It is that time of year…

…when there is so much going on that it makes my head spin. No doubt, your head is spinning as well.

Last week we had an incredible Law Day Luncheon. If you missed it, check out our YouTube channel for our 10 year Telesca Center for Justice celebration video along with videos of some of the award recipients. Click here to see photos from the annual luncheon. It was a great day celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Telesca Center for Justice…complete with birthday cake!

Law Day Blog

But as one event ends, another half-dozen are right around the corner. While at the same time, it is time to rake the yard, mow the lawn, open the porch, and enjoy this warm and wonderful sunshine. It’s starting to feel like summer! But summer cannot officially begin before the official conclusion of this bar year on June 30. I know for a fact, one First Lady of the MCBA, Lorrie Modica, is counting the day’s until she has her incredibly dedicated husband, and my president, back full-time. Lorrie actually showed me the countdown she has going on her phone, and understandably. Steve has been a remarkable bar president, and has not slowed down, nor will he till that final hour. But when the time comes, Steve totally deserves the right to slow down, but I know Steve, and I know he will always be there for the MCBA.

So in the final weeks, here is what lies ahead for you and me:

New Opportunity to View the Film — Dedicated to Justice: Hon. Michael Telesca

If you were unable to join us for the film premiere of Dedicated to Justice: Hon. Michael A. Telesca, you have another chance tomorrow, Friday, May 8th at 12:15 pm in the Rubin Center for Education on the 5th Floor. Do not miss the chance to view this remarkable film, which was produced by our Foundation, about the life of our beloved Judge Michael Telesca. Bring your lunch, we will provide the soda and water, and in addition to watching the 30 minute film, you will meet the  the filmmaker, Matthew Spaull. He will be joined by MCBA President Steve Modica and Judge Jonathan Feldman to share a bit about the making of the film.

Film Premier Blog

Court of Appeals Reception — Wednesday, May 20th

If you are free that evening, plan to join us out at Woodcliff to welcome our two new Court of Appeals Judges, the Honorable Leslie Stein and the Honorable Eugene Fahey. The reception will begin at 5:30 pm and conclude at 7:30 pm. Pre-registration is required for this very special event, so please visit here.

Empire Justice Center’s — A Celebration of Leadership Reception

I am both humbled and honored to be joining Joe Casion, of Harter Secrest & Emery fame, in being one of the two recipients of their leadership awards. This very special evening will be held on Thursday, May 21st from 5:30 – 8:30 pm at the Strathallan on East Ave. This award is especially meaningful because of my admiration of the incredible people that comprise this very dynamic organization. The dedication and commitment to ensuring access and advocacy to those that are unable throughout Rochester and all of New York State is extraordinary. If you are not real familiar with Empire Justice, I would encourage you to join in this very special evening.

Meetings, meetings and more meetings…

This is no surprise to anyone — we host many, many, many meetings at the MCBA. So of late, it has been many Foundation meetings including the establishment of the Legacy Society, a planned giving program, as well as the launch of its Raise the Bar Annual Campaign that should be hitting your mailbox any day now. Plus, the Member Focus Committee which is a new Board Committee which is busy reviewing programs of the bar that directly impact and benefit our members. Then we have the Health and Well-Being Task Force, that is meeting with regularity in order to put in place a solution to assist our members dealing with work life balance, stress, depression, PTSD issues, and other mental health matters. This was a big discussion point at Law Day. Mental health issues are on the rise in the profession and as your local bar association, we are working to develop a confidential solution that will assist those attorneys in need. Earlier this week the T. Carl Nixon Board Room was packed with more than 28 solo and small firm practitioners that convene on the first Tuesday of every month to meet, network, share questions and ideas, learn about a new area of practice, share referrals, and most of all support one another. It is like a big law firm meeting! If you wish learn more about this high energy group, contact Brad Kammholz, the Chair, or Liz Novak, the manager liaison.

