It's the start of a new fiscal year for The Jacksonville Bar Association under the illustrious leadership of one W. Braxton Gillam IV.
This is déjà vu all over again.
I previously had the honor of following the Wiley one in 2005 when I took over the reins of The Young Lawyers Section.
A lot has changed since that time.
Braxton started his own firm and, not wanting to be outdone, I married and had four children ranging from 5 years old to 10 months old.
Each requires lots of hard work and sleepless nights. Nevertheless, the "Bar is open" and your newly elected board of governors has a great slate of activities for the upcoming year.
The JBA always sets up great member luncheons and will not disappoint for the 2013-14 year.
Mark your calendars for the upcoming member luncheons and programs:
• Sept. 11 — Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti
• Nov. 1 — University of Florida vs. University of Georgia - Dueling Deans
• Nov. 21 — Patriot's Day
• March 3 —The Florida Bar President Eugene K. Pettis
While the lunches are exquisite and the speakers extraordinary, The JBA provides far greater services.
We provide quality Continuing Legal Education programs.
These programs are too numerous to list, but are provided at discounted rates to The JBA members and are free of charge to members who have purchased a sustaining or CLE membership package.
Some of the more popular CLE programs The JBA provides include the Aug. 23 Professionalism Symposium; the Nov. 5 Ehrlich Litigation Seminar; the February CLE at Sea Cruise; and the Marshall M. Criser Jr. Transactional Seminar, at a time to be determined.
Your JBA also provides excellent social activities for your enjoyment.
The most popular social event always is the annual Bench and Bar Holiday party.
This year the holiday party will be held Dec. 12. in the Wells Fargo Center lobby.
The Young Lawyers Section also has a number of events planned (I can almost remember those days).
You will want to take part Oct. 17 in the Young Lawyers Annual Golf Tournament; the Holiday in January project; the Rendezvous on the River; the Chili Cook-Off in March; and the YLS Run for Cover in May.
The JBA Annual Golf Tournament will take place May 12 at Timuquana Country Club, which the JBA is very excited to partner with for the 2013-14 tournament.
These quality events guarantee another great year.
The JBA also provides committees that make it easy to become involved.
Some of these committees include elder law, labor law, law week, pro bono, construction, social, judicial relations and professionalism.
There is a committee and a place for everyone who is interested.
In addition to events developed for member experience and enjoyment, The JBA is committed to the community and community outreach.
The JBA strengthens and supports our community through additional events.
These events include its public access television show, participation in the naturalization ceremonies at the federal courthouse, The JBA/Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Ask-A-Lawyer events, The JBA Lawyer Referral Service and participation in civics education.
All of these services and programs can be found on our jaxbar.org website, which we are overhauling.
Giselle Carson, Bar staff and the website committee have feverishly worked for the past several months to develop an informative, easy-to-navigate and practically useful website.
Until this website is live, you can still access all of the information I have provided in this article by visiting it.
This article could obviously continue on and on listing the specific activities, events and programs made possible by your membership, but Jim Bailey would have to reduce his "From the Publisher" column — which is apparently a deal breaker.
What is important to understand is that your membership not only gives you access to these great events, activities and programs, but your membership also makes possible programs that benefit our citizens and result in increased awareness in the community.
The Bar is still open and we are making a difference!