Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Page 3


Local Attorneys Named to ABA Economic Crisis Commission


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The American Bar Association yesterday announced that Los Angeles attorney Matthew Nelson and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine’s law school, have joined the group’s newly-created Commission on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Profession and Legal Needs.

ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm said the commission was created in response to the rising number of attorneys in reduced or deferred employment, or without a job, as well as increasing legal problems by individuals and families across the country related to the recession, such as evictions, foreclosures, bankruptcies and family disruption caused by financial hardship.

“We need to help lawyers and the public weather this storm and move forward,” she said. “In addition, the public needs a strong legal profession securely in place to address legal issues into the future. We must preserve a strong, independent legal profession that will continue to work to benefit our clients and serve the larger public good.”

The commission, headed by Atlanta attorney Allan J. Tanenbaum, is charged with “explor[ing] how lawyers can reorganize themselves to cope with the transforming economy in the short run, and how the profession can position itself to better withstand financial downturns over the long term,” Lamm said.

Tanenbaum said the new commission will assemble ideas and facilitate approaches for projects that can be implemented quickly and that may build on existing collaborations with other bar-related national organizations.

Other ideas under consideration include exploring ways to connect underutilized lawyers with people in need of legal services, creating panels of lawyers available to research issues for out-of-state firms, building on lawyer placement services, and expanding judicial intern projects, he said.

Nelson is an attorney for Wells Fargo Bank and a graduate of Michigan State University. He earned his law degree from UCLA and was admitted to practice in 1999.

Chemerinsky taught for over 20 years at USC Law School and at DePaul University College of Law before moving to Duke University in 2004, and then UC Irvine in July 2008.

He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Other members of the commission include Joanne Epps, dean of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law; past ABA President Michael S. Greco; and Patricia D. White, dean of the University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables.


Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company