Candidacy Statement by Lisa Blue Baron, Ph.D., J.D.
The justice system is under constant attack on all levels. AAJ needs to be fiscally strong and strategically smart in order to stave off the vicious attacks on our clients’ rights and our ability to represent them. This past year as AAJ Secretary, I have proven my leadership abilities by recruiting new members, new Leaders Forum firms and helping raise over $1million for pro civil justice candidates. Ask any officer or executive committee member about my performance. I am proud of my record of achievement for AAJ.
Now I want the opportunity to continue in leadership as AAJ Vice President. I care about building our brand and protecting the system of justice we care about. AAJ needs to not just survive but to flourish. Our system needs to be around for generations.
Trial lawyers continue to make a difference in both big and small ways. For example, we have fewer deaths on our nation’s highways than we did when Eisenhower was President despite more cars on the road and a vastly larger population. Trial lawyers are a big part of this story. Our work through the years has contributed to countless safety innovations, such as seat belts, air bags, and antilock brakes, just to name a few. One of my priorities is greater recognition of the real contribution trial lawyers make to public safety.
I am proud of what AAJ and the affiliated state organizations have been able to accomplish. To continue on a path of progress, we need to build our regular membership ranks. Many of our most profitable firms employ lawyers who do not belong to AAJ. I am working hard to change that by asking firms to obtain 100 percent participation, and I won’t take no for an answer.
In addition to critical federal lobbying to preserve our clients’ rights, AAJ offers plaintiff lawyers the best CLE in the country, the only lawyer-assembled litigation packets, the most knowledgeable sections and list serve members for responding to questions, and unparalleled networking opportunities. At $525 per year, we are a great bargain. I remain committed to educating AAJ members and continue to be recognized as a highly rated educator at AAJ seminars.
My firm was the first Leaders Forum firm and this program now represents an important part of our budget and continues to grow. I believe that the profitable firms need to give back to the organization so that it can continue protecting and enhancing the justice system. Because of my dedication to this program, I have added 11 Leaders Forum firms in just one year. That results in over $130,000 in additional revenue to AAJ.
I have led successful efforts to assure that pro civil justice candidates receive the support they need. Decades before I was part of AAJ officers team, I spearheaded fund raisers for friends of civil justice. This past year I was asked to take on the AAJ responsibility to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign and exceeded the goal set for me by Linda Lipsen and my fellow officers by over $100,000.
Providing monetary support and organizing fund raising activities is not enough to assure that the justice system is protected. Over the last 2 years, states have passed discriminatory measures which will impede voting rights. I will be working with leadership such as Julie Kane to help mobilize lawyers to protect the vote. Last election, AAJ helped mobilize lawyers throughout the country to work at the polls and provide legal assistance to those exercising their voting rights. This year, we must be more strategic and involve many more of our lawyers since the problem has grown exponentially.
Last election, my slogan was “Lisa gets it done.” Please vote for me for Vice President. I will continue to work hard, work smart and help direct this organization toward a greater future.
Education: University of Georgia (B.A., 1973); University of Virginia (M.Ed., 1974; Ed.S., 1975); North Texas State University (Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, 1978); South Texas College of Law (J.D., 1980)
AAJ Activities: (partial list) 2011-12 AAJ Secretary; National Officers and Executive Committee (2011-2012); Membership Oversight Committee (2012-2014); National Finance Council (2011-2012); Justice List Committee (2012-2012); Public Affairs Committee (2011-2014); The AAJ Robert L. Habush Endowment Board of Directors (2009–13); Public Education Committee (2006–12); Leaders Forum Founder’s Circle (2000–11); AAJ Nancy Pelosi Know Your Power Award (2008); Diplomate of the National College of Advocacy (2005); Key Person Committee (2003–2005); published by West Blue’s Guide to Jury Selection, coauthored with Robert Hirschhorn (2004); Bar Liaison Committee (1998-1999); Labor Liaison Committee (1998–2000); Bar Liaison (1998–99) Woman’s Lobby Day (2012)