Fighting for lawyers: Advancing the OSBA's core purpose

Nov. 17, 2016

By Edward M. Smith

I am a candidate for President-Elect of the OSBA. I want to take this opportunity to tell you briefly why I am asking you to support my candidacy. The election is May 1-5 and will be conducted by electronic ballot or mail only.


Since taking the oath in 1973, and starting my career as an Air Force JAG, I have liked being a lawyer, being with lawyers, and lawyering. An invitation from a great OSBA lawyer from Dayton led to my 25 years of service on the Grievance Committee, which I chaired in 2014. I am currently on the Ethics Committee. Since 2004, I have been an OSBA certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law and a member of that Section. I'm also Chair of the DBA Probate Law Committee, a member of the Ohio Bar College, and I have been an OBLIC policyholder for years.


In short, I have contributed to the OSBA and experienced the value of it.


I have been involved in the community and chair a social services agency with a budget comparable to the Association.           


As your representative, I will endeavor to preserve the character and passion that I observe in my colleagues so many times while serving the bar; to retain the nobility of the profession in changing times while providing value, competence and professionalism to the public; and to work to make the practice of law more enjoyable and rewarding for all lawyers, regardless of their area of practice.


Each time we elect a new President-Elect, we rededicate our Association to its Core Purpose, which is engraved on a plaque in the lobby of our professional home: "To advance the professional interests of members of the Ohio State Bar Association." Everything we do as an organized bar association should benefit our members and advance our profession, while honoring our responsibilities to the citizens of Ohio.


We are under attack by those who want to do what we do, but without the knowledge, the responsibilities and the standards of accountability to which we adhere. We must protect the public from the harm inherently created by those who sell the short-cuts of drive-through law. More importantly, we must be pro-active in promoting the benefits of our profession and educating those who need our services—the citizens we serve as clients.


As lawyers, we must not forget that we have some very important services to offerour time, our advice, our expertise, our duty of loyalty to our clients, and our critically important attorney-client privilege. These services are crucial to the preservation of a free society, its commerce and the "pursuit of happiness" envisioned by our founders.


If you entrust me to be your representative, I will fight for our profession with the goal that the practice of law in Ohio will continue to be the noble profession we all envision.


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