The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation elects new leadership

Washington State Bar leader becomes chair

Kathleen J. Hopkins, Seattle, Washington, has taken office as the 2014-15 Chair of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. Hopkins officially began her term on September 1.

Hopkins is a founding member of Real Property Law GroupPLLC, a six attorney Seattle firm. Hopkins concentrates her practice in the areas of commercial real property transactions, real property and personal property finance, workouts and commercial leasing.

The American Bar Foundation, founded in 1952, is the nation's leading research institute for the study of law. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation is an international honorary organization of lawyers, judges, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. Membership is limited to the top one percent of practitioners in each state. Fellows are nominated to membership by their peers.

Hopkins is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, has served as a Washington State Co-chair for The Fellows of the ABF and in 2011 received The Fellows Outstanding State Co-Chair Award.

Said Hopkins: "I am honored and humbled my peers selected me as their leader. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation represent the top one percent of American lawyers, and through their wise vision, guidance and generous support the American Bar Foundation is and will continue to be the preeminent institute for the empirical study of law and its impact on society. The Foundation's work touches all aspects of our lives, including, among others, the efficacy of living wills and directives, the impact of parental incarceration on children and initiatives to insure that diversity among lawyers reflect society's diversity."

She added, "I look forward to working with the Foundation's scholars to further their work and with the diverse Fellows' brain trust to develop programs and initiatives that will apply our scholars' work to improve access to justice and the legal profession."

In her role as Chair of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, Hopkins will preside over Fellows Events at the ABA Midyear and Annual Meetings and provide oversight to all Fellows fundraising activities through August 2015.

Hopkins succeeds Immediate Past Chair of The Fellows, Don Slesnick.

"I have had the pleasure to work alongside Kathleen for the past two years, and I know she is ready and able to lead The Fellows to new heights," Slesnick said. "She is truly devoted to ensuring that the American Bar Foundation prospers and to enabling the faculty to have the financial resources to continue the academic research efforts that are so critical to our profession. With Kathleen at the helm of our ship, the best years are ahead."

Hopkins will serve alongside Fellows Officers, Chair-Elect Hon. Cara Lee T. Neville (Ret.), Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Fellows Secretary, Mike Byowitz, New York, N.Y.

Hopkins has been active with local, state and national bar associations for more than 20 years, and has held many leadership positions in the American Bar Association. She is a member of the ABA House of Delegates and in 2010 completed service as a member of the ABA Board of Governors.

Among her other numerous positions in the ABA, Hopkins has been a member of the executive councils for the ABA Business Law Section and the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (GP Solo), and recently finished her term as the GP Solo Division's budget officer. In April, 2013, the ABA Business Law Section recognized her as its Outstanding Woman Business Lawyer of the year with its Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award.

Hopkins also serves presently on the ABA Journal Board of Editors, chairs the ABA Standing Committee on Publication Oversight and is on the editorial boards of Business Law Today magazine and GPSolo magazine. She completed her term on the Board of Regents of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers and is a member of the American Law Institute.

She has a distinguished record of pro bono service and in 2011 the ABA recognized her work with the Presidential Pro Bono Publico Special Service Award.

Hopkins received her JD with honors from the University of Washington, having obtained her bachelor's degree from Seton Hall University, summa cum laude.

Byowitz elected secretary

Michael H. Byowitz, New York, N.Y., has been elected Secretary of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. Byowitz, a longtime partner at the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, officially began his term on September 1, 2014.

Byowitz, a Life Benefactor Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, has served as New York State Co-chair for The Fellows and received The Fellows Outstanding State Co-Chair Award in 2012.

"It is a great honor to serve as Secretary of the Fellows" said Byowitz. "I look forward to working closely with the dedicated Fellows officers, staff and state chairs across the country and around the world to help advance the important work of the American Bar Foundation supporting cutting-edge research of great practical significance at the intersection of law and the social sciences."

