Michael S. Greco
Michael Spencer Greco is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
) is a former President of the American Bar Association
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association , founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation...
(2006–2007). He is currently a partner in the Boston office of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart
K&L Gates LLP is a United States law firm with over 1900 attorneys worldwide and is ranked as the 9th largest law firm in the United States by the National Law Journal and as the 11th largest among law firms worldwide by The American Lawyer...
Preston Gates Ellis LLP, and a former partner at the now-defunct Hill and Barlow
Hill and Barlow
Hill & Barlow was a law firm in Boston, Massachusetts that dissolved in 2002. Founded in 1895, the firm had been one of the city's oldest and most elite firms, and was also the 12th largest in Boston at the time of its dissolution, employing 145 lawyers. The firm was originally founded by Arthur...
ABA PresidencyAs President of the American Bar Association, Michael S. Greco traveled on more than 300 of his 365 days in office to every part of the United States, including forty-five states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and to approximately thirty nations, delivered more than 275 speeches, testified before Congressional committees and met with hundreds of government leaders abroad and in the US, lawyers and judges, bar associations and civic groups, and thousands of persons throughout the world.
The over-arching theme of President Greco's term of office was renaissance – a rebirth and reaffirmation of the legal profession's core values and America 's constitutional principles. His priorities as President included protecting the rights and freedoms of American citizens, safeguarding the independence of the judiciary and other institutions of America 's democracy, addressing the legal needs of lower-income citizens, advancement of women, people of color and persons with disabilities in the legal profession, and improvements to the Association and the legal profession. During his term of office he created two ABA Commissions, five ABA Task Forces, and several Special Committees to implement his presidential initiatives and address issues of concern to the public and the legal profession.
President Greco's ABA Commission on a Renaissance of Idealism in the Legal Profession, co-chaired by US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice and the first Jewish female justice.She is generally viewed as belonging to...
and Theodore C. Sorensen, helped re-invigorate lawyers' historical commitment to providing pro bono legal services to those in need and volunteering public service in communities throughout America. Through the Commission's substantial efforts and, with the collaboration of state and other bar associations across America, a renaissance of idealism in the legal profession took hold.
His ABA Commission on Civic Education and the Separation of Powers , co-chaired by US Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former US Senator Bill Bradley
William Warren "Bill" Bradley is an American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, and former three-term Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in the 2000 election.Bradley was born and raised in a suburb of St....
, addressed the troubling but reliably documented fact that approximately half of Americans do not know the basics about their constitutional democracy due to lack of adequate civics education and therefore are not knowledgeable enough to protect vigorously the institutions of their democracy, particularly an independent judiciary. The Commission continued its efforts during the 2006-07 Association year, with the enthusiastic leadership and participation of Justice O'Connor and Senator Bradley and their Commission colleagues, to effect change in civics education policy in the fifty states.
In concert with the important civics education efforts of the ABA Commission on Civic Education and the Separation of Powers, he selected as the theme of Law Day 2006 “Liberty under Law – Separate Branches, Balanced Powers ,” and appointed as Chair of Law Day Peter J. Kalis, Chairman and Managing Partner of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham [now K&L Gates]. Law Day, a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law and the freedoms it ensures to all in America, was established by President Eisenhower in 1958 at the suggestion of then ABA President Charles S. Rhyne. Under Mr. Kalis' leadership, hundreds of Law Day programs for young and adult Americans were conducted in communities and schools across the country to underscore the importance of the separation of powers in our democratic government and to remind all that democracy will not long survive without a knowledgeable public that zealously protects it.
He appointed the ABA Task Force on Access to Civil Justice, chaired by Maine Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Howard Dana, Jr., to consider providing desperately needed legal services to millions of poor Americans, 70-80% of whose legal needs annually go unmet, through creation and recognition of a civil right to counsel – or “Civil Gideon” -- paid by the state, in certain serious legal problems that threaten one's basic human needs, including family, shelter, and health. Such a right currently exists in numerous civilized nations and has existed in the US for indigents facing criminal charges since the 1963 US Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright
Gideon v. Wainwright
Gideon v. Wainwright, , is a landmark case in United States Supreme Court history. In the case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own...
