To all WCBA members:
This will be my last “official” action as President of the Waukesha County Bar Association. Jessica Klein will take over as President going forward, and I will move to Past-President. AnnMarie Sylla has agreed to act as President-elect, and Corey Montiho steps into the role of Secretary. Please congratulate Jessica, AnnMarie and Corey when you can. The WCBA is in good hands going forward.
It would be a huge understatement to state that this past year brought unprecedented challenges. Due to Covid-19, we were forced to cancel the Holiday Party, Judge’s Update Luncheon, Support Staff Luncheon, Judge’s Night and even the Annual Meeting. All board meetings were conducted virtually, where we began to condition ourselves to remember to turn off our mute before beginning to speak (I almost have that down at this point). There was simply no way for the Association members to congregate in the same place this past year.
So, we improvised. In addition to zoom board meetings, we organized Judicial Roundtables on various subject matters of interest to the members, with the District 2 Appellate Court Judges, Waukesha County Court Judges, Court Commissioners, and other staff generously donating their time to discuss the state of the Court and how to navigate current events in our various practices during the pandemic.
We were also able to successfully, via zoom/youtube, hold the annual ethics and litigation seminars. Thus, among all of the events, we were able to offer a large number of CLE credit opportunities for our members.
We also spent time improving the WCBA website, and expect that will continue into the next year. Hopefully, membership and registration to events will be more user friendly and easier going forward, and information easier to locate.
We also sponsored a Waukesha County Courthouse staff appreciation lunch, with social distancing rules enforced, as a thank you to everything the staff did during the past year to continue to move matters forward during these unprecedented times. Further, we made a donation to the courthouse for additional printers/scanners, and an additional donation to help support the Waukesha County DA’s office with the Victim Assistance Dog Program, a/k/a Pepper the Wonder Dog, to help pay for food, medicine, grooming and vet bills/insurance.
We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to once again congregate as an Association soon, and Jessica will follow up with all of you later in the summer as to status. I, like all of you, look forward to the return of some normalcy in both our practices and everyday lives.
It was a privilege to serve as President, although it certainly wasn’t the year any of us expected. Thank you for your support. I sincerely look forward to speaking to all of you in person soon.