Volume 5, Number 3
August 2006

Table of Contents
Past Issues


The 2005-2006 bar year marked an important change for GP|Solo; we officially became the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division and, as such, the ABA recognized home for the solo and small firm lawyer population. The year was also dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the countless contributions of thousands of unsung heroes who are America’s Main Street Lawyers. Throughout the year, the Division’s leadership produced an incredible amount of programs and resources that have enabled the Division to better serve its membership and remain viable to the profession. An account of those activities can be found in the 2005–2006 Report of the Chair, available for download in PDF.

Congratulations to ABA President Karen J. Mathis
 Former GP|Solo Division Chair Karen J. Mathis became President of the ABA on August 8th, 2006! President Mathis, a Denver lawyer, is the third woman to serve as an ABA President and the first lawyer from Colorado to head the nation’s largest association of lawyers. During her speech to the ABA House of Delegates recently in Honolulu, President Mathis said she would focus on mobilizing lawyers to help America’s at-risk youth, and on creating ways to help Baby Boom lawyers do meaningful volunteer service as they enter active retirement. Mathis also said she would work to promote the rule of law internationally during her one-year term.

President Mathis was Chair of the GP|Solo Division from 2002–2003 and, among other things, instituted the Division’s Difference Makers Program, which pays tribute to outstanding local area lawyers who have made a difference in the lives of fellow citizens particularly, although not exclusively, by breaking down barriers for women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people regardless of sexual orientation.

For more information about President Mathis and her initiatives, please visit the ABA President’s Homepage.


Congratulations to ABA House of Delegates Chair Laurel G. Bellows
 GP|Solo Division Council Member Laurel G. Bellows took office as Chair of the ABA’s House of Delegates (HOD) at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting in Hawaii. HOD Chair Bellows, a Chicago lawyer, is the first person from Illinois to be elected to an association-wide office since 1975. The HOD is the ABA’s policy-making body, and the two-year post of chair is the second-highest elected office in the organization.

HOD Chair Bellows formerly served as the ABA Board of Governors’ liaison to the GP|Solo Division and later became an elected Council Member of the Division in 2004. She will continue to serve on the Council until her seat is up for election in 2008.

For more information about HOD Chair Bellows and the House of Delegates, please visit her Chair’s Page.

Practice Builders Teleconference
Diagnosing and Treating Ethical Dilemmas at Your Solo or Small Firm
Thursday, September 7, 2006
1:00 PM–2:30 PM (Eastern)

In this Practice Builders teleconference and live audio webcast, our panelists will present a national “snapshot” of malpractice data and discuss hypothetical scenarios to illustrate potential ethical and malpractice issues at solo and small firms. 

We have created a new CLE page! On it you can now:

  • Find information about our Practice Builders teleconference series;
  • Download CLE Materials from past materials;
  • Find out more about our CLE programs on the WestLegalEdCenter; and
  • Read other CLE news.

The GP|Solo Division’s Council and Executive Committee voted to cosponsor the following reports up for action at the House of Delegates Meeting in Hawaii:

  • Report #10A: Urges federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local governments to assure that adequate and appropriate services are made readily available to at-risk youth and their caretakers by ensuring that community mental health systems serving youth are reinvigorated and significantly expanded to provide greater access to troubled youth and their caretakers. (APPROVED AS REVISED)
  • Report # 114: Adopts the Standards of Practice for Attorneys Representing Parents in Abuse and Neglect Cases, dated August 2006, which would clarify the role of parents’ attorneys in the same type of cases. (APPROVED AS AMENDED)
  • Report #117: Supports the Proposed Attorney Discipline Amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure that would clarify the authority of bankruptcy courts to discipline attorneys engaging in a pattern of misconduct and require district or bankruptcy courts to adopt and enforce local disciplinary rules and procedures with respect to attorneys practicing before bankruptcy courts and which comply with the ABA Model Federal Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement and the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions. (APPROVED)
  • Report #121B: Urges law schools to require legal employers that recruit on campus to disclose, and to make available to the schools’ students and alumni, specific information regarding the employer’s pro bono policies, practices and activities and urges law schools to adopt the Pro Bono Disclosure Requirements for Law School Recruiters, dated August 2006. (APPROVED)
  • Report #302A: Supports the preservation of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine in connection with audits of company financial statements and urges the Securities and Exchange Commission and other relevant organizations to adopt standards, policies, practices and procedures and take other appropriate steps to ensure that attorney-client privilege and work product protections are preserved throughout the audit process. (APPROVED)

For more information, please download the Daily Journal of the HOD at the 2006 Annual Meeting (PDF).

 GP|Solo Division Fall Meeting
October 18
–22, 2006
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Pfister Hotel (Room Rate is $140 a night)

More info coming soon!

 Solosez is an email discussion list for solo and small firm lawyers. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Solosez has grown to be the ABA’s busiest list.

For a taste of what Solosez has to offer, check out the popular threads on Solosez’s website. Last month's threads were:

  • How Do You Burn a CD of Your Files?
  • Should I Talk to the Press About a Pending Case?
  • How Do You Deal with the Anxiety of Going to Court?
  • Name For <<>>
  • Google Calendar

The Division welcomes the Diversity Fellows for the 2006–2007 bar year:

  • Youshea Berry, Washington, D.C.;
  • Lisa Chang, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • Jane Kow, San Francisco, California; and
  • Richard Evangelista, Kingshill, Virgin Islands.

The Diversity Fellows Program is designed to promote ethnic diversity within the Division, recruit members of color, and provide leadership development opportunities within the Division for members of color.

For more information about the Diversity Fellows Program, please visit the Division's Diversity Welcome page.

The Division is pleased to announce that Robert S. Spoja of Lewistown, MT, and Deanna Zinno of Canton, MI, have been chosen as the Division’s inaugural Young Lawyer Fellowship Class of 2006–2007. The program provides young lawyers the opportunity to become actively and integrally involved in the Division’s meetings and committees. In addition to serving on the Division’s Young Lawyer Committee, both of the Fellows have been appointed as Assistant Issue Editors for the Division’s New Lawyer eNewsletter. The Fellows will also be expected to complete a substantive project for the Division. We look forward to the talent and enthusiasm that Robert and Deanna will bring to our Division. Welcome aboard!

For more information about the Division’s Young Lawyer Fellowship program and other young lawyer activities, please visit the Division’s Young Lawyer Welcome page.

 Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act, Second Edition
This book, written from the perspective of a lawyer with a disability, demonstrates that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not just a law, but a way of life.

Price: $69.95
GP|Solo members: $54.95

Find out about other GP|Solo books at our bookstore.




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