Tom Bolt, Managing Attorney of Tom Bolt & Associates, P.C., a St. Thomas business law firm, was reelected in August by the general membership of the American Bar Association as an At Large Delegate to the ABA’s House of Delegates during the organization’s annual meeting in Chicago, Ilinois.
The House of Delegates is the legislative body of the ABA and determines the internal governance and public advocacy policies of the organization. The ABA, with more than 400,000 members, is the largest voluntary association of professionals in the world. The ABA provides member and public service through law school accreditation, continuing education, public information campaigns, legislative recommendations to Congress and state and territorial legislatures, and initiatives to improve the quality of the legal system and the administration of justice.
Bolt has served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1989 when he was the first delegate from the United States Virgin Islands. He served with distinction for ten years as the representative of the Virgin Islands Bar Association. Subsequently, during his term as President of the local bar, he was elected as an At Large Delegate to the ABA House and has served continuously since then.
Bolt has been an advocate for attorneys in America’s territories since his inital election to the ABA House of Delegates. "When I was initially elected, I made it practice to review various policies of the American Bar Association to ensure that attorneys in American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were treated as equal members. There were many policies that were amended and even today – we must continue to track the issues impacting America’s territories."
During the course of the ABA’s Annual Meeting, Bolt met with representatives of the organization’s Government Affairs Office, to secure assistance in Congress for Delegate Donna Christiansen’s legislation to grant Article III status to judges in the territory’s federal district court.
Another issue that presented itself during the ABA Annual Meeting was the petition of the American Samoa Bar Association for membership in the ABA House of Delegates. Bolt, who serves on the ABA House’s Credentials and Admissions Committee committed to working with representatives of American Samoa Bar Association to achieve representation for the sister territory by the ABA’s next Annual Meeting in San Francisco next summer.