Book Review on Haig’s Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts

Reviewed by Mark J. Moretti, Esq. and Alissa M. Fortuna-Valentine, Esq.


After the Third Edition of Robert L. Haig’s Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts treatise added thirty-four new chapters on topics like internal investigations, consumer protection and money laundering to the series, it seemed there was not much subject matter left to cover in future editions.  But Haig has outdone himself again – adding twenty-five new chapters to the Fourth Edition of Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts.  Now spanning fourteen volumes, the Fourth Edition, published in 2016, covers a wide range of new topics, from civil justice reform to declaratory judgments, regulatory litigation to fashion and retail.

The Fourth Edition is truly timely, addressing the needs of a commercial litigator in an ever-changing, modern world.  Reflecting the rapid shift toward a global economy, the Fourth Edition includes more coverage on international topics – international trade and cross-border litigation.  For example, Chapter 22 on cross-border litigation discusses forum selection considerations, including the various advantages and disadvantages of litigating in venues like London, Paris, Hong King, Singapore and Switzerland, and provides guidance on managing discovery before foreign courts and collecting foreign evidence.  Chapter 136 on international trade examines the intricate nature of practice before the U.S. Department of Commerce, the International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Court of International Trade, in addition to covering potential state and federal law claims that may be asserted for international trade violations.  Both Chapter 22 on cross-border litigation and Chapter 136 on international trade perfectly supplement related topics from the Third Edition, such as international arbitration, and topics such as immigration, from previous editions.

Reflecting the growing importance and prevalence of social media in the commercial litigator’s practice, the Fourth Edition adds a chapter on social media, complementing its established chapters on document discovery, discovery strategy and privileges, evidence and jury selection.

In addition to its coverage of new and relevant topics facing the modern commercial litigator, the Fourth Edition also adds foundational topics relevant to young and well-seasoned commercial litigators alike, such as marketing to potential business clients and teaching litigation skills.  Chapter 70, “Marketing to Potential Business Clients,” contains critical insights for young commercial litigators, as it provides practical guidance on visibility strategies and methods of communication in marketing – subjects that are not covered by most law schools.  On the other hand, Chapter 71, “Teaching Litigation Skills,” discusses how seasoned commercial litigators can better coach, influence and mold young litigators in areas like oral and written advocacy, fact gathering and factual mastery, emotional intelligence, and credibility.

Importantly, what has not changed through the various editions of Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts is Haig’s ample, yet streamlined coverage of both essential and weighty topics, and provision of practice aids, practical advice and strategic considerations on each topic.  For example, volumes four and five of the treatise, which cover trial practice, can still be used as a refresher on discrete topics for an experienced litigator’s upcoming trial, or as a trial guide for a new litigator’s first trial.

Ultimately, with the Fourth Edition of Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, commercial litigators have a truly comprehensive guide to practice in Federal Court, and an indispensable tool for winning cases – making it the perfect addition to any library.

Mark J. Moretti is a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP, the current President of the Monroe County Bar Association, and a former Chairman of the Trial Lawyers Section of the NYSBA.  Alissa M. Fortuna-Valentine is an associate at Phillips Lytle LLP.






How the Internet Privacy Repeal Affects Secure Client Communication

This week’s Bar View guest author is Nicole Black. The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and are not intended to represent those of the MCBA or its board of trustees.

By Nicole Black, Esq.
Nicole black

You’re probably already aware that Internet privacy took a huge hit earlier this month when Congress passed, and the President signed into law, a bill that that repeals the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules. These rules were designed to protect consumers from privacy invasions by their Internet service providers (ISP).

What this means is that your ISP can now legally track all of your unprotected web browsing history (including every page within a domain that you visit), app usage, location history — and sell it to the highest bidder. That’s a lot of data, and much can be gleaned from it, including information about who you’re communicating with, how often you’re doing so, and for how long. For lawyers who communicate with clients using unsecure methods such as email, this new tracking capability granted to ISPs is troubling.

