Division Announcements

Vol. 1, No. 5


Nominating Committee Report


The ABA GPSolo Nominating Committee, consisting of Chair Chauntis Jenkins, Jeffrey Allen, Richard DeMichele, Alan Fowler, and Patricia Sexton, submitted the following slate for the election of officers and council members for the 2012–2013 bar year.


For the position of Division Secretary, the committee nominates Stephen B. Rosales of Belmont, MA.


Steve is a solo practitioner in his hometown of Belmont, Massachusetts. He has a general practice in the areas of civil litigation, real estate, estate planning, estate administration, elder law, corporate matters, and probate litigation. Steve attended his first Division meeting in 1992, and his first appointment was as the YLD liaison in 1993. He has faithfully served the Division in numerous capacities, including, but not limited to, a member of Council for six years, Nominating Committee member, Co-Chair of Corporate Sponsorship Committee, and a member of the Long Range Planning Committee. Steve has been honored as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer in 2010 and 2011 and received the Rotarian of the Year award.


For the position of Council Member-at-Large, the committee nominates Melanie D. Bragg of Houston, TX.


Melanie has a solo practice and shares office space with a family law boutique firm in Houston. She performs court appointments and agreed ad litem work in all the courts ranging from mediator, special commissioner, parenting coordinator, and ad litem. She also handles civil cases, juvenile cases, and real estate property valuations. Melanie attended her first Division meeting in 1986 and has been actively involved in the Division in various capacities including the Book Publications Board, 50th Anniversary Task Force, ABA/YLD Fellows Board, and the Standing Committee on Gavel Awards Screening Committee. Melanie served as the first woman President of the Houston Young Lawyer Association, and is a former Director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, a member of the Joseph Pritchard Inn of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, and a Fellow of the Houston Bar Association. She is the author of several books and articles published by the ABA, and she has participated in a host of Division sponsored CLE and professional development programs.


For the position of Council Member-at-Large, the committee nominates Matthew B. Butler of San Diego, CA.


Matt has a small firm in San Diego focused on litigation in three primary areas of business litigation, employment and consumer class actions and insurance bad faith. Matthew currently serves the Division as the Young Lawyers Committee Chair/Liaison to the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and is a member of the Membership Board, Communications Committee, Law Practice Management Editorial Committee, and the Leadership Training Committee. Matthew was active in the State Bar of California Young Lawyers Association and was elected as the CYLA representative to the State Board of Governors. He has held various leadership positions in the ABA YLD.


For the position of Council Member-at-Large, the committee nominates Michael P. Hurley of Painesville, OH.


Mike is a solo practitioner in Painesville with a focus in estate planning and probate, real estate and adoptions. Michael serves the Division as the current Chair of Senior Law Committee, Chair of the Contents Committee and member of the Diversity Committee. He is a past Chair of the Newsletter Editor Conference; a member of the Corporate Law committee, the Book Publication Board, and the Rainmaking Committee; and a former Council member. Michael is a recipient of the GP/Solo Small Firm Lawyer and President’s Award from the Lake County Bar Association. He is also a past chair of the Lake County Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association, and a member of the Ohio State Bar Board of Governors.


For the position of Council Member-at-Large, the committee nominates of Rolf Schuetz, Jr. of North Bergen, NJ.


Rolf has a workers compensation and general liability practice in North Bergen. He is the current chair of the Division’s Workers Compensation Committee and a member of the Communications Committee. He is a past recipient of the Teacher of the Year for Hudson County Schools of Technology and Hudson County Schools of Technology Student Appreciation Award.


For the position of Council Member-at-Large, the committee nominates Eileen Sullivan of Phoenix, AZ.


Eileen has a criminal and family law practice in Phoenix. Eileen is a member of the Pro Bono and Public Service Committee and Membership Committee. She has also served on the Criminal Law Committee, was Co-Chair of the Juvenile Committee, Deputy Chair of Family Law Committee, and was a former Diversity Fellow. Eileen has been honored by the Arizona Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at their 13th Annual AZ’s Finest; National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Best Lawyers Under Forty; and a recipient of the Special Recognition Award and Outstanding Service Award from the Arizona Asian American Bar Association. She serves on the ABA Commission for Youth at Risk, and the Board of Directors for Arizona Asian American Bar Association


Committee Highlight


National Solo and Small Firm Conference Committee


The National Solo and Small Firm Conference (NSSFC) is in its sixth year and has been hosted in several meeting locations such as Milwaukee, WI; Philadelphia, PA; Santa Fe, NM; Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX; and Denver, CO.


