Detroit litigator becomes ABA president-elect

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Reginald M. Turner of Detroit, a member of the law firm Clark Hill PLC, assumed the role of president-elect of the American Bar Association at the end of the ABA Virtual Annual Meeting Aug. 4. He will serve a one-year term as president-elect then become ABA president in August 2021.

Patricia Lee “Trish” Refo, a partner in the law firm Snell & Wilmer, became ABA president today and will serve until next August.

Turner is a highly accomplished litigator, government affairs advocate and strategic adviser. He joined Clark Hill in 2000 and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Government Policy Group, and Labor and Employment Practice Group.

“Being a lawyer means conducting yourself with professionalism, service and honor,” Turner said. “As I assume a leadership role in the ABA, I will honor those values and fulfill the obligation to pursue access to justice, which is true justice.”

Turner is following in the footsteps of longtime mentor Dennis Archer Sr., who was ABA president in 2003-2004. He clerked for Archer at the Michigan Supreme Court in the late 1980s. Turner has also held numerous leadership roles in the ABA. He served as the state delegate for Michigan in the ABA House of Delegates, and as chair of the ABA House of Delegates Rules & Calendar Committee, the Committee on Issues of Concern to the Profession, and the Committee on Credentials and Admissions. He is a past chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and the Commission on the Lawyer's Role in Assuring Every Child a Quality Education. He is also a past chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

Beyond the ABA, Turner has distinguished himself as a leader. He is a past president of both the National Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan. He serves on the board of directors of Comerica Inc. and Masco Corporation, and is active in a host of public service and civic and charitable organizations, including United Way for Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Public Safety Foundation and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

A recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Turner is named in the peer review guides Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers®, as well as the Michigan Chronicle Power 50, DBusiness Top Lawyers, Crain’s Detroit Business Power Lawyers and Crain’s Most Connected. He also has been identified by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and Best Lawyers as a Lawyer of the Year.

Turner received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from Wayne State University.




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