President's Column

President's Column

Article by Featured Author


Congratulations to our election winners. On June 1, Meade Mitchell will become our new Secretary-Treasurer, putting him in line to serve as president in 2016–2017. Will Manuel and Meta Copeland will begin 2-year terms as Directors in posts 3 and 4 respectively. CABA thanks all the candidates who made out the excellent slate. Their willingness to stand for election and all their service to CABA is much appreciated.

Dean Jim Rosenblatt drew near-capacity crowd as the speaker at our February membership meeting, at which he updated us on developments at MC Law School. We are grateful to the Dean for filling the house, for his lively and informative presentation, and for all he has done for CABA, for the bar in general, and for our state during his tenure.

Letters have gone out inviting annual sponsorship support for CABA’s main spring events — the Golf Tournament and the Evening Honoring the Judiciary. These are worthy causes. The Golf Tournament provides fun and fellowship for CABA members and guests and, more importantly, raises money for the good cause of the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project (MVLP). Entry fees ($150) are priced to cover the cost of the tournament and, assuming a good turnout, to leave a surplus for the benefit of MVLP. Some sponsorship options include entry fees, but the contribution portion goes to MVLP.

The Evening Honoring the Judiciary is a way for CABA to recognize and thank state and federal judges serving in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties for their hard work and public service. Sponsorships make it possible for judges and their guests to dine as guests of CABA. Annual Platinum, Gold or Silver level sponsorships provide important early support for both these events. CABA has already received commitments from Brunini, Butler Snow, Wise Carter, Baker Donelson and Watkins & Eager to be Platinum sponsors, and from Bradley Arant to be a Gold sponsor. Their prompt and generous support for these causes is greatly appreciated.

The Golf Tournament is scheduled for Monday, April 28, at the Jackson Country Club. This year’s date is later in the season than last year. Tax day will be out of the way, and hopefully the weather will be fine. Golfers, please put the date on your calendars, and plan to play and bring guests.

Brad Moody at Baker Donelson has graciously agreed to chair the Golf Tournament this year. In a few weeks, firms who have not signed on as annual sponsors will begin hearing from Brad and his committee about tournament-specific sponsorship options. Please remember that these sponsorships are for the benefit of MVLP. Last year’s tournament raised $8500 for MVLP (kudos to Mary Margaret and Kevin Gay for chairing that effort). Please help us do the same or better this year by encouraging your firm to be a Hole Sponsor ($150), or better yet a Birdie Sponsor ($625, which includes entry for one golfer).

Have you ever written a personal check to MVLP as a charitable gift? Here’s your chance. As an additional fundraising option, CABA will recognize individual donors who make charitable gifts directly to MVLP in recognition of the tournament as Honorary Sponsors of the Golf Tournament.

Make your personal check out to MVLP at one of the following levels: $150 — Honorary Hole Sponsor; $300 — Honorary Double Hole Sponsor; $625 — Honorary Birdie Sponsor; $1000 — Honorary Eagle Sponsor. Note the CABA Golf Tournament on the memo line.

Mail the check directly to:
MVLP (P.O. Box 1503, Jackson, MS 39215–1503), or to CABA (P.O. Box 14065, Jackson, MS 39236) for delivery to MVLP.

MVLP will acknowledge the gift with a tax receipt, and CABA will recognize the donors as honorary sponsors of the tournament.

On other fronts, Ben Piazza continues to do yeoman’s work as chair of the CABA library committee. The library committee handles the important statutory job of monitoring the county library law fund and making recommendation to the board of supervisors about how to use the fund in keeping with statutory purposes (see Miss. Code Ann. § 19–7-31). Several contracts for the use of the library funds were up for renewal this year. Ben prepared detailed recommendations and draft contracts and presented them to the CABA board in early January and later to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors approved all the recommendations after only a minor change or two to some contractual wording. Thanks to Ben and his committee for their hard work carrying out this important statutory responsibility on behalf of the association.

Ms. Davis-Garner [our April Speaker] will speak about career management issues, including those addressed by her recent book, “Choose to Stay or Choose to Go”.

We’ll be trying something new for our next membership meeting: a new day of the week and a Madison County location. The meeting will be on Wednesday, April 16, and for the first time, in Ridgeland, at the Butler Snow Conference Room, 1020 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 1400. Our speaker will be Sherri Davis-Garner, owner of Styling Your Life, an executive and leadership coaching company. Ms. Davis-Garner will speak about career management issues, including those addressed by her recent book, Choose to Stay or Choose to Go. Her presentation will provide an hour of CLE credit. See our website for more details.

The departure from our traditional practice of meeting on Tuesdays is just a one-time change to avoid tax day. The new location, on the other hand, is the result of several years of thought and discussion about ways to make meetings more convenient to the increasing percentage of CABA’s membership that is now based outside of downtown Jackson. The search for a suitable alternative location has been daunting. Repeated efforts to find a hotel or restaurant with the capacity and flexibility to handle our meetings at reasonable cost have met with frustration.

We are grateful to Butler Snow for stepping in to solve the problem by making their large conference room available for this special meeting. Rest assured CABA has no intention of abandoning downtown Jackson, or our old friend the Capital Club, which has served us so well for so long, for most meetings. But we will continue to welcome opportunities to take an occasional meeting to other parts of the capital area, for the convenience of the membership.

To allow an hour for the CLE program, the April meeting will begin with lunch at 11:30. The program will begin at noon and conclude by 1:00. The cost is $15 for members (CLE included) and $25 for non-members. Lunch will be catered by Mama Hamil’s — so make an extra trip or two the gym in advance and bring an appetite.

Finally, it is a great pleasure to announce that Chief Justice Bill Waller has agreed to be the speaker at the Evening Honoring the Judiciary, which will be held Tuesday, May 6, at the Jackson Country Club. We look forward to having him.