Lawyer at @QuarlesandBrady the 1st in Arizona admitted under military-spouse rule

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Very cool…

Originally posted on AZ Attorney:

Rachel Schafer Rachel Schafer

In 2014, we were pleased to see the Arizona Supreme Court adopt a rule that eased admission for a certain category of attorneys: those who are already admitted and in good standing elsewhere but who find themselves in this state because of the transfer of their military spouse.

Author and attorney Rodney Glassman wrote about it here. (And I covered it in the blog here.) Essentially, spouses of military personnel are able to get quick, temporary licensing if their spouse is stationed in Arizona.

The rule-passage was a great accomplishment, but even better news came this month when an attorney availed herself of the rule. Rachel Schafer of Quarles & Brady has become the first person admitted under Rule 38(1). The commercial litigator practices in Quarles’ Tucson office; her husband, a pilot, is stationed at Davis–Monthan Air Force Base.

I will be interviewing Rachel this…

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I’ve got a beef with you…

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Several weeks ago, as the snow was still coming down on a daily basis, I suggested to Liz Novak and Dajaneé Parrish that perhaps we should think about throwing a picnic for the members. Dajaneé, master of social media, loved the idea so much, that we assigned it to her to explore with the direction to — find a food truck; download the beach music; and find some great pics of summer beaches and other vacation venues that we can put on the big screens in The Rubin Center for Education.

Dajaneé dug in and began talking with a variety of food trucks. She researched, experienced and conquered negotiations with the City about the legalities of parking a food truck outside the Telesca Center for Justice.

Dajaneé even designed a super easy process:

Step 1: Register online at — $10 bucks will get you a great lunch!

Step 2: Invite some friends and colleagues to come with you.

Step 3: Show up at The Rubin Center on Wednesday, April 15th @ 12:15 pm

Step 4:  Take a seat, and we will serve you your lunch.

Step 5: Eat and enjoy!

Step 6:  Following a relaxing lunch with friends, good music and good food, go back to work, more relaxed than when you came in.

The invite has been out there for almost 2 weeks now, and we have had a first ever experience — not one person has registered! Yes, I said it right, not one of you wants to come down to the MCBA for a cool, summer lunch!

So that’s my beef, no one wants any beef (or chicken, or vegetarian) for lunch that day!

My first thought was to cancel it. No one wants to come. That’s OK.

But Dajaneé and Liz, and Effortlessly Healthy food truck owner Shaina, have come up with a different option, and an easier option for you:

Step 1: No registration is required.

Step 2: Just show up on the Exchange St. side of the Telesca Center and you won’t miss the very large Effortlessly Healthy food truck parked right there.

Step 3: Get in line, order your lunch and drinks from a great array of options, and pay Shaina directly.

Step 4:  You have 2 options: The Rubin Center for Education on the 5th floor will be open for you to sit and eat your lunch on site, or you can go directly back to your office, and eat at your desk, while you get back to work. Odds of indigestion will greatly increase if you go directly back to work.

So there’s my beef! But here is your opportunity to say, “Mary, STOP!! We are doing too much. Too many programs, events, etc.” Please take a moment and let me know why this picnic is not on your radar:

1. It is still March. Too early to think of picnics!

2. Not a big food truck fan.

3. I was already at the MCBA 2x’s this week, and though I love all of you — it is simply too much!

4. I am fasting

5. _________________________

Thanks for checking in,


Do I owe you an apology?

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Did I not return an email?

Did I not return a phone call?

Do I owe you something I promised?

Did I offend you in some way?

Are you sick of blog reports on my kids?

Or is it something not covered in this list?

If so, I am so sorry, and I wish to apologize.

Last week I was in attendance at a Bar Leadership Institute in Chicago with Neil Rowe, our incoming president. One of the plenary speakers was Charlene Li, a bestselling author of Groundswell, and Founder of Alitmeter Group. Charlene’s latest book, Open Leadership:  How Social Technology Can Transform The Way You Lead, was presented to each of us as part of the conference.


