Tom Bolt, Managing Attorney of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands law firm of Tom Bolt & Associates, P.C. addressed the Association of European Attorneys (AEA) at their Annual Meeting in Paris on Friday.  Citing the need to adhere to rule of law, Bolt said that "it is incumbent upon attorneys throughout the world to speak out against transgessions to law.  If the lawyers of the world do not speak out then who? "  Bolt said.

Almost 200 persons were in attendance at the 2nd Annual  Meeting of AEA.  Currently AEA has representatives from over 180 countries throughout the world.  Bolt, who is the President of the American Counsel Association, the world’s oldest association of independent law firms, invited the participants at the AEA Annual Meeting to join the ACA.

"The American Counsel Association currently has almost 300 members principally based in the United States," Bolt said.  "The Board of Directors of the Association would like to enhance our membership with attorneys from outside the United States."  In a recent membership survey of American Counsel Association members, over 90% elected to increase the ACA’s membership base to include international members.

As ACA President, Bolt has appointed former ACA President Gerard McDermott as Chair of ACA’s International Committee.  McDermott, an attorney from Manchester, United Kingdom, is also Chair of the the European Circuit which will be meeting in Rome, Italy next week.

"As attorneys, our communities, our neighborhoods – look up to us," Bolt noted.  "This is an immense reponsibility.  We cannot let our countrymen down."