January 19, 2018 Bar Meeting Minutes
12:27 p.m. - 1:11 p.m.
1. Pledge of Allegiance
2. Guest Speaker, Lynn Garson, Esq.- Lawyer Assistance Program, Georgia Bar- Did you know that as member of the Georgia Bar, you get 6 FREE counseling sessions with a licensed counselor? Did you know that as a member of the Georgia Bar, you can get low cost, pre-paid services such as child care. Those are just some of many benefits of the Georgia Bar's Lawyer Assistance Program. The Lawyer Assistance Program is completely confidential, throughout the state, and is available to any bar member. The Lawyer Assistance program helps lawyers deal with the stresses specific to the career, including mental health issues and addiction issues. Similarly, the Georgia Bar's Peer to Peer program provides networking for lawyers going through specific life difficulties.
3. Recognition of Judges, Past Presidents, Elected Officials, Guests, and Candidates for Office.
4. GCBA Member Gerald Davidson, Esq., introduced long-time friend (and former State Bar President) Ken Shigley, Esq., who spoke to members about the Georgia Bar's SOLACE program. The SOLACE program provides support to attorneys (and their families) that are going through a life crisis (health issues, financial struggles, and natural disasters. To submit requests for support or to volunteer with the program, e-mail email@example.com.
October 19, 2017 Bar Meeting Minutes
12:20 p.m. - 1:07 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Recognition of Judges, Elected Officials, Past Presidents, and New Guests
Richard Armond, Criminal Defense Section- The next Criminal Defense Section meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Gwinnett Detention Center on Friday, November 3. Jodi Miles of Carpe Agentum Consulting will be the guest speaker. She will be speaking to members and non-members about practice management and boosting PR for your firm
Pro Bono Project- The Pro Bono Project’s First Annual Friday at the Festival was cancelled due to circumstances outside of their control. More information to come on future CLE’s.
Julie Potts, Gwinnett Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Picnic (LEAD Picnic)- This year’s LEAD picnic will be held on Saturday, October 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rhode Jordan Park. Volunteers will be needed starting at 9 a.m. We still need donations! Please make donations payable to GCBA and send to the attention of Julie Potts, Mihae Park, or Dana Pagan in the Gwinnett Solicitor’s Office at GJAC. Also, this will be Julie Potts last year organizing the LEAD picnic so we will need a new volunteer to head it up!
Judge of the Month- Honorable Angela D. Duncan, Gwinnett Magistrate Court
Introduction by Chuck Efstration
Judge Duncan was accompanied by her Father, who is also a Gwinnett attorney and her former law partner, and her wife Michele Tainter, who is the case manager the Gwinnett County Drug Treatment Court
Judge Duncan spoke to GCBA about the importance of mentors in the legal profession. Judge Duncan recognized many bar members in the room who helped her grow as an attorney and judge. Judge Duncan gave a heartfelt reminder to bar members that our job is all about the clients and the individuals in the courtroom, whether you are a Judge or an Attorney.
Speaker of the Month- Lester Tate, Former Georgia Bar President and Country Lawyer
Introduction by David Lipscomb
“Attorney Tate”, a self-described Country Lawyer, spoke to bar members about client-centered representation and remembering it is all about the client! We have a special role in society, in that we are able to help individuals get relief from the injustices they face, big and small. Attorney Tate described the courtroom as the ultimate equalizer, where individuals can get justice against those individuals and companies that are otherwise pretty untouchable in our society due to their wealth and status.
September 22, 2017 Bar Meeting Minutes
12:10 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Recognition of Judges, Elected Officials, and New Guests
Sean Goldstein, Criminal Defense Section- The Criminal Defense Section September Meeting was held on September 15, 2017, at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. The Criminal Defense Section welcomed guest speaker Angelique McClendon, who spoke to section members and non-section members about developments in driver’s license law and the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services. The next meeting will be held in the meeting room at the Gwinnett Detention Center on Friday, November 3. Jodi Miles of Carpe Agentum Consulting will be the guest speaker.
Rashanda Davis-Ball, Pro Bono Project- On September 28, 2017, the pro bono project will be hosting a CLE on settling cases. On October 20, 2017, the Pro Bono Project will be hosting its First Annual Friday at the Festival. More information to come. Also, attorney volunteers are always needed at the Pro Bono Projects monthly clinics, which are held once a month from 1 to 4 p.m.
