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August 12, 2019

New ABA president pledges to champion rule of law, ensure access to justice

In her speech to the ABA House of Delegates, New Orleans lawyer Judy Perry Martinez, pledges to work tirelessly toward the ABA’s four goals “to serve our members, improve our profession, eliminate bias and enhance diversity, and advance the rule of law."

After the oath of office was administered by Bernette Joshua Johnson, chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, Martinez addresses the ABA’s commitment to due process for asylum-seekers and other immigrants. “Our sense of decency owed to fellow human beings and our American values compel us to insist on safe and sanitary conditions,” for children and all detainees, she said.

She urges lawyers to reach deep within themselves, “to do the best we can to help those in need, whether the client can pay our posted fees and sometimes even when they can only say, ‘thank you.’”

Martinez becomes the 143rd president of the nation’s largest lawyers organization at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Click here to read the complete text of Martinez' remarks in the House of Delegates.