We discussed this very topic at the most recent monthly solo and small firm meeting at the MCBA. An IP lawyer raised the issue and explained why he found the repeal to be so disquieting. He also shared that since the passage of this legislation, he’d had a change of heart since our last meeting regarding client portals for client communication and collaboration.

By way of background, at the prior month’s meeting, I’d presented on cybersecurity for lawyers. When I reached the part of my talk where I recommended that lawyers ditch email and use client portals, this IP lawyer, who happens to be well-versed in technology, took issue with my position.

He explained that he preferred to have control over his data and was reluctant to share it with third parties. So he typically communicated with clients via email, but ensured that they understood the risks and that the sharing of particularly sensitive information was reserved for in-person meetings. And for collaboration purposes, he temporarily used online storage tools that allowed him to retain the encryption key and after the documents were shared, he would delete them.

After some back and forth on the topic of client portals, we agreed to disagree. I acknowledged the reasons for his methodology and understood why he might prefer it. But I nevertheless remained steadfast in my long held belief that as long as lawyers carefully chose their software providers, client portals are the best tool for secure client communication due to changing times and the fast pace of technological advancement.

Fast forward to the meeting earlier this month, and this same lawyer advised that he was unsatisfied by the security options being suggested to protect Internet users’ privacy in light of the repeal (more on those in a moment) and was increasingly convinced that client portals were the most secure option for client communication. His rationale was that with client portals, ISPs would only know that users logged into their secure, encrypted practice management platform but would have no knowledge of the actions taken while logged in. In other words, because of the repeal, he believed that prevailing security concerns outweighed his reluctance to outsource data to third parties.

Of course, as Internet users who happen to be lawyers, you undoubtedly have concerns about your personal privacy even if you use a cloud-based law practice management platform to communicate with clients. So what can you do to protect yourself from invasive ISPs?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently published a great blog post that outlines many things you can do to reduce the amount of information that your ISP can collect about your usage. Here are the key steps that are recommended (refer to the post for more detail on each one):

  • Pick an ISP that respects your privacy (the post includes a link to a list of recommended ISPs);
  • Opt-out of supercookies and other ISP tracking;
  • Install EFF’s browser extension to automatically enable HTTPs;
  • Consider using a VPN; and
  • Consider using the TOR browser.

So those are some steps you can take preliminarily to protect yourself. The solutions are not perfect and some may disrupt your online workflow. Over time, your options will likely increase as developers come up with new solutions to address this new need. But ISPs will no doubt attempt to combat your attempts to protect your privacy, so expect to be in for a bumpy ride for the next few years.

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase, a law practice management software company. She is the nationally-recognized author of “Cloud Computing for Lawyers” (2012) and co-authors “Social Media For Lawyers: The Next Frontier” (2010), both published by the American Bar Association. She also co-authors “Criminal Law in New York,” a Thomson West treatise. She writes a weekly column for The Daily Record, has authored hundreds of articles for other publications, and regularly speaks at conferences regarding the intersection of law, mobile computing and Internet-based technology.



Oh, what a night!

For those of you in attendance last night at The Strong, you know what I am talkin’ about. It was the “world” premiere of the short film, Dedicated to Justice:  Hon. Michael Telesca, and there was not an open seat in the house.

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Attendees arrived early, as the energy in the lobby grew in anticipation of the start of the film. But the energy went to a whole new level upon the arrival of the man of the hour, Judge Michael Telesca. Our efforts to seat our guests, shifted to the arrival of the Judge. He was his usual, charming and loving self, as he humbly greeted family, friends, colleagues and numerous fans.

I have had the privilege of getting to know Judge Telesca over the years as a result of the creation of the Telesca Center for Justice. Early on, Justin Vigdor, Partnership for Equal Justice Campaign Chair, and I would call on the Judge every few months to keep him apprised of efforts to co-locate the civil legal service partners under the same roof.


I loved these visits to the Judge’s chamber, where I would sit with these two giants of the profession, and witness their story-telling of the profession in the “old days”. These were priceless moments to witness these two old friends share mutual stories of admiration about each other. These visits, allowed me the ability to form my own relationship with Judge Telesca, and the ability to call him and visit on my own a few occasions as well.

