|Miami lawyer Stephen N. Zack, incoming president of the American Bar Association for the 2010-11 bar year, will announce Monday, Aug. 9, that lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies will co-chair a new ABA task force on the preservation of the justice system.
Zack -- who will make his announcement during a speech to the association’s House of Delegates -- says it is important to include lawyers from all political persuasions and areas of the legal profession to examine the issue of access to justice.
“Our system of government was created with the basic belief that the doors to our courts would always be open to all citizens. Equal justice under law is the birthright of Americans. It is a promise enshrined in our Constitution and written over the entrance of our Supreme Court. We need to make good on this promise,” says Zack.
Zack will outline his core presidential initiatives during his speech, as well as announce additional blue-ribbon participants for the ABA entities that will focus on the following topics:
▪ access to justice and the underfunding of the judiciary;
▪ the need for increased civic education in our schools and society;
▪ Hispanic legal rights; and
▪ the ABA’s work in the area of disaster response and preparedness.
Zack’s official investiture as president begins at the close of the ABA Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 10. He is a partner in the national law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, and will be the first Hispanic president of the ABA in its more than 130-year history.
Additional information about Zack’s initiatives
The Task Force on the Preservation of the Justice System will be composed of talented and distinguished attorneys and judges from across the country. Zack will call on them to highlight the fiscal crisis that has resulted in budget slashes to courts nationwide. In particular, Zack will call attention to the devastating result of underfunded courts: a decline in access to justice.
The Commission on Civic Education in the Nation’s Schools will draw on the combined talents of attorneys, judges, educators and organizational leaders. Their role will be to promote civic education as a national educational priority, highlight and enhance existing civic education efforts and create opportunities for innovative civic education programs throughout the United States.
The Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights will identify important legal issues that represent barriers to full participation by, and daily contributions from, Hispanics living in the United States. The work of the commission and its advisory committee will help focus and foster an environment that welcomes and recognizes the contributions of Hispanics in our society and ensures their human rights.
The ABA Special Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness will be charged with conducting “tabletop” exercises to assess the association’s readiness for a natural or manmade disaster, and will develop a comprehensive crisis plan. In particular, Zack would like the committee to address how uncertainty can and might affect our way of life, our Constitutional guarantees and our system of justice, and to develop responsive measures that will help safeguard the future.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.