A Brave New World
Friday, April 17, 2020
A Brave New World
It has been approximately 6 weeks since the changes to the legal community commenced as a result of the pandemic. Since that time, we have experienced numerous changes to the manner in which we conduct our legal services. The GBBA will continue to provide notice of changes to the legal environment by posts on the GBBA website, general email blasts to our membership and specific emails from Committee Chairs to committee members. Now, more than ever, the importance and value of membership in the GBBA is vital to our profession.
As you all may be aware, previously, the Board voted to postpone the Annual Dinner to a later date. Although the Annual Dinner provides to our members an opportunity to socialize and enjoy an evening with each other, there is also a business purpose to the Annual Dinner. Pursuant to our corporate By-laws we are required to elect officers and fill board vacancies at our annual meeting. The Board is currently working on an Amendment to the By-laws to permit voting by electronic ballot submission from the qualified membership (either by email or fax ballot) in order to effectuate the obligation of an Annual Meeting. Accordingly, in anticipation of a May meeting, members in good standing will be asked to complete an electronic ballot and return the same via either email or fax.
Unfortunately, there will be no formal Law Day Program this year which typically is presented annually by the GBBA on May 1. This year’s theme is the 100th year anniversary of the Woman’s Suffrage with the ratification of 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920. I would ask our membership to individually acknowledge Law Day and reflect upon what being a member of the bar means to you and your respective community.
In addition, the annual Golf Outing scheduled for June 22 has been postponed to a later date. The tentative rescheduled date is August 24, 2020.
As I speak with fellow GBBA members and continue to discuss this matter among the members of the Board of Directors and my fellow officers, it is abundantly clear that this unfortunate and unanticipated crisis has affected all of us not only in our professional lives but also in our personal lives. I want to take this opportunity to make each and everyone of our members aware, that we are all in this together and the GBBA, its Board of Directors and Officers are here for you and each other. Together and united, we will persevere and overcome this challenge.
It is important to realize that we are all adapting to and dealing with a variety of restrictions and limitations within our respective practice areas. It is incumbent upon us to work together as members of the GBBA to maintain and preserve the integrity of our Bar in light of the brave new world in which we now practice.
Currently, we are still seeking a new Executive Director as the position has been vacant since mid-march. I would like to thank members of the Board and my Officers for their hard work and extra efforts in managing the GBBA under the current unique conditions and lack of an executive director. Should anyone know of a qualified candidate, please pass along to us.
A friendly reminder regarding annual dues. If you have not done so already, you can pay your annual dues through the website’s payment portal. (https://www.bridgeportbar.org). At this point, the website only allows for a general membership payment. If you are a Sustaining Member or another category, you may want to consider sending in a check.
Although the GBBA office is not physically open, our staff is working remotely to manage our affairs. Should anyone have questions or concerns, please feel free to send an email to the office. The email address is GBBA@Bridgeportbar.org. We will continue to do our best to provide service to our membership.
If there is anyone who needs special or immediate attention, please feel free to reach out to me, Frank Bailey, President-Elect and/or Sheryl Shaughnessey or Steve Levy, the co-chairs of the Concern for the Profession Committee.
I sincerely appreciate all the efforts of our members in working through these unprecedented times. I wish you, your families, friends and colleagues the best of health.
Matthew C. Reale, President
Greater Bridgeport Bar Association