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    Inside the Bar: Get a Great Rate of Return

    The 2008 State Bar Annual Convention gives you a great rate of return on your investment of time.

    George Brown

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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 81, No. 4, April 2008

    Inside the Bar

    Get a Great Rate of Return

    Where other than the 2008 State Bar Annual Convention can you earn a similar rate of return on an investment of your time?

    by George C. Brown,
    State Bar executive director

    George Brown How often will you have an opportunity to get an inside look at the operations of the U.S. Supreme Court? Where can you get objective and timely information about new technologies affecting law office management? When will you find time to hear a variety of perspectives on the revised Rules of Professional Conduct?

    The answers to all of these questions - and many more - can be found in the State Bar's Annual Convention booklet recently mailed to you. Bar members and staff work tirelessly to pack as much value as possible into three days, offering opportunities to hone existing skills and to develop new ones. The result is a convention that offers multiple perspectives on trends reshaping the legal profession, practical insights and tips you can apply to your practice, and presentations by state and national authorities on a variety of timely topics. Here are just a few of the highlights:

    Sean Carter on Legal Ethics: Attorney and humorist Sean Carter will inform and entertain you during his hilarious luncheon presentation "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Disciplinary Hearing." After nearly a decade practicing law, Carter launched a second career as the country's foremost (and perhaps only) Humorist at Law. Only 200 tickets are available to this event, so sign up today.

    Appealing Appellants: How can you avoid driving appellate judges crazy, help the judges keep track of the issues in your case, and effectively get your message across? The answers to these and other tips about managing the appellate process to increase your potential for success will be presented at the Appellate Practice Section program on Wednesday beginning at 1 p.m.

    The Nine: You will know more about the U.S. Supreme Court justices after hearing from Jeffrey Toobin about his experiences writing The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Anyone with an interest in the Court will find new insights to ponder and may want to pay close attention for clues about which justices opened up to Toobin for the book (and which did not). Toobin has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1993 and is the senior legal analyst for CNN. See him live at the Thursday Morning Spotlight Program, from 8:30 - 10:10 a.m. (book signing at 10:15).

    Child Support Symposium: Finding ways to set fixed child support to avoid future litigation, to resolve difficult cases, and to provide predictability to the parties can challenge even seasoned attorneys. This symposium looks at appellate decisions upholding the public policy that the child's best interest mandates modifiability. This and related issues will be addressed from 1 - 4:35 p.m. on Thursday.

    Threats to Fair and Impartial Courts: Two years ago, South Dakota voters were asked to enact an initiative measure called "J.A.I.L. for judges" which would have stripped judicial immunity in the state. Tom Barnett, South Dakota State Bar executive director, helped lead a successful campaign to defeat this measure by a vast majority of the votes. Barnett will speak about the J.A.I.L. (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law) effort. Other participants will discuss legislative proposals that threaten judicial independence and judicial campaign reform and the effect of elections on the judiciary during this Friday Morning Spotlight Program, from 8:30 - 10:10 a.m. Following the speakers, State Bar president Tom Basting will moderate a panel discussion with several members of the Wisconsin Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee.

    Retirement: After taking in all of these activities - and many others - your thoughts may turn to the golden days of retirement that lie ahead. A Thursday afternoon program, from 1 - 4:35 p.m., will offer some practical insights into planning for retirement, how to know when to retire, and how to go about taking down the shingle. The program also will feature presentations on the role of attorneys when facing a pro se opponent and the conduct of attorneys under the Rules of Professional Conduct.

    The point is that our 2008 Annual Convention is full of opportunities. Join us May 7 - 9 in Madison to hear from prominent speakers in the legal profession; learn about current events in specific areas of the law or types of practice; network and develop contacts with whom to meet and share ideas in an informal setting; honor your colleagues who have excelled in their contributions to the legal community; enhance your professional skills; and participate in timely and informative discussions about the legal profession.




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