Online voting opens April 11 and live voting will be conducted from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. May 1.
A president-elect and six members of the Jacksonville Bar Association board of governors are to be elected by May 1. Online voting opens April 11 and live voting will be conducted from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.
May 1 before the association’s annual Law Day Luncheon. Members may visit jaxbar.org for additional information about the candidates and to cast a ballot.
Michelle Bedoya Barnett
I credit much of my professional success and satisfaction to my involvement in Bar activities. I want every member of our organization to have the opportunity to say the same. I am committed to working to engage our current members and prospective members through outstanding programming that is relevant and interesting. As lawyers, our most valuable resource is our time. Your time spent with the JBA should be worthwhile – always.
BOARD OF GOVERNORS CANDIDATES
My goals for the Jacksonville Bar Association are to expand membership, reach more of our members, endeavor to perform more community outreach and offer more programming targeted to the needs of our membership. I hope to achieve these goals through programming efforts. I would like to see the JBA pair with young lawyers to offer practical tools to assist them in growing as a legal practitioner. In addition, I would like to see more emphasis on health and wellness, and to achieve this, I would envision more creative ways to encourage this effort. This would include workshops designed to help with work/life balance, physical and mental health and general wellness. Finally, I would like to try to pair with other local nonprofits and businesses on joining events to enhance relationships across the community at large.
Brian T. Coughlin (Incumbent)
My goals are to work within the board of governors to support Jacksonville lawyers personally and professionally, keep in high esteem our judiciary and system of justice, lead on major issues affecting our profession and help maintain strong membership and financial infrastructure for the organization. We will be a board of governors that insists on professional and ethical standards that instill public confidence in our profession. And because bringing lawyers together is a major function of the JBA, I will continue to push for diverse opportunities for networking and legal education.
Amber R. Donley
My overall goal is to effectuate change and leave a lasting impact. If elected, I would bring diligence and passion to the role. I want to encourage collaborative efforts between the JBA and other voluntary Bar associations. This would allow the organization to support voluntary Bar associations and connect with attorneys and judges who may not be involved with the JBA. Opportunities to connect, collaborate and foster relationships are critical to our legal community. I believe that it is extremely important to expand outreach to law school students to create a pipeline of future JBA members and leaders. Next, it is vital to the organization to ensure that members are engaged and see the value in the organization. Finally, my goal is to ensure our community efforts reach a wide array of people and communities in NE Florida.
Christian George (Incumbent)
After dedicating considerable time to The Florida Bar, I am ready to bring my efforts back home to Jacksonville. The JBA needs to focus on maintaining and growing its membership through creating return on investment for your membership dues. The JBA must assist in equipping our members with the right tools to create more efficient practices. We must also encourage our members to live their best lives in and out of the law by focusing on their physical and mental health. The JBA should continue to create opportunities for networking with lawyers and judges, which fosters professionalism among colleagues. Finally, it is very important to run the association like a business and the board must ensure that we maintain and look for opportunities to improve our financial position as we continue to grow the JBA.
Jamie W. Karpman
My goal is to elevate JBA’s value and increase its support of the lawyers in our community. An established leader in JBA, Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association, Florida Association for Women Lawyers and The Florida Bar, I have the abilities to effect positive change. My focus will be on enhancing our substantive programming to provide you with the resources you need. Providing opportunities that maximize your network and time. Delivering social events that connect you with friends and peers in a purposeful way. Ensuring interested members have the opportunity and support to be successful JBA leaders and defining a clear path to committee, section and board leadership positions. Improving the visibility of JBA’s committee work and Young Lawyers Section programming to increase member engagement.
Blane McCarthy (Incumbent)
During my six years of service on the board of governors, my primary focus has been on the Jacksonville Bar’s CLE event programming. Lawyers in the Jacksonville area can rely on the JBA’s annual CLE event calendar, including online access to video recordings of our seminars. Robust CLE programming provides you with needed educational opportunities and helps keep your membership dues affordable by providing a non-dues revenue source. I also bring to the board of governors diligence and a hard work ethic. I am the only sole practitioner on the board, providing it with a perspective that would otherwise be absent. In practice since 1995, I am the most experienced (i.e. oldest) lawyer on the board and can ensure that JBA leadership does not lose sight of what our more “seasoned” members may find important in their Bar membership.
Shea M. Moser
My goal is to continue the Jacksonville Bar Association’s great work to provide value and services to our members. I would like to explore new avenues to serve the community and increase participation in the JBA. I think it is also important to offer opportunities for members of the JBA to socialize in order to maintain Jacksonville’s great tradition of professionalism in the legal community. It is my goal to continue the JBA’s efforts to be relevant to all lawyers in Jacksonville and to continue to stay on the cutting edge of the practice of law.
Adina L. Pollan
I have been a passionate member of the JBA since 2009. For a decade, I have been behind the scenes helping various committees to bring new and exciting events together for the JBA. This year, as chair of the Judicial Relations Committee, my committee brought Cocktails with the Court and the inaugural Bench & Bar Conference to the JBA, as well as changed the sidebar luncheon format to a more interactive lunch & learn. I have also worked with our judiciary to bring back the “judicial poll” to provide an outlet for our judges to let the general public get to know them on a personal basis. My goal has been to think creatively to provide value to the current members, as well as find ways to grow membership. I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue with those goals on a larger scale as a member of the JBA board of governors.
Jacksonville is a great place to practice law. I want to keep it that way! As governor, I will seek to keep legacy programs like members’ luncheons vibrant. I will also focus event programming based on cohort needs and desires. What is interesting for the young attorney may not be met with the same interest by the senior attorney. I will strengthen committee development. Committees are the lifeblood of the JBA and allow for focused participation by members. Strong committees provide for a strong JBA. Attorneys of the Jacksonville Bar not only serve the local community but Florida and beyond. I seek to serve on the board of governors to ensure JBA’s legacy and service not just for today but also tomorrow.
My goal for the Jacksonville Bar Association is to increase my brand as much as possible. I’m kidding. My real goal is to try and help as many people as possible. I’d like to think I do that as a public defender and, during my time with Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association, we tried to do as much volunteering for the Jacksonville community as we could. The JBA has a much farther reach and I would like to continue that mission.
Asghar A. Syed (Incumbent)
The Jacksonville Bar Association does a lot. So much that few members appreciate the scope of the JBA’s offerings. It convenes at luncheons, maintains common areas like the lawyers’ lounge and offers quality programming. I intend to foster member engagement so our lawyers can secure the full value of their JBA membership. The JBA offers high-quality CLEs such as the annual Ehrlich, Criser and TPC seminars and JBA committees (like the Elder Law and L&E committees) offer a forum for attorneys to educate and learn from one another. I hope to build on the JBA’s strengths by working to improve its educational programs. In everything it does, my goal is to ensure the JBA pursues excellence. I want every JBA event to be a quality event, well planned and perfectly executed.
John K. Weedon
I am proud to call Jacksonville my hometown. The camaraderie and civility in our legal community set us apart from other legal communities in our state. In my practice, I strive to create and maintain healthy adversarial relationships with my opposition in order to make our jobs less stressful. I would like to continue to promote these qualities in our membership through more social activities for networking as well as events aimed to improve our community through charity and community service. I also believe that the Jacksonville Bar Association can provide more hands-on CLE experiences for younger attorneys through practical workshops and would be willing to assist in any such programs.