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JANUARY President's message


Wendy Marie Weathers, Esq.

 

Inaugural Address

 
                                   
 
Let Freedom Ring!
 
Happy New Year 2021! Goodbye, and for many of us good riddance, to 2020.

After a year that brought us a global pandemic that forced us all to restructure our lives around it, COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed as I write this. After an extremely difficult and divisive election, our federal government is about to pass another bipartisan aid package for those whose lives have been upended by COVID. In addition, after many demonstrations, some far from peaceful, an open discussion of race relations in our country has been rekindled, perhaps for the first time since the civil rights movement.

The new year typically brings with it a time for reflection and reprioritization. The year 2020 has exposed deep divisions in our society that will not be remedied quickly. But I was recently exposed to an unexpected source of hope—from all people, Al Pacino. During his monologue in the football drama, Any Given Sunday, Mr. Pacino’s character, Coach D’Amato, has the following
to say at the end of a halftime speech during a game his team is losing badly:

"That’s a team, gentlemen, and either, we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals."
 
Change is, of course, difficult. Tackling the divisions within what is in many ways an adolescent nation, will take time, perhaps even generations. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. likely knew this as he and his cohorts began what seemed at the time to be an impassable hurdle in this country:
 
"… with this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day."

In this spirit, as we start this new year, let’s have our New Year’s resolutions include being of service to one another—to Listen to those who are in need, to Learn from our differences and to Grow from our challenges.
 
New Year, New Beginnings, New Resolutions

Speaking of change… how many of you make a New Year’s resolution that you ultimately fail to achieve? Ha! Me, too! This year will be different! I challenge you all to stick to your resolutions! How?, you ask—by considering a few techniques [Footnote #1]:
 
1. Start with one, and only one, important goal. You may have others but it is important to keep one as a priority.

2. Write down your resolution, preferably as a single word. For example, if you want to stop procrastinating, write in big letters PROACTIVE in a place where all can see. Announce to all your friends and family to help keep you on track.

3. Turn each resolution into a habit. Everyday, do something to work toward that goal. For instance, if you want to lose weight, wake up every morning and work out first thing.

4. Work on one change at a time. For instance, if you want to get healthy, first month, cut out sugar; second month, drink more water; third month, eat more vegetables, etc.

5. Use a calendar. Every day you do your new habit, mark an “X” on the day. When you look at the whole month, you will notice the blank days.

I wish you good luck in any and all of your endeavors to change for the better in 2021!
 
The WCBA in 2021

The WCBA has some fun and interesting events scheduled to take place in January.

On January, 5, 2021, the WCBA is again partnering with the WWBA to have another Employment Law Roundup. Led by Tejash Sanchala, Kyle McGovern and Kim Berg, this group evolved based on the synergy of the Labor & Employment Task Force within the WCBA’s Community Recovery Task Force’s Economic Recovery Program, which was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effect on Westchester County.

On January 19, 2021, the WCBA Bankruptcy & Creditor’s Rights Committee presents its Annual Roundtable with Judge Robert D. Drain, U.S.B.J. of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York White Plains Division. I am excited to sponsor this event on behalf of my new firm, Clair Gjertsen & Weathers, PLLC!

On January 20, 2021, the WCBA will host a CLE on the “Do’s and Don’ts of Housing Discrimination in Rentals.” A diversity and inclusion CLE credit will be provided to the attendees. By popular demand and due to the overwhelming success of the three bar association’s December Trivia Challenge, the WCBA is hosting a second Trivia Challenge night on January 26.

Considering the courts’ in-person shut down, the Law Practice Management Committee and Trial Lawyers & Tort Law Committee timely scheduled a CLE titled “Best Practices for Virtual Trials,” to take place on January 28. (For the most recent Calendar updates please visit www.wcbany.org.)

The WCBA is also proud of its Section and Committee Chairs. I invite you to attend any Section or Committee meeting. The Sections and Committees meet regularly to discuss current laws and trends, to brainstorm on current events/issues and to prepare CLEs. I have had the pleasure of attending several meetings in the past months. Be sure to check out the Events calendar on the WCBA website for upcoming Committee and Section Meetings. Please join! We are very proud to report that in 2020, the WCBA hosted over 150 CLEs and webinars and registered over 3,000 attendees. That is three times the number of events held and registrants recorded in 2019.

This year, the WCBA endeavors to continue to be a resource to the bench, bar and legal community. We are already planning a virtual mock trial tournament, the annual golf outing and the Annual Banquet! We invite you to check out our website www.wcbany.org, to get involved, and to make a difference! Make it your 2021 New Year’s resolution!
 
As always, should any of you like to reach me with comments, suggestions or concerns, I am always available at president@wcbany.org or by calling 914.573.6213.
 
Be well and be safe.
 

[1] https://www.phrasemix.com/blog/5-steps-to-achieving-your-new-years-resolutions

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