Charlene’s talk was about transparent and open leadership, and all that this means. When it comes to openness, I think I am pretty open. I think my big challenge is my attempt to be responsive to all of you, our valued members. I don’t like saying no; I don’t like disappointing you; but the reality is that I have to say no, and I do disappoint.  I have written before about the diversity of our membership and your opinions and views on matters involving the bar. I try very hard to listen, and to be responsive. I always talk with our president about matters where I need their guidance or approval, and together, we work hard to manage expectations. But sometimes that does turn around to bite me, because my greatest expectations are on me, and what I expect and demand from myself.

I am in a constant mode of building my “task lists” that are erected in the early morning hours, through the drive, committee meetings, conference calls, meetings with the president, meetings with staff, and the list goes on. I work hard to capture those tasks as they are happening. And then I am always hopeful that throughout the day, I will have the ability to check these tasks off my lists. BUT, once again, reality is a cruel colleague in that it does not always happen.

My goal each day is to attempt, at every turn, to get through my email from that day, as well as the pile from days prior. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get it done. Sadly, I have fallen asleep many a nights, trying to tap out one more email before I… zzzzzzzz’

I have no doubt you struggle with the same realities. In this day and age, I think it would be rare to find someone that does not.

So anyway, the book, which I am still reading, has a lot to offer. My intent is to continue to be more open and transparent, and as always, be responsive to you. I have to better manage expectations of me, you as the volunteers, and the staff as well.

So, if I owe you an apology, please either accept this one, or call me up, and I will say it out loud. One thing I absolutely believe in — we need to own our stuff. In other words, when we mess up, we need to own it. No excuses. Thanks for checking in,




5 Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward To Spring…. Guest Post by Dajaneé Parrish

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“Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually.” – Lauryn Hill

Are you looking forward to spring as much as I am? Even though the warmer season isn’t quite here yet, I’m looking forward to it and all the wonderful things that it will bring.

Here Comes the Sun Teletubbies

More Daylight

Daylight saving time may rob us of an hour of sleep, but once we have adjusted to the hour loss, we gain extra daylight. Who doesn’t love more sun?

someeecards running

Outdoor Activities

Spring means a warmer breeze and the opportunity to run outside to shed those winter pounds.  As you may know, we are doing the FIT Bar challenge with other bars around the country to get fit in 2015. This challenge has forced me to make some positive changes in my life regarding my health and wellness and I must say that it is a very welcomed change. So far,  since we have started the challenge which was toward the end of January I have lost 16 lbs.

summer time

Summer Follows Spring

It just keeps getting better. Even warmer weather, more sun and more fun to be had.

march madness

March Madness

If you are a college basketball fan then you will probably be glued to your TV. My team the St. Bonaventure Bonnies will face Saint Joseph’s in the second round of the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship tonight, at 6:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Go Bonas! #NoSleepTilBrooklyn

Whatever team you root for, be sure to join us Thursday, March 19 for BarSTOP. This month’s BarSTOP is March Madness themed so come on down to the Hyatt Regency Rochester and watch the game on their giant projection screen.

March Madness BarSTOP

MCBA Spring Food Truck Picnic

Who doesn’t love great food? Burgers, hot dogs, in season fruits and vegetables.  This April we are bringing healthy and delicious food to you. Join us for lunch on Wednesday, April 15 for our Spring Food Truck Picnic with food from Effortlessly Healthy Food Truck.  The food truck will be parked on Exchange Blvd and dining will be in the Rubin Center for Education, 5th Floor. We will bring the food to you, but you have to bring your bar colleagues.

On the menu is a Healthy Trash Plate, their take on Rochester’s famous garbage plate.

Effortlessly Healthy’s most popular menu item, the chicken, bacon avocado plate. Chicken served over sweet potatoes and coleslaw, topped with homemade avocado sauce and bacon.
Effortlessly Healthy’s most popular menu item, the chicken, bacon, avocado plate. Chicken served over sweet potatoes and coleslaw, topped with homemade avocado sauce and bacon.
paleo plate
Effortlessly Healthy’s burger trash plate. A burger served over sweet potatoes and coleslaw, topped with homemade avocado sauce and meat hot sauce.

I can’t wait to taste one of these plates!

Click here to register online for our Spring Food Truck Picnic or click here to download a copy of the registration form.

