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Dwyer Arce Completes Term as President of the Virgin Islands Bar Association

News | December 28, 2023

Kutak Rock litigation partner Dwyer Arce ended his one‑year term as the President of the Virgin Islands Bar Association at its annual meeting on December 8, 2023. He will now serve a final year on the Virgin Islands Bar Association Board of Governors as Immediate Past President until December 2024.

At the December 8 annual meeting, Dwyer celebrated a year of unprecedented success in expanding legal services available to the Virgin Islands community and resources available to Virgin Islands attorneys. These successes include:

  • Launching Virgin Islands Free Legal Answers in partnership with the American Bar Association. Free Legal Answers is a virtual legal advice clinic where qualifying members of the public submit civil legal questions to be answered by volunteer attorneys at no cost.
  • Hosting clinics for the public throughout the Territory to provide information on issues related to immigration, landlord-tenant disputes, and family law, among others, aimed at non‑English speaking Virgin Islanders.
  • Making dozens of appointments and nominations to committees and commissions of the Virgin Islands Supreme Court, allowing the Supreme Court to fully staff the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board and the Access to Justice Commission.
  • Relaunching the Virgin Islands Bar Foundation to support the educational and charitable mission of the Virgin Islands Bar Association.
  • Appointing a member of the legal team that will advise the Sixth Constitutional Convention in 2025 as it drafts a constitution for the Virgin Islands.
  • Overseeing the expansion of resources available to Virgin Islands attorneys in partnership with the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). Through this first‑of‑its‑kind partnership, all Virgin Islands attorneys became NYSBA members with access to its programming and services, including lawyer assistance services that would otherwise be unavailable to Virgin Islands attorneys. Other bar associations are now attempting to replicate this innovative partnership to provide similar benefits to their members.
  • Streamlining and improving the administration of the Virgin Islands Bar Association by updating its bylaws, revising its financial management policies, adopting policies improving internal governance, implementing an electronic filing system to track attorney CLE compliance and automate compliance audits, and increasing staffing resources available to assist Virgin Islands attorneys and the public.
  • Presiding over meetings of the Virgin Islands Bar Association with record attendance, including the December 8 Annual Meeting attended by nearly half of all active Virgin Islands attorneys.

These great strides in improving access to justice and providing greater resources to the public and members of the Virgin Islands Bar Association will continue to benefit the Virgin Islands for years to come.

The Virgin Islands Bar Association is an integrated bar with approximately 650 active members practicing law in the Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean consisting of the main islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. As an arm of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Bar Association is responsible for implementing continuing legal education requirements, engaging in efforts to increase access to justice, engaging in advocacy on behalf of the bar and the public, providing commentary on proposed legislation to the Virgin Islands Legislature, evaluating the performance of members of the Virgin Islands Judiciary, and assisting the Supreme Court in additional tasks related to the management of the Judiciary and Bar.

Outside of his involvement in the Virgin Islands Bar Association, Dwyer serves as State Chair for the Virgin Islands in the American Bar Association Council of Appellate Lawyers. Dwyer also serves on the Executive Committee of the Nebraska State Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, as a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Committee on Practice & Procedure, and as chair of the Nebraska State Bar Association Practice & Procedure Committee.

Dwyer’s practice focuses on appellate proceedings in state and federal courts nationwide, in addition to commercial trial litigation primarily in state and federal courts in Nebraska, Iowa, and the Virgin Islands. Dwyer was recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year” for appellate practice in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and has consistently been recognized for his appellate practice and commercial litigation practice by Best Lawyers®. Before entering private practice, Dwyer served for several years as the senior law clerk to Justice Maria M. Cabret of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands.