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Bulletin Winter 2016

President’s Message Robert P. MacKenzie, III From the President two or more lawyers to gather for more than a minute, not look at their iPhones, and instead simply talk to each other. I appreciate all the firms and Sections that have been sponsors for the Coffees. In addition to our traditional gatherings, thanks to Charles Fry, Leslie Wright, Greg Ritchey, Ted Stuckenschneider, and Charles Denaburg for organizing our first ever Wine Tasting / Legal Malpractice Seminar. The program was held in the Noojin Courtyard and was a sell-out. The wine portion served as a tutorial for the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program which held its second annual Pro Hops Vino event with over 400 lawyers and guests in attendance. Through the leadership of Nancy Yarbrough, Executive Director, and the BBVLP’s President, Angie Cameron Smith, Pro Hops Vino raised more than $100,000. Likewise, Birmingham Bar Foundation Executive Director Nikki Thomas and Foundation President Debbie Smith organized a field of more than 20 teams for the annual Bocce Ball tournament, and 10 teams for the chili cook-off. Congratulations to Maynard, Cooper for taking home the Mike Freeman Bocce Ball Trophy, and to the BBA Solo Section for serving the best chili! The proceeds have been divided equally between the Legal Aid Society of Birmingham and the BBVLP. We enjoyed a reception for all of the Jefferson County Judicial Candidates in the Noojin Courtyard in October. The event was co-sponsored with the Magic City Bar Assocation through the help of its President, Justice Ralph Cook, and representative to the BBA Executive Committee, Deborah Walker. The Noojin Courtyard was also the scene of a gathering to welcome new members of the Birmingham Bar and the Alabama State Bar. All of these events have been well attended and demonstrate the Courtyard has become a popular venue. Given the strong attendance at our social events, I am pleased that we started a new opportunity for fellowship with our first “Side Bar Luncheon” which was held on November 8. A group of 22 judges and lawyers met for lunch and to have an open discussion about ways we can continue to improve our Bar. I appreciate very much Judges Karen Bowdre, Staci Cornelius, Madeline Haikala, Joseph Boohaker, and Jim Hughey for attending. We plan to hold future “Side Bar Luncheons” and encourage members to sign up. We remain mindful of the need for more funding for the Judiciary and the resulting impact on Jefferson County. At the beginning of the year, a Task Force was appointed to monitor the legislative action. We have continued to communicate with our local Legislative Delegation and members of the Alabama State Bar regarding the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session. The BBA Executive Committee was pleased to welcome the following to our October meeting: Susie Edwards Huffaker, who acts as the Alabama State I am pleased to report that our Bar has enjoyed a very successful year. Our progress is due to the contributions of many. I greatly appreciate the leadership of our Executive Director, Bo Landrum, and I am also very grateful to Leila Watson, our President-Elect; Charles Fry, our Secretary-Treasurer; Steve Casey, our immediate Past-President; and all the members of the Executive Committee for their hard work. Their efforts are reflected by our increased membership numbers, a solid financial base, improvements to our building, and numerous social gatherings. While we have had a successful year, the future of the Birmingham Bar is even brighter. The slate of candidates proposed by the Nominating Committee is strong and diverse. I congratulate each of them on the honor of being nominated and know they will work to continue our progress. The Fall has been busy with many successful events including our monthly Coffees with the Judges. The drawings for college football tickets and Highland’s gift certificates brought excitement to a packed courtroom reminiscent of the old docket call with Judge John Bryan. We have even proven that it is still possible for Continued on page 10 8 Birmingham Bar Association


Bulletin Winter 2016
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