Those are my five reasons why I’m looking forward to spring.

Tell me, what are you looking forward to this spring?

– Dajaneé


You asked for it…

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Over the years, we have solicited your opinions about programming, benefits, and a host of other issues. There are several topics that you have requested consistently over the years:

  • More opportunities for networking with your peers;
  • More opportunities for networking with the judges;
  • More opportunities for social engagement.

And no one loves networking and socializing more than me. I was raised in a very social household. One never knew who might join us at dinner on any given night — the parish priest or a customer of my dad’s. We were not sent from the room, instead, we were encouraged (ordered) to stay at the table and join the conversation.

I am also all about, and have been from the beginning of my years at the MCBA, delivering to you what you have asked for. But I am repeatedly surprised at what I perceive as low turn-outs.

In case you missed it — today’s Speakers Forum with the Judiciary

Today we had a great Speakers Forum:  State of the 7th Judicial District with 7 judges representing the various courts. We had Judge Craig Doran, Administrative Judge 7th Judicial District; Judge John Owens, Monroe County Surrogate ; Judge Elma Bellini, Supervising Judge, Matrimonial Part; Judge Teresa Johnson, Supervising Judge, City Courts; Judge John Gallagher, Family Court Judge; Judge William Kocher, Supervising Judge, Criminal Courts; and Judge Matthew Rosenbaum, Supervising Judge, Civil Courts.

Following brief presentations, we had a robust Q&A session with lots of great information shared. Though we had a terrific turnout, I was surprised the room was not packed. Lunch and this opportunity was a $15 cost to members.

You have asked for networking, and we have delivered with Speakers Forums.


Pure networking….MCBA BarSTOP

BarSTOP is the purest of social events. It’s free! No regristration required and no fee, plus we provide complimentary hors’ duerves thanks to underwriters and great drink specials. We are hosting these at different watering holes around town from: City Grill to Label 7 to the Hyatt’s Scene on Main bar. On Thursday, March 19th, we are hosting our own March Madness BarSTOP at the Hyatt. Why the Hyatt you ask? Because they have the BIGGEST TV in all of Monroe County. I am serious! Why join the 15-minute rush hour traffic we are known for in Rochester. Instead, bring some colleagues  and come over. BarSTOP is exactly what you have asked for:  no speeches, just some valued R&R time with friends and colleagues. I can also tell you I have heard attorneys meet someone new and end up walking away with a referral. BarSTOP was intended to be like “the ol’ days” when the legal community gathered across the street at the Powers Grill.

You have asked for social and networking events, and we have delivered with BarSTOP.

Bar STOP no red eye

More pure fun at the 5th Annual Jazz For Justice

I believe Friday night is still date night. And now a days, where can you go out for an evening of great music, incredible food, open bar with wine and beer — for a grand total of $100/couple, or $60/per person. This cool, hip event is held at Harro East on Friday, March 20th starting at 5:30 pm. Jazz For Justice is the single fundraising event of the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar to provide funding for programs that benefit, you, members of the bar, as well as the community.

Jazz For Justice completely meets the criteria you have asked for in countless surveys. Informal, fun, entertaining, and all-inclusive. So bring your best date, best clients, best friends, best colleagues, best-in-laws, best neighbors and mark your calendar for a great night of jazzy fun and food. Click here to register.

You have asked for casual, fun social events, and we have delivered with Jazz for Justice.

JFJ 2014 Blog

Celebrating a legacy…Hon. Michael A. Telesca

Judge Telesca is a long-time and dedicated member of the MCBA; a great champion of the legal community; and an incredible advocate of the Rochester community. Over the years, you may have heard some of his life stories, but with much persuasion from MCBA President Steve Modica and the Honorable Jonathan Feldman, they encouraged Judge Telesca to allow them to facilitate the creation of a short film that tells his extraordinary life story.

Please join us on Wednesday, April 8th at The Strong Auditorium, starting at 7:00 pm. Following the 30 minute film, we will have an opportunity to informally talk about film over an incredible array of delicious and delectable desserts and coffee. Because the desserts and coffee bar are going to be extraordinary, the ticket price in advance is $20/per person. I guarantee, a trip to the movies will run you far more than $20/per person. Click here to register.

