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.

 

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I’ve got a beef with you…

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 http://www.mcba.org — $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,

Mary

The birds woke me up….again

A sure sign of summer is the early morning sounds of the early morning birds doing their early morning chirping. My house has no A/C, something my kids repeatedly suggest I should get every summer when they visit for a few hot nights. I repeatedly ignore them.

My front yard has two good size trees right outside my windows, so at times I feel as though I am sleeping in a bird sanctuary — the chirping is so darn loud. I am a light sleeper anyway. So this morning, when I really would have loved a little more sleep, the chirping seemed to start a little earlier than usual.

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As soon as one eye is awake, my mind begins to move slowly, then as it picks up speed, I am picking up my iMary assistant (my iPhone) to begin responding to emails, reviewing tasks for the day, stalking my children on Facebook to be sure they did not do anything outrageous overnight, and reviewing my meetings for the day.

This particular morning, I decided to grab the fleece, the coffee and head to the porch to finalize my remarks for this evening’s installation dinner, and to write this blog since it is Thursday. As soon as Dajaneé Parrish, our incredible Communications Coordinator, arrives on the scene, there will be a knock on my door, and she will peek in with her big smile, saying, “good morning Mary! I just wanted to see how you are doing on the blog today…” Poor kid. She is so polite with me. Some days I need no inspiration, and other days, Dae and Liz Novak are feeding me ideas, and I have them right up against the wire. For Dae, when she receives the blog, it determines the rest of her day and when she will be able to hit the send button on the eDocket.

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I have written the blog from home, many from this porch at night or in this early morning hour, from the office, while waiting in a doctor’s office, while having a glass of wine with friends or in a meeting when a really great idea strikes, and I just need to get this quick thought down. But my porch has really become a place that I go to for thinking, processing or simply trying to be quiet.

The moment I am up in the day, the sliding door gets opened, and the porch is my main gathering space, even on a cool day. A jacket, fleece and the heater, make the porch this warm, quiet place to simply sit and be.

Today, I am thinking about tonight’s installation of our 119th President, Steve Modica. It seems as though it was only a few short months ago that we celebrated Diane Cecero as our 118th President, but, in fact, a full year has passed. This year has flown by like no other. Diane worked incredibly hard in her second job, while maintaining her primary gig as Counsel to the President of Monroe Community College. Diane has been a great and thoughtful president, but to hear more on Diane, and Steve, you will need to come to tonight’s installation dinner. If you have not registered, you can call Ginny LaCour at 402-7188, BUT do not tell her I told you to call this late, she will kill me.

Now that the sun is finally up, my final thought as I pack it all up to get ready for work is — I wonder if my yard is big enough to pull off a summer BarSTOP here? I would love to have you all over to the house and the porch. We would have to take turns in the porch, and I would probably have to get a port-a-potty since on top of no AC, I have one potty! LOL

What do you think? Should I try it? I think it would be a blast. Would you come?

Thanks for checking in. Hope to see you tonight. If not, see you around the MCBA, and if I don’t, where are you?
Mary

 

The BIG WOW Factor…

There are weeks at the Monroe County Bar Association that are slower than others, but this has NOT been one of those weeks. This was one of those weeks that makes me step back and say a BIG “WOW, what incredible attorneys we have in Rochester!”

My first BIG WOW came this past Tuesday evening at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity  School, where we gathered for the 6th Annual Young Lawyers Section Silent Auction to benefit Rochester Teen Court. Our extraordinary young lawyers went out and successfully solicited almost 70 gift baskets, and with their own money, purchased some of the contents. With almost 100 people in attendance, they raised more than $14,000. A pretty incredible outcome. I am so very proud of this group of young leaders, lead by Wende Knapp, and their commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy. Her committee members were her YLS Board, along with several very dedicated members. Once again, we should all be grateful to this group of young leaders, and confident, that the future of the MCBA will be in very capable hands.

The Young Lawyers Section Board at the Sixth Annual Silent. Photo courtesy of The Daily Record

The Young Lawyers Section Board at the Sixth Annual Silent.