At the August 2006 Annual Meeting in Honolulu the ABA 's 550-member House of Delegates adopted new policies implementing all the recommendations of the Renaissance and Civic Education Commissions and the Task Force on Access to Civil Justice. In an historic vote for the Association, legal profession and society, the House voted unanimously to support creation of a defined civil right to counsel for America 's poor.
He also appointed the ABA Task Force on Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...
as that hurricane was still raging in order that the legal profession could provide free legal services to victims of Katrina and other hurricanes that devastated the Gulf States in the fall of 2005. The Task Force coordinated an unprecedented effort by thousands of America 's lawyers to provide desperately needed free legal services to tens of thousands of hurricane victims.
The ABA Task Force on the Attorney-Client Privilege, appointed originally in 2004 and that he reappointed with an expanded membership continued to lead the Association's efforts vigorously to oppose the US Department of Justice's assault on American citizens' attorney-client privilege and to protect the bedrock right of Americans to representation by counsel, without federal government interference or coercion, as guaranteed by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the US Constitution. At the August 2006 Hawaii Annual Meeting the ABA House of Delegates adopted new strong policies protecting the privilege and work product doctrine and opposing the Justice Department's efforts to erode them.
During his presidency, Greco also appointed two bi-partisan, blue-ribbon task forces – the ABA Task Force on Domestic Surveillance in the Fight against Terrorism, and the ABA Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements and the Separation of Powers Doctrine – both made up of distinguished constitutional scholars and former government leaders and judges, to protect Americans' constitutional rights, the doctrines of separation of powers and checks and balances, and America's democratic form of government.
The Task Force on Domestic Surveillance considered the US government's program of spying on American citizens and issued a unanimous report and unanimous recommendations urging the President to respect the roles of Congress and the Judiciary, and to comply with the Constitution and existing federal laws, and urged immediate corrective action by Congress and the Courts. The ABA House of Delegates at its February 2006 Midyear Meeting in Chicago adopted the bi-partisan Task Force's recommendations by a near-unanimous vote.
In response to the controversial allegations that President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....
George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....
authorized the National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...
to eavesdrop on residents within the United States via telephone without court approval
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...
, Greco formed the American Bar Association Task Force on Domestic Surveillance in the Fight Against Terrorism. This task force was appointed to examine the constitutional and legal issues of the federal government's electronic surveillance, and to report its recommendations to the American Bar Association House of Delegates. In the end, the task force "urged the president to comply with existing federal laws and called for immediate action by Congress and the courts". In total, Greco created two commissions, five task forces, and several other special committees.
The Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements thoroughly considered the use, and misuse, by a President of “signing statements” that indicate a President’s intention, despite signing them, not to enforce new laws enacted by Congress. The bi-partisan Task Force issued a unanimous report with unanimous recommendations concluding that such misuse by a President of signing statements violates the Constitution, encroaches unlawfully on the powers of Congress, and poses a direct and grave threat to the separation of powers doctrine and the system of checks and balances that have sustained our democracy for more than two centuries. The Task Force urged immediate legislative action by Congress and judicial review by the Supreme Court of the United States to resolve the serious constitutional issues presented. At the August 2006 Annual Meeting in Honolulu the ABA House of Delegates adopted the Task Force's recommendations by a large majority vote.
During his presidency, Greco also encouraged and supported two unprecedented and major diversity conferences, one sponsored by the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and other partners that addressed the imperative of ensuring the flow of young people of color in the pipeline to the legal profession, and the other sponsored by the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law and other partners that addressed the employment needs of lawyers with physical and mental disabilities.
He also supported efforts of the Commission on Women in the Profession to ensure the continued advancement of women in the legal profession, particularly women of color whose discrimination and professional plight was documented in a several years-long unprecedented survey and final report released at the Association's August Annual Meeting in Honolulu.
He also encouraged and directed the ABA Commission on Immigration Law to develop new Association policies to help address the situation of America 's twelve million undocumented immigrants. As stated by Congressional leaders, the Commission's report and recommendations, which were overwhelmingly approved by the House of Delegates at the February Midyear Meeting, helped members of Congress craft appropriate legislation.