You have asked for informal networking and social events, and we have delivered with the film premiere.

Telesca Film Image

For almost 14 years now, I have been asking you what you want and what we can do better. Your responses have been shared with the MCBA Board of Trustees over the years, and they have supported me in the planning of these events and programs through a commitment of resources.

I do not take for granted how busy you are, but if you are one of those individuals that asked for more, and yet does not appear at anything, then what are we missing in not getting you to MCBA and Foundation events? We work hard to secure underwriting for the majority of the events, in an effort to keep the events and programming affordable.

Please send a note to let me know what we are missing or what we can do better. If not, I hope to see you at an upcoming event.

Thank you for checking in,


Farewell to a Freezing February Funk…and lessons learned

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I love winter, the snow, and the quiet that seems to happen with a snowy winter. For me, I tend to nest, be at home more, cook for a few friends, take a Saturday afternoon nap (such a gift), catch up on some reading, Netflix and Amazon. (Brian made the mistake of introducing me to Soprano’s and now I must admit, I am addicted.) Getting up in the morning to go to the gym at 5:30 am, when it is 5 degrees out, is very difficult. Going at the end of the day can be even harder, when it has warmed to 10 degrees, and I just want to go home and settle into my new totally cozy couch that screams for me each night when I re-enter the house. The incredibly soft fleece blanket seems to open to the air, enveloping me into the cozy arms of the couch and draws me in. Dinner will be leftovers, homemade soup or even a bowl of cereal and berries some nights.

The month of February has found me being weak and resistant to activities, social events, or much of anything: By the end of last week, I had just about enough of this funk. I decided it was time to reflect, review, acknowledge and adjust my activities. So here are my Lessons Learned:

1. Winter draws us into the clutches of these new furniture acquisitions because it is a nice time to wander stores and shop online. Lessons Learned — Any new furniture additions should be purchased in the summer when we want to be busy and outside in order to avoid camping on the new stuff nights and weekends.

2. My iPhone is my alarm clock. So when I set it for 5AM in order to get up and head to the gym, I grab it, and hit the doze. 5 or 10 minutes go by, and it goes off again. The bed is sooo warm, the room is cold due to the hard wood floors, and the alarm song is Pharrell’s “Happy”. Why do I do this to myself? I roll over, scan news highlights, check late night and early morning email, and check the clock to see that I have now wasted 40 minutes. Lessons Learned — move the iPhone to the other side of the room, get up and do not lie down again, get a warm run, choose a quiet wake-up song, then bundle up and go to the gym.

3. I now live a Gluten Free life (doctor’s order), which has really been wonderful on so many levels, as I do eat so much healthier. But there is something to be said for the comfort foods during these cold winter days. So of course, I decided to try some GF meatballs with pasta with homemade sauce one night for friends. Turns out I make great meatballs and should open a GF meatball shop. Even gluten-eaters would eat my meatballs. Lessons Learned — I am not cooking for 3 kids anymore, so I do not need 3 lbs of meatballs that I then dine on the rest of the week. Stick with my really good soups or yummy “Kick-Ass Turkey Chili”.

4. The basement is colder than the bedroom, so the thought of going down to the basement to do laundry is very difficult. So the laundry piles up, and then I have to spend too much time on a laundry marathon. Although, I didn’t seem to have a difficult time going down there to grab a bottle of wine last week during the “Meatballs & Friends Dinner”. Lessons Learned — stay on top of the laundry, and keep a bottle of wine upstairs.

5. When I finally decided it was time to get back to the gym, because the new couch was already showing signs of wear, and no more excuses were allowed, I finally returned to the gym last Saturday and ran into one of the very wise trainers that always motivates me. She welcomed me back, and “Where have you been?”, with a wink and a grin. I told her of my darn February Funk, and she ended up sticking with me for about 20 minutes to get me re-motivated. She reminded me that “Motion is Lotion”, and my bones would hurt a whole lot less if I was in active motion again. Lessons Learned — moving does make me feel better. It is about getting up with the first alarm, bundling up, and getting in the car. I have been at the gym 4 of the last 5 days, and am going to a yoga class this evening. Last night, I did a step video at home shared by Liz Novak, that allows me to achieve thousands of steps each day on my FitBit. On Tuesday, I hit over 11,000 steps, though last night only 8,000. Point is, I am moving and I do feel better.

