So last week’s blog showed some of the pre-installation hysteria that was underway here at the MCBA. We really enjoyed all the feedback we received from the blog titled, “Today’s blog is about being to busy too blog…” I understand that some of you thought the reported incidents in the blog were true, and I even had a few trustees not show up because they thought they were going to have to serve as waiters and waitresses at the Installation Dinner — just kidding. (If you are not following along on this blog, you need to read last week’s blog).
In the blog, I suggested to anyone that may be calling Ginny with a late registration, you best say, “pretty please”, and follow-up by sending chocolates or flowers. Well, she did get the flowers from her sister with a cute note. Her sister had read the blog, and told Ginny to breathe, and for all of us to do the same. So the flowers did arrive, but we are still awaiting some chocolate, because we did get some late registrations (you know who you are.)
Anyway, since last Thursday, we had an incredible reception on Monday, the 17th, for the two new Court of Appeals judges, Judge Jenny Rivera and Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam. The two judges accepted our invitation to come early for lunch and a tour of the Telesca Center for Justice. Both are former civil legal service attorneys, and so really enjoyed hearing our story, and hearing about the value of the TCFJ from the Executive Director partners.
From there they went up to the Appellate Court for a private reception with the Appellate judges, before arriving at Woodcliff for the reception. The reception was a joint event sponsored by the Monroe, Erie, and Onondaga Bar Associations, as well as the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers. With more than 200 people in attendance, it was a great event, and a wonderful opportunity to have so many lawyers and judges from across upstate New York present. The presidents of the bars presented the two judges with a framed map of New York State as a gift.
As the Court of Appeals judges were departing, I was at the airport Tuesday morning welcoming retired Chief Judge Judith Kaye back to Rochester for her 24 hour Rochester vacation. Upon her arrival, we headed to the Starbucks on Monroe Avenue for a cup of coffee and a brief catch-up. She loves this routine that we have established. From there, we arrive at the Telesca Center, where Judge Kaye stood in awe of the new lobby.
We then joined about 35 attorneys, from all four generations, awaiting her arrival in the Rubin Center to talk about “Lawyers in Transition”. In addition to Judge Kaye, the distinguished panel included Tony Palermo, Gene Clifford, Mary Jane Angelone, Elaine Cole and Judge Gerard Alonzo. Each shared a few minutes about their own story of transition, and how they went about planning for the transition. Every story was unique, and spoke of both the past, and what they are doing now. A pleasant surprise to all of us, was the number of young people present at the dialogue. It was great!
From there Judge Craig Doran escorted Judge Kaye up to the Hall of Justice for a brief visit with so many of her friends. By 3:30pm the Judge was back at the Telesca Center to meet with several young people and staff from the Teen Court Program at the Center for Youth. Teen Court is one of Judge Kaye’s passions, and one of the reasons she comes to Rochester every year. An inspiring conversation with two young people working really hard to turn their life around.
From there, we each had one quiet hour to get some work done before heading over to the Young Lawyers Section Silent Auction. All I can say is WOW! This event that is now 5 years old, and grew from maybe 40 people to more than 130 people was a huge success. We do not have the final numbers on monies raised, but I can say this, there were a lot of items and people were spending money. Proceeds go to the support the Teen Court Program. In addition to the Auction, members of the YLS are also volunteering their time at Teen Court and coaching the student lawyers that represent their peers in the program.
I am so very proud of this group of young lawyers. We have grown from a section of 60 or so members to over 200 as of this writing. I am the envy of some of my bar colleagues that are struggling with how to rejuvenate their own YL sections.
What I find most interesting is that we now have two generations within the section. There are the more “senior” young lawyers, and the more “junior” young lawyers. And what I am observing is the mentoring of the “juniors” by the “senior” members. They are beginning to pass the torch to the new lawyers, as they have them actively engaged in the section.
Following the auction, Judge Kaye and I go to dinner. Since it was a nice evening, the Judge announced, “let’s go somewhere where we can sit outside.” Since she was staying at the Strathallan, it was a perfect destination for dinner with the patio and the new fire pit. We arrived there just before 9, and said our farewell’s just after 11:00 pm. What an honor it has been over the years to sit and listen to Judge Kaye while she generously shares her life experiences with me. We catch-up on the bar world, and on our families.
After a short sleep, I picked up the Judge at 7:30 am and whisked her off to her annual Breakfast with GRAWA at Nixon Peabody. Judge Kaye loves this event as well because she feels so at home with this wonderful group of women, and a few special men that were present. Since GRAWA President Melanie Wolk had given birth the day before, Judge Kaye was welcomed by President-Elect Tiffany Lee, who used to clerk for Judge Kaye in the Court of Appeals.
Judge Kaye delivered some inspiring remarks around the theme of the book, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. Judge Kaye is masterful at weaving in the stories of her past, to her present day life, and always posing questions about what we can do to support women in the profession. Again, the room was full of four generations of women, all appreciating the inspiring message from Judge Kaye. She shared that 2013 represents her 50th anniversary as a lawyer. Many of us including Deb Martin and myself promised to go purchase the book that very day. I actually purchased a copy for me, and for my 20-year-old daughter, Claire.
From there, I sadly returned Judge Kaye to the airport. We hugged goodbye and talked about planning for the 6th Rochester Vacation one year from now.
By last night, “fun event fatigue” of the last 2 months had caught up with me. I climbed into bed at 8:30 pm last night, and woke this morning at 7:30 am. That is a very long night of sleep for me, and for those that know me for late night emails, I did not send one email all night because I never woke up!!
With all the big events over for the bar year, the only remaining activities are: the Bankruptcy CLE in Batavia on Friday that we do with the Erie Bar. This is Louise’s final CLE for the bar year, for a total of 68!
And then next Tuesday we hold the Orientation for the new Board of Trustees, as well as the final Board meeting of the year, followed by a joint board dinner. And then on June 27th, the Family Law Section will be gathering for their annual event out at Deb Indivino’s house to celebrate another great year.
The very last event of this busy year will be on Friday, June 28th on my porch, where I will gather with my great bar team to celebrate them, and their hard work and our collective accomplishments. Though I have not yet decided what to serve, I guarantee, we will not be eating any pizza or subs!!
Thank you for a great year and for all you have done to make it a success!
Thanks for checking in…