My second BIG WOW factor was another great day at the Telesca Center for Justice. It is always great when we have an opportunity to come together as the Telesca Center Partnership to share, boast, and tell our collective story of success. Together we have conducted so many tours of the TCFJ, that when I send the email out for a “call to organize a  tour and a lunch” my 5 colleagues know the routine. Sheila Gaddis, Executive Director of Volunteer Legal Services Project; Carla Palumbo, Chief Operating Officer, and Alan Harris, President, Legal Aid Society of Rochester; Lou Prieto, Managing Attorney, LawNY; and Bryan Hetherington, Chief Counsel, Empire Justice Center. So this time, we had the great honor of welcoming New York State Chief Administrative Judge Gail Prudenti to the Telesca Center. This was Judge Prudenti’s first visit and tour, and watching someone take it all in the first time reignites for me the passion I have for all that we have done, and will continue to do at the TCFJ.

Chief Administrative Judge for NYS, Hon A. Gail Prudenti visited the Telesca Center for Justice on Wednesday and met with leaders from the Monroe County Bar Association, Foundation of the Monroe County Bar and the Telesca Center for Justice partners.

Chief Administrative Judge for NYS, Hon A. Gail Prudenti visited the Telesca Center for Justice on Wednesday and met with leaders from the Monroe County Bar Association, Foundation of the Monroe County Bar and the Telesca Center for Justice partners.

Prior to Judge Prudenti, we have welcomed former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, many, many times. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, many New York State Bar Presidents, and even a president of the American Bar Association. We have also welcomed bar leaders from other bar associations, interested in learning more about the Telesca Center for Justice.

We have been sharing our story for almost 9 years now. And I must tell you, it never gets dull. It never gets dull because the story is constantly evolving as a result of the work of my 5 passionate partner peers in the TCFJ: Carla, Alan, Sheila, Bryan and Lou, and what they do is incredible. They are saving lives, saving families, saving homes, saving children, saving victims, and preserving rights. And together, with support from me, the MCBA staff, MCBA Board, Foundation Board, and the Committee and Section Chairs, and all of you, we are all doing great work that we should be very proud of.

The third and final BIG WOW factor for the week was last night as we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program. With more than 60 people in attendance to welcome our 13 1L law students to the Telesca Center for Justice for the first time, it was a very special evening. Once again the Diversity Committee, chaired by Jeff Harradine, has succeeded in presenting another accomplished class of students for the summer of 2014. Following brief remarks from Jeff, Diane Cecero, MCBA President; Fatimat Reid, Rochester Black Bar Association President; and Tiffany Lee, President of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys, the students all took a few minutes to introduce themselves. This “group share” included their name, what firm or organization they are clerking for, their law school and their hometown. For some, it also included whether or not, they had attended the YLS Auction the night before, with a promise to attend next summer’s auction if they did not attend the prior evening’s event. Members from all three bar associations came together to celebrate the success of this award-winning program and the wonderful Class of 2014. Be sure you seize the opportunity to meet them in the weeks and months ahead. Tell them what a great place Rochester is to practice, and assure them that you will be there to support them when they return here to practice in two years.

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The Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship 2014 Summer Associates. Photo courtesy of The Daily Record.

The Foundation of the MCB provides a grant annually for one the of 1L law clerks to spend the summer with one of the four legal service partners in the Telesca Center; with an additional grant to the MCB to support the significant administrative aspects of the program, for which we are very grateful.

Though we are not yet there, the Diversity Clerkship Program is beginning to change the face of this legal community. We must all take part in encouraging diversity and inclusion, with the ultimate goal of retention, in all of our places of business. It is a shared responsibility and will make us a better legal community in which to serve your clients.

So three BIG WOW moments this week, and we have 3 more weeks to go yet before the end of the bar year. So many more BIG WOW moments to come, and I hope to see you at many of them with a BIG WOW on your face.

Thanks for checking in,
Mary

 

Supporting our own…

the future next exit

Claire will be a Senior at Bentley University next fall, and is beginning to feel the pressure of “the real world”, and all that this represents. Is graduate school in her immediate future? Or does she start working first, and then build in graduate school on a part-time basis? And then of course, there is the harsh reality of school loans. As the mom of three, I have always been a firm believer that the kids need to go into their college educations with some skin in the game, and therefore, they all have some loans, and held jobs down while in school. And I have a commitment to each of them to help them at some level as they graduate. But as a parent, I would be lying if I did not admit some level of anxiety for Claire as she graduates in May of 2015 into a world of unknowns. Fortunately Bentley has a placement rate of 97%, and Claire is bright and capable, so I am confident she will land a position.

Brian almost chose law school 3 years ago, and instead opted for PGA School and life as a club & teaching golf pro, where he is gainfully employed at a wonderful course in Nashville, paying his bills and is happy in his life. And I am happy that he did not opt for law school, and that I am not the mother of a young, new law school graduate competing with thousands of other lawyers for so few jobs.

