August 26, 2020

In Memory of Jim Dimos

The Section Officers Conference mourns the loss of ABA Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, James Dimos

The Section Officers Conference mourns the loss of ABA Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, James Dimos

The SOC and the Sections, Divisions, and Forums (SDFs) lost a valuable staff member and friend when Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel Jim Dimos passed away on August 5, 2020.  Jim worked very closely with the SDFs over the last three years.  He tirelessly shepherded the working group on the new membership model and was always receptive to and respectful of the concerns of the SDFs.  More recently, he guided us all through the cancellation of our in-person meetings due to COVID-19 without incurring penalties.  We were looking forward to working closely with him again on the SDF Working Group this fall.  He was a great colleague, lawyer, and friend, and we will miss him terribly.

We offer a few personal remembrances:

Chair Hilary H. Young:  When I think of Jim, a phrase I learned from my father keeps coming to mind.  Dad was a physician in Oklahoma, and he loved to read westerns, particularly books by Louis L’Amour (who started his writing career when he was living in Oklahoma).  The phrase was high praise: describing someone not just as a friend, but as “someone you could ride the river with.”  Riding the river was dangerous and challenging.  Someone you could ride the river with is someone you can really count on – someone who commits to the journey with you and doesn’t run off in the middle of the night with your gun or your horse; who shoots straight with you; who has your back if you encounter roving bandits or hostile natives; and who is all-around good company.  Jim was all of those things – one of the special people you could ride the river with.  I am so grateful to have gotten to ride a piece of the river with him.

Immediate Past Chair Michael Bergmann:  I had the pleasure of working very closely with Jim over the two years I served as SOC Chair. Jim was thoughtful, patient, hardworking and dedicated. He cared deeply about the ABA and worked hard to make it the best it could be. Jim was always willing to listen to and consider opposing views. Jim was the epitome of the adage that you can disagree without being disagreeable. The ABA was a better place for Jim’s service and his passing is a huge loss for the ABA and for the profession as a whole. My condolences to his family whom I know he loved and cherished deeply.

Robert L. Brown:  Jim’s intelligence and dedication was exceeded only by the goodness of his heart.

William W. Horton:  Over the years, I learned that Jim had the qualities a volunteer bar association leader really wants to see in a bar executive. He remembered your name from one meeting to the next, he genuinely meant it when he said you could call him if you had a question or a problem, he showed up at meetings even when he knew he was going to be the designated target of everyone’s anger and frustration, and he pretty much always told you the truth or told you that he couldn’t tell you anything. He was a straight shooter with the volunteers and with the ABA professional staff, and he made it clear that he genuinely cared about lawyers and about the organized bar. Our profession is poorer for his loss, the ABA is poorer for his loss, and so am I.