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Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 9, 201212:00 PM EST

How the American Bar Association can help you

by: The JBA’s American Bar Association delegate A. Hamilton Cooke

In 2008, The Jacksonville Bar Association membership rolls exceeded two thousand members for the first time.

This is a very positive development for any voluntary bar association but it had another benefit as well. That membership total qualified The JBA to have a local representative at the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.

At the request and direction of the board of governors of The JBA, I have been serving as that delegate.

Control and administration of the ABA is vested in the House of Delegates which is the policy-making body of the association. The House meets twice a year at the ABA Annual and Midyear meetings. Action taken by the House of Delegates on specific issues becomes official ABA policy.

The House of Delegates is a broadly representative group of lawyers from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories. The House currently consists of 560 members and Florida has one of the largest delegations at 30-plus delegates. The JBA is one of several local bar associations represented and is joined by delegates from the Broward County, Hillsborough County, Orange County, Dade County and Palm Beach County Bar associations.

The website for the ABA is and from that home page you can access an incredible amount of information.

You can receive the most current news on issues impacting our profession as well as your practice, and also the numerous member benefits found at ABA Member Advantage.

The Daily Journal is a summary of the actions of the House of Delegates at the recent midyear meeting in New Orleans and can be found on its website. The Select Committee Report and the highlighted New Orleans midyear meeting is a more comprehensive summary of all of the activities of the House at the most recent meeting.

Please be aware of a significant new member benefit – free monthly CLE. If you are interested, visit the CLE Premier Speaker Series.

If you are a solo practitioner or a member of a small firm, please also be aware of the multitude of resources for the solo and small firm practitioners now available online at the ABA Solo and Small Firm Resource Center. Many of these resources are available free of charge and without an ABA membership requirement, so they can be shared with your colleagues to encourage their participation in the ABA.

If you want up-to-date information on federal legislative issues, view the ABA Washington Letter.

The JBA is honored that the current President of the ABA, William T. Robinson of Kentucky will be our Law Day speaker at The JBA luncheon Wednesday. Bill has been an active and effective president of the ABA and I’m sure that we will benefit from his presentation. I urge all lawyers in the Jacksonville area to continue your annual membership in The Jacksonville Bar Association and to also take advantage of the many benefits of ABA membership.

If you have any questions or comments or if l can be of help concerning any ABA matters, please contact me.

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