When we finally put the Judge’s name in lights on the front of his building, he was in attendance at this very special event. It was an emotional evening for the Judge as he spoke of his immigrant parents that came to America from Italy, and how proud his father would be to see his name on this building and the work that took place inside the building.


The idea of the film was a collective brainstorm of Judge Jonathan Feldman and MCBA President Steve Modica. Together they began the conversation about the possibility of a film with Judge Telesca. The story shared last night was that when the Judge finally, and reluctantly, agreed to meet the young filmmaker, Matthew Spaull, he said, “OK, you can have 15 minutes.” And the rest is now history. This film was made more special as a result of the relationship formed between Judge Telesca and the young filmmaker, Matt.

What struck me was the scenes at the Judge’s desk. I have sat in that same chair across from his desk, and listened to Judge Telesca and his stories and philosophies. Matt captured these moments, and I felt as though I was again in the chair across from the desk.

Do not worry if you were unable to attend last night. You will have another opportunity on Friday, May 8th, when we will view the film in the Rubin Center for Education at 12:15 pm., please contact Liz Novak for more information. This is a complimentary viewing, feel free to bring your lunch. We will provide the beverages. If the room fills up, I am committed to scheduling another viewing. I want everyone to see the film, and to hear the powerful messages shared in the film. Very powerful!

In fact, if you would like, we are taking orders for copies of the film. You can purchase your own copy for duplication cost of $6, which includes tax and shipping. Please click here for the order form.

I wish to thank this very special man, Judge Michael Telesca, for sharing his life, his wisdom, his courage, his humor and heart, with all of us. I wish to thank Judge Feldman, Steve Modica, Joan Countryman, and Matt Spaull, for bringing it all to life in this powerful film that will forever preserve the legacy of this great man.

Oh, what a night…

Thanks for checking in!




My work as a mom is never done…

I have heard my 83 year old mother, affectionately known to me as, Joanie, declare that as a mother, “we never stop worrying about our children.” Since she had 6 children, and I have only 3, Joanie is convinced I worry much less. The reality is I try not to worry. Why put negative energy out into the universe? I am very busy, so adding time to my calendar each day to worry about the kids is simply not productive. Instead, I keep tabs on what is going on in their life through Facetime and calls, think about them, and send positive energy their way. And of course I continue to stalk their social media platforms for proof that they remain good kids that I raised.

Mary and Kids

For example, Claire is in “Tundra Town” also known as Boston. I try not to think about the dorm roofs collapsing, that is until Joanie triggers the thought. “You know Mary, roofs in Boston are collapsing, are you concerned about Claire?” “No, Mom, I don’t spend energy on it. I suggest you don’t either!” But then Claire calls having just taken a plunge down 4 icy steps on her tiny little tail bone. She was calling for mom comfort. Having taken this similar plunge down only one step many years ago, I immediately extended empathy, “Geez, that takes your breath away!”

Once we knew she was OK, we moved on to the stuff that does keep seniors and their parents awake at night — will there be a job offer, and will it make them happy? So I spend some time helping Claire down off the ledge by listening, and offering some advice. Her angst was coming from a few directions: where will she live, work, money management, and weather, but unlike when she was 14, 15 and 16, Claire is doing such a better job listening to ol’ Mom, and my counsel. I reminded Claire that she has always had a great work ethic, drive, focus and talent. She will do fine. Plus, she does have a preliminary offer, and is simply waiting for it to be finalized. Claire is off the ledge!

Earlier in the week, I received incredible career news from my son, Brian. He had completed his final PGA test, and is now officially a Class A PGA Golf Professional. I do not believe you will see him on the golf circuit anytime soon, as he is dedicated to the career of a Club & Teaching Pro. I do understand he will have many opportunities to play in PGA Tournaments on more of a regional level. He is looking forward to this opportunity as well. You have been following his progress through these blogs over the years, so I decided I needed to share this exciting news.

brian swings

Brian will do fine. Meanwhile, life in Nashville is not bad. He played golf last Sunday, and had the audacity to say it was cold at 48 degrees!