Time to Renew Your Commitment to the MCBA

In between all of the events and meetings, Liz Novak, our membership manager, is busy preparing for the next membership renewal cycle. Yes, for the vast majority of you, it has been a year since you made that renewal. My hope is that you will once again renew your commitment to your MCBA, your peers, and the profession, by taking this action as soon as that reminder hits your inbox. For so many of you, it is automatic. For others, it sometimes requires multiple friendly nudges from Liz, me, and even the Board as they are assigned to make calls. What we hear most often is “Oh, did I not do that yet, I’m sorry, I will take care of that right now,” and most of you do. But frequently, it becomes displaced again, which requires more of our time to make the connection again. Not that I don’t mind, but I would so much prefer to be putting my time and the Board’s time on matters that will create greater impact and benefit to you directly. Does this make sense? But if I have to, I will respectfully chase you down, because we are a better bar with you! Thank you in advance.

Need any CLE credits?

If so, do we have a CLE for you. It will be another banner year of CLE activity thanks to Academy Dean Mary Jo Korona, Dean-Elect Cindy Snodgrass and CLE Manager, Louise Spinelli. I have lost count, but I think we will end the year with 60+/- CLEs. That is a big number! And approximately one-third of those are delivered in this last quarter of the bar year. In addition to the live programming, visit our website for many online CLE viewing options.

CLe Credits Blog

Welcoming the Summer 2015 Diversity Clerks to Rochester

Always an exciting time of year as we welcome 8 new 1L law students to Rochester for their 10 week experience. Once again, we have an incredible class of young people that will be making Rochester their home for the summer. We hope that if you have an opportunity to meet these young people, that you will regale them with stories about the wonderful practice of law in Rochester. Special thanks to Diversity Clerkship Chair, Jeff Harradine for his work on this important program, with great support from Louise Spinelli.

Valor Day — June 13
Rochester has a thriving military and veteran population. Valor Day is FREE event for ALL Veterans, Active Duty or Reserve Service Members and Immediate Family featuring over 30 service providers and legal services professionals. It’s on Saturday, June 13, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at MCC. If you’re interested in participating as an attorney, click here. For more information about the day, please visit the Valor Day website.

Annual Award Dinner — June 25th — The Hyatt Regency

We are very excited to have former Chief Judge Sol Wachtler joining us as our Keynote Speaker at the Annual Dinner this year. Judge Wachtler will be sharing his very painful journey with mental health, and that with assistance and education, one can turn their life around. His story is incredible and we hope that you will plan to join us for this very important evening.

As we do each year around this time, we will be gathering to celebrate our next President, Neil Rowe. Neil has been hard at work, probably feeling, “have I not already served my year?”, while I am here to remind him that he has not. The real fun lies ahead. In addition, we will be extending our very special thanks to Steve Modica as his action-packed year draws to a close. Like Steve, I have known Neil for many years as he has served in several capacities over the years.

Watch for this invitation coming very soon to a mailbox near you.

Summer Plans & Vacation

Spring is in the air, and so is LOVE! I do have some fun weddings coming up. MCBA members Laura Myers and Curt Johnson are tying the knot, and since they met at Jazz for Justice, and I was there on that first very special evening, I am invited and can’t wait to celebrate these two good friends. One week later our very own Dajaneé Parrish, will be tying the knot with a really lovely and fun man, Gregory Hoyos. I still like Gregory despite the fact that he is taking Dajaneé from us and relocating to Delaware for his work. Dajaneé has been a real gift to the MCBA, and we are very sad to see her go. But we do look forward to celebrating with this great young couple.

And did you know, Ginny LaCour, my very special Executive Assistant, is retiring after 10 years with me? Ten years is a long time. Ginny deserves this retirement. She has worked hard all her life, and Ginny would be the first to tell you she has worked “really hard” these last 10 years.

In terms of vacation, none planned so far, but I do need to get on that…

Thanks for checking in…


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