Lawyers are a diverse group. This is reflected in part by the many different areas in which they practice. The State Bar membership includes litigators (prosecutors, public defenders, private criminal defense attorneys, plaintiff personal injury, and insurance defense lawyers, etc.), transactional practitioners, in-house counsel, estate planners, appellate champions, family law advocates, intellectual property specialists, mediators, arbitrators, court commissioners, and judges. In addition to counseling their clients and advancing their causes, lawyers are also regular people – spouses, partners, parents, friends, and members of their communities. No matter how each lawyer chooses to practice, he or she has at least one thing in common with every other lawyer. They all work incredibly hard. Hey, I don’t know about you, but I need a break.
com pfiedler axley Patrick J. Fiedler, Marquette 1980, is a litigator with Axley Brynelson LLP, in Madison.
This June is the 2014 State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Conference. (Because I’ve been a lawyer for a few years, I still call it “the Convention.”) The planning committee has put together a great program that includes something for everyone. And the location is perfect. So why should you attend? Here are four good reasons.
First, the Conference will be held at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva. The Grand Geneva has come a long way since its inception as the Playboy Club. It is now a family-friendly resort with spas, pools, fine dining, a water park for the kids, horse stables, bonfires, championship golf courses, and miles of walking trails. No need to feel guilty about leaving your family at home: you can bring them with you.
Second, we all have to get CLE credits. The Conference has various sessions on a variety of legal topics and the opportunity to earn 13 CLE credits, including up to 6 ethics credits.
Third, the Conference has terrific plenary sessions. It opens with Judge Diane Sykes (a State Bar member) and Judge David Hamilton, both on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, discussing “Methods of Appellate Judging: Textualism, Originalism, Pragmatism, or Letting a Thousand Flowers Bloom?” The Conference closes with a point/counterpoint with Karl Rove (former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush) and Robert Gibbs (longtime advisor to President Barack Obama).
Fourth, the Conference is going to be a great time. On Wednesday, Bob Gagan will be sworn in as the 59th president of the State Bar. (Bob has already thanked me for giving him such an easy act to follow.) After a reception for Bob comes the “Kick Off the Conference Party.” Thursday night is the “Lawyers in Paradise Beach Bash” featuring the music of a steel drum band. No need to retire early, because the Young Lawyers Division is then hosting an “After Party.” Friday morning begins with “Yoga on the Terrace.” After Thursday night’s activities, I may skip the yoga.
Need I say more? The Conference promises to be an event that you do not want to miss. Check it out: http://amc.wisbar.org/. See you there.