I thought the career coaching for the week was done, until Aidan called the other night. Aidan is a junior at Brockport in the area of Finance. He is so very smart and numbers savvy, and all with a cool sense of calm and confidence. His question was about how to go about securing an internship. We talked through ideas he had; I offered some up; and suggested he send me his resume for review. We then talked about places to apply and other experiences to look for in terms of networking. Aidan is all business, “OK, Mom that sounds good.” Little to no emotion. Aidan was never on the ledge, so we said goodbye and “I love you!”

As I reflected back on the intense, inspiring and exciting conversations with all three, I could not help but feel a sense of pride in each of them in terms of their commitments to their future careers. My final piece of advice to each of them — find a mentor, find several mentors as you grow into your careers. My Dad, Richard, was one of my early mentors, and always there for counsel. This is one of our role as parents, but it is also our role as more seasoned professionals in our respective fields. We can be mentors to those around us that we work with each day, or perhaps someone we see across a table at a meeting. The MCBA created the Mentor for a Moment, a program to assist younger attorneys in quickly finding answers to specific questions. So this is another reminder that we have a long, willing and enthusiastic group of mentors that are ready to take your calls. I encourage you to take advantage of this program, it could be priceless. There is no shame in asking questions, requesting some guidance and counsel. We have ALL been there in need of advice at some point in our career, and for me, I still call on my stash of mentors.

If you are a willing mentor, and listed on the website, in the program, just a quick reminder, please call or email back when you receive a call from a mentee. This program only works when everyone is taking part, and being responsive. If you are in need of a mentor, please reach out to Liz Novak at with the area of practice you need help with, and she will be sure to give you a couple of names. Another great place to do some informal mentoring, and “scoping for mentors” is coming up on Thursday, February 19th, when we convene at City Grill for the February BarSTOP, starting at 5 p.m. It really is a great place to catch up with friends and colleagues, while making some new ones. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for checking in and stay warm,

– Mary

It’s blog day…

Every Monday, I spend about 5-10 minutes with the Communications Team, Liz Novak and Dajaneé Parrish, to brainstorm topics for my blog that week. Dajaneé always brings a few topics to pitch, as does Liz. Might be about an event, a new program, or one in which I am seeking your feedback. Just last week we had one of our most popular to date — “The Babies of the Bar…” and we featured about 10 beautiful babies, young children and even a new grand baby. The blog, written by Dajaneé, was a huge success with over 200 people tuning in to read the blog and view these little miracles of the universe.

It was such a success that we are planning to do one on “The Puppies of the Bar…” (yes, these can also be full grown dogs). I have an allergy to cats, so we are sticking with canines for now. However, if there is a major member insurrection that we are bias to felines, we will go back to our 3-person editorial team and consider it.

Anyway, back to the blog. So at our team meeting, their hope is that if we have this discussion on Monday, it will be ready by Wednesday at the latest. I think that has happened once. Their parting word to me yesterday was, “So Mary, you all set with the blog for tomorrow morning?” This question is followed by a subtle look of doubt (or perhaps that is skepticism I see on their faces). I respond with, “No worries, it’s all up here. I just need time to write it.” But as they know, I like to write early in the morning, and usually have great inspiration at that hour while enjoying my morning coffee. Not so successful this morning, so it is 10:00 am on eDocket day, and I am just knocking this out, trying to avoid any eye-contact with the Communications Team.

The real topic for today’s blog is about the start of our Nominating Season. This Friday will be the first meeting of the Nominating Committee, chaired by Immediate Past President, Diane Cecero. In addition, to Diane, we will be joined by Steve Modica, MCBA President, and Neil Rowe, President-Elect. We will be selecting the President-Elect Nominee to Neil’s term as President which will begin on July 1st, 2015. In addition to President-Elect, we will be seeking a new Treasurer, as well as 5 new Trustees. The new Trustees serve one 3-year term.

