SEH’s General Counsel, Mary Catherine Anglum, Esq., was sworn in to practice before the United States Supreme Court, with colleagues from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Legal Counsel Forum. Anglum, based in SEH’s Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin office, is the Chair of the Legal Counsel Forum with ACEC.
Here’s what Mary Catherine had to share about the experience and what she hopes to continue to accomplish through her involvement with ACEC.
Congratulations and what an accomplishment! Tell me what it means to be sworn in?
It means that I can present a case to the Court should an appeal go that high, or I can sit in seats reserved for Bar members as opposed to waiting in the public line to hear cases argued. I also have access to legal research at the Court. Attorneys require special admission to bring a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tell me about your involvement with the ACEC Legal Forum?
I have been a member of the ACEC Legal Counsel for six years. As the current Chair of the ACEC Legal Forum, I hope to continue to foster an open and secure space for similarly situated attorneys to encourage each other and share their knowledge and talents. It is a unique situation where competitors are able to support each other in a way that makes the entire industry better! The term is one year as the co-chair and one year as Chair. I will complete my tour after the May 2019 meeting.
How to you think the ACEC legal forum discussions have helped shape changes?
The ACEC Legal Counsel Forum is a group of attorneys who advise engineering firms that are members of the ACEC. Twice a year when we get together, we discuss changes to laws and regulations that affect engineers in our various states and internationally. Those discussions lead to efforts to change and/or divert laws that might negatively impact the profession. Our members have formed committees that meet with politicians and government agencies to educate them on our concerns. Our contributions have led to model legislation and the exclusion of engineers from burdensome regulations. We also use part of the meeting to discuss coverage issues with the major professional liability carriers in the USA. Those discussions may cause the carriers to offer new or expanded insurance options.
What do you find most valuable about being on the Forum?
As a sole practitioner at SEH, I do not have the luxury of peers. There is no one to whom I can turn to give me a second opinion, or rely on for additional research. This Forum and some of its elder statesmen have mentored me and given their time to make me a better attorney. They have taken my calls and sent me forms only because someone else did it for them once upon a time. It’s a perfect example of paying it forward!
Mary Catherine is the first and only in-house counsel at SEH, and has been supporting A/E firms for twenty years.