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Bar President’s Message

President’s Message

(Photo L-R: Tamie Cummins, George Rodarakis, Betty Julian, Mike Dennis, Andrea Leavy, Colleen Van Egmond, and Jeff Mangar)

by Michael R. Dennis, 2018 SCBA President

Quoth the Oscar nominated Mark Wahlberg, nee Marky Mark, “Ah yeah. Can you feel it, baby?

I can too…. It’s such a good vibration….”  That vibration, created by this year’s SCBA, is being
felt throughout the legal community. (If you’re not familiar with the sonorous work of Mr. Wahlberg, see also “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys as the analogy still holds.)  Your humble organization that used to pride itself on how it “ran itself” was running itself into obscurity.  So, we had to up our game and create a buzz.  Change is difficult, expensive, and time consuming, but the results, the vibrations, are not just going to be good, they’re going to be fantastic.  If you’re a member, you better believe you’re going to “feel it” and/or “pick it up.”

Right out of the gates, the SCBA has provided some amazing MCLE programs with several more just itching to get going. For example, we just had the first of a four part series on employment law presented by Greg Goodwin and Raquel Hatfield.  Then, we are reviving a night that we have not done in over a decade: A debate between the candidates for District Attorney.  Sure, you can see the candidates cheaper at one of the various other forums put on by other non-profit groups, but with the SCBA you also get an evening out with a catered dinner rather than assorted snacks. You are able to enjoy the trappings of the McHenry Museum, rather than a bland meeting room. You can hear the candidates actually answer questions that concern the legal community rather than hear the same five minute campaign speech.  Sure it costs more than the other forums, but we are no longer just a loose knit group of attorneys who meet at the Hungry Hunter.  We, and you, are better than that. It’s time to start not only believing it, but also living it.  Can you feel the vibration?  Are you going to pick it up?

We are also creating a quarterly wine social, which is FREE to our members.  Once a quarter, a firm in town will pick up the mantel and host an informal social hour where our members can enjoy a glass of wine, mingle, and just relax.  There are no dignitaries to force you to remain on your best behavior. There is no lecture to suffer through just for MCLE credits, nor any pressure.  It’s just a night to hang out with friends, which is part of what the SCBA is all about.  This quarter is being hosted by Arata Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin.

As if that wasn’t enough, Law Day follows right on the heels of the debate!  This year, thanks to the hard work of Deana Skelton and Judge Cordova, we are set to celebrate Law Day actually on Law Day, May 1st.  We will present the Liberty Bell Award to a person in our community who promotes the law without the stigma of being an attorney.  We will award scholarships – the scholarship money YOU provided by playing in our golf tournament– to worthy high school seniors who are going to be the future of our legal community.  Lastly, the speaker will be Associate Justice Ronald Robie of the Third DCA.  What makes Justice Robie a particularly

enticing speaker is that this year’s theme is “Separation of Powers” and Justice Robie is the rare individual who has excelled working in all three branches of government. What other speaker could provide such personal insight on such a timely topic?

See you soon!