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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    May 01, 2011

    Inside the Bar: A Rose by Any Other Name

    What used to be called the State Bar Annual Convention is now called the Annual Meeting, with its familiar events – such as the Presidential Swearing-in and Member Recognition ceremonies – to be held in conjunction with the June PINNACLETM Institute. And a rose is a rose is a rose …

    George C. Brown

    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 84, No. 5, May 2011


    George Brown

    Recently I have been asked, “So, why has the Bar canceled the annual convention?”

    Actually, we haven’t. It’s just that the name has changed. The gathering that until recently was called the “State Bar Convention” is now called the “Annual Meeting.” And this year’s annual meeting is being held in conjunction with the State Bar PINNACLETM Real Estate and Business Law Institute in June.

    The focus of the event and the name change are in response to what you have been telling us. Most lawyers have attended convention in the past for the continuing legal education seminars. Relatively few members have attended just for the programming and events that are part of the annual meeting. Some have; certainly people in leadership positions or otherwise active in the Bar have attended for those reasons. But most of you have told us personally or have communicated by your attendance that the CLE seminars were more important to you than the annual meeting events. You also have told us you would prefer more focused, in-depth seminars rather than the smorgasbord traditionally offered at the annual convention.

    Hence, the change.

    The Real Estate and Business Law Institute will be held June 9-10 (a Thursday and Friday) at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells in conjunction with the annual meeting. The planning committee wanted to hold the institute (with its in-depth seminars) in an affordable, family-friendly environment so that lawyers can learn while their families enjoy themselves. The Kalahari, with its water parks and the nearby Dells attractions, fits the bill.

    The institute will offer challenging programs on a variety of real estate and business law issues designed to provide you with the in-depth knowledge and information you seek. For example, attorney Joseph Tierney III of Meissner Tierney will present a two-part seminar, Tax Aspects of LLC Formation: Capital Accounts, focusing on the pitfalls and challenges of drafting operating and partnership agreement provisions governing the establishment, administration, and liquidation of capital accounts. Other seminars will explore governmental programs to supply or facilitate capital development, financial implications of due diligence activities, and the Star Direct decision and its implications for drafting noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements.

    With the recent uptick in the commercial real estate market, you will want to understand whether “smart buildings” require changes in lease terms, how to adapt real estate documents to “green” technology, and the ins and outs of HUD and FHA financing.

    Publicly traded companies are not the only ones subject to state and federal securities laws, as you will learn when attending the program on closely held businesses. The proliferation of technology use in the workplace raises concerns about privacy and what an employer can monitor. And what you need to do regarding a business “divorce” and succession planning, whether the employees are relatives or not, will be explored.

    Friday’s highlights include presentations by key leaders from Gov. Walker’s administration, including Mark Gottlieb, head of the Department of Transportation; Cathy Stepp, head of the Department of Natural Resources; and Kimberly Shaul, deputy secretary of the Department of Revenue.

    All attendees are invited to the Wednesday evening swearing-in of President Jim Brennan, Milwaukee, followed by the reception. On Thursday evening, mingle with your colleagues at the general reception and later that evening help honor members receiving special recognition for their work on behalf of the Bar and the public at the Member Recognition and Networking Celebration.

    Kind of sounds like the old convention – different name, but better.


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