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March 20, 2024 What’s New at TIPS?

Meeting Roundup: ABA Midyear Meeting in Louisville

Ali Tozier

TIPS had a great meeting at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, February 2-3, 2024, at the Marriott Downtown Louisville. TIPS Council met for governance both days along with committees and Task Forces to continue the important work of the Section and prepare for the ABA House of Delegates meeting, including TIPS resolutions before the House. The Leadership Academy Class members came together again after forging close bonds in the Bahamas at the TIPS Fall Meeting and members were impressed by what the weekend offered in terms of programming, while also enjoying learning Louisville’s interesting history.

Former ABA President Robert Grey spoke to the Leadership Academy Class and shared his story. He inspired all to do more to help those less fortunate as we considered diversity in the legal profession and various obstacles still needing to be overcome. Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs also spoke to the Class about the journey his life took from being an influential trial lawyer to being disbarred and spending time in prison to finding a new purpose in life. The Class was fascinated by his story and appreciated his sharing it. In house counsel Joma Jones, Beth Kramer and Melissa Muehlfeld spoke on a panel moderated by Leadership Academy alum and Task Force member Matthew Evans about their varied and interesting roles as in house counsel and shared real life experiences. Many in the Class found their words to be relevant to their own practices and appreciated the valuable advice given for firm attorneys managing relationships with in-house counsel.

Friday evening TIPS Council members, Leadership Academy members, alumni, sponsors, and speakers attended a beautiful reception, dinner and whiskey tasting at the famous Angel’s Envy Distillery, one of Louisville’s Whiskey Row establishments near the beautiful Ohio river that runs along the city. A walk to the event allowed the group to enjoy good company catching up with each other and to experience the city up close.

ABA President Mary Smith also addressed the Leadership Academy Class and shared her journey. Professor Penny White captivated the audience when she spoke. She had everyone on the edge of their seats with her story of resilience in the face of unbelievable adversity. Many in the audience were in tears or deeply moved by her presentation, which made it all the more meaningful when we all watched her receive the Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award that evening, an award which recognizes law professors who have shown commitment to the advancement of justice, scholarship and the legal profession.

Another memorable experience of this meeting was the presentation by Mark Curriden, author of Contempt of Court, The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching that Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism. His passion for uncovering the truth about what happened to a wrongly convicted Black man many years ago rang through the room as we considered the themes from that time which are still hugely relevant today.

TIPS Council held the Section leadership election at the Mid-Year Meeting on Saturday, and the new officers and Counsel members will take office at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting in Chicago. Congratulations to the new Vice-Chair Meade Mitchell, Finance Officer-elect David Becker, Revenue Officer-elect Leland Kellner, Secretary Lisa Dickinson, Diversity Officer Akira Heshiki and new Council members Peter Biging, Christine Forsythe, Aaron Greenbaum, Roscoe Mutz, and Rick Vanderslice.

I believe I can speak for the rest of the Leadership Academy when I say that we are so grateful to be recipients of these incredible presentations and experiences with TIPS and very much look forward to our next meeting in Los Angeles. A special thank you to Theresa Livingston, Gail Ashworth, and to all those who made this possible.

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Ali Tozier

Labor and Employment Attorney

Ali Tozier is a labor and employment attorney in Portland, Maine.