It is September already and the SBCBA has hit a number of milestones this summer. By the time you read this message, our Member Benefits program will be up and running. Visit our website and click on our Member Benefits page to get more details. We have been working for months to coordinate with vendors and service providers in the Santa Barbara area to offer discounts and incentives to SBCBA members in exchange for exposure in our magazine and on our website. We hope these programs will continue to grow and that they will provide additional value to all of our members.

The SBCBA’s Fiscal Committee (Katy Graham and Nathan Rogers) helped us to reach another goal – prudent investing of our reserves. Over the past few years, the SBCBA has been able to meet its operating expenses and save additional monies. For a small organization with as many events and responsibilities as we have, being able to create reserves is, in and of itself, a source of pride. Now we have enough in reserves to justify establishing conservative investment vehicles to generate more income while maintaining safety. As of this summer, we have done so.

The SBCBA’s Legislative Liaison Committee has hit its stride as well. Last month I reported on our meeting with Assemblyman Das Williams. Following that, we had an informative and productive meeting with Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and his field representative, Doug Coleman, representing the 35th District (Northern Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County).

Significantly, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson has reached out to us for input on matters relating to the legal profession, including input on legislation being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and, of course, court funding. Governor Brown wants to see that the courts are doing what they can to become more fiscally efficient. We were glad to be able to provide Senator Jackson information relating to Santa Barbara County Superior Court’s CMADRESS program as a prime example of judicial efficiency. In that regard we were also able to inform her of the Court’s imminent conversion to electronic filing. We anticipate meeting with Senator Jackson jointly with representatives from the Ventura County Bar Association on a quarterly basis.

Consistent with our mandate to “promote equal access to justice and protect the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary” we are proud to report that we have approved a donation of $20,000 to the Legal Aid Foundation. We hope to leverage this money to assist the LAF in obtaining robust funding for its critical mission of providing legal assistance to those most in need.

Meanwhile, it bears noting that we are having one of our most successful years ever in providing a wide variety of topical MCLE programs. No matter what the focus of your practice is, this year our section heads have provided timely and informative local programs.

All of these things take an incredible amount of work, nearly all of which is done by volunteers working for our members. All of our board members and section heads deserve our profound thanks. It is because of their hard work that we have one of the most successful bar associations in the state.

First published in the September 2014 edition of Santa Barbara Lawyer Magazine Magazine

 

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

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