From the president: Checking my membership

I got my money’s worth and you can, too.

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  • | 1:05 a.m. June 6, 2024
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In August 2023, I wrote about the great value of your Jacksonville Bar Association membership. My receipt validates this fact. 

Like the vast majority of you, I opted for the All-Inclusive General Membership at a dues cost of $295. Other than a few committee meeting lunches, my dues prepaid for all of my JBA activity these past 365 days. 


Excluding the more than 30 events unique to my service on the board of governors and as president, I will have attended 74 association functions this past fiscal year, consuming 42 meals and earning 39.5 live-attendance CLE hours.  

Assigning a reasonable $15 price to each meal and each CLE hour, I received $1,222.50 worth of goods and services at a paltry cost of $295.

Great value, indeed.

Admittedly, I attended as many JBA events as my schedule allowed, believing the president of any organization should be among its most active members.

While my receipt may be an extreme example of the value of membership, it nonetheless illustrates what one can obtain through the JBA.

I got my money’s worth, and you can, too. Easily.

Yet, the cost-benefit analysis must also factor in the non-monetary value I’ve been preaching all year.

The JBA builds community so you can better enjoy being a lawyer.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the community-building activities this year, in designated social events and otherwise, spending time and deepening relationships with so many marvelous peers. 

This organization has vibrant committees. The length of my receipt attests to the robust programming that they provided this fiscal year.

I hope my attendance has shown support to our tremendous team of committee leaders, who are worthy of this individualized shout-out. 

The team comprises Judge Michael Kalil, Steve Gard, Pam Klavon, Tom Jenks, Judge Adrian Soud, Jeremy Paul, Iana Benjamin, Juliana Favale, James Gonzalez, Pam Holcombe, Judge Brooke Brady, Katelyn Johnston, Rahma Sultan, LaTonya Smith, Sarah Sullivan, Matt Hinson, Kathryn Stanfill, Kristina Nelson, John Wallace, Jay Henderlite, Katie Johnson, Jonathan McGowan, Vanessa Newtson, Sabrina Marcos-Smith, Michele Waddell, Susan Haag, Shae Haag, Judge John Guy, Judge Michael Bateh, Marlana Johnson, Alex Underkofler, Chandler Jolly, Missy Davenport, Kim Woods, Mariana Munoz, Laura Boeckman, Aaron Irving, Samantha Howell, Chief Judge Lance Day, Judge Gary Flower, Jerry Pryor, Erik Berger, Abby Loefler, Robert Travieso, Tim Boyd, Kayla Herrin, Hannah Anderson, Chase Harris, James Cummings, Nick Morcom, Jake Piasecki, Judge Mose Floyd and Alan Rosner.

I am grateful for my fellow governors Christian George, Brian Coughlin, Asghar Syed, Adina Pollan, Shannon Schott, John Weedon, David Thompson, Tim Miller, Amber Donley, Alex Hill, James Poindexter and Dave Chauncey. It has been an honor to serve with you all.

The JBA is blessed to have superb staff. While Craig Shoup is the highly effective head of the organization deserving of thanks, he joins me in acknowledging the invaluable hard work and dedication of staff members Tony Adams, Carla Ortiz-Ramos and Lydia Murphree.

The four of them make a remarkable team.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as your president and appreciate your many kindnesses and support during my term.

While the official theme may change with the passing of the baton, I hope that the JBA continues to be about building community. My professional enjoyment depends on it.

Blane McCarthy is a certified circuit mediator at Miles Mediation & Arbitration in Jacksonville.



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