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American Bar Association

Torts and Insurance Practices Section (TIPS) Pro Bono Activities

Commission on Domestic Violence


Commission on Domestic Violence helps produce and distribute Domestic Violence Prevention brochures.

Volunteers and Cases:


Law in Public Service Committee LIPS

Chairs: James D. Myrick


Sonia Schroeder




This is a very brief update on the activities of the Law in Public Service Committee, a special standing committee of the Torts and Insurance Practices section of the American Bar Association. Our committee is a pro-bono arm of TIPS. We generate ideas for public service projects or take ideas brought to us from our membership and incorporate them into workable projects. Our directive from TIPS is to use the attorneys in TIPS to provide public service and to select a nominee for the Edmund Muskie Award. The Muskie Award is a pro-bono service award given especially to a member of the Torts and Insurance Practices Section.

In the past, the committee has had some remarkable successes.

The first item I should mention to you here is our domestic violence brochure. We have distributed over 1 million brochures throughout the United States through corporate interests like Delta Airlines, Church's Chicken, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and others. We also used standard mailings in Florida and South Carolina which issued from governmental agencies to include brochures to reach literally hundreds of thousands of homes. The brochures were designed to aid those whose suffer from domestic violence. The brochures provide information about how to minimize the opportunity for deadly violence in the home and how to react once such an unfortunate occurrence has begun. Using the success of this brochure and its distribution network as a springboard, we are now working on a nursing home brochure which will provide information to those facing the decision about whether to place a loved one in nursing home facility. We have been working in cooperation with several advisory groups to include only the most relevant information. It is likely that those brochures will issue in the year 2002.

We are also creating a Domestic violence video. Also using the success of the domestic violence brochures as a starting point, we have scripted a prototype for a domestic violence video. This video, with costs underwritten by Southern Bell, will be distributed to corporate counsel across the nation. The idea is that domestic violence costs employers billions of dollars annually and employers need additional information about how to deal with it in the workplace. For example, employees need to know how to participate meaningfully and appropriately in the enforcement of restraining orders. How does the employer fit in? These questions and many others will be addressed. This project will provide a new opportunity for any TIPS member to approach a corporation she represents and to say ?here is a project we have worked on under the auspices of TIPS; it is available to you at no charge; and it will help you promote the interests of your business.? Production, copying, and distribution of the brochure are topics of our current meetings.

We are also engaged in the corporate pro-bono project originated by Mitch Orpett. Here, through a web site, TIPS members can volunteer in pilot communities for local pro-bono projects. This project was conceived and installed with the aid of AACC, American Association of Corporate Counsel. Chicago was the initial location and the program may expand into Atlanta where it will be studied as a prototype for placement across the country. As many members of TIPS can volunteer in only limited time slots, this program allows them to maximize their contribution by selecting pro-bono projects which are appropriate to their time constraints, their skills, and their calendars. Coordination through the corporate pro-bono web site will continue through 2002.

Thousands of students across the country have participated in our peer mediation programs. Over the last five years we have instituted training sites for in-school meditations. The students themselves serve as mediators following the published manual which is part of our ?Project Outreach.? Many of the sites we established in Oregon, California, and Washington have become self-sustaining and continue to serve as a resource for public and private schools seeking to incorporate peer mediation into their discipline systems. Janet Reno commented favorably and publicly during her tenure on the project. Currently, we are seeking to coordinate with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to make sure our materials remain available to schools throughout the country. We have also worked most recently with Pepperdine Law School in Southern California whose dispute resolution center is ranked number one in the country.

Annually, our selection of Muskie Award nominee takes considerable attention. Extremely qualified candidates are presented from whom we select the one who best represents the spirit of volunteerism in our opinion. Our system for selection of nominees has changed over the years with the advent of computer communication, but we consistently locate a superior candidate as we will this year.

We also continue to be focused on children's issues as our membership has shown a particularized interest in this area.

Volunteers and Cases:

Twenty-five (25) members are active, but we seek and get volunteers from the entire TIPS membership.


Edmund Muskie Award, as well as a subcommittee to that end. The Muskie Award is a pro-bono service award given especially to a member of the Torts and Insurance Practices Section.

Women and Minorities Involvement Committee (WAMI)

Chairs: Floyd Holloway, Jr. Chair

LINK: http://www.abanet.org/tips/wami/


The function of this Committee is to encourage the participation of women and minority attorneys in this Section, to assist the General Committees in recruiting and involving women and minority members, and to promote greater awareness and appreciation of the Section's diversity goals. This Committee shall monitor and enhance, through its liaison members, the progress of the General Committees in following and promoting the Tort and Insurance Practice Section's goals and strategic plans for increasing diversity and shall, when requested by Council, identify General Committees it believes deserve to be recognized for achievement and improvement awards

Volunteers and Cases:


Updated: 12/14/2006

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