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We will be selecting my 15th President, and my 15th Board since I started at the MCBA in 2001. With each new president, and 5 new trustees each year, the result becomes diversity of thoughts, opinions and actions. The other result is that no two years are alike. In recent years we have become very focused on strategic planning with the idea that we cannot simply adopt an endless list of new programs and committees, but instead, we have thoughtful dialogue about the resources necessary to support, and the level of member engagement.

The current board of trustees is dealing with a variety of matters of interest to our members, the public, and the profession. The profession is in the midst of a major evolution, so the challenge before the MCBA and the Board is how do we remain relevant to our diverse membership — diverse in terms of age, gender, race, orientation, practice area, beliefs, and the list goes on. We are looking for members who fit this description above. We are looking for members that are interested in a leadership opportunity, and with that opportunity, a willingness to take on some assignments. We are looking for members that wish to be a part of a Board team at what is considered to be one of the most progressive county bar associations in the country. These are not my words, but words others have used to describe the MCBA.

We are currently accepting nominations. Feel free to nominate yourself or a colleague or friend. Click here for nomination application. It should be completed and returned to Ginny LaCour by December 22.

If you are so intrigued by this invitation to consider a nomination, but have questions, please give me a ring, and let me put my persuasive powers to work on you.

Thanks for checking in,


Social Media — It’s not just a fad…

I know when Facebook was first born, I had some rules in my own house about when the kids could establish their own account. Like cell phones, I was always very conservative about giving permission too early. Brian did not get his first phone till he was driving at 16. But to have some fun with him that Christmas, I first gave him a walkie-talkie, and when he was crushed at not opening a package with a cell phone, I demonstrated how cool it would be that we would each have our walkie-talkie’s strapped onto our pants so we could reach each other at any time — afterall, he was never more than a mile away, and the talkies had a 3 mile radius on them. I allowed the teasing to go on for another 20 minutes or so before he opened the package with the real cell phone. Once again, I claimed the title of “great mom”.

In high school, they would not “friend me” on Facebook, however, I always made certain they would friend one of my brothers, who they thought were cool, and my 4 younger brothers ALWAYS knew when to report into their older sister about the actions of one of my children. Obviously, I reciprocated for them as their children came of age.

Once the kids arrived to college, it was much cooler to friend your parents, and so I was granted this very precious right. However, it came with rules – “Mom, please don’t say anything embarrassing and no embarrassing photos either!” Of course, I have broken that rule a few times but have been pretty good for the most part.

So one of the social media platforms I have yet to conquer is “Tweeting” – no, not twerking — that will never happen! With my “Twitter Tip Sheet” in front of me, I was sitting in a CLE yesterday on presentation skills. I took a photo of the speaker, MCC Professor Ilene Benz, and tweeted out what a great program it will be. I was quite proud of myself, as I have been determined to master this Twitter world. When I arrived upstairs, Communications Manager Liz Novak complimented my tweet, but suggested that next time I tweet as “Mary Loewenguth” not as the “MCBA.” Geez, really — thanks for the positive affirmation of this first step Liz.

This experiment followed a lively presentation at Tuesday’s Board meeting in which the Communications Team, Liz Novak and Dajaneé Parrish, provided a tour of the MCBA’s various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. We started with a great message from Liz Novak about how communications with members has changed. Liz reported that:

Social Media is the direction Bar Associations are headed in. This is demonstrated simply by seeing how the programming at various Bar workshops and conferences has changed. It’s a reflection of how the landscape of communications has changed; and the landscape is comprised of social media.

And because of this changing landscape, our own communications here have changed. We moved away from print and towards e-communications, supplemented by social media.

At the meeting, with a show of hands, we learned that about half of the Trustees are on Facebook, more of them are on LinkedIn, and a few are on Twitter. One of the challenges of social media is trying to determine which medium you use for what purpose. From a past ABA Conference, we adapted a very cool tool that easily differentiates the best uses of the different social media platforms. And since we serve so many sub sandwiches here at the MCBA for both meetings and CLE’s, we decided to personalize this tool in a way that you can relate.

Social Media Explained Cropped

Social Media is not a fad as many people continue to think. Social media is a part of society and it’s time that we (baby boomers) adapt this attitude. The fastest growing age bracket on Facebook is 45-54 and on Twitter the fastest growing age bracket is 55-64.

