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Jax Daily Record Monday, Apr. 17, 201712:00 PM EST

The Jacksonville Bar Association elections

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• The online election will open at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 26 and end at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 15.

• The election is open to full, public service/governmental and judiciary members. Honorary, student and out-of-area members are not eligible to participate.

• Membership dues must be current to vote.

• A president-elect and five seats open on the Board of Governors.

President-Elect

Katie L. Dearing

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• JBA Board of Governors, 2009-present (treasurer, 2016-2017; secretary 2015-2016)

• Young Lawyers Section Board of Directors (2003-2009; president 2008-2009, president-elect 2007-2008, secretary and treasurer 2006-2007)

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• Florida Bar Civil Procedure Rules Committee, 2014-present

• Florida Bar Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee, 4th Judicial Circuit (2010-2016, chair 2012-2016)

• Florida Bar Committee on Professionalism (2006-2008)

• Florida Bar Committee on Judicial Independence (2005-2007)

• Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association, member

• Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, barrister alumni

Civic Activities

• Girls Inc. of Jacksonville (board of directors, 2012-2016)

• City of Jacksonville Ethics Commission (2003-2007; vice chair, 2007)

• University of Florida Levin College of Law Alumni Council

Goals for The JBA

The challenges presented by today’s legal marketplace require that the JBA be more relevant and responsive to the needs of its members regarding networking, technology and practice management and development. I will work to ensure the JBA provides opportunities and resources to aid its members in these areas, including solo and small firm lawyers.

I will work to make it easier for members to engage each other and the Bar through committees, social events and publishing opportunities so members continue to realize the value of a JBA membership.

I want The Jacksonville Bar Association to continue its leadership role in this community and throughout the state in promoting professionalism and civility among members, enhancing the image and reputation of the legal profession, providing a mentorship program to benefit our younger members and providing pro bono services.

Board of Governors

Bill Adams

Jacksonville Bar Activities

Though I have been a member for a while, I have not held a leadership position with JBA before. Yet, since moving here from Dallas in 2000, the Jacksonville Bar has been very good to me, both personally and professionally, so I am hoping to repay that kindness with service on the board.

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• Master, Chester Bedell Inn of Court

• Judicial Nominating Commission, 2008-2010

Civic Activities

• Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center Leadership Council

• Vestry, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

• Board Member, Downtown Vision Inc.

• Board President and Member, Episcopal Childrens’ Services

• Board Member, Three Rivers Legal Services

• Leadership Jacksonville

Goals for The JBA

Only 1,500 out of the approximately 4,000 attorneys in Jacksonville are JBA members. Why would less than half of our lawyers choose to join? Is JBA thought to be too insular? Is the programming stale? By reviewing existing efforts with fresh eyes and a willingness to make changes, the JBA has the opportunity to grow and diversify its membership, while increasing its connections to existing members.

The JBA must be a leader in Jacksonville. Not too long ago, no major civic initiative got traction without heavy involvement from Jacksonville’s legal community – we should aim to reassume our historic position. By partnering with other leading organizations to identify areas of mutual interest, we can solve problems for others, advance our own cause and help make Jacksonville a better place to live and work.

To be sure, it is a time of opportunity at the JBA. Our new executive director is forward-thinking and our staff is dedicated and dynamic – if we pair them with a board with new ideas and fresh vision, success will surely follow.

Michael I. Bateh

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Board of Governors 2012 - present

• Finance Committee

• Community Outreach Section

– Holiday Project Committee

– Law Week Committee

– Pro Bono Committee

– Civics Education Program

– Government Relations

• Practicing with Professionalism Section

(JBA Board Liaison)

– Bench and Bar Professionalism

Committee

– Client Disputes

– Diversity Committee

– Judicial Relations Committee

– Mentoring

• Member Services Section

– Social Committee

– Membership Committee

– Vendor Benefits Committee

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• The Florida Bar Grievance Committee 4B

• Criminal Law Section

• Florida Association Criminal Defense Lawyers

Civic Activities

• I. M. Sulzbacher Center Volunteer

– Prepare and serve meals to residents and non-residents

– Pro bono legal services

• Teen Court Judge

• Guest Speaker/lecturer – Florida Coastal School of Law, University of North Florida, Family Support Services of North Florida, Annual Stop the Violence Summit, Leadership Summit, Urban Churches, Real Talk-The Sanctuary @Mt. Calvary, Police Athletic League (PAL), and local elementary, middle and high schools

• University of North Florida Prelaw Board of Advisors

• Leadership Jacksonville 2017

Goals for The JBA

As a member of the board of governors, my goals for The Jacksonville Bar Association are to grow membership and increase involvement by providing resources and value to our membership. By increasing participation, we can improve upon the activities the association has implemented. The Bar must be relevant to its members and the quality of our association can only be enhanced by the programs and committees we offer. By promoting a more diverse slate of programs, services and benefits, we can enhance the quality of life and professional growth.