According to the ABA, in 2011-12 the number of 1L law school students across 201 law schools was 48,697. That’s a lot of graduates hitting the job search pavement.

So as Executive Director of the MCBA, I cannot help but wear my “Mom hat” sometimes in the presence of our young attorneys that are job hunting, or hanging their shingle as a solo, and worrying about them as well. On a daily basis now this group of members is on my mind. Just last week the Membership Committee approved two waivers for dues to young attorneys. And just yesterday in the Academy of Law meeting, I heard a report that request for CLE fee waivers is on the increase more now than ever before. What was alarming here is that the waivers were not only for new lawyers, but also for some experienced lawyers, that are obviously struggling.

This population of members is frequently on my mind of late. I am talking with the MCBA’s Strategic Planning Committee about the situation, and seeking their input. Last night I had a brief conversation with President Diane Cecero on this topic as well. And as a mom of a new young lawyer, she understands this issue. Her son, Stephen Whelan, is a hardworking young attorney at a firm in Washington, D.C. However, in our brief conversation Diane understood the point  I was raising, and agreed that some reflection and dialogue on this topic would be useful in order that we can better respond to MCBA can respond to our members, and future members.

Here is what we are currently doing:

  • Robust and active Solo & Small Firm Committee — whether or not you are running a solo practice, this is a great place to network and learn from others.
  • Plus 7 other substantive sections and more than 30 engaged committees — all doing great work.
  • Active Solo & Small Firm Listserv — great information shared with many learning opportunities as well. Not to mention, potential for client referrals. Contact Liz Novak at lnovak@mcba.org if you would like to be added.
  • Robust and active Young Lawyers Section — a wonderful opportunity for new lawyers to get involved. The section is hosting a new admittee welcome reception at an Amerks game on Wednesday, March 12. Click here for more details.

2013 new admitte cere

  • Use of Conference Rooms — just ask Ryan Woodworth, a young attorney that is busy growing his practice, and since his office is in his home, he is making use of his member benefit of using conference rooms in the MCBA to meet clients. Now, if this demand becomes so great, we may have to expand to conference rooms throughout the Telesca Center for Justice, but there are plenty.
  • Access to an MCBA work station — due to damage to the 10th floor from water damage through the roof, the MCBA has recently, thanks to insurance, replaced carpet on the 10th floor, resulting in the reconfiguration of some spaces. From that exercise, we are in the process of creating two member work stations, complete with phone and a computer. These are not up and running yet, but we hope to have these functional in the next 30 days. (If anyone or any firms have two healthy desk top computers they would be willing to donate to this cause, please let me know. We don’t need the software, just the hardware. Please contact me directly at mloewenguth@mcba.org, I would be most grateful.)
  • Mentor for a Moment — The Mentor for a Moment program is a members only program (you will need your username and password to log in) that list attorneys mentors with 10-plus years in specific practice areas that have volunteered to be available for a phone call or email for new or young attorneys. Please feel free to reach out to anyone on the list in a practice area relevant to you. We are still looking for mentors. Please check out the Mentor Application for the application with the various practice areas.
  • Networking & Fun at the BarSTOP — the creation of the BarSTOP was intended to create a monthly gathering place for members to come to both network and socialize. These are a great time, and the attendees are of all generations from Wende Knapp, YLS Chair, and Laura Myers and Penny Dentinger and other young attorneys, to Paul MacAulay, Bruce Lawrence, Andrew Brown, Phil Hurwitz, Eileen Buholtz, Judge Frank Geraci, Judge Paul Warren, Connie Walker, Diane Cecero, Steve Modica and Justin Vigdor — and I know I am leaving folks out…please don’t be upset with me!

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So the question is — what more should we do? What more can we do? My Strategic Planning Committee will challenge me, maybe even fuss at me, for writing this blog on this particular topic, but first and foremost we are a membership association. In my mind, that translates to supporting our members in their profession of the practice of law. In my mind, this is our primary mission. What do you think? Should we be doing more? If so, what does that mean? Can we find a way to introduce these new attorneys to contract work to at least build some experience while giving you some breathing room? If so, how do we do that? Are you willing to be part of the dialogue? Are you willing to help your young colleagues, or your peers that may be struggling with unemployment?

As Liz mentioned in last week’s blog, the Membership Committee is working on a series of surveys targeted to different groups as we understand that different groups have different needs. Please watch for these surveys, and take the time to respond. We all can work together for the bigger picture — a better bar that is responsive and indispensable to the needs of our members no matter what stage of their life they are in.

