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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


Dear American Counsel Association Members and Guests:

From August 2013 to August 2014, I have the privilege to serve as President of the American Counsel Association, the oldest association of independent law firms in the world. For 80 years, our association has supported members and their clients with an emphasis upon professionalism, camaraderie, and scholarship in the field of law.

Each year we are proud to support exceptional law students who have demonstrated financial need and a commitment to public service by providing scholarship assistance. Our traditional scholarships are the Lowell Jacobson Scholarship and the George Kerr ACA Scholarship which are presented to law students in the 7th and 9th Circuits, respectively. In 2012, we awarded our first "The Gerard McDermott International Scholarship Award" in honor of our distinguished past president Gerard McDermott from Manchester and London, UK, to an international law student. This scholarship recognizes the growing membership of international lawyers within the ACA. In addition, at our annual meeting in 2012, we created the Cohn-Dorsett Scholarship to honor Stanley Cohn and Jim Dorsett, two of the finest Secretary/Treasurers and past presidents to serve this organization. Some very fine lawyers serve justice today at least in part because of the generosity of our members in supporting these scholarships, and this tradition will continue in the foreseeable future.

Even in this age of electronic networking, we focus on direct personal connections among our members. Our membership is intentionally small, but a large portion of our group gathers twice a year to spend time and enjoy one another's company in connection with the American Bar Association's Midyear and Annual meetings. Membership in the ACA is generally limited to members of one law firm per metropolitan area. 

Although we are "American" by name, in recent years we have become a truly international organization, as lawyers from around the world have sought to join us. At our recent Annual Meeting in San Francisco in August 2013, we were honored to be joined by guests from Austria, Mexico, and Brazil.

We are particularly fortunate to have developed a close relationship with the European Circuit of the English Bar. It organizes annually an international conference and continuing education program co-sponsored by our two organizations. This past year's meeting was held in November in The Hague, Netherlands. For more information, please contact gerard.mcdermottqc@outertemple.com.

We have already started making our plans for 2014. These plans include updating our By-Laws, our Scholarship Foundation By-Laws, and our website, seeking national and international membership growth, awarding our scholarships to deserving students, re-connecting with past scholarship winners, and planning events for our Annual and Mid-Year Meetings.

I look forward to spending time with as many members of our Association as possible at our upcoming meetings in Chicago (February 7-19, 2014) and Boston (August 9-11, 2014). If you are a member, I hope you will find your way to at least one event. If you are interested in membership, please do not hesitate to contact me at tbertschy@heylroyster.com or President-elect Livia Bandollar, at lbarndollar@barndollarfamilylaw.com.

 

Sincerely,


Timothy Bertschy

 

ACA President, 2013-2014

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American Counsel Association
3770 Ridge Pike
Collegeville, PA 19426
tel.: (610) 489-3300 ~ e-mail: kmclennan@millerturetsky.com