Kathleen M. Martin

Kathy Martin, a commercial real estate attorney in Minneapolis, joined the ABA in 1981 shortly after graduating from law school. The benefits of active participation in the ABA have surpassed all of her expectations.

“Throughout the years, my involvement in the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section has afforded me substantive expertise, valuable practice tips, and access to a network of dedicated and sophisticated real estate lawyers available to assist my clients in every jurisdiction in which they do business,” says Martin.

Since leaving a law firm of more than 250 lawyers to form a small firm with some of her former colleagues, Martin has found the ABA connection to be “invaluable.” In addition to maintaining access to high-quality attorneys around the country, “the Section provides a critical source of technology information and law management support that I can rely on in making management decisions.”

Moreover, through its pro bono and professional advocacy initiatives, the Section has provided Martin access to meaningful opportunities to assist others and influence the future of the profession that typically are not available to real estate lawyers practicing in small firm settings. As co-chair of the Section’s Committee on Multijurisdictional Practice, Martin played a positive role in shaping the 2002 Model Rule changes that removed many barriers to multijurisdictional practice.

“I would encourage every lawyer practicing in the real property arena, and, in particular, those that do so in small firm settings, to get involved in the Section,” counseled Martin. “Find a committee that intrigues you, contact the chair or vice chair to learn of the committee’s activities, and if none sounds interesting to you, call another committee; we do our best to find a home for every Section member who expresses a desire to be involved.”

Cynthia Marcotte Stamer

Cindy Stamer is very active in a “niche” practice of the probate and trust field, but it is a niche that affects every working citizen. Stamer advises employers, employee benefit plan fiduciaries, and service providers, insurers, and others about the design, administration, and defense of health and other employee benefit, insurance, and health care plans, products, and practices. In the course of her practice, she also advises and defends hospitals and other health care providers, health and workers’ compensation insurers and vendors, and managed care and other health care organizations regarding tax, organizational, operational, and other matters.

With such a complex practice area, says Stamer, “the Probate and Trust Division’s employee benefit and insurance publications, programs, conference calls, and committees are invaluable resources that I regularly draw upon to maintain and expand my understanding of the fiduciary responsibility, insurance, trust and estate planning, medical consent and directives, and other matters involved in these representations.”

Not only does Stamer gain from her Section participation, but she and the Welfare Benefit Plans Committee, of which she is vice-chair, have represented the Section in sharing information and comments with relevant regulatory agencies and have cooperated with other committee members to develop practice materials relating to various health plan matters.

“While I realize numerous benefits from participating in RPPT, I most value the opportunity to develop relationships, exchange ideas, and explore strategies with other attorneys working in my practice area by participating in Section meetings and conference calls.”

 Stamer is also active in the Health Care, Tax, Labor and Employment, and Tort and Insurance Practice Sections of the ABA, the American Health Lawyers Association, the American Association of Hospital Attorneys, and the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The Bureau of National Affairs Employee Benefits CD publication.

A project of the Section’s Standing Committee on Membership