I challenge everyone to join or get involved in at least one social media platform:


“Like” our Monroe County Bar Association page on Facebook, as well as the Young Lawyers Section page to get all of the latest updates and an inside look into MCBA events, programs and socials.

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Follow us on Twitter – @MCBA_NY for breaking MCBA news.

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Join the  Monroe County Bar Association Group page on LinkedIn to connect with other MCBA members and to engage in a dialog within the legal community.

Join and see what it can do for you – besides checking out your child’s latest “relationship status.”

Many Places…Many Presidents…

My son, Brian, is a golf assistant at Richland Country Club in Nashville, Tennessee. The course is beautiful and historic, as it was built on an old Civil War Battlefield. The course is amazing, and their members take great pride in it. As an assistant golf pro, working on his PGA certification, Brian’s day is managing day to day operations, their frequent tournaments, interacting with members, and giving private lessons to members, their spouses, and in some cases their children, because, according to Brian, every golfing parent believes their child may be the next Tiger Woods.  I listen to him as he shares about his interactions with members that may be upset about something, or the Club President that has an issue that he brings to Brian to solve. And I am impressed that at 23, he has developed such a solid management style, an intuitiveness about matters . He reports that he really likes his membership, and his presidents, and that he enjoys the many personalities he engages with daily.

Past Pres Dinner 1 Connie

I can so relate to Brian’s experiences. The other night we held our annual dinner of the Association’s Past Presidents at the Strathallan. We have 34 living presidents, 35 until the recent passing of Judge David Boehm. On July 1st, they will be 35 again when President Connie Walker joins their ranks. This is an annual dinner held every spring and it served as an opportunity for them to celebrate Connie, while welcoming the incoming president, Diane Cecero, as well as incoming president-elect, Steve Modica.

The presidents pay their way for this annual gathering and really cherish this wonderful tradition for many reasons. They love to determine who is the oldest living president, and also simply the oldest. Turns out Jim Hartman is the oldest, as he turned 85 on that night. But it is Tony Palermo that holds the title of oldest living president. Tony served in 1973! His passion for the profession, the law, and the bar world is as strong as ever.

Past Pres Dinner Tony P

As they began to arrive, and secure a glass of wine, the friendly- banter and story-telling also began. It really is one of my favorite events of the bar year. Following dinner, the Past President Co-Chair, Dick Rosenbloom, (sadly his Co-Chair side-kick Mary Ross was unable to be with us due to illness caused by the grand kids visit over the long weekend) began the short program with an invitation to Connie to provide some brief remarks about her year. Connie did a great job sharing some of the highlights, but acknowledged that she is looking forward to entering the Past Presidents Club. Then Diane Cecero was introduced as our new incoming president and spoke about feeling welcomed into this group of colleagues, many of whom she has known for years. Diane’s plan is to focus on a successful development and implementation of the MCBA Strategic Plan, and like all the presidents that came before her, to ensure a good future for the bar.

Past Pres Dinner Bryan and Judge Rosenbloom

And then I shared a few brief comments about the great year I have had with Connie. We accomplished so much more than she had time to share. But all agreed, the biggest accomplishment for all of us was the completion of the Telesca Center for Justice lobby. If you have not seen it, stop in. Special thanks went out to Justin Vigdor for his 8 year leadership on the Partnership Campaign, and to Harold Kurland, who was a tireless supporter of the Campaign and determined to see the lobby renovated.

I drove home wondering where 2012-13 went. It seems as though only yesterday it was Bryan’s farewell, and Connie was coming into her term, and now a year has passed, and Diane is coming, and Steve will follow closer than he thinks.

A great quote I appreciate is,

“The lawyer is the fellow who evens things up, the champion of all those who…must bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong…the law’s delay…S(he) fights  fire with fire, meets guile with guile, and rights the legal wrong.”

Arthur Train, Mr. Tutt’e Case Book (1936).

As I took my final glances at this roomful of remarkable bar leaders from the past and the present, I saw a room full of passionate fire-fighters that have built this incredible association. We should all be proud.

