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Thank You For An Amazing 2019!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 5, 2019


By Gabe Gregg              2019 SCCBA President


Hello Silicon Valley Attorneys!

And … also … a fond goodbye given that this will be my final monthly message as the 2019 President of the SCCBA. My tenure expires shortly, and my very capable colleague and friend, Michael Lee, will be assuming the presidency starting in January.

I want to reserve the bulk of this last message to thank the many people that helped contribute to my great experience in 2019.  But before I jump into my gratitude-list, I’d like to share a handful of reflections and insights from this year.

First, lawyers are indeed awesome.  As some of you may remember, this maxim was my first presidential theme (see February President’s Message).  As an unlikely law student and lawyer (see January President’s Message), it has been a pleasure to spend my career interacting with smart, creative legal practitioners all over the world – but particularly in this special county since I moved here in 2006. My experiences this year have validated this conviction multifold. Certainly, no one can dispute that lawyers and judges (and legal processes generally) have played an important role in critical national issues this year. More locally, and especially viewed from the position of president, the lawyers and judges in Silicon Valley are among the most impressive and dedicated professionals that I have ever met.

This year, I gained particular insight into the quality of our local lawyers and judges by coordinating the consideration and selection of award winners for the SCCBA Judges’ Night which was held on November 21.  Reviewing the backgrounds and work-records of the many worthy award candidates really brought home the depth and quality of Santa Clara lawyers and judges. Congratulations again to our Judges’ Night awardees: Justice Eugene Premo (Lifetime Achievement); Mindy Morton (Diversity and Inclusion); Bernie Greenfield (Professional Lawyer of the Year); Hopkins & Carley (Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year); and Justice Mary Greenwood (Outstanding Jurist of the Year).  And another offer of thanks and congratulations to Chris Burdick who was presented with a special gift and honor by Santa Clara County Superior Court judges in appreciation of her 29-year tenure as our SCCBA CEO (see July President’s Message). 

Second, the SCCBA is a truly vital institution which uniquely benefits and bonds the lawyers and judges in this county.  I have been particularly struck this year regarding the depth of loyalty and affection that our members feel towards this bar association.  For those that need reminding, I wrote earlier this year about the many services offered by the SCCBA, along with suggestions on how you can expand your participation (see April President’s Message).  On that note, I wanted to remind you again that, as a volunteer organization, the SCCBA—of course—relies on our membership fees, our paid CLE events, and sponsorships. Please continue to consider the SCCBA as a worthy investment for your fees and your other financial support.  Our association literally cannot do any of its work without you.

Third (again, with your membership fees and other help), I am confident the SCCBA is positioned to flourish into the future.  It is fair to say that 2019 was a legacy year for our organization. In particular, with Chris’s retirement, the SCCBA leadership was charged with the task of finding our new CEO.  After a somewhat chaotic process, including a mid-year timetable adjustment, it was our great fortune to find and retain our wonderful new CEO and General Counsel, Sherry Diamond, who started in August (see August President’s Message).  I’m pleased to confirm that Sherry has hit the ground running. She is tenacious. She is charming. And she is highly-skilled. I know I speak for the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee in saying that we could not be more appreciative of her leadership.  If you haven’t met her yet, you’re missing out! I know that Sherry and her team can and will navigate the SCCBA to continue as a successful, and influential, bar association into the next decade and beyond.

So, now to the many thank yous.

I would first like to thank this year’s committed SCCBA Board of Trustees and excellent Executive Committee.  All of these volunteer members worked very hard and showed great flexibility and courtesy this year, especially in our CEO search. Special thanks to SCCBA ex-president Kate Wilson for her invaluable help in the CEO search.

Thank you to the SCCBA section and committee chairs who diligently rallied their members and assembled a packed schedule of successful CLE events (seminars and brown-bags) on important legal issues, and also arranged mixers and other social events that helped our members network and have some plain fun.

Thank you to the SCCBA staff for their hard work on behalf of our association. They are the capable and adept heart of our organization.

Thank you to the judges forumed in this county.  At a time in which the judicial branches of government are under unusual pressure, we should all acknowledge and celebrate the professional, calm, and competent administration of justice that goes on in this county day-after-day.  I would like to particularly thank Presiding Judge Debra Ryan and Assistant Presiding Judge Ted Zayner of the Santa Clara County Superior Court for their availability, support and assistance to the bar association, and to me, this year.  The close and positive historic relationship between the bench and the bar in this county is of critical importance and continues in good stead.

And thank you to all of you – the members of the SCCBA.  Again, you are vital to our mission, and we so appreciate your membership and your volunteer time and participation.  We are here for you, and thank you for being here for us.


Thank you to my beloved law firm, Rimon PC, for providing me freedom and backing in 2019, and in previous years, to spend time on SCCBA matters. Rimon is a truly ingenious and innovative law firm with a pioneering semi-virtual structure that provides genuine benefits to its lawyersemployees and clients (see February President’s Message). 

Finally, thank you to my family for their support and flexibility this year: my wife Raana, and my children Anahita and Gieve. They have been exceedingly tolerant of my time away from them on presidential tasks, and it would have been far harder to complete this year without their encouragement and sweetness.

Thank you again for providing me this unique experience. I wish all of you enjoyment and success in your legal practices, Happy Holidays, and a rewarding 2020!

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