This month, I experienced one of the most satisfying events of my professional career. At its 124th Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia, I was elected to a two year term as President of the Uniform Law Commission. You can find the official press release here.
It is a custom that the incoming President offers a few remarks. Here is what I had to say:
Thank you, Harriet Lansing, for your service as our President. You and your spouse, Allen Klein, leave behind a record of success and an organization that is as strong in its membership and its resources as it has ever been.
Becky and I will never forget your kindness to us and we treasure your friendship. On behalf of the Uniform Law Commission, it it my pleasure to present you with this past president’s pin. I know you will wear it with pride.
Thank you to the previous leaders of this Conference (you know who you are) for the opportunity to prove my commitment to our work and the ULC and for moving me through the leadership path in a manner that ensured I understood our rich history and the culture.
I know too that you would never have entrusted me with the leadership of this organization, but for the wise and gracious ways of my spouse, and I appreciate your recognition of her talent.
We have a wonderful leadership path, and tradition of mentorship. Thanks to it, and to you, I feel ready to provide leadership in the next two years. I am certain that in every area where I need you, the members, are here to lift me up and ensure our continued success. I am committed to paying forward the gifts that have been given to me.
In the next two years, I will respect and maintain the traditions of the Conference. Those traditions produce high quality legislation to protect the Rule of Law and our federal system. We must keep our eyes on the prize: improving and modernizing state law in areas where the law from state to state should be the same or similar.
To do that, we must continue to honor our tradition of face to face meetings and expand the opportunity for a broader group of Commissioner and stakeholders to follow and comment on our process. Doing so will require that we expand our use of technology so that we are more transparent and visible. We can and we should enhance outreach to key audiences including state legislators, their staff, state, local and specialty bar associations and legal educators.
To be sure that we are leveraging technology to full advantage, and that we are aware of the ways that technological change impacts the law, I have asked Commissioner Tom Buttiweg to chair a new ULC Committee on Technology.
We must pay close attention to the language we use in our acts to be sure that our words are as simple and as accessible as possible for lawyers, legislators and the public.
This year I will appoint two new drafting committees and three new study committees. They are:
A Drafting Committee on the Uniform Electronic Registry for Residential Mortgage Notes;
A Drafting Committee on the Revised Uniform Principal and Income Act;
A Study Committee on the Regulation of Drones;
A Study Committee on Involuntary Pornography; and
A Study Committee on a Model Equal Rights Act.
Any member who wishes to serve on a new committee should fill out a Committee Interest form and be sure that the Chicago Office has a current member biographical form on file.
To do all this we need a strong leadership team. Here are the people who have agreed to help guide these efforts:
Chair Anita Ramasastry Washington
Immediate Past President Harriet Lansing Minnesota
Scope & Program Chair Carl Lisman Vermont
Vice-President Melissa Hortman Minnesota
Treasurer Tom Buiteweg Michigan
Secretary Dan Robbins California
Legislative Council Chair Ryan Leonard Oklahoma
At Large Rodney Satterwhite Texas
At Large Bill Henning Alabama
At Large Tim Berg Arizona
Scope & Program Committee
Chair Carl Lisman Vermont
Member Steve Wilborn Kentucky
Member Gail Hagerty North Dakota
Member Ed Smith Massachusetts
Member Effie Bean Cozart Tennessee
Member Elisa White Arkansas
Member Steven L. Willborn Nebraska
Member Tom Hemmendinger Rhode Island
Leg. Chair (ex officio) Ryan Leonard Oklahoma
Lane Kneedler Virginia
Pamela Bertani California
Bill Barrett Indiana
Nora Winkelman Pennsylvania
John McGarvey Kentucky
Lane Shetterly Oregon
Finally, a word about our next annual meeting in Stowe, Vermont. Becky and I have worked with many of you for more than 20 years. It will be great pleasure for us to bring you to the state that is our home.
There are only 620,000 Vermonters and between us, Becky and I have told nearly all of them to expect approximately 700 of our best friends for a week in July of 2016.
We will meet July 8 through the 14 at Stowe Mountain Lodge. You should expect a warm welcome in a beautiful mountain setting and temperatures in the mid 70s. Altitude should be no problem, as the Lodge is only at 1500 feet. Even the summit of Mount Mansfield is only 4,900 feet.
Once registration opens, make your reservations as soon as you can, as we anticipate that the Hotel will fill quickly!
I appreciate deeply appreciate the confidence in me that you have shown by electing me as President. I count on your support. You can count on Becky and me to do our very best for the ULC in the next two years.