For some, it’s “good riddance.” To others, it’s just another year gone by and for some it’s a blessing. Nevertheless, what we need to take from this start to the new year is to begin with a positive attitude, move forward with the aspects that truly are important and incorporate them into a resolution that will benefit our profession.
The JBA began its year in August with an article in the Financial News & Daily Record titled “Ringing in the New Year” by one of our own board of governors members, Elizabeth Howard. She introduced everyone to the revamping of The JBA, our sections and committees. With the start of 2013 under way and the revamping complete, we thought this would be a great opportunity to remind everyone of what The JBA has to offer in the way of becoming involved.
By way of example, many members of the association, including 10 members of the Office of Public Defender and I, participated in the 2012 Meals on Wheels/Holiday Project, sponsored by the association’s Community Outreach Section.
For many years, The JBA has participated in Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to Jacksonville senior citizens who need them each day but are unable to leave their homes. During the holiday season, the association, in conjunction with Meals on Wheels, organizes the Holiday Project to provide Jacksonville senior citizens an opportunity to receive a visit from Santa Claus. The seniors complete a wish list, which is given to sponsoring JBA members, who then take the list and do their best to meet that senior's needs or requests.
It is truly a wonderful experience, not only for the seniors, but for their individual sponsors, too. Everyone at the Public Defenders’ Office who participated really enjoyed themselves and as a result, many of them are looking for other opportunities to become more involved with the association.
The reason for this little vignette is to ask members of the legal profession to join The JBA and become involved with our community. If you already are involved, please continue to stay involved. If not, please become involved.
If you know someone who is not involved, encourage them to do so and, better yet, bring them to your next community activity or section or committee meeting. It does not matter what you choose to do; your involvement and commitment is the key.
Since our JBA President Ray Driver has taken the helm and reorganized the structure of our sections and committees, they have run more efficiently.
Here is the list of sections and their corresponding committees that may be of interest to you:
• Community Outreach Section: comprises the Government Relations, Holiday Project, Human Rights, Law Week, Military Law and the Pro Bono committees. If you are interested in any of these committees, please contact section Chair Marianne Aho, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Vice Chair Michael Duncan, email@example.com.
Litigation Section: comprises Alternative Dispute Resolution Practitioners, Admiralty & Maritime, Appellate Law, Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Labor law and Workers’ Compensation committees. If you are interested in any of these committees please contact section Chair Blane McCarthy, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Vice Chair Eric Kolar, email@example.com.
Member Services Section: comprises Bar Bulletin, Continuing Legal Education, Public Education, Social, Solo Practitioner/Small Firm and the Vendor Benefits committees. If you are interested in any of these committees please contact the section Chair Glenn Warren, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Vice Chair Maria Aguila, MAguila@coj.net.
Practicing with Professionalism Section: comprises the Bench & Bar Professionalism, Client Disputes, Diversity, Judicial Relations and the Mentoring committees. If you are interested in any of these committees please contact the section Chair Kirby Oberdorfer, email@example.com, or Vice Chair Stacy Watson-May, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protecting Our Children Section: comprises Adoption Law, Family Law, Juvenile Dependency, Juvenile Delinquency, Legal Needs of Children and Attorney Ad-Litem committees. If you are interested in any of these committees please contact the section Chair Brian Cabrey, email@example.com, or Vice Chair Connie Byrd, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transactional Law Section: comprises Corporate & Business Law, Elder Law, Environmental & Real Property Law, Estate Planning, Probate & Tax Law, Franchise, Intellectual Property & Technology Law, Health Law and In-House Counsel committees. If you are interested in any of these committees please contact the section Chair Scott Glazier, email@example.com, or Vice Chair Christine Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important that we, as members of The Jacksonville Bar Association, remain committed to our profession and in doing so remain active and involved in our community. I encourage everyone that is not a member to become a member and to become involved.
You can make a difference.
Hit the reboot button, ask for a do-over, use your mulligan, press Ctrl-Alt-Del and press restart, approach 2013 with a fresh start or simply begin with a commitment this year to become involved with The Jacksonville Bar Association.