General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division

A service of the ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division

Technology eReport

American Bar Association - Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice


Vol. 9, No. 4




Difference Makers Awards Program

Congratulations to the 2010 Difference Makers Awards Winners! The ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division honored the following award winners during the Division’s 2010 Fall Meeting and National Solo & Small Firm Conference, October 21–23, at the Difference Makers Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 22, at the Sheraton Austin in Austin, TX.

View photos of the event on Facebook.

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award was presented to Richard Pena of the Law Offices of Richard Pena P.C. in Austin, Texas. He is the immediate past president of the American Bar Foundation and has recently served on the Board of Governors for the ABA. This award honors an attorney living or deceased who made a significant contribution to the legal profession through service to the profession (i.e., frequent activities in bar associations, committees, and services).

Making a Difference through Community Service Award was presented to Roger N. Braden, a partner with Sutton Rankin Law, PLC, in Edgewood, KY. This award honors an attorney living or deceased who made a significant lifetime contribution to the local community through community service. Recognizes a lawyer who does a lot of community work, which does not necessarily mean specifically bar work or pro bono work per se.

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award was presented to Hon. Matthew J. Perry, Jr., U.S. District Court of Columbia, SC. This award honors an attorney living or deceased who broke barriers for gender, color, disabilities, or sexual orientation.

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award was presented to the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program of Dallas, TX (a joint pro bono program of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of Northwest Texas). This award honors an attorney, law firm, corporate legal department, government attorney office, or institution in the legal profession that has made an outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged. Recognizes an outstanding local attorney or group that does pro bono work.

The Difference Makers Awards recognize extraordinary lawyers who “made a difference” by breaking down barriers for women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual orientations, and is held at the Fall Meeting. These awards have since been expanded to honor local attorneys whose dedication has made a difference to the profession or the community where the Division’s Fall Meeting is held. However, the winners are not limited to only those in the local community. Rather than only recognizing solo/small firm lawyers or those working in the solo/small firm sections of local and state bars, these awards are intended for any size firm lawyers, educators, judges, etc., who fulfill one of the award categories. At the Fall Meeting is Austin, recognition was given for Making a Difference through Service to the Profession, Community Service, Breaking Barriers and Pro Bono Work.

2010 Small Firm Awards

The ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division’s awards program is underwritten by the generous support of West, a Thomson Reuters business.

Nominating Committee Meetings

The ABA GPSolo Nominating Committee of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division met during the 2010 Fall Meeting in Austin, TX, on October 22, 2010, at the Sheraton Austin Hotel to nominate individuals for the positions of Division Vice Chair, Secretary, and Members-at-Large of the Council. In accordance with section 4.4 of the Bylaws, the committee will nominate five Council Members-at-Large to serve four-year terms. The following members are being considered for the position of Council Member-at-Large: Elizabeth A. Bleakley (Chicago, IL), Noah C. Davis (Seattle, WA), Herman ‘Sparky’ Gierky (Orlando, FL), Rick Lambert (Dallas, TX), Jeffrey C. Robinson (Selma, AL), and Sarah Sharp Theophilus (Sioux Falls, SD). For the position of Division Secretary: Brian T. Hermanson (Ponca City, OK) and Amy Lin Meyerson (Weston, CT). For the position of Division Vice Chair: Jennifer A. Rymell (Fort Worth, TX).

Council Vacancy Filled

The FY 2011 Division Council filled the vacant Council-Member-at-Large position by electing Stephen J. Curley of Stamford, CT, at the 2010 Fall meeting on Thursday, October 21, 2010, in Austin, TX. The term of the position on Council will be through the Annual Meeting in 2012.

Save the Date

2011 ABA Midyear Meeting
February 10–13, 2011
Hyatt Regency
Atlanta, GA

2011 Spring Meeting
May 12–15, 2011
Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis
St. Louis, MO

2011 ABA Annual Meeting
August 4–7, 2011
Fairmont Royal York
Toronto, Canada


A Primer on U.S. Immigration Law: Issue Spotting, Hypotheticals, and Deciding to Become an Immigration Attorney
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Central

Immigration law has become the most dynamic and complex area of U.S. law today. From statute to local office policies, to the effect of competing political interests, substance and procedure change often. Understanding the field can take many years.

In one CLE, learn the major concepts in immigration law with a view toward issue spotting to better refer prospective clients or to help you decide whether you may wish to practice immigration law yourself.

Topics covered include:

  • family and business immigration
  • visas, green cards, admissions
  • removal proceedings
  • waivers and other relief

Alice Yardum-Hunter, (Moderator), Alice M. Yardum-Hunter, a Law Corporation, Encino, CA 
Russell Abrutyn, Associate, Marshal E. Hyman & Associates, Troy, MI
Amy Novick, Of Counsel, Haynes Immigration Law Firm, Washington, DC

For more information and to register:


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