August 15, 2017

Robert M. Carlson of Montana becomes president-elect of American Bar Association; to become ABA president in 2018-19

NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2017 — Robert M. Carlson, a shareholder with the Butte, Mont., law firm of Corette Black Carlson and Mickelson, P.C., assumed the role of president-elect of the American Bar Association today at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting in New York. He will serve a one-year term as president-elect before becoming ABA president in August 2018.

Hilarie Bass, co-president of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, became ABA president today and will serve until next August.

As shareholder, Carlson has a civil trial and mediation practice that primarily involves insurance defense, products liability and insurance coverage. Before entering private practice, he was staff attorney for the Montana Department of Business Regulation and a law clerk for the Montana Supreme Court.

Carlson has a long record of service to the ABA. From 2012 to 2014, he was chair of the ABA’s policymaking House of Delegates, the association’s second-highest elected office. He has served two terms on the ABA Board of Governors and its Executive Committee, chairing its Executive Compensation Committee. Carlson has also served in the ABA House of Delegates as both Montana’s state bar delegate and state delegate and as a delegate at large. He is a Life Patron Fellow and past state chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

“The ABA is committed to our profession’s highest ideals and delivering real value to practicing lawyers,” Carlson said. “My message to lawyers from Montana to all corners of the world is that the ABA is more important than ever. I am honored to serve as president-elect of the American Bar Association.” 

Carlson has served several leadership positions outside of his firm and the ABA. He was president of the State Bar of Montana from 1993 to 1994, and has chaired its Board of Trustees since 1995. Carlson has also served as a member of the Montana Supreme Court’s Character and Fitness Commission. Since 1994, he has been a member of the University of Montana Law School’s Clinical Board of Visitors. He has served as lawyer representative to the Federal District of Montana, as Montana co-chair of the Ninth Circuit’s Lawyer Representatives Coordinating Committee and as chair of the state bar’s Ad Hoc Committee on Discipline.

Carlson earned his B.A. with honors from the University of Montana and his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law.