Through outreach to our surrounding communities, we can develop new ideas, goals for the future and tackle community-related legal issues. Involvement and participation are essential to foster professionalism among our members, the Judiciary and the community as a whole.

I will continuously work to enhance The Jacksonville Bar Association,

I am seeking re-election to the board of governors and I want your support.

Brian T. Coughlin

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Litigation Section chair, 2016-2017

• Litigation Section vice chair, 2015-2016

• Raymond Ehrlich Trial Advocacy Seminar chair, 2017

• Raymond Ehrlich Trial Advocacy Seminar vice chair, 2016

• Civics Teaching Program, 2012-2015

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• Professional Ethics Committee, 2012-present; chair, 2016-2017

• Criminal Law Section

Civic Activities

• Daniel Kids Foundation Inc., board of trustees, 2014-present

• Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2016

• St. Paul’s Catholic Church, coach and volunteer, 2014-present

• Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, board of directors, 2011-present

Goals for The JBA

I aim to take and support action that will promote competence and collegiality within our legal community and foster respect for our profession. The JBA should grow and diversify our membership through the addition of more worthwhile economic and social opportunities. I intend to work for the preservation of independence for lawyers and judges, and to increase access to legal services within our community.

Patrick V. Douglas

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Participant in JBA social/networking events: Judges, JAs & Java; luncheons; Bench and Bar

• Participant/contributor in JBA charity events: YLS Poker Tournament; Senior Holiday Project

• Participant in JBA CLEs: Litigation section CLEs; Lunch and Learn

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• Jacksonville Justice Association active member

• Florida Bar Association member - Litigation Section

• Former board member of Broward County YLS

• Florida Justice Association member

Civic Activities

• Co-chair of Equality Florida (Greater Jacksonville), 2016-current

• Vice chair of Suwannee Valley Community Foundation, 2015-current

Goals for The JBA

I believe my strengths are in community outreach and service-oriented projects and creating partnerships with other charitable and professional organizations. I want to see JBA’s stature increase as a leading presence in the community for worthwhile causes. I have assisted with many charity events previously including raising over $180,000 for Equality Florida in greater Jacksonville last year as the co-chair. Another aim would be to increase JBA membership and make every lawyer in the JBA feel like part of a tight-knit, friendly and helpful legal community by promoting each section of the JBA.

Adam Edgecombe

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Member, Young Lawyers Section Board of Governors, 2014-present

• Member, Professionalism Committee, 2016-present

• Co-chair, YLS Chili Cook-off, 2017

• Holiday Project chair, 2013

• Co-founder and participant, YLS mentoring project with Ribault High School, 2016-present

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• Florida Board of Bar Examiners, Bar exam grader, 2014-present.

Civic Activities

• Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Impact Jax board member and Community Pride committee chair, 2016- present

• The Bolles School Alumni Board, 2015-present

• American Cancer Society: Metro Jacksonville lead support and Mr. Relay Champion, 2017

• Florida Coastal School of Law, Alumni Board of Directors, 2013-present

• Volunteer, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, 2011-present

• Volunteer coach, Westside Soccer Club, 2011-2015

Goals for The JBA

Provide our members additional opportunities to come together for socializing and networking with the goal of creating a true sense of community in our profession, which would also contribute to creating greater professionalism and accountability among our members. Encourage more active participation from our younger members. It can be intimidating for new lawyers to become active in the Bar, and I’d like to remove that barrier and encourage young attorneys, who are the future leaders of our Bar association.

Christian George

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Current president of Jacksonville Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section

• Member of YLS Board of Governors, 2010-2017

• Chair of the Year, Professionalism Committee, 2015

• Past chair, Bench & Bar Professionalism Committee

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• Current president-elect, The Florida Bar Young Lawyer Division

• Member of YLD Board of Governors, 2012-2017

• Former chair, 4th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee

• Chester Bedell Inn of Court, current barrister, former associate

• The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section Executive Committee

Civic Activities

• Former board member of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

• University of Florida Levin College of Law Alumni Council

Goals for the JBA

My involvement with the Young Lawyers Section of The Jacksonville Bar Association and The Florida Bar has been the most rewarding activity in my career. The opportunities to network, become involved in the community and make lasting relationships with other attorneys have been invaluable to someone who is not from Jacksonville. Now that my days as a “young lawyer” are passing, it is time for me to hopefully continue my service on The Jacksonville Bar Association Board of Governors.

The JBA has a strong history of success and has a lot to be proud about. That being said, we cannot rest on our laurels and your board of governors needs to continue to work hard to ensure the organization thrives.