Dana Pagan and Mihae Park, Gwinnett Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Picnic (LEAD Picnic)- This year’s LEAD picnic will be held on Saturday, October 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rhode Jordan Park. Volunteers will be needed starting at 9 a.m. We usually raise around $9,000 each year for this event, and to date, they have raised no money (side note: David Lipscomb did chip in during the announcement, making the first donation of the year!) Please make donations payable to GCBA and send to the attention of Julie Potts, Mihae Park, or Dana Pagan in the Gwinnett Solicitor’s Office at GJAC.
Jorgia Northrup- Empire Mock Trial Program is this weekend, and we still need evaluators for this nationally acclaimed program.
Judge of the Month- Honorable Patricia Muise, Gwinnett Recorder’s Court
Introduction by Margaret Washburn- Judge Muise is the oldest of 6 sisters and was born and raised in Rhode Island. She graduated from Brown with a B.S. in Biology at the age of 20. Her first job was a telephone operator. She then went on to engineer submarines! Judge Muise moved to the Atlanta area in 1987 with her family and entered law school soon thereafter while raising her children. She started her legal career doing real estate closing, and then became an Employment Law Trial Attorney. Judge Muise was twice elected to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissions. She was appointed to the bench in Gwinnett Recorder’s Court in 2002. Her time serving the County as a Commissioner gives her much professional expertise over the cases she currently presides. She has been married for 32 years and has 7 grandchildren. She has dedicated over 25 years to the Gwinnett community as a public servant.
Introduction to Recorder’s Court: The Express Lane Alternative to State Court- Judge Muise taught GCBA members the “do’s and dont’s” in Gwinnett Recorder’s Court, and also gave us a great overview of the processes in Gwinnett Recorder’s Court. One insider tip: Sit at an attorney table when the calendar is called so you get in and out quickly… Judge Muise takes cases with attorneys first!
Speakers of the Month- Terance Mathis, Former Atlanta Falcon, and Karen Duffy, Director of Cure for ALS
GCBA watched a heart wrenching video on living with ALS. We learned that research and advancement of a cure for ALS is taking place at the Emory ALS Clinic, with the efforts of Dr. Glass and his staff; however, there is still NO CURE for ALS
The Emory ALS Clinic is small and widespread across the Emory campus and the building cannot accommodate everyone who needs to be treated
To Donate to the Emory ALS Clinic, go to als.emory.edu and click the donate button! Your donations will fund the Emory ALS Clinic expansion, research, and advancement in finding a cure for ALS
August 18, 2017 Bar Meeting Minutes
Guests: The following guests and new members were present at the luncheon. Please make sure to welcome them as you see them in the future.
• Preston Fleming is a student at John Marshall Law School due to graduate in December. firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Debbie Peters is a mediator and just joined the GCBA. She can be reached at (770) 368-2076 or email@example.com.
• Tad Ransopher is a new member of the GCBA, and is the head of the master of tax program at Georgia State. He can be reached at (770) 475-4444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Dan Mayfield brought his daughter Laura Mayfield, a new member of the GCBA. Laura can be reached at (770) 271-5244 or email@example.com
Constancia Carter – Criminal Law Section Announcement
The criminal law section’s next meeting will be September 15, 2017 at GJAC in Conference Room B. Angelique McLendon of the Georgia Department of Driver Services will be speaking on the new statutes and rules, and specifically the rules concerning interlock devices. The fee for the luncheon is $5 for Members and $15 for Non-Members. Contact Constancia for more information: Constancia@cuadrapatel.com
Rachel Lazarus – Pro Bono Project Announcements
1. Pro Bono CLE: these CLEs, held the second Wednesday of each month, are free for people who take pro bono cases or volunteer for the Pro Bono Clinics. The next CLE, Networking for People Who Hate Networking, will be September 13, 2017 from 11:30 to 1pm at GJAC.
2. Upcoming 6 hour CLE: Don’t Just Settle! Settle the Right Way. This CLE is focused on Family Law Settlement Agreements, and will be held on September 28, 2017 in the Auditorium at GJAC. The CLE is Sponsored by the Gwinnett Pro Bono Project and the GCBA.
3. Friday at the Festival will be held October 20, 2017 at the Duluth Festival Center. This is a fundraiser to benefit Gwinnett Legal Aid. We are still looking for performers, sponsors, and attendees.
For more information on any of these events, please contact Rachel Lazarus at RMLazarus@atlantalegalaid.org for more information.
No Other Section Announcements were made.
