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2017: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

Posted By Kate Wilson, Tuesday, February 21, 2017

By Kate Wilson

Attorney at law

2017 SCCBA President

HAPPY NEW YEAR and thank you for your continuing support of the Santa Clara County Bar Association!!  2016 was an outstanding year for the SCCBA due, in significant part, to the leadership and hard work of our 2016 President, Matt Poppe, the Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees and, of course, the unwavering support and guidance of our CEO, Chris Burdick, and the association’s staff.  Many thanks to all of our 2016 SCCBA volunteers, leaders and staff for a job well done.

I am honored and excited to serve as your 2017 Santa Clara County Bar Association President while we celebrate our 100 year anniversary and we continue to pursue our mission of serving our members, improving the administration of justice and serving the public.  Having practiced almost my entire legal career in Santa Clara County, I am continually impressed by and appreciative of our unparalleled legal community and bench.  Throughout its 100 years, the SCCBA has worked tirelessly to promote and inspire a vibrant, diverse and highly professional community as well as to foster a strong working relationship with our local bench.  I look forward to continuing these rich traditions in 2017.

2017 will be an exciting year for the SCCBA focused on: (i) implementing the new strategic plan that has been carefully developed by the Board over the last few years to ensure that our association continues to thrive and serve our members and community for many years to come; and (ii) celebrating our centennial anniversary by recognizing our vast accomplishments and providing opportunities for our membership to come together and share their experiences while building new relationships.  We will also continue our longstanding commitment to outstanding professionalism in the practice of law in our county and to expanding that professionalism amongst new members and neighboring jurisdictions. Finally, I hope that each of us can work together to use the celebration of our centennial as an outreach opportunity to increase our membership and to solidify our ties to current members by raising awareness of the many benefits and opportunities the SCCBA now offers.

Each year, the SCCBA traditionally gives its President the opportunity to choose a President’s project or theme during his or her year in office.  In considering my options for this year’s theme, it seemed only fitting that it must be “honoring the past, inspiring the future,” the theme of our year-long centennial celebration.  As I reflected back on my own experiences as an attorney and within the SCCBA in preparation for 2017, I could not help but recall comments I made many years ago at a SCCBA Barrister of the Year celebration.  At that time, I noted that a few key elements or themes are instrumental in attorney development (for both newly minted attorneys and experienced attorneys alike) and our legal community.  Those key elements or themes include: (i)Santa Clara County is a unique legal community that we must continue to foster; (ii) it takes a village to raise an attorney; and (iii) community involvement is essential.  It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same as I believe these themes remain consistent and critical as we honor our past and inspire our future.

The SCCBA will host its Centennial Kickoff and Installation Celebration on January 18, 2017 at the new Family Justice Center Courthouse in downtown San Jose from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  The celebration will include: the swearing in of the 2017 SCCBA Officers and Trustees by 2017 Presiding Judge Patricia Lucas who will also provide some brief remarks; several speakers to regale us with past stories of where we've been and what we've accomplished, including James McManis (trial lawyer & 47 year SCCBA member) and the Hon. Julie Emede (2005 SCCBA President); and newly designed SCCBA storyboards highlighting the past decades of our legal community.  I encourage all members to join me, Judge Lucas, and members of our bench and legal community as we kickoff our centennial celebration and congratulate our 2017 leaders.  This special event is made possible by our Centennial Gold Partners, who are also the sponsors of the Kickoff Celebration: Fenwick & West LLP, Greenfield, Hoge Fenton, and Pillsbury.  Thank you to all of our Centennial Sponsors for your generous support of the SCCBA and our milestone anniversary. 

2017 promises to be a commemorative year for the SCCBA.  I look forward to sharing it with each of you.  I hope to see you at the Centennial Kickoff and Installation Celebration on January 18th and at events throughout the year.  

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