The JBA committee structure has provided access to involvement to its many members. The path to being appointed to a committee should be advertised more as providing involvement to the JBA membership is one of the JBA’s most important responsibilities. We should continue to create opportunities for leadership in the organization, publish legal articles and allow our members to become engaged in the community.

The level of professionalism among lawyers in North Florida makes me proud. We can continue to facilitate collegiality by providing top-notch and new programs, events and happy hours. I have been honored to serve the Bar, both locally and statewide, and hope to continue this service on The Jacksonville Bar Association board.

Blane McCarthy

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Board of Governors, 2013-present

• Chair of the Litigation Section, 2012-13 (inaugural chair)

• Chair of the Year, 2011-12

• Chair of the ADR Practitioner’s Section, 2003-12

• Member of The Jacksonville Bar Association since 1995

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• Florida Bar

– President’s Pro Bono Service Award 2015 (4th Judicial Circuit)

– Board certified in civil trial, 2010-present

– Member since 1995

• Christian Legal Society, Jacksonville chapter

– President, 2000-02

– Board of Directors, 2004-09, 2011-present

– Pro Bono Project director, 2001-present

• The Florida Academy of Professional Mediators, 2001-10

• National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, since 2009

• Florida Justice Association, since 1996

• Jacksonville Justice Association, since 1997

Civic Activities

• Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, 2015

• City Rescue Mission, director of Christian Legal Society Pro Bono Project serving residents in the LifeBuilder’s program, 2001-present.

• San Jose Baptist Church, director of adult ministries, 2004-present; deacon, 1998-present; Adult Bible Study teacher, 1997-present

Goals for The JBA

For the last four years, my board of governors service has included a heightened focus on the Jacksonville Bar’s CLE event programming. Lawyers in the Jacksonville area can now rely on the JBA’s annual CLE event calendar that will always include full or half-day seminars on

• Trial Advocacy (February),

• Professionalism/Technology (May),

• Mediator CME (June),

• Family Law (September) and

• Transactional Law (November).

Additionally, we offer a variety of shorter CLE programs throughout the year on a wide range of topics.

I am particularly excited that your JBA leadership and staff have turned the corner on one of my main CLE agendas – online access to the video recordings of our seminars. These seminars are offered in their entirety and as individual program segments with their own distinct Florida Bar CLE event numbers. Can’t make the trial advocacy seminar in person? Now, you can watch the video stream when your schedule permits. Only interested in the segment on closing arguments? You can purchase access to just that segment at a reduced fee, saving time and money. We believe this online platform will transform the way The Jacksonville Bar Association delivers continuing legal education to our region.

Robust CLE programming – live and via video streaming – provides you with needed educational opportunities and helps keep your membership dues affordable by providing a non-dues revenue source to the JBA.

I would be honored to be re-elected to the board of governors to continue my CLE programming mission.

Leslie Scott Jean-Bart

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Jacksonville Bar Association, 2016 Diversity Champion

• Attorney Ad-Litem Subcommittee, Civics Education, Legal Needs of Children, Human Rights and Diversity

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• Member of The Florida Bar since 1997

• Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, 2014-17

• Grievance Committee (4C), 2011-14, chair 2014

• Florida Justice Association board member, 2010-16

• Awards: Silver Eagle (2011), Shoe Leather (2012 and 2013) and Rising Star (2013)

• Jacksonville Justice Association board member, 2012-present

• D.W. Perkins Bar Association, secretary, 2007-08; president-elect, 2008-09; president, 2009-10 and 2012-13; and Judicial Diversity Committee, co-chair

• Chester Bedell Inn of Court, associate 1999-2000, barrister 2002-05

• Memberships: American Bar Association, Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association, American Justice Association, National Bar Association and Virgil Hawkins Florida

Chapter of the National Bar Association

Civic Activities

• Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Gamma Rho Omega Chapter

• NAACP Silver Life membership

• Better Jacksonville Plan Citizens Oversight Committee, 2001-03

• Mayor’s annual Mary L. Singleton Memorial Breakfast, chair 2001-09

• Florida Elections Commission, 2012-14

• City of Jacksonville Ethics Commission, 2013-14 and 2017

• Jacksonville/First Coast League of Women Voters, board member, 2013-14

• Jacksonville Black Chamber of Commerce, chair, 2014-15

• Christ the King Catholic Church, member

• Christ the King School Foundation, president, 2014-16

• Christ the King School Board member, 2014-16

• Three Rivers Legal Services, board member, 2013-present; secretary, 2015-present

• Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, parliamentarian, 2014-present

• LSF Health Systems, board member, 2014-present

• Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Racial & Ethnic Disparities Committee, 2015-present

• Operation New Hope, board member, 2016-present

• Jacksonville Port Academy, board member, 2016-present

• Operation Save Our Sons, board member, 2016-present

• Leadership Jacksonville Nonpartisan Political Campaign Seminar, 2017

Goals for The JBA

The practice of law is swiftly changing. My goal is to help guide The Jacksonville Bar Association in providing services and programs for an aging and more diverse legal community.

