Page 8

Birmingham Bar Association Summer 2016

President’s Message Robert P. MacKenzie, III From the President With our year now about half over, I am pleased to report the progress that our Bar Association has made on multiple fronts. We continue to emphasize improving the utilization of our building, being a meaningful participant in any legislative action which affects our state courts, increasing our opportunities for fellowship, and enhancing the value of membership. With your help, we will continue to reach our goals. You will recall that the Task Force on Bar Building Improvements, chaired by former Bar President Bruce Rogers, has been examining the best use of space within the Bar Center. After much consideration and special help from Leon Ashford, the Noojin Courtyard has been upgraded to provide a more friendly and welcoming environment. An expanded footprint, new landscaping, seating, wifi, music capability and a presentation space have all been added. The Bar gives special thanks to Falkner Gardens, Oak Street Garden Shop, and Summer Classics for their help, and to Honora Gathings and Leslie Barineau who assisted with those efforts. Bar members and groups are encouraged to use the space for meetings and social events. We are also looking at ways to promote the space for use by third-parties to help generate non-dues revenue. The Bar has been mindful of the cost and has made efficient use of our funds. A number of Bar sections, law firms and individuals have generously contributed to enhance this project, and we are grateful for their support. I encourage you to visit, and please plan to attend the Noojin Courtyard Re-Dedication on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Details can be found on the Bar Calendar at www.birminghambar.org. We will continue to consider future projects for the Bar Center, particularly the CLE rooms on the 2nd floor and improving technology throughout the building. For those of you who are familiar with the space, you know the rooms have not been upgraded in some 20 years. As we go forward, we have sought the advice of outside experts to make sure we make the right choices for the long term. I commend Bruce and the Task Force members for their study and leadership, but we welcome and appreciate your ideas about the best use of our resources as well. The Task Force on State Court Funding, ably chaired by Mike Ermert,  has made great progress.    Foremost is our concern  that  the Jefferson County Circuit be treated fairly, should there be an attempt to reallocate judgeship positions within the state.  Working  closely  with Judge Boohaker and members of our Jefferson County Delegation, particularly Senator Rodger Smitherman  and Representative David Faulkner, Senator Arthur Orr, Othni Lathrum, and Susie Edwards, we provided  assistance,  leading to a revised version of the Judicial Reallocation Bill,  which provides greater protection to Jefferson County than prior versions of this legislation.  While the bill did not reach a vote during the most recent legislative session,  the Task Force’s involvement demonstrates the  BBA’s interest in  protecting the  Jefferson County  Courts,  and  that  the BBA can meaningfully participate in this conversation.  Please join me in thanking Senator Smitherman, Representative Faulkner, Judge Boohaker, Mike, and all members of the Task Force. In addition to our building and legislative efforts, Coffee with the Judges has been a great success thanks to Leila Watson’s hard work and the number of firms who have been gracious sponsors. We use the time for fellowship, to make announcements to recognize the good work of our Bar members, and to add to the excitement, there are prize drawings to Highlands, Bottega and other popular places. As many as 200 members join judges for coffee and breakfast, and we hope that all of you will take advantage of this great opportunity! As part of our fellowship opportunities, we are very pleased with the turnout for the Barons baseball game held on May 23rd, co-sponsored with the Magic City Bar Association. I especially want to thank Justice Ralph Cook, President 8 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Summer 2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above