Criminal Justice Section
Criminal Justice Magazine
Volume 19 Number 4
SECTION DIRECTOR TOM C. SMITH RETIRES
After 24 years of service to the American Bar Association, Tom C. Smith, director of the Criminal Justice Section, announced his decision to take advantage of the association’s early retirement benefits as of October 30—the anniversary of his start date with the ABA. In order to see the Section Council through its November 12-14 fall meeting, however, he delayed the effective date of his resignation until November 19, which, coincidentally, is the month in which he became Section director 11 years ago.
Having attended every governing Council meeting since November 1980 and every session of the ABA House of Delegates since February 1981, Tom takes with him an institutional memory of the Criminal Justice Section that will be sorely missed. His encyclopedic knowledge of the ABA’s policies on criminal justice issues and the association’s practices, procedures, and customs in doing business greatly facilitated the expeditious completion of the Section’s work both within the ABA and with those individuals, organizations, and governmental agencies outside the ABA that are responsible for the development of law and policies related to criminal justice on all levels—local, state, and federal.
Within a Section membership of often competing interests, Tom’s diplomacy, finesse, and neutrality on policy issues won him the trust and respect of all—the defense bar, the prosecution, members of the judiciary, academics, and others whose common concern is the quality of the American criminal justice system. He garnered the same high regard from those who, throughout the years, have held positions of leadership within the larger ABA. In addition to Section director, Tom has served as an ex officio member of the Board of Regents for the National College of District Attorneys in Columbia, South Carolina. Prior to joining the American Bar Association, Tom served as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee of the Maryland General Assembly. He is a 1971 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, and admitted to the bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The Criminal Justice Section Council honored Tom at its fall meeting, November 14, 2004, with the presentation of a Mont Blanc fountain pen and a framed resolution that was read and unanimously adopted by Council members as an expression of their deep appreciation for his expertise, leadership, wit and wisdom. He was also given a plaque engraved with the ABA logo in recognition of his long service to the association, and he was presented the “Dean’s Award” on behalf of the National College of District Attorneys. The weekend meeting afforded many members the opportunity to publicly and privately express to Tom their best wishes for success and happiness in his future endeavors.