about the array of legal matters within the jurisdiction and authority of the state Attorneys General. The Committee will be chaired by three co-chairs, a sitting Attorney General and two lawyers representing different aspects of the practice. Our initial Committee will be led by Co-Chairs Ellen Rosenblum, Attorney General for the State of Oregon, Ashley Taylor, Troutman Sanders, and Anthony Majestro, Powell & Majestro, PLLC. We are presently launching the Committee and have created a special honor for Founding Members who join before our upcoming Spring Meeting in Nashville when an organizational Committee Meeting will be held on May 3, 2013. If your work and interests land in the scope of this Committee’s focus, please join now and become a Founding Member.

One of our Section’s goals is to ensure diversity in our membership, committees, CLE programs, and Section leadership. In furtherance of this goal and our Section’s diversity efforts, we would like to reach out more directly to national bars of color, including the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA). Our Section is presently seeking members to serve as a liaison to each of these organizations. If you are interested in serving as a liaison or nominating someone for this role, please let us know by e-mailing our Section Director Tamara Edmonds Askew atTamara.Edmond sAskew@americanbar.org.

I’m very pleased with the efforts of our Section’s leadership and hope that we can grow membership involvement in Section activities. Please consider bringing your knowledge, experience, and interests to our Section, and let me know how you’d like to participate by e-mail at mklimesh@seyfarth.com or phone at 312/460-5985. I look forward to our communication and hopefully to meeting you at our upcoming Spring Meeting in Nashville.

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