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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Winter 2013

President’s Message Without patting ourselves on the back, we can be proud of the numerous activities that take place each year. We have many active committees and sections that hold regular events and provide many hours of CLE at reasonable rates. Th e State Bar awarded the Birmingham Bar the Local Bar Award of Achievement last summer at the ASB Annual Meeting, and it is the 5th time we have won this award and the 3rd time in as many years. Th e success of our Bar Association really turns on the caliber of our members and Bar leaders. Th is year’s offi cers are Robin Burrell, President-elect; Joe Fawal, Immediate Past President; and Mike Freeman, Treasurer. Each has performed admirably, and I would especially like to recognize Mike Freeman’s support, particularly as he has faced and move through serious health challenges. We have all been pulling for Mike and he has maintained good humor and a great attitude over the past several months. I also want to thank our Executive Committee for their diligence in overseeing the Bar’s operations. Th ey have committed a Friday afternoon each month to provide advice and guidance on the activities of the Bar. Th e 2013 Executive Committee includes Leslie Barineau, LaVeeda Battle, Phil Carroll, Buddy Cox, Kira Fonteneau, Charles Fry, John Lentine, Barry Ragsdale, Freddy Rubio, William Walheim, John Hall, Jennifer Henderson, Stephen Greene, Shawn Allen, Carol Sue Nelson, Beth McElroy, Tim Smith, Christi Graham, Vince Swiney, Katie Powell, Wyndall Ivey and Rebecca DePalma. Th ank you all for your good work in 2013. While all of the Bar’s committees contribute to its eff ective operation, one of the most important is the Grievance Committee. As most of you know, this Committee investigates complaints fi led against area lawyers and makes recommendations, through our Executive Committee, to the State Bar regarding complaint disposition. Th is year’s Committee Chair and Co-Chair, Courtney French and Bob MacKenzie, respectively, have worked exceptionally hard on the grievances presented. Th e detail and thoroughness of the investigations We can all be proud of the work that our Bar Association performs. performed make us proud. We have the privilege of self-regulating our profession and this Committee performs its work admirably. Th anks also to all the members of the Committee for volunteering time and eff ort to ensure that each complaint is thoroughly and fairly considered. By the time you read this article, the “back-end” development of our new website is well underway. We anticipate that our new site will be online shortly after the fi rst of the year, and that it will prove helpful and user-friendly to all of our members. Each section and committee will have the opportunity to host groupspecifi c forums and blogs, which will facilitate communication among members. Our goal is to provide a “one-stop” shop for all things bar-related and I believe you will be pleased with the end result. Finally, I want to recognize our Bar Association’s outstanding staff . Bo Landrum has been instrumental in all of the positive changes within our Association and has been a steady hand at the wheel. His help and guidance have been of great assistance to me. Also, Bo stepped in and served for several months as the interim director for the BBVLP as we restructured that important program. Dana Th omas and Julie Smith continue their outstanding work in keeping the offi ce operating smoothly. Few recognize the demands placed upon Dana and Julie, whether organizing and staffi ng CLE programs, handling requests for lawyer referrals, or the myriad other tasks that come with serving the public. Dana and Julie present a professional face for the public and our members. We are very fortunate to have Bo, Dana and Julie working for us and with us each day. In closing, let me thank you for providing the opportunity to work with many of you this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed the front row seat to watch so many lawyers in action. I have been amazed at the amount of time that you volunteer toward helping us collectively improve our profession. Th e quality of our CLE programming, led by our members, is simply outstanding. Th e work devoted to the operation of the Bar Foundation and the BBVLP provides remarkable service to the public. Our Sections improve the quality of practice for their members. If you are not yet a member of a Section, please join one as this is a great opportunity to get to know other lawyers in your area of practice and to sharpen your skills. We can all be proud of the work that our Bar Association performs. Again, thank you for allowing me to serve as your President. I am confi dent that our Association is headed in the right direction and that our lawyers will continue to lead the state in both professional development and service to the public. G Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Winter 2013 9


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Winter 2013
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