August 25, 2017 Dialogue

LRIS: From the Chair

By Stephen Steinberg, Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Services

To the members of the lawyer referral and information service (LRIS) community across the country, I want to say that it is a great honor and a privilege to serve as the Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on LRIS for the coming year. I have met many of you at our annual workshops in Long Beach and Albuquerque, but I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and the three new members of our Standing Committee. I also want to thank C. Elisia Frazier for her outstanding leadership and service to the LRIS community over the past three years.

I am an intellectual property (IP) and commercial litigator at the law firm of Bartko Zankel Bunzel & Miller in San Francisco, California. My practice focuses on claims for patent and trademark infringement, theft of trade secrets, and other complex business disputes in both federal and state courts. I have represented clients in numerous trials, and have won cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. In terms of technology, I have handled cases concerning mobile phone accessories, web browsers, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and networking technologies like Wi-Fi, among other things.

I first became interested in LRIS programs as a director, officer, and then President of the local bar association where I grew up and now live with my family east of San Francisco-the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA). As Vice-Chair of our local LRIS committee, I saw the enormous impact that our program has on: a) our community, by helping over 10,000 people a year find the legal or other services that they need in a time of crisis; b) our members, by providing them with new clients in a difficult legal market; and c) the bar association, by providing between a third and half of our operating budget, which we then use to provide other services to our members, the community, and local courts.

My service at the local level led me to join the Standing Committee, and it has been a pleasure getting to know many of you and seeing the incredible breadth of LRIS programs nationwide over the past three years.  I hope that in the coming year the Standing Committee can continue to serve as a base for collaboration between LRIS programs, and to help identify best practices.  I am particularly interested in further exploring how technology is changing the ways that consumers find and attorneys provide legal services, and how LRIS programs can continue to adapt to help connect people with attorneys in a constantly changing legal market.

Here are introductions to the other three new members of the Standing Committee.

Adam R. Finkel is an attorney at von Briesen & Roper, S.C., a full service law firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Adam practices in the firm’s Litigation & Risk Management Practice Group where he primarily represents and advises clients in business disputes, risk management and commercial litigation.  Adam received his law degree from Marquette University Law School where he was a member of the Marquette Sports Law Review and also earned a certificate in Sports Law from the National Sports Law Institute of Marquette University Law School.

Adam is very active in volunteer activities within his community.  He has been a committee member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Lawyer Referral and Information Services committee for the past six years, and currently serves as the Chair of that Committee. In addition, Adam serves on the Committee for the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership Division and acts as the Committee's Events Chair.

Adam says "I am honored and excited to be serving on the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Service. Through my work on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service Committee, I have gained a great appreciation for the benefits and positive impact that local bar associations and lawyer referral services have not only on the legal community, but also on the greater community at large. I hope to be able to help further the growth and success of these programs from the national level and be able to learn a great deal from this experience that I can help implement on the local level."

John R. Lund is a shareholder at Parsons Behle & Latimer, a regional firm in the Mountain West. John works in the Salt Lake City office, and is licensed in Colorado and Wyoming as well as Utah. For over 30 years Mr. Lund has handled and tried challenging cases throughout the West and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. From 2012 to June of 2017, he was a voting Member of the Utah Judicial Council, which operates and oversees all Utah courts. John chairs the Utah Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Evidence.

John has been a Utah State Bar Commissioner since 2010. As such, he has worked to better connect clients with lawyers. He was instrumental in the creation of Utah’s Modest Means program, www.utahbar.org/modest-means-lawyer-referral-program. John co-chaired the Futures Commission of the Utah State Bar which, in its July 2015 report, recommended creating a robust online lawyer referral directory and then a consumer-focused website to function as a virtual marketplace for legal services. Thereafter, he led creation of Utah’s online lawyer referral service, www.licensedlawyer.org, which is now available to other bar associations to adopt in their jurisdictions.

John is the president of the Utah State Bar for 2017-2018. He continues to be very interested in bringing lawyers together with clients, especially around services that clients will actually be able to afford and which will broaden the types of services lawyers are providing to their communities.

Robert O. Saunooke is a graduate of Washington and Lee Law School and in his practice has continued a long familial history of working with Native Americans and Tribal Governments. For over 25 years he has worked with Tribal Governments throughout Indian Country assisting them in enacting legislation, state and federal litigation in federal and Tribal courts, business development, creation of court systems and codifying their own laws.  Robert has been an instructor and educator for various Federal, State and Tribal law enforcement officials throughout the United States.  Currently, Robert is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Emory Law School in Atlanta, GA teaching Federal Indian Law and Policy.

Robert was a member of the Brigham Young University Football team and the recipient of the Shining Example of America Award for Acts of Heroism relating to his actions in saving the lives of eleven children. He is very active in the ABA and has served in numerous positions including Chairman of the American Bar Associations Tribal Courts Council, Standing Committee on Minorities in the Judiciary, member of the Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvement, Future of Legal Services Commission, Lawyers Conference Executive Committee and Chairman of the ABA Judicial Clerkship Program. Locally he is a member of the BCBA, SBBA, and is also the first male executive board member of the Broward County Women’s Law Association’s Board of Directors.

In 2005, Robert appeared before Congress with his client Jose Canseco during the investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball.

We and the rest of the Standing Committee hope to see all of you at our upcoming 2017 National Lawyer Referral Workshop-don’t miss it!