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Bill Bay Elected Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation

August 08, 2012

Partner Bill Bay addresses a sold-out crowd at an Aug. 3 luncheon in Chicago commemorating his new role as chair of the ABA Section of Litigation. At 60,000 members, the Section is the largest practice specialty section in the ABA. Photo courtesy of the ABA

Outgoing chair Ron Marmer, right, a Chicago partner with Jenner & Block, passes the gavel to Bill Bay. Photo courtesy of the ABA


Contact: Allison Spence, Communications Manager, 314-552-6510 or


ST. LOUIS — Bill Bay, a partner at Thompson Coburn LLP, became the chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation on August 7. As chair, Bay will lead a national team of professionals dedicated to serving Section members and engaging their passion for practice, public service, and the profession.
Bay received the gavel from outgoing chair Ron Marmer of Jenner & Block at a sold-out luncheon attended by leading lawyers and judges from around the country.  Bay will devote his year-long term to leading a transformation of how the Section of Litigation approaches leadership, membership, and stewardship. 

“This is a defining moment for the Section,” Bay said. “It’s a moment where we not only reaffirm the ideals and goals that are most important to the Section, but also redefine how we interact with those ideals and achieve our goals.”
“What we start won’t be completed this year, but what we start will point us to where the Section ought to – and must – be over the next decade.”
The 60,000-member Section of Litigation is the largest in the ABA and the nation’s leading group for lawyers involved in litigation and trial practice. It helps litigators become more effective advocates for their clients. It also supports public service issues like death penalty representation and an end to human trafficking, and advocates as the voice of litigators.
“I am honored to serve as chair of the ABA’s Section of Litigation,” Bay said. “The Section has developed a rich legacy of providing practical value to members and serving as the voice of thousands of litigators across the country.
“If we are to continue to be the kind of Section we can be proud of, it will be because of the efforts of individual attorneys — talented, dedicated litigators who decide that their contributions make a difference.”
Bay’s leadership with the ABA stretches back 24 years. He has represented the St. Louis Bar in the ABA's House of Delegates since 2003, and has served as chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services. Bay has also served as the president of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, president of the St. Louis Bar Foundation and a member of the Missouri Bar Board of Governors.
Bay's litigation practice includes more than 30 years of experience in the representation and trial of business disputes. He has handled a wide variety of complex cases involving lender liability, breach of contract, and tortious interference. Bay has litigated several noteworthy cases including ITT Commercial Finance v. Mid America; Ridge Chrysler Jeep, LLC v. DaimlerChrysler Services North America; and St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company v. Foster.
Bay earned a J.D., cum laude, from University of Michigan Law School. He received a B.A., cum laude, from University of Missouri-Columbia. He is admitted to practice in Missouri and Illinois.

About Thompson Coburn
Thompson Coburn is a full service law firm with more than 325 attorneys nationwide and offices in Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, D.C, and Southern Illinois. We serve a diverse client base and we have been rated one of the nation’s top law firms in the U.S. for client service. We are also an employer of choice. For five years in a row, our associates have ranked us among the top 10 law firm workplaces in the nation.