May 25, 2017

Statement of ABA President Linda A. Klein Re: The passing of former ABA president AP Carlton

CHICAGO, May 25, 2017--The American Bar Association mourns the death earlier today of former president Alfred P. (AP) Carlton Jr. of Raleigh, N.C. As ABA president from 2002 to 2003, AP provided leadership to protect judicial independence and integrity, reform corporate governance, and promote the rule of law in Iraq.

AP’s most prominent advocacy, rooted in his prior service as chair of the association’s Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, centered on the group he created, the ABA Commission on the 21st Century Judiciary. The commission’s report, “Justice in Jeopardy,” was released at the end of his presidential term and contained 31 recommendations adopted by the ABA House of Delegates in August 2003. Focusing primarily on state courts, the recommendations laid the groundwork for the association’s advocacy on enhancing judicial qualifications and training, judicial selection and campaign reform, and related areas.

With his professional focus on corporate law, AP honed the association’s corporate governance policy reform effort launched in the aftermath of the Enron bankruptcy and passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. His legal background provided authority and expertise to the subsequent revisions the ABA adopted to its Model Rules of Professional Conduct and other policies related to corporate responsibility and the role of lawyers in corporate governance.

AP was ABA president during the overthrow of the Iraq government in March 2003. In April, he and the association’s Board of Governors established the ABA Iraq Initiative, with a charge to further the rule of law in Iraq by drawing on the association’s experience in providing legal technical assistance to developing democracies.

The ABA is grateful for AP’s service in a variety of association posts, including as chair of the policy-making House of Delegates from 1996 to 1998. He was a member of the House since 1987 and also from 1982 to 1984. He was active in several ABA entities, including the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the General Practice Section (currently the Solo and General Practice Division), and the Young Lawyers Division Continuing Legal Education Board.

AP served his community as a former member and chairman of the University of North Carolina Wilmington Board of Trustees, member of the Elon University Law School Board of Advisors, member of the Board of Directors of the University of North Carolina Center for Banking and Finance, and adviser on an upcoming Campbell Law School symposium. He was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, member of the American Law Institute, member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, and was involved in many civic, church, and community organizations.

The ABA honors AP’s legal skills, bar leadership and community involvement. We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Blair Creech Carlton, his son Troy Carlton, his daughter Mary Beth Wright, and his other family members, friends, colleagues and clients.