He also created, and appointed the boards of directors of, three new ABA legal centers. The ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity was created to consolidate and coordinate the Association's many diversity programs. The ABA Center for Rule of Law Initiatives was created to consolidate and enhance the Association's growing and increasingly important international rule of law programs in Africa, Asia, Central Europe/Eurasia, and Latin America, which provide legal technical assistance and training to emerging democracies in more than forty countries on five continents, including former republics of the Soviet Union. The ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives was created to assist efforts throughout the United States to improve ways by which legal services are delivered to our nation's poor, and to help implement a defined civil right to counsel, or “Civil Gideon.”
He encouraged, supported and helped implement an historic conference that the ABA in partnership with other organizations held in Washington, DC in November 2005 that had been planned for two years – the first ever and highly successful ABA International Rule of Law Symposium. It was attended by more than 400 lawyers, judges, academicians and world leaders from more than 40 nations on five continents to develop strategies for advancing the rule of law and justice throughout the world.
In his effort to unify the legal profession throughout the world to advance and protect the rule of the law in all nations, at a Paris conference of world bar leaders in November 2005 he authored and thereafter advocated the adoption and ratification of a Statement of Core Principles of the legal profession. The Statement was adopted unanimously by the one hundred world bar leaders in Paris, at his request by the American Bar Association House of Delegates at its Midyear Meeting in February 2006, and since then by dozens of bar groups throughout the world.
During his term as ABA president he negotiated on behalf of the Association “collaboration” agreements between the ABA and the national bars of China, Russia and Japan, in order to provide for mutually beneficial exchanges of lawyers, legal knowledge and expertise, to conduct joint legal education programs, and to advance justice and the rule of law in our respective nations.
As a result of the year-long efforts and final report and recommendations of the special ABA Long Range Planning Committee that he appointed, the ABA Board of Governors in June 2006 unanimously adopted the first Strategic Plan in the Association's history and approved creation of the Association's first permanent Long Range Planning Committee.
He appointed the ABA Executive Director Search Committee which conducted a year-long national search for the Association's new Executive Director, Henry F. White, Jr., who took office on September 1, 2006.
As ABA President he traveled on more than 300 of his 365 days in office to every part of the United States, including forty-five states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and to approximately thirty nations, delivered more than 275 speeches, testified before Congressional committees and met with hundreds of government leaders abroad and in the US, lawyers and judges, bar associations and civic groups, and thousands of persons throughout the world.
In addition to serving as its President, Mr. Greco has long been active in the American Bar Association, including serving on the Board of Governors, in the House of Delegates for more than twenty years, and as the elected ABA State Delegate from Massachusetts during 1993-2004. He chaired the Association's Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, the Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities, the Executive Committee of the Conference of State Delegates, the Steering Committee of the Nominating Committee, the ABA Day in Washington Planning Committee, and other committees. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, he served on the ABA Task Force on Terrorism and the Law, and helped develop policies relating to the imperative of balancing national security and constitutional freedoms so that both are protected.
Mr. Greco is a member of the American Law Institute
American Law Institute
The American Law Institute was established in 1923 to promote the clarification and simplification of American common law and its adaptation to changing social needs. The ALI drafts, approves, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Principles of the Law, model codes, and other proposals for law...
Massachusetts/New England professional activitiesMr. Greco served as president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the New England Bar Association, the New England Bar Foundation and the Board of Trustees of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.
As MBA president, among other initiatives, he and Governor Michael S. Dukakis appointed a blue-ribbon Commission on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, whose report and recommendations led to enactment of new statutes protecting the legal rights of children.
He chaired the first-in-the-nation Massachusetts Legal Needs for the Poor Assessment and Plan for Action, and was co-founder and for seven years co-chair of Bar Leaders for the Preservation of Legal Services for the Poor, a national grassroots organization that helped preserve the Legal Services Corporation in the 1980s and early 1990s.
By appointment of the Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court he chaired the Court's Special Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services in the late 1990s.
He served for eight years on Gov. William Weld
William Floyd Weld is a former governor of the US state of Massachusetts. He served as that state's 68th governor from 1991 to 1997. From 1981 to 1988, he was a federal prosecutor in the United States Justice Department...
's Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Council, and in 1993-94 served on Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Senator John F. Kerry's Special Commission on Federal Judicial Appointments that recommended candidates for vacancies on the federal bench, US Attorney and US Marshal.
