Message From The President Leslie J. Castaldi
At the end of the month, I will be exiting from my role as the BCBA President. The past year has been very exciting and fulfilling, but I am ready to move on and pass the baton to my successors.
In my speech at the Installation Dinner last July and in my first President’s message, I outlined how the Board of Directors of the Brevard County Bar Association endeavors to achieve the goals set forth in the BCBA Mission Statement. During the past year, we have continued with traditional events and experimented with new ones –all with the Mission Statement in mind. The BCBA provided its members with the opportunity to earn all of their annual CLE credits – at no cost – if they attended all of CLE events (the August Guardian Update Sidebar Luncheon, the Fall CLE in October, the Guardian Ad Litem training in January, and the “3 Ds” Sidebar Luncheon in April). The Mix and Mingle with the Judges and the Holiday Party provided venues for attorneys and judges to socialize and have fun together. Our Professionalism Dinner honored our colleagues for their exemplary character, competence, and commitment and Seminole County attorney, John Edward Jones, presented a fascinating history of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit. The High School Mock Trial again was an inspiration to us all, with Lake Mary High School winning the competition this year; every team performed brilliantly, however. At our annual Law Day luncheon, former Supreme Court Justice Major Harding was our keynote speaker and local students were recognized for the essays, posters, and videos about the Miranda decision.
For the first time, the BCBA honored our local military veterans and current members of the military at the “Military Salute Dinner”, which provided a network of organizations and resources for attorneys and their clients. The annual softball game returned; we had a great time playing ball on a real ball field (many of us limping and huffing and puffing, but having fun). Please join us for a night of baseball and Star Wars at the Space Coast Stadium in late July for our “Berm Party”.
Several judges were instrumental in the success of these events, including Judge Davidson, who created the stellar line-up for the Fall CLE, Judge Davidson and Judge McKibben, who helped organize and judge the entries for Law Day, and Judge Rainwater, whose foresight and enthusiasm were the seeds of our new Guardian Ad Litem program in family law. Thank you to Judge Roberts, Judge Earp, Judge Lemonidis, Judge Atkin, Judge Friedland, Judge Garagozlo, and Judge Koenig for volunteering for the High School Mock Trial competition as well as the many attorney and non-attorney volunteers who volunteered as scoring judges and timekeepers.
We continue to build our relationships with the Judges and with the office of the Clerk of Court. We partnered with the Clerk’s office in presenting the Guardianship Update Sidebar Luncheon and they have been submitting articles regularly to the Ex Parte.
While not BCBA-sponsored events, the BCBA played a key role in the arbitrator/mediator training that took place at Eastern Florida State College in December and assisted with the Attorney-Ad-Litem training by the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee that occurred in May.
For the past five years, I have been a member of the BCBA Board. It has been a lot of work, but also rewarding. I encourage all of you to participate in the BCBA and to give the Board input. It is about you, after all, and your needs. As a profession, we should work together to educate ourselves and the community in the law, develop our skills as attorneys, improve our reputation in the community, and reach out to one another. The BCBA provides a vehicle by which to attain those goals.
Thank you again for the privilege to have served you and thank you to my fellow Board members for their dedication and hard work this past year. Best wishes to you all.