Division Announcements

Vol. 1, No. 2


Congratulations to GPSolo’s Chair-Elect, Benes Aldana!

ABA GPSolo’s Chair-Elect, Commander Benes Aldana, has been selected for promotion to Captain, United States Coast Guard. This is extremely exciting news, and we congratulate him on this accomplishment.


Call for Division Secretary and Members-At-Large Council Nominations

The Nominating Committee will meet during the 2011 Fall Meeting in Denver, Colorado, from October 20 to 22 at the Westin Denver Downtown Hotel to nominate individuals for the positions of Division Secretary and Members-At-Large of the 2012–2013 Council. In accordance with § 7.3.1 of the 2012 revised bylaws, the committee will nominate five Council Members-At-Large to serve four-year terms. Minority applicants are encouraged. The duties, terms of office, and eligibility requirements for each of the positions to be filled are outlined in the Division Bylaws.

Please return your completed questionnaire to the Division Office via email, via fax to 312-988-5711, or by mail directly to ABA, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division, 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654. Questionnaires must be postmarked by Monday, October 3, 2011.

Please click on the following to access the information. This information may also be found on the Division’s website under News & Announcements.


Nominating Memo FY12

Nominating Questionnaire FY12


Difference Makers Awards

Deadline Extended to September 23, 2011


The ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division (ABA GPSolo) is pleased to announce a call for nominations for its annual Difference Makers Awards Program to recognize extraordinary lawyers who make a difference by breaking down barriers for women, people of color, and people with disabilities, regardless of sexual orientation. Winners will be honored at the ABA GPSolo’s 2011 Fall Meeting and National Solo & Small Firm Conference Awards program at the Westin Tabor Center in Denver, Colorado on Friday, October 21. For more information visit our website to submit your nomination by the extended deadline, or contact Dee Lee at the Division office at dee.lee@americanbar.org.


Call for Fall Meeting Council Agenda Items and Committee Reports

All Division Leaders should committee report, action item, or informational item. All materials should be sent to the Division Office and to your committee’s Group Director. For more information visit the website at www.americanbar.org/genpractice in the News and Announcements section or contact Dee Lee at the Division Office at 312-988-5659.


Brown Bag Sessions

ABA GPSolo’s Brown Bag Sessions are short, informal educational events on timely topics organized by committees and held entirely by teleconference. The sessions 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. Past sessions such as “House of Delegates 101: How to Make ABA Policy” have been recorded and may be accessed at House of Delegates 101: How to Make ABA Policy. Join us for the next Brown Bag Session:


David vs. Goliath

October 12, 2011

12:00 Noon–1:00 p.m. Central time

Call-in Number: 866-646-6488

International Only 707-287-9583

Conference code: 6752837174#


Changes to Division Staff

Please join the ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division in welcoming Steve Wildi and Jonnita Dockens to the team!


Who Is Steve Wildi?

ABA GPSolo’s Program Assistant, primarily responsible for providing administrative and programmatic support to the Division staff and members

Formally, Steven K. Wildi

Born in Evanston, IL; raised in Morton Grove, IL

Lives on Chicago’s north side, near the lake

Studied advertising/graphic design at the American Academy of Art in Chicago

Worked in graphic design and office administration

Loves to travel

Fan of history, art, and architecture

Enjoys live music and theater

Regularly hunts for treasures at estate sales and auctions


Who Is Jonnita Dockens?

ABA GPSolo’s Membership/Marketing Associate, primarily responsibility for executing the Division’s membership/marketing strategy

Formally, a devout vegetarian (with aspirations to become a vegan)

Lives in the Chicago suburbs with her 12-year-old son

Received a B.A. in communications from Western Illinois University

Learned to drive and purchased her first car at 25 years of age

Interests include traveling, reading books, and meeting new people

Lover of jazz, disco, and country music

Frequent speaker to school age youth (especially high school students)

Authored an antiviolence initiative that is being utilized to combat youth violence


Committee Highlight: ABA GPSolo’s Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee

The Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee is responsible for providing leadership in coordinating the Division’s efforts regarding lawyer ethics, discipline, and professionalism including the study of issues involving professional ethics, discipline, and professionalism; promotion of high standards of ethics and professionalism for our constituency; providing information, education, and analysis of current issues in ethics and professionalism; and assisting the Council in dealing with ethics and professionalism issues. More information on this Committee may be found here.

This year, the Committee will be primarily focused on gathering feedback from solo and small firm members and constituents so the Committee can provide a recommendation to the Division Council regarding how to respond to the various ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 proposals. The Committee has created an Ethics 20/20 Task Force to assist with this task.


GPSolo’s Ethics 20/20 Task Force

The Committee would like your full participation on the various Ethics 20/20 issues related to solo and small firm lawyers. We want to provide any member of GPSolo or anyone who is interested in these issues to have the opportunity to write and discuss their position among their colleagues. We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to comment. Any ABA member can post a comment to the Discussion Board, which is located on the Task Force’s webpage. If you are not an ABA member, you can use the following listserv at GP-Ethics2020@Mail.americanbar.org. More information on the Task Force may be found here.

GPSolo is dedicated to understanding your views regarding the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20’s study of Alternative Business Structures and whether changes should be made to Rule 5.4 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The Commission has asked for the Division’s responses to the questions in this survey to assist it in its work to help lawyers practice successfully and ethically in the 21st century. The survey will close on October 31, but we would appreciate your response as soon as possible. The survey will take approximately 2–3 minutes to complete. Please click here to access the survey.

The Committee is also holding a CLE session at the upcoming National Solo & Small Firm Conference. Remember you can attend In-Person or via Webcast!


Lawyers’ Use of Evolving Technologies: Ethical Issues and Proposed Solutions

Friday, October 21, 2011

1:30 p.m. Mountain Time

The Westin Denver Downtown Hotel

Denver, CO


Whether operating in “the Cloud” or using Internet-based services to disseminate information about the law and legal services as well as to attract new clients, lawyers’ use of technology will continue to grow. Small firm and solo practitioners are most often the early adopters of these new technologies. As technology evolves at an unprecedented pace, so do its ethical implications for lawyers. This panel will engage participants in a discussion about those ethical issues and the recent technology related proposals of the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20.



Honorable Daniel Crothers, Justice of the Supreme Court of North Dakota, Bismarck, ND
Frederick S. Ury, Fairfield, CT
Ellyn S. Rosen, Chicago, IL


To register for the in-person meeting, please click here; to register for the webcast, please click here.


Visit the NSSFC website at http://www2.americanbar.org/calendar/gp1011-gpsolo-2011-fall-meeting/Pages/default.aspx.


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