Asghar A. Syed

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Commercial Litigation Committee, acting vice-chair

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• The Chester Bedell Inn of Court, associate

Civic Activities

• TEDxJacksonville, founding member and former board member

• Riverside Avondale Preservation, former board member and executive committee member

• Florida Chapter of Emerge USA, board member

• Muslim Leadership Institute hosted by the Shalom Hartman Institute, participant

• JAXUSA Partnership Business Development Committee, member

• Development Council for the Baptist Medical Center of Jacksonville, member

Goals for The JBA

To enhance the JBA’s engagement with lawyers, elected officials and the public. I will help grow and capitalize on our base while keeping in mind that millennials are not joiners and most groups are struggling to maintain members. We can redefine JBA membership to allow easy access while better monetizing the networking and educational value we provide our members. Second, I will advance civic engagement. Our candidate forums provide JBA members invaluable access to elected officials and JBA members, in turn, serve as thought leaders in our community. Finally, I will promote our long-standing commitment to serving the public through our Lawyer Referral Service and pro-bono efforts.

Lee Wedekind

Jacksonville Bar activities

• Member since 2003

• Member, JBA Board of Governors, 2010-present

• Secretary, JBA Board of Governors, 2016-2017

• Member, JBA Executive Committee 2016-2017

• Member, JBA Strategic Planning Committee, 2017

• Member, JBA Budget Committee, 2017

• Chair, JBA Bylaws Revision Committee, 2017

• Chairman, JBA Membership Committee, 2016-17

• Chairman, JBA Building Committee, 2014-15

• JBA Board liaison, Transactional Law Section, 2012-15

• Member, Young Lawyers Section Board of Governors, 2005-11

• YLS president, 2010-11

• YLS president-elect, 2009-10

• YLS secretary, 2008-09

• YLS treasurer, 2007-08

• Chair, Tee it Up! For Charity golf tournament, 2008

• Chair, Run for Cover 5K, 2009

Florida Bar/other Bar associations activities

• The Florida Bar Eminent Domain Committee

• The Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section and Business Law Section

• Chester Bedell American Inn of Court

• American Bar Association

Civic activities

• Member and Finance Committee chair, Trinity Fitness Ministries

• Volunteer youth baseball coach

Goals for the JBA

The most pressing goal for the JBA is increasing membership, both in numbers and involvement. If re-elected, I intend to continue working on three initiatives to promote JBA membership:

1. Build educational and social programming that promotes opportunities for our members to develop their practices and networks.

2. Modernize the Bar’s processes when it comes to enrolling, tracking and communicating with its members.

3. Develop a long-range plan to foster stronger relationships with historically under-represented groups such as young lawyers, solo and small firm practitioners and minority attorneys.

John K. Weedon

Jacksonville Bar Activities

• Current two-year member of the Board of Governors for The Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section

• Current sports league commissioner

• Co-chair of Chips 4 Change charity poker tournament, 2017

• Current two-year mentor to Ribault High School students through Ribault Future Lawyers Program

• Participant and volunteer at all YLS events: Holidays in January, chili cook-off, charity golf tournament, judicial breakfasts, etc.

Florida Bar/Other Bar Association Activities

• AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell

• 2016 Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star

• Chester Bedell Inn of Court alumnus

• Member of the South Carolina Bar Association

• Former member of Jacksonville Association of Defense Counsel

• Former member and active participant in Charleston County Bar Association (South Carolina)

• Eagle Scout

 Civic Activities

• Active supporter of:

– Catholic Charities

– All Saints Early Learning Center

– Dreams Come True

– Wolfson Children’s Hospital

– First Coast YMCA

– St. Francis Soup Kitchen

– Jacksonville Humane Society

– Tim Tebow Foundation

• Lifetime member of Assumption Catholic Church

• Satisfied Costco member

Goals for the JBA

I am a proud Jacksonville native, longtime (sometimes painfully) loyal Jaguar supporter and permanent member of this community. I have planted my flag and I am not going anywhere. Because of this, I want to help our community and our local Bar association be the best that it can possibly be.

Though I work in litigation, which is often contentious and adversarial by nature, I take pride in always establishing a civil, professional and most oftentimes friendly relationship with my opponents. I genuinely enjoy meeting and socializing with other members of our profession. Camaraderie is something that sets our legal community apart from other local Bar associations around the state, and it is something that I believe in very strongly. I would like to continue to enhance the camaraderie that we as attorneys in Jacksonville enjoy and to serve our community in advancing causes that are dedicated to  the enrichment of those in need in our city as well as the needs of the future of our city, its youth.

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