With that, I invite you to join us on Thursday, June 13th for the Installation of our 118th President, Diane Cecero. This is also an opportunity to celebrate our out-going president, Connie Walker. Click here to register.

Thanks for checking in…


Hellos and Goodbyes

I am taking most of the afternoon off today to have a nice quiet lunch with my daughter, Claire to celebrate a few important events in her life. She has just completed her second year at Bentley University in Boston, and had a great finish. Tomorrow morning she is on an early flight back to Boston in order to begin her summer internship with a small marketing firm on Monday. And on June 1st, Claire turns 20! She will return home mid-August for two weeks before heading to Dublin to study abroad for the fall semester.

So this morning I woke to the reality of counting the days and hours that I will have with Claire between now and the end of December when she returns home from Ireland. Part of me wants to know that Claire will be down the street from home this summer working at Great Northern Pizzeria as she has done for the last 4 summers. But that is not to be. And despite how I may feel today, I am happy and excited for Claire. So over lunch I plan to remind her that she will be grabbing a train and commuting to work, and that the Boston experience will be the resume builder. I will remind her that she will have a great time living with her Aunt Jeanne and two young cousins, Charlie and Will, right on Beacon Street. The boys LOVE Claire, and are thrilled to have a cousin for the summer.  I will remind her that she has many friends in the Boston area, and that it is now her City, and she will have plenty to do. And of course, I will remind her to be safe.

I also plan to remind her to take full advantage of this wonderful internship opportunity by leaning in and asking the people around her for what she wants and needs to be successful. I will remind her to not be afraid to ask questions, and to fail, as we learn from our mistakes. I will remind her that we were all new and young at one time.

But in telling Claire, I was really trying to convince myself that this is what it is all about. It is about bringing these little people into our world, watching them grow and explore, and take chances, and step out of their comfort zone. It is about giving them wings of opportunities to learn, grow and observe, and to ultimately launch their lives and careers. It’s about being part of a community — which initially may be a pub in Dublin with some new friends (minus any large quantities of Guiness!).

In just a few short weeks, we will begin to welcome the 11 new Rochester Diversity Clerkship  students to town. This will be the 9th summer of our award-winning program and plans are already underway for a jam-packed summer of both educational and social events. All are an attempt to show them what a great legal community resides in Rochester.

In addition to the Diversity Clerks, Rochester is also welcoming a whole bunch of new 2Lsummer clerks to many of the firms. Last night while in attendance at the GRAWA Installation Dinner of Melanie Wolk, I met several summer interns already busy in their respective firms. I thought it was so great that their supervising attorneys were bringing them to GRAWA and exposing them to this special Rochester community.

Later in the evening, we heard Melanie share her story about what brought her to her first GRAWA Dinner just 5 years ago. She walked into the room, new to Rochester, knowing no one. But within minutes found 2-3 people, while in line awaiting a glass of wine, and then another 4-6, and then before the night was over, she had met almost everyone in the room. I can not do justice to Melanie’s remarks, but the message was about being welcomed and embraced as a new young attorney, into a community of women that cared about one another, and all aspects of each other. Melanie’s story is not her’s alone. I guarantee many of  you have a similar story as to how you became involved in either GRAWA, the Rochester Black Bar Association or the MCBA.

Over the years I have observed there are MANY willing participants — both attorneys and law students — that would welcome an opportunity to get engaged. But for some, they need that personal invitation to bring them to the table. Once there, my observation has been that they flourish.

I would like to challenge every engaged member (you know who you are) this summer to connect with either a dis-engaged member, a non-member, or a young lawyer or summer clerk, and have a conversation with them about their MCBA involvement. Find the person standing along the perimter and find out what you can do to get them engaged. As we heard last night, and as I witness every day, we make a difference in the lives of our members.

The future of our community, our legal community, our state and national communities depends on our young people, and whether or not we are giving them the “wings” they need to experience the opportunities they deserve to make our world a better place.

To all the law clerks coming to town…welcome!!

To Claire, bye Pooks!

Thanks for checking in…