Thanks for checking in….

Mary

Guest Post by Liz Novak: What’s Your Favorite App?

What’s your favorite app?

Apps

I’m someone who is always looking for interesting new apps, whether it’s to make my life a little more efficient or something just for fun. I’m still a novice in the app world compared to many folks I know, but there seems to be an app to meet the interest of almost everyone – and almost everything — and it’s not scary in the least.

Just for fun, I decided to look up “App” on Wikipedia. Here’s the link to it if you’re interested. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/App  App apparently refers to so many things besides just a mobile app. But for our purposes, we’ll go with that.

So when I polled a few of our staff and MCBA members for their favorite apps, I received a good mix of fun and functional apps. Please note: these are in no particular order, and I am in no way an expert.

Shazam
Not only is this one of the favorite catch phrases of Gomer Pyle, but it’s also one of Laura Myers’ favorite apps. Laura, The Wolford Law Firm, is probably reading this right now wondering how I could put her and Gomer Pyle in the same sentence. Shazam, as I’m told by Laura, is an app that will identify the song name and artist of any music playing.  To use it – turn on the app and allow it to “listen” to the music playing and it will identify the song name and artist.  “This is great when you want to know who sings a song that you really like!”

Shazam APP

LinkedIn
Tried and true, this app is the favorite of our Solo and Small Firm Committee Chair Eileen Buholtz, Connors & Corcoran. To quote Eileen “I check it whenever I have a few minutes.  This is better than the once-a-week digest via email, which is overwhelming.”  To join the MCBA’s member-only Linked In group, click here.

Adobe Photoshop Express
Adobe Photoshop Express is the favorite app of CLE Program Manager Louise Spinelli. It’s Adobe Photoshop for mobile devices. With this app, you can crop, brighten exposure, apply fun effects like pops of color, add a border – and then directly add to Facebook.  You can also reduce “noise” from photos to make them crisper and it has a timer for those who like to be in the photos.

PS-express

YouTube
We call Dajaneé our resident video expert, so it’s no wonder that her favorite app is YouTube. And while who doesn’t love a good video of someone doing something totally humiliating that goes viral or some cute puppy montage, Dajaneé uses YouTube for much more educational purposes – or at least that’s what she tells me: “If I ever need a tutorial on Photoshop, how to fix an issue on my smartphone or I just want to watch a few videos to pass the time YouTube is my go to app. Anything and everything is on YouTube and that’s why I like it. It is easily one of my most used apps. “

Evernote and Notability
Both of these apps provide “note taking” capability on mobile devices, particularly useful on an iPad. You will need to decide which one you prefer. According to Jen Lunsford, Segar & Sciortino, she uses Evernote for work: “… I use it for all of my note-taking. It is especially good for organizing notes from the various board meetings I go to.”  Notability is the favorite app of Executive Director Mary Loewenguth: “It is where I take all of my meeting notes, either by keyboard, or with a stylus. It is like writing on a note pad. Ability to edit, add graphics, record, file, cut and paste, and so much more! Plus it works on both iPhone and iPad…my world.”

springpad and evernote

Springpad
Springpad is Mary’s other favorite app (she’s the boss so we gave her two…).  Springpad enables Mary “to save everything from notes to task lists to photos and recipes, book titles that I will get to at some point, names of songs I want to download, little notes I collect along the way that require a quick scan and storage”.  Based on Mary’s recommendation, I have decided to try out Springpad out – it seems like something that could prove pretty useful to me.

Trulia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Trulia is one of my favorite apps. It’s a real estate app that with a tap you can see what homes are selling for in a particular area – it gives an instant map based on your location with pinpoints of pricing. You can also plug in custom searches that you can save based on a neighborhood you want to move into.  It works well from both the perspective of a buyer and a seller.

As I mentioned earlier, there’s an app for everything, including games, news, sports and more. I personally get my news from the CNN app, while Merritt Smith, marketing specialist here at the MCBA, gets his news from the NPR app (which also happens to be his favorite app).  If you’re into Football, Curtis Johnson, an associate at Davidson Fink, recommends ESPN’s Fantasy Football app called “ESPN Fantasy Football”.

I know there are many more cool apps out there, so let us know your favorite. You can either add a comment to this blog post or post one to our Facebook page, where we’re asking for favorite apps.

Thanks for checking in…

Liz

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…

Mary