Blaner chosen to head bar exec group

PITTSBURGH -Dave Blaner, son of Andy and Anne Blaner and brother of 2nd Ward Councilman Dorothy Blaner, all of Toronto, recently was named president of the National Association of Bar Executives for the Allegheny County Pennsylvania region.

Blaner, a 1977 Toronto High School graduate, was named to the position on July 1. The association is based in Chicago.

“I’m currently serving as president for a year,” said Blaner, adding he wasn’t an attorney. “My position is executive director. I oversee operations of the bar locally in Allegheny County, which includes 6,500 attorneys and 60 employees.”

Blaner attended Bethany College and graduated in 1981 with a degree in political science. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh and earned a master’s degree in public administration.

“I spent 12 years as a manager in various municipalities in Pennsylvania,” Blaner said. “The last one was Robinson Township.”

Blaner said he was working for the township during the years of its tremendous growth, and this led him to begin working for the bar association as a board member.

“We’re the chamber of commerce for attorneys,” Blaner continued, adding the bar’s main function is to provide continuing education, including seminars and programs, on ever-evolving law concerns.

“We do a lot of training on ethics,” said Blaner, adding lawyers need to be up to date on the latest court rulings on the state and federal levels. “The legal system is constantly evolving. Our job is to provide as much information as possible to our attorney members, which also includes judges.

“We have 68 committees for the bar,” he continued. “Each committee specializes in a different aspect of the law.”

Attorneys and judges also must be aware of laws enacted by legislatures on both the state and federal levels, and providing information on any changes made also is another function of the bar, Blaner added.

“There’s a tremendous amount of activity (on law matters) each day,” he said. “There are more than 650 individuals involved (in the bar associations) in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Scotland. The structure of the bar is very similar to that of municipalities. We also have a charitable wing of the Allegheny County Bar Association.”

Unlike other bar associations in other states, in Pennsylvania the bar doesn’t pursue disciplinary actions against individual attorneys, Blaner said, adding the state took away that right in the 1960s.

“People ask me how I got involved in this,” he said. “You don’t go to school to learn how to do this.”

Blaner said he would stay involved with the bar after his tenure as president ends.

“I’ll continue to be a member and stay involved,” he said.

Blaner currently lives in Moon Township with his wife Kelly, who are the parents of Zack and Lexie Blaner.

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