The conference began with the hard work and efforts of several past leaders, including Jim Calloway, Ross Kodner, Deborah Matthews, and Vicky Levy Eskin. For the past couple of years, the NSSFC has been chaired by Vicki Levy Eskin, and the reins will be given to vice chair Noah C. Davis for the 2012 conference in Seattle, WA. The committee is responsible for the production of exceptional programming for the conference. Through diverse and high-quality programming, the conference is designed to appeal to solo and small firm lawyers from all over the country. Whether you are a new or an experienced lawyer looking for substantive and practical programming, or you are looking to become a more effective leader, this conference will meet your interests and goals. Attendees at the conference can:


  • Build a network and develop referral sources from all across the country.
  • Get together to hear well-known speakers with small-firm lawyers who share your areas of interest.
  • Discuss the latest legal, ethical, and international issues with your contemporaries.
  • Take advantage of special tracks of programs on key issues of particular appeal to our practice and interest areas. Each of these tracks will have a substantial number of programs throughout the meeting.
  • Get information on technology products appropriate to your size of practice.
  • Benefit from an exclusive opportunity to visit exhibitors of dynamic products and services for the legal profession.


The conference is also chock-full of valuable networking opportunities with more than 300 attendees.


GPSolo Brown Bag Session


A View From the Bench: The Solo and Small Firm Lawyer in the Courtroom


January 11, 2012, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Central


Please join us to hear a panel of judges from around the country discuss their insights regarding solo and small firm lawyers in the courtroom. The Honorable Bill Carpenter (Delaware), Gary Randall (Nebraska), and Ramona See (California) will share their share their experiences in presiding over cases handled by solo and small firm lawyers.


GPSolo’s Committee Audio Programs (Brown Bag Sessions) are short, informal educational events on timely GPSolo topics organized by committees and held entirely by teleconference. They are an ABA member benefit at no additional cost. They normally last one hour and are held during lunch hours. Due to the informal nature of the programs, and the fact that accompanying written materials may not always be prepared and distributed, the Division does not offer continuing legal education credits for these programs. For more information visit our website.


Recordings of this program and others will be posted on the Division’s website after each session. Click here to listen to or download the audio.


For any further information or if you are interested in holding a brown bag session, contact Dee Lee at the GPSolo Division Office at 312-988-5659.


Save the Date for the Next Brown Bag Session on February 15, 2012, from 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Central


You Can Make a Difference! Support the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE)


For nearly 50 years, the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE) has strengthened the ABA’s ability to improve our justice system and serve those in need. Through your support, the ABA is helping to protect the elderly, represent the impoverished, advocate on behalf of youth in crisis, and defend human rights—here and abroad. Today, it is more important than ever that the ABA remain dedicated to serving justice and helping people. Your gift, in any amount, will help promote new programs and expand services already in place. Your contribution will have a direct impact in our communities! Support the ABA’s public service efforts and help maintain these valuable programs at a time when legal expertise is needed more urgently than ever. Learn more about the FJE Annual Fund and how to support GPSolo’s pro bono and public service projects here. Please be sure to designate your gift to the GPSolo Program Support Fund.



The public service projects of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division receive support through the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE). The FJE was created to accept gifts and grants to support the ABA’s public service work. The FJE qualifies as an exempt fund under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and all contributions to the FJE are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.





Non-Division Awards Announcement


GPSolo’s Awards Committee has compiled a list of Non-GPSolo ABA Awards. Our goal is to ensure that GPSolo members are nominated and recognized for their valuable contributions to the legal profession and community. There is an award deadline that is soon approaching. We are writing to request your assistance in submitting a nomination to us of qualified GPSolo members. The award information is listed below.


2012 National Public Service Award


Sponsor: ABA Business Law Section


The ABA Business Law Section initiated the National Public Service Award in 1994 as part of its pro bono efforts. The National Public Service Award recognizes significant pro bono legal services that demonstrate a commitment to providing services to the poor in a business context, and recognizes the achievements resulting from the public service work for the clients and the client groups represented.


Each year, the Section recognizes the pro bono efforts of an individual business lawyer, a law firm and/or a corporate law department. Award recipients have demonstrated dedication to the development or delivery of pro bono business legal services, contributed significant work toward developing innovative approaches to the delivery of pro bono business legal services, and/or provided sustained pro bono business legal counsel to nonprofit organizations or to micro-businesses in aid of community development.


Click here to nominate an individual, law firm or corporate law department.


Click here for more information about the award and past recipients.


Here’s what you need to do: all nominations must be completed by Friday, December 30, 2011 and forwarded to Dee Lee. Your nomination should include the completed nomination form and any supporting documentation. If any additional information is needed, please contact Artika Tyner. The GPSolo Awards Committee will then decide which individuals to nominate on behalf of our Division.


Thank you for your time and consideration.


Artika Tyner, Chair, GPSolo Awards Committee

Laura Farber, Chair, GPSolo and Small Firm Division


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