Fitbit Steps

So farewell to this historic February Freeze and to the funk that follows. And here is the good news…as March arrives this Sunday. There are warmer days ahead, and the white/gray stuff will begin to melt away. We will begin to feel Spring in the air again. So if you are still feeling the funk, give me a call, I can be your “Funk Coach”. And I would not be doing my job, if I did not tell you that we also have so much good stuff coming up at the MCBA over the next few weeks and months, that you will not want to miss. Bring that February Funk to March in the form of the Jazz For Justice on March 20th, and plan to listen to some great funky jazz. The good kind of funk…

Thanks for checking in…

Happy Mary


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Many years ago when I interviewed to become your Executive Director, I asked Michael Dwyer, President at the time, to identify one of the primary functions of the MCBA. He responded, judicial candidate evaluations. What I learned that day, and in the 13+ years since, is that the Monroe County Bar Association views the judicial candidate evaluation process as a resource to inform the political parties as they determine their candidates and for the public as they cast their votes.

So in case you missed it, the judicial evaluation survey is out there right now. It was released to more than 3,000 attorneys in the 7th Judicial District, on February 10th. It will remain open and accessible until February 24th at 5:00 pm.

screen shot Judicial Eval

It is a significant year: 6 candidates for Supreme Court, 3 candidates for Family and 1 candidate for City Court.

Those judges and attorneys being evaluated (in alphabetical order by Court) are the following:

NYS Supreme Court
Hon. Craig J. Doran
Gary Muldoon, Esq.
Matthew D. Nafus, Esq.
Hon. James J. Piampiano
Judith A. Sinclair, Esq.
Hon. William K. Taylor

Monroe County Family Court
Maritza C. Buitrago, Esq.
Gary Muldoon, Esq.
James A. Vazzana, Esq.

Rochester City Court
Hon. Stephen T. Miller

The response to the survey to date has been strong. To encourage all to participate, we have provided several reminders, links in the eDocket, notice in the Daily Record, 2 additional releases since the original release on the 10th, and now this blog. By the time this blog hits, a 3rd release will have happened this morning, with the final scheduled for next Monday.

In addition, we have notified the administrative offices within the mid-to-large firms, as well as the Courts, to communicate to their employees that the survey is out there, and if anyone has not yet received it, and is interested in responding, that they check their SPAM files, and if still not able, to contact Liz Novak, Communications & Membership Manager, at, who is able to assist everyone that calls her. Staff is on high-alert to respond promptly to members and non-members that want to complete the survey. We take this process very seriously, and are most attentive to it.

The Judiciary Committee, chaired by the dedicated Jennifer Sommers, will then convene to do their part, results will be made public, and we will begin the communication phase of getting the word out to the media, and through social media.

But I wish to remind you that you as practicing attorneys also have a role in this process. First, if you practice in the courts, then you should take the time to respond to the survey. If for any reason, your email address is not current with us, or your firewall blocked the survey, keep us updated on your email changes. In addition, talk to your IT folks about firewall issues. On these two points, the issues are out of our control.

Second, we need your assistance on spreading the word once the ratings are final, as well as before the elections. Our “Crack Communications Team” works very hard at putting the results out through the media and repeatedly through our many social media outlets. As the saying goes, “Like It Forward” to your family, friends, non-attorney colleagues, neighbors, butchers, accountants, sitters, doctors, dentists, in-laws, and the list is long. Please help us spread the word. The MCBA has a great team of communicators, but quite honestly, it cannot all be left to a 2-person team.

If you agree with me, then “Like It Forward” with this blog, and in the future on this topic. If you don’t agree with me, then call me and tell me what you think. I am committed to this process but I am asking for your help. Your role needs to go beyond spending 5 minutes completing the evaluation.

Please join me in “Liking It Forward”…

Stay warm and safe during these beautiful snowy days! I feel spring in the air…