He also served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Bar Overseers of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is the highest court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The SJC has the distinction of being the oldest continuously functioning appellate court in the Western Hemisphere.-History:...
, and on the Board of Overseers of Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Newton-Wellesley Hospital is a community teaching medical center located in Newton, Massachusetts on Washington Street. It is affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School...
He served as Special Counsel by appointment of, and to, the Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Board of Bar Overseers in United States v. Klubock, and as Special Assistant Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the Dorchester Court case.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the New England (Business) Council, and during 1998-2004 served as Chair of the ground breaking Creative Economy Initiative, a regional economic/cultural development effort designed to attract investment in New England’s Creative Economy.
Criticism of President George W. Bush for signing statementsIn the spring of 2006, President Greco created a blue ribbon task force in order to address the issue that President Bush, instead of veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...
ing bills passed by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....
that he finds objectionable, signs the bill, but attaches statements that indicates intentions not to follow certain provisions. Greco and the ABA responded to this by saying that the president's signing statement
A signing statement is a written pronouncement issued by the President of the United States upon the signing of a bill into law. They are usually printed along with the bill in United States Code Congressional and Administrative News ....
s revokes Congress of its constitutional authority to check and balance
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...
the executive power. This is highly significant because all American presidents in office before President Bush have issued a combined total of 600 signing statements. Bush, however, has issued 800 signing statements over a 5½ period during his term. Previous presidents, such as George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...
and Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...
, have issued signing statements as well; however, these presidents only expressed disapproval of certain provisions in a bill, but did not assert the right to ignore them. The report released by the task force declared, "The Constitution is not what the President says it is."
The task force that Greco created was bipartisan. The participants included William Sessions
William Sessions may refer to:*William K. Sessions III, U.S. District Court Judge*William S. Sessions, former director of the FBI...
, Mickey Edwards
Marvin Henry "Mickey" Edwards is a former Republican congressman who served Oklahoma's 5th congressional district from 1977 to 1993.-Education and early career:...
, and Bruce Fein
Bruce Fein is a lawyer in the United States who specializes in constitutional and international law. Fein has written numerous articles on constitutional issues for The Washington Times, Slate.com, The New York Times, Legal Times, and is active on the issues of civil liberties...
Personal life and educationMichael Greco spent his youth in Hinsdale, Illinois
Hinsdale is a suburb of Chicago, Illinois; it is located partly in Cook County and mainly in DuPage County in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 17,349 at the 2000 census. The town's ZIP code is 60521. The town has a rolling, wooded topography, with a quaint downtown and is a 30-minute...
, and has resided in Wellesley, Massachusetts
Wellesley is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of Greater Boston. The population was 27,982 at the time of the 2010 census.It is best known as the home of Wellesley College and Babson College...
, for the past thirty-five years.
He obtained his Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...
from Boston College Law School
Boston College Law School
Boston College Law School is one of the six professional graduate schools at Boston College. Located approximately 1.5 miles from the main Boston College campus in Chestnut Hill, Boston College Law School is situated on a wooded campus in Newton, Massachusetts.With approximately 800 students and...
in 1972. Here he served as editor in chief of the Boston College Law Review
Boston College Law Review
The Boston College Law Review is a journal of legal scholarship and student organization at Boston College Law School. It has been continuously published since 1959. Up until 1977, it was known as the Boston College Industrial & Commercial Law Review...
and as class president. He also clerked
A law clerk or a judicial clerk is a person who provides assistance to a judge in researching issues before the court and in writing opinions. Law clerks are not court clerks or courtroom deputies, who are administrative staff for the court. Most law clerks are recent law school graduates who...
for Judge Leonard P. Moore
Leonard P. Moore
Leonard Page Moore was a federal appellate judge in the United States....
on the United States court of appeals
United States court of appeals
The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system...
for the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is one of the thirteen United States Courts of Appeals...
. He earned his Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...
in English at Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....
in 1965. Before he went to law school, he taught English
English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language , English linguistics English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language (including literatures from the U.K., U.S.,...
at Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...
in Exeter, New Hampshire
Exeter, New Hampshire
Exeter is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The town's population was 14,306 at the 2010 census. Exeter was the county seat until 1997, when county offices were moved to neighboring Brentwood...