ACTEC Names First Academic Fellow to Serve as President

Mar 24, 2011, 09:00 ET from American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Professor Mary F. Radford became the first Academic Fellow to serve as president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) in a gavel-passing ceremony held at the ACTEC 2011 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting attracted approximately 1,100 Fellows, spouses and guests, which represented a record-breaking attendance at an ACTEC national meeting since the College was established in 1949.



"I look forward to working with the Fellows of the College as we face the opportunity to expand our role as trusted family counselors amidst the challenges of ever-changing tax and probate laws," said Professor Radford.  "Families seek counsel when making preparations to deal with their most precious assets – their children and, in many cases, their elderly parents.   We in the College are committed to educating ourselves, our clients, legislators, policy makers, and the general public on the wide range of estate and family planning issues that arise in today's dynamic and complex society."

Professor Radford joined the Georgia State University College of Law faculty in 1984 and currently teaches Wills, Trusts and Estates; Estate Planning; Business Succession Planning; and Law and the Elderly.  Elected to ACTEC in 1995, Professor Radford served on the ACTEC Strategic Planning Task Force and has chaired the College's Long Range Planning Committee and Legal Education Committee.  She has been an active member of the ACTEC Elder Law Committee and was instrumental in establishing the College's New Fellows Steering Committee.  (see below for more on Professor Radford.)

The ACTEC Board of Regents also confirmed the election of the 2011-2012 officers of the College, including President-Elect, Louis A. Mezzullo of Rancho Santa Fe, California; Vice-President, Duncan E. Osborne of Austin, Texas; Treasurer, Kathleen R. Sherby of St. Louis, Missouri; Secretary, Bruce Stone of Coral Gables, Florida; and Immediate Past President, Karen M. Moore of Columbus, Ohio.  These new officers represent the approximately 2600 Fellows in ACTEC, most of whom are lawyers who practice in the fields of Estate Planning, Charitable Planning, Fiduciary Litigation, Employee Benefits, and Elder Law.  Sixty-seven of the Fellows are Academic Fellows who hold full-time teaching positions at law schools across the country.

Ronald D. Aucutt, a partner in the law firm of McGuire Woods LLP, presented the Annual Joseph Trachtman Lecture titled, "Creed or Code: The Calling of the Counselor in Advising Families." A Past President of ACTEC, Aucutt addressed an audience of over 700 Fellows and guests, providing guidance on the wide-ranging responsibilities a lawyer faces when advising multiple generations of a family.  Based on his experiences, both successes and disappointments, Aucutt challenged Fellows to maintain the highest ethical standards of conduct and inspired them to encourage the "fostering, feeding, fortification, and fulfillment of families."  The entire text of the Trachtman Lecture will be published in an upcoming issue of the ACTEC Law Journal.

Professor Radford served as the Reporter for the State Bar of Georgia committees that revised Georgia's Probate Code, Guardianship Code, and Trust Code.  She is a frequent speaker on estate planning and guardianship topics and is the author of numerous books and law review articles. In 2009, she was awarded the Verner S. Chaffin Career Service Award by the Fiduciary Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia.  In 2002, she received the Treat Award for Excellence from the National College of Probate Judges.  

Professor Radford has also taught as a Visiting Professor at the law schools of the Phoenix School of Law, the University of Georgia, Emory University, and the University of Tennessee. In 1990-91, she worked as a Supreme Court Fellow for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Before she began teaching law, she practiced as an associate attorney at the Atlanta firm of Hansell & Post, 1981-84. Prior to attending law school, Professor Radford taught English and French at two Atlanta high schools.

A native of New Jersey, Radford received her undergraduate degree from the Newcomb College of Tulane University and her law degree from Emory University School of Law. She lives in Big Canoe, Georgia with her husband, Lee Raudonis.

SOURCE American College of Trust and Estate Counsel