January 01, 2015

Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division News: GPSolo Nominating Committee Report

The ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s 2014–2015 Nominating Committee consisted of the following members: Alfreda Coward of Lauderhill, Florida; Richard A. DeMichele of Haddon Heights, New Jersey; Alan O. Olson of Des Moines, Iowa; and Rolf Schuetz Jr. of Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Scott LaBarre of Denver, Colorado, chaired this year’s Committee. The Committee met in person on October 23, 24, and 25, 2014, at the Division’s Fall Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The Committee was charged with nominating a candidate for the office of secretary and five candidates to serve as at-large members of the Division’s Council. The Committee received one application for the office of secretary and 13 applications for the at-large Council positions. All candidates had the opportunity to be interviewed in person or via telephone. The Committee submitted the following slate for the election of officer and council members for the 2015–2016 Bar Year:

Secretary

Melanie D. Bragg. Bragg hails from Houston, Texas, where she operates Bragg Law PC as a sole practitioner. She has a general civil practice with an emphasis on high-conflict cases, court appointments representing minors and the elderly, and cases in estates where defendants cannot be located. She serves as a mediator for a variety of courts and serves as a special commissioner in eminent domain cases. She has a broad background in the area of probate, juvenile, family, real estate, and litigation. Within the Division she is best known for publishing several books over the last decade and very capably chairing the Book Publications Board for the last two years, leading the Division to new heights in the publication arena. Her vision for the Division is to have GPSolo be the home of innovation within the ABA and to ensure that the practice of law remains a profession and does not become just another business dominated by large corporate interests.

Council Members-at-Large

Stacy Auzenne. Auzenne owns and operates Auzenne Law Firm LLC in Alexandria, Louisiana, where, as a sole practitioner, he concentrates on workers compensation and insurance defense. He has served on the Division’s Awards Committee and possesses an extensive résumé of leadership in the ABA Young Lawyers Division. He values the Division’s leading role as the voice of solos and small firm practitioners and wishes to increase the power of that voice and expand the Division’s goal of becoming even more diverse.

Kay H. Hodge. Hodge is a partner in the Boston, Massachusetts, firm of Stoneman, Chandler & Miller LLP. She focuses her practice mainly on representing management in labor and employment matters. She is a longtime leader in the ABA with service in the House of Delegates since 1990, service on the Board of Governors, and service as Chair of the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. Hodge has also recently served on the Division’s Council by completing two unexpired terms. Among many other goals, Hodge hopes to help grow the Division through greater cooperation with state and local bars.

Cynthia Sharp. Sharp comes to us from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After close to 30 years as a solo/small firm practitioner, she sold her interest in the practice and founded The Sharper Lawyer—an accredited CLE provider and attorney business coach entity. She has published scores of legal and other articles over the last few decades and serves as an important part of the Division’s Book Publications Board. She hopes to spend her time on the Division’s Council focusing on member engagement and seeking new ways to recruit and maintain members through meaningful CLE, increased publications, and greater cooperation with state and local bars.

Thomas P. Tully. Tully operates Tully Law Office P.C. in Des Moines, Iowa, where he specializes mostly in personal injury matters. He has a background of 25 years of business management experience in a variety of industries. He first became interested in the Division through his role as a Division Sponsor, offering consulting services for high- tech presentations at trial and contested proceedings. As a brand-new lawyer he offers a fresh perspective to the Division and hopes to bring his wealth of management skills to the Council.

Richard D. Williamson. Williamson is a partner in the Reno, Nevada, firm of Robertson, Johnson, Miller & Williamson, where he specializes in real estate transaction and litigation matters. He originally came to the Division as the Liaison from the Young Lawyers Division, in which capacity he served on Council. He has chaired the Division’s Young Lawyers Committee and currently chairs the Membership Board. He believes that the Division does a great job of providing a wide array of resources to its members and he wishes to devote his service on Council to expanding our reach and attracting more members to the in-person meetings of the Division.

The Nominating Committee wishes to thank all who applied and demonstrated their sincere interest in improving our Division. The quality of this year’s applications made the Committee’s job very difficult. Lastly, the Chair thanks his fellow Committee members for their service and dedication to the Division.

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