In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “the time is always right to do what is right.” Since your last JBA Bulletin in June, the time has been right for the Jacksonville Bar Association to make some positive changes. Here are just a few of the exciting things going on with the JBA:
First the JBA has officially moved to its new home in Suite 1320 of the AETNA building on the south bank. The new office has wireless connectivity and two conference rooms that can be used by members for depositions and/or mediations. In addition, we will be able to host the majority of our CLE courses and the Bench & Bar event in the Aetna building at no charge to the JBA. A special thanks goes out to James “Dooner” Moore at Driver, McAfee, Griggs & Peek, P.L. who was able to negotiate a very favorable long term lease that will provide our members and the JBA staff with a functional and economical space for years to come.
The new weekly format for the Jacksonville Bar Bulletin has begun. The Board of Governors, in cooperation with Jim Bailey and Bailey Publishing, has decided to return to the weekly format for the Bulletin inside the Monday edition of the Financial News & Daily Record. There are many benefits to this format, the most important of which include reaching our members more frequently and improving the public perception of attorneys by exposing non-JBA members to the great things Jacksonville lawyers do on a regular basis. To assist in that regard, Dan Bean has started the Lawyer Snapshot to recognize a Jacksonville attorney for charitable, non-profit or other selfless sacrifice. Each week a different lawyer will be featured in the Bulletin. If you have any nominations for the Lawyer Snapshot, please submit their name, a brief bio and why you are nominating them to the JBA. In addition to the weekly Bulletin, the JBA will have several separate pullout sections each year. Cheyenne Palmer has graciously agreed to serve as the Bulletin editor-in-chief again. Utilizing this format rather than the prior glossy magazine will save the JBA tens of thousands of dollars every year and allow us to reach lawyers in the Jacksonville area that are not JBA members. Please let us know what you think of the new format.
Alan Rosner, with little more than his sense of humor and the lure of hot dogs and PB&J sandwiches, has reinvigorated the Judicial Relations Committee. They have held four “Sidebar” box lunch events with the various judicial divisions of the Fourth Judicial Circuit. These are informal two hour sessions where attorneys can ask questions of the judges and discuss various issues or topics. On September 4, 2008, the Judicial Relations Committee and the civil judges hosted a packed house in Courtroom A. Please thank Alan (the Boss), Jay Knight (the Moderator), Hugh Cotney (the Glue), Pat Pou (the Promoter) and all the members of this committee for a job well done.
Committee/Section involvement builds friendships, provides great referral opportunities and improves the overall strength of the JBA. With over 40 Sections/Committees, there are plenty of options. If you have not joined a committee or section, please contact the JBA and fill out a preference form today.
Member luncheons start Sept. 18 at the Hyatt. Our featured speaker is Cammie Hauser a former C.P.A. and one of the lead law firm practice advisors from Atticus. Her topic is Growing Your Law Practice In A Challenging Economy. There will be a 4 hour seminar on this topic following the luncheon. Ms. Hauser has been working with small to medium size law firms and individual attorneys to maximize their profitability, improve time management and develop systems and processes that let your business work for you, rather than you merely being an employee of your law firm - pushing out legal work. The program is helpful for all types of practices, whether hourly, contingent, flat fee or otherwise. Our firm has utilized the Atticus program to improve profitability, employee morale, time management and the quality of life for our attorneys. This seminar will be helpful for partners, associates and those that would like to start a firm in the future. Please contact the Jacksonville Bar Association at 399-4486 for reservations. The cost is $60 for JBA members and $100 for non-members. Reservations are preferred as there is great interest in this seminar. Please call today to reserve your seat at the luncheon and the seminar.
Speaking of the luncheons, I am hoping to make them more entertaining. Please feel free to submit a Letterman style top 10 list, preferably regarding a Jacksonville lawyer or law firm. I will provide prizes for any lists or other humorous ideas utilized at a JBA event (the value of which will be dependent on the amount of laughter generated from the audience). Please mark your calendars for the following events through the end of December: On October 16, 2008, Dean Bob Jerry from the University Of Florida College Of Law will speak about the emerging changes in educating law students today. On November 13, 2008, City of Jacksonville General Counsel Rick Mullaney will address the JBA regarding the 40th anniversary of consolidation. The Family Law Section is sponsoring a CLE seminar the afternoon of November 13, 2008. The Bench and Bar Holiday Reception will be held December 11, 2008 at the AETNA building lobby. Please have your scheduling person periodically check the JBA calendar on our website for upcoming JBA events.
Finally, let me thank you for the opportunity to lead this great association. I am honored and humbled by your confidence.