Dear Section Members, in selecting me to serve as Chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar, you have given me the ultimate honor, and I am so grateful. Thanks to the hard work of Immediate Past Chair, Kristin Norse, and countless others who have led our Section, we are doing amazing work and our future as a Section is bright.
Having had the great fortune of becoming involved in the Section from the earliest days of my career, I have had the benefit of developing my practice in the company of greatness in talent, skill, and professionalism. It has always been clear to me, as I’m sure it is to all of you, that our professionalism truly defines us.
When I meet my colleagues from the Section at our meetings, we work together to improve the practice of law, to preserve its heritage of dignity and respect, and to uphold our duty to our communities by promoting meaningful access to justice for all. The Section has taught me this is what professionalism means.
When I meet my colleagues from the Section in the courtroom, we advocate for our respective clients with words that are passionate, but never disrespectful. We study the law, and we are honest about what it says. We fight a hard fight, but when we walk out of the courtroom, we shake hands, have lunch, and ask about each other’s family. The Section has taught me this is what professionalism means.
Anytime I meet my colleagues from the Section, I am better for it. Whether they are teaching programs that enhance the profession through our Section’s robust CLE Committee, expanding access to legal services through our Section’s Pro Bono Committee and Self-Represented Litigant Committee, promoting inclusion through our Section’s Outreach Committee, or contributing thoughtful analyses of matters impacting our profession through our Section’s Publications Committee. These are just a few examples of our Section’s great work.
If you’re new to the Section or are interested in joining, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I have so much to tell you about the benefits of membership and the incredible community you’ll find here of lawyers who will welcome you, inspire you, and learn from you, too. And, if you haven’t been to our events, I invite you to come, get involved, and help us shape our future.
Speaking of our future, the year ahead promises to be one for the books as we venture outside Florida for the first time to hold our Fall Meeting and Retreat in Washington, D.C., October 4-6, 2018. The events will begin with an evening reception at the Supreme Court and will include a thought-provoking CLE program featuring a panel on Supreme Court practice, a discussion about the role of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and how appellate lawyers can serve those who have served our country, a special presentation at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and much more. We will dine at one of D.C.’s finest restaurants, and we will complete our program by engaging our group in a facilitated planning session to develop an informed action plan to reach our goals as a Section.
Registration and sponsorship information for the D.C. Fall Meeting and Retreat will go live this week, and spots will fill up fast! Don’t miss your chance to join us for this memorable occasion. Here’s to a year of great work, great places, and great times with the most wonderful community of lawyers I could ever ask for.
Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Chair
Appellate Practice Section