Chair’s Message

Vol. 37 No. 2

By

W. Andrew Gowder is a shareholder in the Charleston, South Carolina, firm of Pratt-Thomas Walker, P.A., and the Chair of the Section.

Happy New Year to our Section members and friends! Though January starts the New Year on the calendar, we are well into our ABA year in the Section of State and Local Government Law. It seems hard to believe that our new Council and Officers took office four months ago in San Francisco, and now we are looking forward to our Midyear Meeting in balmy Chicago, Illinois, in February. To review these last few months:

  • We have seen the birth of two new committees, our International Committee, chaired by our former Section Chair and current Section Delegate, Ben Griffith, and our Native American Tribal Law Committee, led by Chair Robert O. Saunooke and Vice-Chair Jeannette Wolfley, with founding committee members Stephanie Kiger, Joe Lennihan, and Bijaya Shrestha. These two new committees, following closely in the footsteps of our Attorney General/Department of Justice Committee, bring new energy and diversity to our Section, and I am delighted to watch their progress in the coming year.
  • In October we met in conjunction with the Government and Public Sector Law Division for our Fall Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was a gorgeous fall weekend that allowed our members to get out and enjoy walking through one of our nation’s oldest cities and also take in the natural beauty of the surrounding region. Those who attended were treated to outstanding substantive programs covering topics such as ethics, western water law, tribal government law, disaster preparedness and emergency management, and Chapter 9 and municipal bankruptcies and receiverships. I would like to personally thank Col. Al Purdue, the Chair of the Government and Public Sector Law Division and Deputy Laboratory Counsel at Los Alamos National Laboratories for his hospitality in hosting us in his city and in his home during our meeting. It was truly a highlight for all of us in this still-young ABA year.

We are looking forward to reconvening with our colleagues and friends within our Section and in other ABA sections, divisions, and forums at the ABA Midyear Meeting beginning on February 6 in Chicago. Our Section Director Tamara Edmonds Askew has promised this southern boy that the mercury will rise above 0° for that meeting, and I plan to hold her to it.

I want to encourage you to join us for that meeting and our upcoming Spring Meeting in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, at the Historic Grove Park Inn, April 24–27. We will be holding that meeting in collaboration with our good friends in the Public Contract Law Section, and we have a packed schedule of cutting-edge substantive programs and entertaining social events planned. Please join us. I promise that you will learn a lot, make new friends and new contacts, advance your career, and have fun. If you are joining us for the first time or coming back to us after an absence, please let me know you are coming so I can welcome you personally.

Best wishes to you all for a happy and successful 2104!

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