This message will appear in the 500th edition of the Santa Barbara Lawyer (f/k/a Quibbler) magazine. Look through this magazine, read its articles, check out the ads, announcements and its overall quality, then stop to reflect: our bar association has about 600 members, yet we consistently put out a great monthly magazine with well-written original articles. The writing and most of the editing is done by volunteers, each of whom has the pressures of a day job. It’s extraordinary how good this magazine is.

One of the heroes in all this is our long-time magazine design and lay-out professional, Kathleen Baushke. She has been doing all the layout and design work for us for more than 20 years. That means she’s worked with that many new editors, none of whom had much magazine experience when they got started. She’s worked with different rules and deadlines and boards and direction, but has always provided us with great service. Thank you Kathleen!

The first quarter of every year, the SBCBA frets over the pace of membership renewals and first quarter revenue. This year our wily Executive Director called those among us who hadn’t renewed their memberships and made a simple threat – pay up or we’re cutting off your subscription to the SBL. Boom. The money flooded in, and membership revenue is right where we want it.

The SBL is a reflection of the SBCBA’s , commitment to remaining interesting, useful and relevant. The SBCBA is 100 years old. Many of us recall the days before the Barristers, the Inns of Court, the SBWL and other groupings of attorneys, when the SBCBA was the primary social vehicle for lawyers as a group and the principal source of CLE. These days, there’s lots of competition for the social role and the continuing legal education role. For those reasons, we are constantly re-examining the role of the SBCBA.

The April Board meeting offers a great example of the kinds of issues and ideas we consider. Some of the highlights of the meeting included a discussion of first quarter revenues, noting we were up in net profits again. This raised the issue of how best to use and preserve the money for the benefit of our members. We had a report on the health of the SBL, noting that advertising is going up. We had a report on MCLE, noting that our section heads are doing good work and that many good programs are in the offing. We’re getting ready for many of our annual events, the Barbeque, the Golf & Tennis Tournament, the Justices Reception and the Annual Dinner. All of these take planning and all are well in hand. We got a report on the Bench & Bar Conference for next year. We hope to feature a debate on the NSA and privacy rights. Wow! We got a report from the Bench and Bar Relations Committee on court funding, including SBCBA efforts in Sacramento to assist in restoring funding. We’ll be reaching out to the membership soon to learn what issues we should discuss with the Court on things that might be improved. We learned that the Legislative Liaison committee had contacted our state senator, assemblyman, and supervisors to establish lines of communication. We got an update on our soon to go live Members Benefits program. Finally, although not inked as this message is written, we hope to co-sponsor a talk by famed constitutional law scholar, Lawrence Tribe.

Take a moment to reflect on what an incredible place this is to practice law, what the SBCBA does and can do for all practitioners, and on the great little magazine you have in your hands. Enjoy No. 500!

First published in the May 2014 edition of Santa Barbara Lawyers Magazine

 

- Scott B. Campbell
  Rogers Sheffield & Campbell, LLP
  2014 SBCBA President

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