A Message on Pakistan from ABA President William H. Neukom

Nov. 5, 2007 

Dear Fellow Lawyers:

Events in Pakistan have deeply disturbed members of the legal profession, and indeed all who care about the rule of law in our world. The American Bar Association shares these concerns, and I am writing to update you on what is being done.

Today, the ABA issued a statement, enclosed at the end of this letter. I also have written a letter of protest to President Musharraf, urging him to free all arrested lawyers and reinstate Pakistan’s Supreme Court. Copies of this letter are being sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other State Department officials.

We have received many inquiries from state and local bars, expressing a deep and universal sense of concern. We all realize that the actions in Pakistan are a threat to the rule of law, and especially to an independent bar and judiciary, everywhere.

In the short term, we urge you to speak out as forcefully as you can, by contacting your local media, your congressional representatives, and the federal government to express your concerns.

The ABA is studying additional ways to respond effectively as an organized bar, and we will advise you as other strategies and tools for your use are developed. In the meantime, I welcome you to send any suggestions to abapresident@abanet.org, so that we can factor your ideas into our discussions.

An independent bar and judiciary are a cornerstone of all lawful societies. It is essential, at a time when lawyers and the rule of law are under attack in Pakistan, that we work together to respond in a forceful and effective manner.

Sincerely,

William H. Neukom
President, American Bar Association

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION NAMES DIRECTOR OF RULE OF LAW INITIATIVE

CHICAGO, May 10, 2007 – The American Bar Association today announced the appointment of Rob Boone as Director, ABA Rule of Law Initiative, effective Aug. 1. In this position, Boone will oversee the ABA’s rule of law activities, currently operating in 42 countries worldwide.

“Rob Boone brings outstanding experience for this newly created ABA position,” said Henry F. White, ABA executive director and chief operating officer. “His vision of the importance of the rule of law to individuals and governments, and his proven commitment to anti-corruption work, cross-border cooperation, and individual rights are critical factors in the work he will do with the ABA.”

ABA President Karen J. Mathis said, “Rob’s global credentials make him eminently qualified to lead the association’s initiatives that focus on Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. The Initiative strives to expand recognition that adherence to legal concepts is fundamental to peace and prosperity worldwide. His record of accomplishments provides assurance that this goal will thrive.”

“I very much look forward to this exciting challenge and am honored to have been selected by the ABA for this opportunity,” Boone said. “Promoting the rule of law benefits people in every corner of the world, not only in terms of strengthening legal systems and human rights, but also in improving sustainable economic and social development. Advancing the rule of law will improve and save lives every day.”

From 2004-2006, Boone served as Chief of the Human Security Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria, with responsibilities for the organization’s global rule of law operations, and since 2006 he has been the UNODC Chief for Treaty and Legal Affairs. Before Vienna, he was based in Pretoria, South Africa, for three and a half years, where he was the UNODC Representative for Southern Africa, leading the organization’s regional field activities, including its training and technical assistance operations.

Before joining the United Nations, Boone held several positions with the United States government, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs) where he helped develop and manage the Department’s multilateral and bilateral rule of law and related foreign assistance activities. Boone also served as a Special Assistant in the Executive Office of the President (Office of National Drug Control Policy), and clerked in Los Angeles for United States District Court Judge Richard A. Gadbois Jr. From 1986 to 1992, Boone was a business litigation attorney with the California law firms of Browne & Woods and Irell & Manella.

Boone holds a master of science degree in foreign service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and he is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B. in government) and Harvard Law School (J.D.).

In his new position with the ABA, Boone will be located in Washington, D.C.

With more than 413,000 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 assists 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 in a democratic society.

Prepared Remarks of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales at the Senate Judicary Oversight Hearing

“In recent weeks I have met or spoken with all of our U.S. Attorneys to hear their concerns. These discussions have been open and frank. Good ideas were generated and are being implemented. I look forward to working with these men and women to pursue the great goals of our Department. I also look forward to continuing work with the Department’s career professionals – investigators, analysts, prosecutors, lawyers, and administrative staff – who perform nearly all of the Department’s work and deserve the credit for its accomplishments… .”

For more see USDOJ.gov.

Alberto Gonzales and E-Mails: Is Silence Golden?

By Stephanie Francis Ward

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice released more than 3,000 pages of internal e-mails related to the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. And not one was from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. That’s because the nation’s top lawyer doesn’t communicate through e-mail, according to a Justice Department spokesman.

Other senior administration officials also avoid the “send” button. President Bush has acknowledged he does not use e-mail, and media reports say several of his cabinet members, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, follow that practice.

For more, see ABA Online Journal.

Is US Losing its Tech Edge?

THE BROWSER — Anaylzing Tech Biz for Fortune

A Beeb headline caught my eye this morning: US ‘no longer technology king.’ First of all, I didn’t know that the U.S. had been the technology king. Personally, I’d always thought of us as very well respected digital duke, or perhaps a computing cardinal; in either case, a first among equals.

Second, if the U.S. was the tech king, who has usurped the throne? We’ve been reading a lot lately about U.S. economic and scientific competitiveness (expertly investigated by Fortune’s Rik Kirkland about a year ago), and we all know that European and east Asian countries are waaay ahead when it comes to 3G mobile networks and high-speed broadband infrastructure.

For more on this important topics, see THE BROWSER.

Lexakos Founder Elected to the American Law Institute and Named to the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution

NEW YORK, NY — (MARKET WIRE) — 03/16/2007 — Lexakos founder Rick Wolf has been elected to the American Law Institute (ALI), effective February 14, 2007, joining a select group of practicing attorneys to receive this honor. The election to ALI is a prestigious recognition of Wolf’s contribution to the improvement of the law. He has been also invited to serve as a distinguished neutral for the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.

The American Law Institute was founded in 1923. The Institute, through a careful and deliberative process, drafts and then publishes various restatements of the law, model codes, and other proposals for legal reform “to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice, and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work.” Its membership consists of judges, practicing lawyers, and legal scholars from all areas of the United States as well as some foreign countries, selected on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in the improvement of the law. The Institute’s restatements, model codes, and legal studies are used as references by the entire legal profession. Please visit www.ali.org for more information.

Wolf was recently invited to serve as a distinguished neutral on the franchise panel of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution. CPR Institute is a membership-based nonprofit organization that promotes excellence and innovation in public and private dispute resolution, serving as a primary multinational resource for avoidance, management, and resolution of business-related disputes. The CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals are over 900 nationally and internationally prominent attorneys, former judges, academics and legally trained executives available to resolve business and public disputes. Please visit www.cpradr.org for more information.

Rick Wolf, former global head of compliance at Cendant Corporation, is founder of Lexakos LLC, a specialized business advisory firm focusing on corporate compliance and ethics programs, e-discovery and records management programs, and litigation management systems. His law practice, Wolf Associates LLC, concentrates on corporate governance, compliance risk assessments, alternative conflict resolution, and special discovery counseling for complex litigation.

Wheels of Justice are Slow but Justice Prevails: Federal Judge Approves Holocaust Victims’ Settlement

It is hard to believe it has taken this long. “This settlement isn’t perfect, but it accomplishes a long-awaited result for many many survivors and their heirs,” Robert A. Swift said.

The amount of the settlement is irrelevant.