Chair's Message

Vol. 36 No. 4


Mary Kay Klimesh is a partner in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and the Chair of the Section.

The leaders of the Section of State and Local Government Law continue to work hard to further the mission and goals of the Section. Section goals include:

  • Goal 1: To provide a forum which attracts and serves attorneys dealing with public law issues.
  • Goal 2: To promote awareness of the scope and depth of public law problems, to provide interdisciplinary leadership and educational resources, and to formulate solutions and devise strategies to address these problems.
  • Goal 3: To increase participation of public sector attorneys and academicians in our membership, committees, and Section leadership.
  • Goal 9: To have fun.

Recent Section activities and plans for future events further these goals and highlight the Section’s work.

Participants in the Section’s Spring Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, from May 2–5, 2013, enjoyed quality CLE, networked with colleagues who practice in public sector law, and importantly, had fun. Highlights of the Spring Meeting included welcoming remarks from Mayor Karl Dean and the convening of the inaugural meeting of the State Attorneys General and Department of Justice Issues Committee. Participants enjoyed the Music City, including dinner and entertainment at the Bluebird Café.

The newly formed State Attorneys General and Department of Justice Issues Committee has generated considerable momentum since its inception. Membership in this new Committee presently exceeds 200 members and the co-chairs are busy moving the Committee’s initiatives forward. This Committee is the home within the ABA for attorneys dealing with the work of state Attorney Generals and its objective is to create a collegial, quasi-academic environment where attorneys can address, debate, and share knowledge about the array of legal matters within the jurisdiction and authority of the state Attorneys General. The co-chairs of this Committee include Ellen Rosenblum, Attorney General for the State of Oregon, Ashley Taylor, Troutman Sanders, and Anthony Majestro, Powell & Majestro, PLLC. The Committee’s website is up and running. I encourage you to visit this website at and consider joining if this Committee’s work is of interest to you.

The Section’s leadership and committees are busy with plans for upcoming meetings and CLEs. Plans for the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco from August 8–11, 2013, are complete and the Section’s agenda of activities is filled with quality programming, including the following:

  • The 2012 Supreme Court Term in Review (Presidential Showcase CLE),
  • Disasters: Thinking About the Unthinkable,
  • Planning and Takings in the Aftermath of Koontz,
  • CFPB and State Attorneys General Compliance,
  • Anatomy of a Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Case, and
  • Emergency Manager Laws as an Alternative to Bankruptcy in Local Government.

The Fall Council Meeting and program will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from October 24-27, 2013, at the Inn and Spa at Loretto. The programming is being finalized, and the meeting should prove to be very worthwhile in an enjoyable venue.

We’d love to see many of our Section members at our meetings and programs and I am hopeful that our members will consider becoming active in the work of the Section or participating in Section CLEs, meetings, committees, or other events. Our leadership is working very hard to move the Section forward and to respond to the growing issues impacting state and local government and the practice of law in the public sector. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to meet more of our membership at one of our upcoming meetings in San Francisco or Santa Fe, but if not, I’m hopeful that each member will consider the value of belonging to our Section of State and Local Government Law and participate in the benefits membership in the Section brings to you. Please feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, suggestions, or ideas by email at or phone at (312) 460-5985. I look forward to our communication and hopefully to meeting you at one of our upcoming meetings.

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