Leadership turns over at ABA

 South Carolina lawyer assumes presidency

William C. Hubbard, a partner with the Columbia, S.C., office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, became president of the American Bar Association Monday at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston. Paulette Brown of New Jersey became president-elect. Both will serve one-year terms.

Hubbard announced the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services, which will make recommendations on how technology and other innovations can help expand the availability of affordable legal services. He will also emphasize the ABA’s advocacy on criminal justice and sentencing reform, highlight the association’s legal efforts on behalf of domestic violence victims, and lead the ABA’s commemoration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in June 2015.

Hubbard has held a variety of leadership positions within the ABA. He served two years as chair of the ABA House of Delegates (2008-10) and is a past president of the American Bar Foundation and the American Bar Endowment. He also served on the ABA Board of Governors, the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, and the ABA Young Lawyers Division as its chair. He is a member of the council of the American Law Institute, and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Hubbard is chair of the board of directors of the World Justice Project, a multinational, multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the rule of law worldwide. He is a permanent member of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. In addition to South Carolina, he is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Hubbard also has served on the board of trustees of the University of South Carolina since 1986, including as chairman of the board from 1996 to 2000.

Hubbard practices business litigation related to breach of contract, business torts, breach of fiduciary duty claims, unfair trade practices, energy and utilities disputes, and class actions.

In 2002, Hubbard received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian award given by the governor of South Carolina. He has been honored several times by his alma mater, receiving the University of South Carolina’s Distinguished Alumni Award (2009), the University of South Carolina School of Law Compleat Lawyer Platinum Award (2010), and the University’s highest recognition, the Honorary Doctor of Laws (2010). Hubbard received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Fourth Circuit in 2007. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.

Before joining Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Hubbard served as a law clerk for Judge Robert F. Chapman of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He received his J.D. degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1977.

Brown, a labor and employment law partner and chief diversity officer with the Morristown, N.J., office of Edwards Wildman Palmer, has held many positions throughout her career, including as in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a municipal court judge. In private practice, she has focused on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation.

Brown has been recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the prominent women and minority attorneys in the State of New Jersey and by the National Law Journal as one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America." She has received the New Jersey Medal from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and currently serves on its Board of Trustees.

Brown has repeatedly been named as a New Jersey Super Lawyer and by US News as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation. In 2009, Brown was a recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. In 2011, she was honored with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Brown earned her J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law and her B.A. at Howard University.