Carlton Rouse, President for the 2017-2018 Bar year, made opening remarks regarding the upcoming bar year. He introduced our mission statement for the upcoming year: Me2We. The following is Carlton’s opening remarks:
Our bar theme this year, i.e., “ME 2 WE” embraces the ideal that what is in our best interest often times is in the best interest of the greater community. It goes without saying; we all want a working society, a strong local community, and higher esteem for our profession. The question is, what can we do to get there. In my humble opinion, I do not believe there is not just one solution to this question. That said, the appropriate answer for each of us will be different and unique. So as we meditate and think about “Me 2 We” over the course of this upcoming year, I hope it causes us to explore how we can apply our passion to areas where we can help others.
For our part, the Bar will strive to offer you speakers who will entertain and inform you with respect to professional matters, work life balance, and important social issues. We also hope to have events that will help build camaraderie with your peers and lasting memories.
Judge of the Month
Donald Lee, Vice President for the 2017-2018 Bar Year, introduced our Judge of the Month, Judge Robert Waller. Donald Lee is the Guardian Ad Litem assigned to Judge Waller’s courtroom, and just swept Judge Waller’s fantasy baseball team.
Judge Waller was born in Albany, Georgia and graduated from Albany High School. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Atlanta Law School. Judge Waller was a history teacher at Morrow High School in Clayton County, Georgia for four years, prior to becoming an attorney. Judge Waller served as a Juvenile Court Judge from 1988 to 1991. He was a practicing attorney and part time Magistrate Judge from 1991 to 2009, and then became a Juvenile Court Judge again in 2009 to present.
Judge Waller is a past president and founding board member of the Gwinnett children Shelter, a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett, a former member of the board at the Tull YMCA, among other civic organizations and duties, including the South Gwinnett Rotary Club, and is a presenter at ICLE and ICJE courses.
Judge Waller’s Remarks
Judge Waller stated he has been working with delinquent kids since 1979. At that time, there were a plethora of programs to help these children. Over the years, there have been countless studies performed to determine what will best help those children, but the funding for those programs has greatly reduced. The needs of the delinquent youth are still there, but the funding from federal and state arenas has reduced and is not growing. There are ways to get around this, and one of the ways is through the program that our speaker this month James Rayford does.
You can get involved and help. In Judge Waller’s opinion, programs that help the most are those where people make connections with children and their families. Being a role model makes the most impact. The single most important thing you can give a child is your time.
Donald Lee introduced our speaker, James Rayford. Mr. Lee stated that he couldn’t think of a better first speaker in light of the bar officers’ mission for this year – from Me 2 We.
As an educator of twenty – eight years, James Rayford earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Rust College in holly Springs, Mississippi and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University.
Currently Mr. Rayford serves as Director of Academic Support for Gwinnett County Public School’s Community – Based Mentoring Program where their primary mission is to provide mentors for identified male students. He has seen the program grow from 57 students and 33 mentors in its pilot year, to having served 500 students and 231 mentors during the 2016 – 2017 school year.
He has been married to his wife Dawn, for 26 years, and they have four children.
James Rayford Remarks
Mr. Rayford started his remarks by showing a short video showcasing the mentoring program. The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/OXjyfW8r1Ts
This year, 97% of the students that participated in the mentoring program were grade promoted at the end of the school year. This is a remarkable statistic in light of the fact that the students selected to participate in the program are those that have been identified as likely not to be grade promoted or to graduate from high school. 90% of the seniors in the mentoring program graduated high school.
Mr. Rayford’s goals are to recruit and train mentors, to encourage students, to support their parents, and to seek additional resources to sustain the mentoring program. There is an annual golf tournament to support the Mentoring Program. This year, the golf tournament will be held at Bear’s Best on Monday, October 9, 2017. Please contact Carlton Rouse if you would like to participate on a GCBA team (firstname.lastname@example.org). All contributions to the Mentoring Program go to the program. There are no administrative costs covered by the fundraising efforts. If you don’t play golf, there will be a silent auction from 9:30 to 11:30 as well.
Gordon Johnson, Esq. is a group mentor for the program and he participated in a question and answer session with Mr. Rayford about his participation in the program. He has a group of about 6 students. He teaches them basic social skills – like how to speak to an adult, how to look people in the eye when talking and shaking hands, etc. Mr. Johnson stated that while you think that participation in the program would be a sacrifice of your personal time and energy, but participation is not a sacrifice. Your community and these children need you, and that his participation is rewarding.
If you would like to participate as a mentor for the boys program; training sessions are in September, October, November, and December. Matching is in January. There is a minimum one year commitment. Janice Warren is starting a girls mentoring program. For more information on participating as a mentor, contact Kathy Burnette at (770) 682-8086 or Kathy_D_Burnette@gwinnett.k122.ga.us.