True confession: I am a believer in New Year's resolutions. I readily admit that not all of my resolutions stick. But the beginning of each new year provides a needed reminder to take stock of your accomplishments and blessings, reflect on any shortcomings, and chart the best path forward.
One of my blessings — and the Section's greatest resource — are the members who devote their time to developing and putting on great programs and advancing the other initiatives of the Section. Since I last wrote, and despite the holiday rush, they have
- Put on a successful one-day CLE, "Practicing Before the Second District Court of Appeal," with a judicial reception to cap off the day.
Planned and opened registration on two additional CLEs, the "2018 Advanced Appellate Practice & Certification Review" to be held in Tampa on January 29, 2018, and a four-hour webcast CLE to be held February 27, 2018, "Gideon Denied: Appealing Postconviction Motions."
Drafted and submitted a White Paper on behalf of the Section to the Constitutional Revision Commission regarding a proposal that would drastically and perhaps negatively affect judicial decision-making by requiring "all meetings" involving "official acts" of courts to be open to the public.
Secured the date and location for our 25th Anniversary Celebration and dinner: Thursday, June 14, 2018, at Deep Blu at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort, opening up with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m.
Secured a date and location for our 2018 Section Retreat — October 4 to 6, 2018, in Washington D.C. More details to come!
- And continued our other Section projects — monthly webinars, The Record Online, submissions in The Florida Bar Journal, increasing communication through our social media platforms, outreach to other committees, and so much more.
Our goals as the new year starts are to revamp our committee lists to ensure that all members who would like to be involved in the Section are engaged and welcome to do so. Thank you to those members who filled out our Committee Preference Survey. If you missed it, please visit our website and fill out the Committee Preference Form on the Committee page. In addition, we recently approved a budget for 2018-2019 that includes funds to revamp and update our website.
One final note of congratulations to JoAnn Shearer. JoAnn has served as our program administrator for a few years, and she closed 2017 in one of the best ways possible, by welcoming a new baby, Henry. We wish JoAnn and her family all the happiness a new baby can bring and thank her for her service to our Section.