During the recent swearing-in ceremony for the officers of The Jacksonville Bar Association, President Geddes Anderson suggested that any complaints or problems encountered during the upcoming year should be handled by me, as president-elect.
A closer review of the bylaws reveals he was completely wrong.
The true role of the president-elect is largely ceremonial, and requires the officeholder to spend the organization’s reserves so those reserves don’t burden the organization in future years.
Also, the president-elect’s job involves international travel.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked by members of the JBA, “What are Bar meetings like in Milan?” or “What kind of food does the Paris Bar serve?”
For many years, presidents-elect have ignored their duties, but I have committed myself to answering these important questions and spending reserves at an alarming rate ... because I care about you.
Another important duty of the president-elect is to provide ghostwriting services for the president.
Indeed, most of the articles about health, fitness, yoga, granola, etc., attributed in the past year to Giselle Carson were actually ghostwritten by then-president-elect Anderson.
If you thought you saw him in Whole Foods buying up kale and quinoa chips for his upcoming 26K run, you probably did.
In keeping with my solemn duties, I have therefore ghostwritten the following inaugural newsletter for our new president:
I realize many of you have heard rumors that I will run the JBA as a dictator or demagogue, but substantial portions of those rumors are untrue.
Until further notice, I fully intend to continue walking the hallways of power just like you little people.
The JBA and I have learned a lot about our organization from the current national presidential campaign. My first move as president therefore will be to build a wall around The Jacksonville Bar Association.
Do not worry about the cost, we will have the chiropractors pay for the wall. It will be a great wall, a wonderful wall and one of the finest Bar association walls that has been built.
One of the most pressing matters the JBA has to deal with is practice by attorneys not from these parts, hereinafter referred to as ANFTPs.
They come from Mexico, Syria, Miami, Milan and Paris and they are ruining our courts with their foreign-style lawyering.
Each ANFTP-billed hour is an hour that a good Jacksonville lawyer could have billed.
A wall is a good start, but your JBA also will be establishing checkpoints at the interstates leading into Jacksonville and at the airport to keep out those foreign elements.
We will guard the courthouses and let through only those lawyers who can answer specific questions about Jacksonville, such as the locations of former Pic N’ Save stores.
We have further learned that emails may be kept or retained according to one’s own personal preferences. We will therefore lobby the courts and Legislature to modify the discovery and spoliation standards to exempt emails kept on one’s own private server.
One of the other biggest problems in our courts is the rampant bias by judges who may not share the same genetic heritage as the lawyers who appear in their courts.
If your great-great-grandmother was part French, is it really fair if a case is heard by a judge whose great-great-uncle was some croissant-hating Englishman?
It’s hard to tell what a judge’s ethnic background is, so the association is going to secure a subscription with ancestry.com so that each of our members can pinpoint whether a judge may have a foreign ancestor –– to support motions to recuse, etc.
I am looking forward to a new year in which your leadership is committed to “make the JBA great again.”
Your fearless leader, Geddes.
Bar Bulletin editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Jacksonville Bar Association.