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August 01, 2014

ABA president William C. Hubbard to focus on legal services, sentencing reform, domestic violence

New ABA President William C. Hubbard, who began his one-year term Aug. 12 at the ABA Annual Meeting, will focus on improving delivery of services to the poor and middle class, working to reform sentencing laws and ease reentry into the community for ex-prisoners, and supporting efforts to train lawyers to defend victims of domestic violence.

Hubbard also will be presiding over the ABA’s commemoration next year of the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, signed in 1215 by King John of England and considered the foundation for the rule of law in the United States. The celebration will include four days of programs in London and the rededication of the ABA’s monument to the document at Runnymede.

Emphasizing the urgency of closing the legal services gap, Hubbard announced the establishment of a 30-member Commission on the Future of Legal Services to develop recommendations for improving access to justice. The commission, which will sponsor a national conference on legal services delivery in the spring, is expected to issue its report by the next Annual Meeting in August 2015.

 “We have to embrace innovation to lower costs and provide access so that people do not have to fend for themselves in the pursuit of justice and liberty,” he said.

Hubbard – a partner with the Columbia, South Carolina, office of Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough – is a past chair of the ABA House of Delegates, a past president of the American Bar Foundation and the American Bar Endowment, and a past chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. He also served on the ABA Board of Governors and the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. He is a member of the council of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Hubbard’s practice areas include business litigation related to breach of contract, business torts, breach of fiduciary duty claims, unfair trade practices, energy and utilities disputes, and class actions.

He has been honored several times by his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees. In 2002, Hubbard received the Order of Palmetto, the highest civilian award given by the governor of South Carolina.

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