In his role as Secretary of The Fellows, Byowitz will work alongside Fellows Chair Kathleen J. Hopkins, Chair-Elect the Hon. Cara Lee T. Neville (Ret.), and Immediate Past Chair Don Slesnick in overseeing key events at the American Bar Association Midyear and Annual Meetings and in fundraising for The Fellows. As Secretary, Byowitz is slated to assume the role of Fellows Chair for the ABF year beginning September 2016.

Long active as a leader in the American Bar Association, Byowitz was recently elected to serve as a Delegate-at-Large in the House of Delegates, and served in the House for the preceding eight years, representing the ABA Section of International Law for six years and then as an alternate for the New York State Bar Association the past two years. Byowitz is also a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Membership and chairs its Large Law Firm Subcommittee. He is a former Chair and longtime leader of the ABA Section of International Law and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

Additionally, Byowitz has been active for many years in the New York City Bar Association where he served as a member of the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Council on International Affairs, Chair of the Antitrust & Trade Regulation Committee, and Chair of the Subcommittee that evaluated Elena Kagan's qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court.

In his law practice, Byowitz specializes in antitrust and competition law, advising multinational corporations on major domestic and international mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate takeovers. He represents major corporations at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and State Attorneys General in the United States and consults on investigations by antitrust authorities in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Mexico, Turkey, Venezuela and other countries. Major matters in which he has served as antitrust counsel include for United Technologies in acquiring Goodrich, Novartis in acquiring Alcon, Maytag in its acquisition by Whirlpool, and many others. He is a frequent speaker on antitrust law and compliance in the U.S. and abroad, and has written extensively on antitrust issues.

Byowitz received an A.B. in 1973 from Columbia College and a J.D. in 1976 from New York University School of Law (Order of the Coif and editor of the New York University Law Review). Before joining Wachtell Lipton in 1983, Byowitz served as a senior trial attorney with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Retired judge is chair-elect

The Honorable Cara Lee T. Neville (Ret.), Minneapolis, Minnesota, has become the Chair-Elect of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. Judge Neville, Immediate Past Secretary of the American Bar Association, officially began her term as Fellows Chair-Elect on September 1.

Neville, a Life Fellow of the ABF, received the Fellows Award for Outstanding State Chair in 2007 for her leadership of the Minnesota Fellows.

She will work alongside Fellows Chair Kathleen Hopkins, incoming Fellows Secretary Michael H. Byowitz, who succeeds her, and Don Slesnick, the Immediate Past Chair of The Fellows. Neville is slated to become chair of The Fellows in September of 2015. The Fellows Officers host key events at the American Bar Association Annual and Midyear Meetings and oversee Fellows fundraising.

"I am truly honored to be selected to serve as an officer of such an important organization," said Neville. "The (ABF) research institute and the (Fellows) membership are truly the best in the law."

Judge Neville has served two terms on the ABA Board of Governors, and has served as a member of the House of Delegates. She served on the ABA Nominating Committee as State Delegate from Minnesota. She chaired the ABA Criminal Justice Section, the Coordinating Council of the ABA Justice Center, and the Coalition for Justice. Judge Neville is past President of the National Association of Women Judges and Amdahl Inns of Court. She is a past member of the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence and served on the Judges Advisory Committee to the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Judge Neville is a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society and a "founding mother" of the Minnesota Women Lawyers Association and currently serves on their advisory committee and in the Assembly of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She is on the Executive Board of the ABA Center for Human Rights, the Governing Council for the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of ABA, and Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the ABA's International Law Section.

Neville served on the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee to revise the Minnesota Judicial Code, chaired the ABA Judicial Division's Ethics and Professionalism Committee, the National Association of Women Judges Ethics Committee, the American Judicature Ethics Committee, and was one of the eleven Commissioners nationally who wrote the Model Code of Judicial conduct.

Neville served 30 years on the state of Minnesota's Court. Having recently taken Senior Status, she continues to serve and sits on the Court by special appointment of the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Superior Court. She is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, where she was named one of its most distinguished graduates and is listed as one of "100 graduates who have made a difference." Neville is president and founder of Benchmark National ADR, LLC, which provides Alternative Dispute Resolution including serving the courts as a special master and providing private mediation and arbitration services.