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GPSolo January/February 2024: Trial Skills and Advocacy

GPSolo Nominating Committee Report


  • The Committee presents its candidate for the office of Division Secretary, Budget Officer, and five candidates to serve as Council Members-at-Large.
GPSolo Nominating Committee Report
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The American Bar Association (ABA) Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s 2024–2025 Nominating Committee consisted of the following members: Chair Jennifer A. Rymell, James M. Durant III, Laura Hedge, G. Rawson Stevens, and H. Nicole Werkmeister. The Committee met through a hybrid format in October 2023. The Committee was charged with nominating candidates for the offices of Division Secretary, Budget Officer, and five candidates to serve as Council Members-at-Large. Special efforts were taken to ensure each candidate’s interview was conducted in a professional manner, identical in scope and objective.

Each candidate for Division Secretary, Budget Officer, and Division Council Member-at-Large was allotted 20 minutes for his or her interview. During the respective interviews, each candidate was afforded an opportunity to share any information the candidate wanted the Nominating Committee members to consider and ask questions. In addition, Nominating Committee members were given the opportunity to make whatever inquiry they deemed appropriate of the candidates. At the conclusion of the interviews, the Nominating Committee considered all the applicants. After extensive deliberations, the members of the Nominating Committee voted on each position and, in accordance with Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division Bylaws, submitted the following slate of nominated candidates for Division Secretary, Budget Officer, and Division Council Members-at-Large for the Bar Year beginning at the 2024 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

Division Secretary

Alan O. Olson

Olson, of Des Moines, Iowa, is a solo practitioner specializing in plaintiff personal injury trial law. He received his undergraduate degree from Drake University and his juris doctor from Drake Law School. Olson has been extremely active in the Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA), Iowa Legal Aid, the Iowa Association for Justice, and the ABA. He became involved in the ISBA as a young lawyer, serving as Young Lawyers Division president and receiving the Young Lawyers Division Award of Merit. He has since served as the ISBA delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, a chair of the ISBA Fellows Committee, a member of the ISBA Board of Governors, and in numerous other committee positions since 1993. He is also a lifetime fellow of the Iowa State Bar Foundation and served as chair of their Scope and Correlation and Ways and Means Committees. Olson exemplifies his commitment as a trial lawyer by his involvement in the Iowa Association for Justice, having served on its Legislative Committee, Executive Committee, Board of Governors, and as association president. In 2022, Olson was invited to become a fellow of the elite International Association of Barristers. Olson is also very committed to access to justice. Since 2016, he has been a member of the Iowa Legal Aid Foundation Board, where he served as president for two years. Olson has devoted nearly 30 years to service in the ABA. He was elected chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division (YLD), has been appointed by three ABA presidents to serve on their Presidential Appointments Committees, and received presidential appointments to the Standing Committee on Membership and the Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education. Olson’s leadership in the GPSolo Division includes serving on numerous committees since 2003 and as the Division’s Budget Officer since 2018. Olson has been honored with several awards over the years, including the GPSolo Difference Makers Award and the W. W. Reynoldson Award, and most recently, on June 21, 2023, he received the ISBA’s highest honor, the Award of Merit. The award is given to a lawyer who exemplifies selfless dedication to the legal profession, the ISBA, and his or her community. Lastly, Olson devotes an enormous amount of time to community and charitable endeavors, such as coaching youth baseball and football for more than a decade, working with the Meals from the Heartland organization to distribute food to the hungry worldwide, and raising funds to dig wells in foreign countries so people have safe drinking water.

Budget Officer

Stephen J. Curley

Curley, of Stamford, Connecticut, is a solo practitioner who focuses on complex commercial litigation, including contract disputes, securities litigation, business torts and construction, and real estate litigation. He graduated from Bowdoin College and received his juris doctor from Boston College Law School. In addition to his private practice, Curley has served as an attorney trial referee, fact finder, and arbitrator in the Superior Courts for the State of Connecticut since 2013. He has been an active member of the Connecticut Bar Association, where he served as secretary and treasurer. Curley is also a member of the D.C. and New York State Bar Associations. He began his involvement with the ABA in the YLD, where he ultimately served as the Division’s assembly speaker. Since that time, he has gone on to serve in numerous elected and appointed positions throughout the ABA. Most notably, Curley has received several presidential appointments, served as a Council member for the Section of Litigation, and is a member of the ABA House of Delegates, where he serves on the Committee on Rules and Calendar. Curley has also served on numerous GPSolo committees, as Budget Officer, and as GPSolo Division Chair in 2021–2022.

