What does The JBA do anyway?


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  • | 12:00 p.m. November 2, 2009
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by Jacksonville Bar Association President Dan Bean

Whew! What a week of JBA activity. When anyone asks me in the future: “What does The Jacksonville Bar Association do anyway?,” I will simply refer to the events of the past week and that answer should more than suffice.

It started Oct. 15 with our monthly lunch. We hosted over 250 of our closest friends and listened to Florida Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston speak and Florida Coastal School of Law Professor Susan Daicoff and her son sing. Immediately following lunch our intellectual property section hosted one of our over 20 continuing legal education events that we sponsor annually. Co-Chairs Carolyn Herman and Howard Kaplan hosted a tremendous event that was educational, well attended and inexpensive.

On Oct. 24, JBA Board of Governor Mike Freed and Pro Bono Committee Chair Kathy Para appeared on “The Consumer Law Hour” with Eddie Farah on AM-690. Mike and Kathy, along with Eddie Farah, did a great job informing the public regarding the mission of The JBA, The JBA Lawyer Referral Service, and the upcoming events for the week: The Honorable Peter J. Fryefield Law Revue at the Terry Theater Oct. 22, our inaugural “Ask-a-Lawyer” program conducted Oct. 24 with the participation of Jacksonville City Council members, and two homeowner foreclosure informational events run in conjunction with United States Rep. Cliff Stearns.

The first homeowner/foreclosure event with Stearns was Oct. 19 in Orange Park and Ray Driver and Freed did a superb job organizing our attorneys’ participation. Twelve Jacksonville attorneys assisted 141 homeowners facing foreclosure issues or looking to purchase their first home. The following attorneys participated in this great program: Lynn Drysdale, Gloria Einstein, Todd Henry, James Kallaher, Gary Luke, James Le Mieux, Clayton Miller, Gust Sarris, Graham Syfert, Timothy Waller, Felicia Wilcox and Michael Ziegler.

Oct. 20, the inaugural kickball season opened with eight teams and over 100 attorneys. Thanks to Ricky Britton, Charlie Jimerson and Eileen LaCivita the league kicked off with multiple exciting games that went down to the last inning. Unfortunately yours truly suffered a possibly season ending injury in the Holland & Knight come-from-behind victory against Akerman Senterfitt. Team officials at Holland & Knight have remained conspicuously mum about the injury apparently not wanting to influence the odds makers in Vegas.

Jacksonville attorneys under the direction of Driver and Freed were at the second Stearns foreclosure event. About 140 Jacksonville citizens received assistance on issues involving their homes. The following attorneys participated in this event: Allison Albert, Millie Kanyar, Eric Kolar, James Le Mieux, Gary Luke, Anna Roa Martinez, Marlysha Myrthil, Chip Parker, Gust Sarris, Graham Syfert, Eric Vaughn, Timothy Waller, Felicia Wilcox and Michael Ziegler.

Also the night of Oct. 22, approximately 400 folks attended “The Honorable Peter J. Fryefield Law Revue” at the Terry Theatre which supported Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and The Jacksonville Bar Foundation. This talent show was again flawlessly chaired by Rose Marie Preddy and Patty Dodson was the tireless musical director. These two attorneys went way above and beyond to make this event a tremendous success.

Over 30 Jacksonville judges and lawyers performed on stage including: Cary Braswell, Lindsay Tygart-Havice, David Sacks, Mark Hall, Eddie Farah, John DeVault, Hank Coxe, Rick Mullaney, Maria Aguila, Leonard Alterman, Sarah Bohr, Jay Brown, Karen Koster Burr, Christine Clark, Ham Cooke, Professor Susan Diacoff, Judge Eleni Derke, Regina Love Durfee, Professor Roger M. Groves, Liana Rothstein Hood, Dean Donald Jones, Lynn Martin, Andrew Moritz, Judge Jeff Morrow, Raymond Reid, Kevin S. Sanders, Tara L. Saíid, Jodi Seitlin, Michael Sharrit, Taylor Speer, Eric Smith, Judge L. Haldane Taylor, James T. Terrell and Judge Roberto A. Arias.

There was more than just singing, dancing and acting on the stage. Deborah Reid was our art curator and she put together a spectacular display. The following lawyer-artists displayed their incredible work: Marcie Beeching, Dana Brown, Susannah Collins, Tom Farrell, Maggie Jo Hilliard, Fatima Hussein, Tim McDermott, Bonnie Menard, Michelle Presume, Carol C. Todd and Sarah Jane Webber.

Finally, we completed the first of our “Ask-a-Lawyer” events with City Council member Dr. Johnny Gaffney in Dist. 7. This event was chaired superbly by Kathy Para. Local Jacksonville lawyers Valarie Linnen, Jamie Ibrahim, Lanesha Sims, Michael Orr, and Kevin Cook were supplemented by members of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division from around the state. Over 25 Jacksonville citizens received free legal advice on employment, contractual disputes, family law and financial issues. This was an outstanding event and was extremely helpful to those Jacksonville citizens seeking legal assistance. Remember that if you’d like to participate in future “Ask-A-Lawyer” events, simply let Kathy know at [email protected]

So what does The Jacksonville Bar Association do anyway? A whole lot. Thanks again for all you do, and, remember, it’s a great day to be a Jacksonville lawyer.