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  • InsideTrack
  • November 05, 2014

    Off the Sideline and Into the Arena: Nomination Committee Invites Input for President-elect, Treasurer, and Judicial Council Positions

    Are you a leader? The State Bar’s Nominating Committee is looking for candidates for President-elect, Treasurer, and Judicial Council positions no later than Nov. 14, 2014.

    D. Michael GuerinNov. 5, 2014 – President Bob Gagan has appointed a committee to seek qualified candidates for the elected positions of State Bar of Wisconsin President-elect and Treasurer, and service on the Judicial Council. The Board of Governors approved the committee consisting of D. Michael Guerin as chair, Daniel Blinka, Christy Brown, Byron Conway, and the Hon. Richard Sankovitz.

    The committee will have the opportunity to meet and discuss potential candidates. I address State Bar members for assistance in making sure that we meet the responsibilities given to us by the Supreme Court Rules.

    Service to the Bar is a service to our profession. The duties of the offices for which the Committee seeks candidates are not onerous. There are relatively few Board of Governors’ meetings per year and the professional staff of the State Bar does everything possible to assist the elected officers and governors, including preparing full reports on any agenda items that are going to be addressed at the next meeting among other work.

    I have frequently heard that the Bar leadership is a “good old boys” club. It is my experience that Bar leaders are individuals who recognize that their obligation to serve extends beyond their own self-interest. In doing so, they all ran the risk of losing the election.

    I am aware of the discomfort (indeed, the pain) of losing an election. However, we are lawyers, and we should recall Teddy Roosevelt’s comments on those who would sit on the sideline:


    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer or deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

    I believe many of you might be interested in serving but are reluctant to nominate yourself. Be assured that the nomination process itself is not a public record, and the source of the nominations are not relevant to the process. Alternatively, many of your friends and colleagues would be excellent candidates to serve in these offices, and you could consider nominating them.

    Even if your nominee has not fully embraced the idea, let us know who they are. Sometimes it takes encouragement. That encouragement is our responsibility. To paraphrase Don Corleone, we will make him or her an offer he or she can’t refuse. Please forward any comments to me at or (414) 271-1440 as soon as possible, but no later than Nov. 14. Or, if you prefer, please contact any member of the committee.

    The committee will consider everyone who self-nominates or nominates some other person. Note, however, that in accord with the tradition of rotating among different geographical areas, the President-elect position this term will come from the Milwaukee area.

    Yours truly,

    D. Michael Guerin
    Chair, Nomination Committee

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