Council Members-at-Large

John S. Austin

Austin, of Raleigh, North Carolina, is a small-firm practitioner specializing in complex civil litigation. He received his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and his juris doctor from Campbell University School of Law. Austin has been active in his local and state bar associations as well as the ABA. He has served on the Media Law and Professionalism Committees for the North Carolina Bar Association. As a young lawyer, Austin served as the North Carolina Bar Association’s district representative to the ABA YLD and was honored on several occasions with a Star of the Quarter award for his contributions to the Division. Austin’s passion for writing has led to the publication of more than 100 articles in numerous bar association publications, such as the North Carolina Young Lawyer Division Newsletter, the ABA YLD Affiliate magazine, the ABA Litigation Section’s Litigation News and Trial Practice Committee Newsletter, and GPSolo magazine. He has been very involved with the GPSolo Division for many years as a Division director, former Council Member-At-Large, and member of the Division’s Book Publications Board, GPSolo Magazine Editorial Board, and Bylaws Committee.

Paul Davis

Davis, of Lawrence, Kansas, is a solo practitioner whose practice focuses on estate planning and government relations. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his juris doctor from Washburn University School of Law. In addition to his solo practice, Davis served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2003 to 2015. In that capacity, Davis received numerous awards from the Lawrence Public Schools, Kansas Families for Education, Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus, Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns, Kansas Disability Caucus, and the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation. Davis’s local and state bar association activities have included being a member of the Kansas Bar Association Board of Governors for seven years and president of the County Estate Planning Council. His involvement with the ABA began with the YLD, and he is the vice chair of the GPSolo Estate and Financial Planning Committee. Additionally, Davis has devoted countless hours to civic and other legal organizations, such as the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition–Kansas Advisory Board, the Kansas Criminal Code Recodification Commission, and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation Board of Directors.

Julie T. Houth

Houth, of San Diego, California, is an associate with the firm of Thomas Quinn, LLP, where she practices maritime law litigation. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California Irvine, her juris doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and her LLM in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law. Houth is extremely active in a variety of bar associations. She serves on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association and as their Young Lawyers Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. Houth also is a board member and contributor to the San Diego County Bar Association’s San Diego Lawyer magazine, a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and a director of the Pan Asia Lawyers of San Diego. In the ABA, Houth is the managing editor for TYL and After the Bar and the Editor-in-Chief of GPSolo magazine. In addition, she has received ABA presidential appointments to the Standing Committee on Publishing Oversight and the Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. Notably, Houth was named as one of the Women of Influence in Law by the San Diego Business Journal.

David H. Lefton

Lefton, of Cincinnati, Ohio, works for the law firm Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer, where he specializes in estate planning, probate, and trust administration. He received his undergraduate degree from Bradley University and his juris doctor from the University of Dayton School of Law. Lefton has been very active in the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and the ABA. He was the OSBA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Council District One representative, where he served as section chair. He then went on to serve as the District One representative to the OSBA Board of Governors and the Council of Delegates. Lefton ultimately was elected and served as the president of the Ohio State Bar Association. He became involved with the GPSolo Division in 2003 and has served on numerous committees. In 2016–2017, he served as GPSolo Division Chair, and in 2022, he was the recipient of the GPSolo Division’s Making a Difference Through Service to the Profession Award. Currently, he is the chair of the Division’s Member Benefits Committee and an ABA presidential appointee to the Annual Meeting Programs Planning Committee. Additionally, Lefton is a member of the Select Committee of the ABA House of Delegates.

Amy Lin Meyerson

Meyerson, of Weston, Connecticut, is a solo practitioner who practices in the area of domestic corporate law, concentrating in formation and growth of emerging businesses and nonprofits, intellectual property protection and development, computer law, and venture capital. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her juris doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law. In addition to her private practice, Meyerson is the co-chair of the Connecticut Hate Crimes Advisory Council. Meyerson has served in numerous leadership positions throughout the ABA, Connecticut Bar Association, and NAPABA. She is a current member of the ABA Board of Governors, where she chairs the Board’s Profession Public Service and Diversity Committee. Meyerson is also a member of the ABA House of Delegates and was GPSolo Division Chair in 2014–2015. She served on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Bar Foundation and as the president of the Connecticut Bar Association in 2020–2021. She is also the past president of NAPABA. Meyerson has been honored with the NAPABA Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award and is included in the Gallery of Pioneers at the University of Connecticut School of Law.