A. Thomas Levin , a Past President of the New York State and the Nassau County Bar Associations, and the Chair of the Municipal Law, Land Use and Environmental Compliance practice and the Professional Responsibility practice at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein P.C. delivered the nominating speech for James R. Silkenat to become President of the American Bar Association in 2013.
Mr. Silkenat was officially named president-elect designee during the ABA's midyear meeting in New Orleans. He will become the group's president-elect in August, and in August 2013 will become the twenty-first New Yorker to head the ABA.
“James R. Silkenat has been an outstanding leader of this Association for more than thirty-five years. He has served on the ABA Board of Governors, as a State Delegate from New York for nine years, and twice as Chair of the Steering Committee of this Nominating Committee,” stated Levin.
“Jim has chaired the Section Officers Conference and two standing ABA committees, and for the past three years, and has been a representative of the New York State Bar in the ABA House of Delegates. In his legal practice, Jim has been one of the leading international lawyers in the United States counseling major U.S. and foreign banks and corporations on important cross-border transactions,” said Levin. “He is a prolific writer and speaker on important legal issues for our nation and our profession, and a passionate advocate for the Rule of Law and for diversity in our profession.”
Levin pointed out that as a Past President of the New York Bar Association, the honor of nominating Mr. Silkenat had special personal meaning. “While Jim was born and grew up in Kansas, we are very proud to consider him a native son of New York. With his vision and his energy, Jim will make a great President of this Association.”
Mr. Levin is a former President of the 77,000 member New York State Bar Association and is a Life Member of that Association's House of Delegates. He was responsible for creating and implementing that Association’s award-winning program increasing diversity representation in Association governance. He is also a former President of the Nassau County Bar Association and is a Life Member of that Association's Board of Directors. Mr. Levin has also has served as President of the National Caucus of State Bar Associations, a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of Bar Presidents and Chair of the New York State Conference of Bar Leaders.
Mr. Levin is admitted to practice law in New York State, the State of Florida, the United States Virgin Islands, the United States Supreme Court and before the United States District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.