BAR EVENTS NOT TO MISS, THANK YOU AND MEDIATION PARTING SHOT
MARK FINKELSTEIN, PRESIDENT, TENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT BAR
DO NOT MISS THESE ANNUAL TRANSFORMATIONAL BAR ACTIVITIES IN
THE NEXT BAR YEAR:
o o THE BRANCH PROFESSIONALISM AWARD PRESENTATION
o o MEMORIAL SESSIONS OF WAKE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
o o THE 50-YEAR LAWYER PRESENTATION LUNCH
o o THE LEGAL AID FUNDRAISER / BAR AWARDS MUSICALE
As my year as President of the Tenth Judicial District Bar
draws to a close, I was asked, ‘‘how
do we as individual lawyers keep striving to be our best?’’ As Tevye said in
Fiddler on the Roof: ‘‘Tradition!’’ In particular, the four traditions above
have moved my generation of lawyers to strive for professional excellence.
We know what the best in a lawyer is because we have shining
examples of excellence in
our bar. It is our bar’s tradition to provide opportunities to interact with
these shining role models or
‘‘mentors’’ at many events.
First among these opportunities is the Chief Justice Joseph
Branch Professionalism Award
Luncheon: the presentation of our Bar’s highest award. We present this award at
meeting. The moving remarks of the presenter and recipient will inspire you. No
one ever leaves a
Branch professionalism event without thinking, ‘‘Wow, if
they can give that much, I can give a little more.’’
The eulogies given at the Tenth Judicial District’s memorial
sessions of Superior Court,
typically and ably presided over by Resident Superior Court Judge Michael
Morgan, will also move
you. No one ever leaves a memorial session of Superior Court without giving
thanks for the lives of
the departed and striving to be a blessing to our system of justice in the
future. You will come closer
to reaching your aspirations as a lawyer and a human being if you participate.
Hearing from and about lawyers who have practiced for 50
years at the 50 year lawyer presentation lunch will put your practice in
perspective. These lawyers are not only experienced, but they communicate their wisdom with humor, so it will stick with you.
We have a professional and moral duty to make justice accessible to all. The
way we meet this duty is the annual Legal Aid Fundraiser Musicale. Go socialize
with judges as they
are roasted; enjoy the company of our bar, as lawyers --- talented and not so
talented --- perform.
These four programs have become annual highlights for our
bar because they take so little of
our time while providing so much through the shared life lessons of others.
PLEASE MAKE TWO NEW PROGRAMS TRANSFORMATIONAL TRADITIONS OF THE FUTURE: THE CONNECTIONS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM AND THE WCBA COMMUNITY FAIR
The Professionalism Committee’s Mentorship Program (a/k/a Campbell
Connections) and the
new Community Fair public service projects are worthy candidates to join the four
That will only happen if we dedicate the effort to make it so.
If you are a lawyer (from any law school) with less than
three years’ experience you can become a mentee in our Connections Mentorship Program. Connections, the
Professionalism Committee’s partnership in conjunction with Campbell Law School, provide a deeply significant opportunity for experienced lawyers to be role models for those who are the
future of the bar. The mentor-mentee relationship is beneficial for both parties. Indeed, little makes
a lawyer think more deeply about the practice of law than the eager questions of a first-year
lawyer or a third-year law student.
This year we have also partnered with Alliance Medical
Ministry to produce our first Community Fair public service event. The goal is to allow lawyers and their
families to provide legal guidance, tutoring and other services to those in need in Wake County. A great
way to avoid community alienation and misunderstanding is to spend time together making our
community better for those most in need of our help.
A PARTING THOUGHT ABOUT PEACE AND MEDIATION
Lawyers, like most others on the planet, negotiate for a living. The
central difference is that
lawyers negotiate in a more rules-bound and stressful environment than most. We
should do a better
job of taking care of ourselves and each other so that we can do a better job
of finding peace for our
My law partner, Retired Chief Justice James G. Exum, Jr.,
said this in the context of implementing our system of Superior Court Mediation: The time has clearly come
for lawyers to begin to emphasize their role as mediators, conciliators, and peace makers ---
as counselors for what is right, not merely advocates for what is legally possible. Lawyers must begin
to take advantage of alternatives to litigation for dispute resolution. . . . Lawyers need to remind
themselves that the courtroom is often not a place conducive to peace making or conflict healing,
yet peace making and conflict healing are first obligations of our profession.
He is more right than many of us know.
Finally, I want to thank Chief Judge and WCBA President
Robert Rader, Tenth Judicial District Bar/WCBA Executive Director Whitney von Haam, Shaula Sharp, Stephanie McGee,
Colleen Glatfelter (Your Tenth Judicial District/WCBA staff) and the 5,404 active lawyers of the
Tenth Judicial District for the joy of working for the benefit of our legal community. WBF