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MARCH President's message

Hon. Linda S. Jamieson


Ides… Lions… Lambs… Leprechauns… Women… Madness…  and the Cruelest Month

When T.S. Eliot wrote of the cruelest month in his epic poem, The Waste Land, he was referring to the month of April, which always teases us with the hints of Spring that May inevitably brings.  But for me March is the cruelest month in many ways because it is far more of a tease as to Spring being at hand.  First, Daylight Savings Time will thankfully return on March 8th and then, day by day, from the sunset at 6:56 p.m. on March 9th to the sunset at 7:20 p.m. on March 31st the days will lengthen, and our spirits will brighten. 

The Vernal Equinox, Spring’s official beginning, is at 11:57 p.m. on March 19th this year.  Had it been three minutes later, it would have fallen on the 20th in the year 2020.

The Ides of March presented a bad day for Caesar at the Forum and this year certain college basketball teams will suffer an unhappy fate on that date when they find out that they were not selected to play in “March Madness” which opens for play on March 17th, a date of some significance for all those being, or claiming to be Irish, if only for a day.

The changes in March’s evening’s skies signal the approaching new season but March 18th will signal a new season for our Association, when our Annual Meeting and Past Presidents’ Dinner will convene at the Coveleigh Club in Rye with a slate of candidates nominated to serve as the Officers and Directors of our Association for the next year.  The vote of our membership will be taken there, and if you haven’t already done so…please sign up!

The Nominating Committee consisting of Kelly Welch, Past President, Stephanie Burns, Past President, Richard Vecchio, Immediate Past President and Chair, Russell Yankwitt, Emily Kahn, Tejash Sanchala, and Diana Bunin Kolev did extraordinary work in putting together the slate of the following outstanding candidates for the following positions:

President – Wendy M. Weathers

Vice President – James L. Hyer

Vice President – Andrew P. Schriever

Secretary – Denise Ward

Assistant Secretary – Robert C. Hertman

Treasurer – Paul Millman

Assistant Treasurer – Julie Cvek Curly

Board Members – John Pappalardo, Michael Freedman, Brian Cohen

I can’t believe that a year has sped by since I was so fortunate to have been elected your President.

It has been a whirlwind year with much accomplished and much remaining to be done but I am certain that under the presidency of Wendy Weathers and the Officers and Directors serving with her, the Association will be in excellent hands.  I commit to you that, unlike some months of March, I will not exit like a lamb, but will continue to strive to enhance and expand upon the initiatives we have begun together such as Lunch with the Judges, Student involvement, together with partnership programs with the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace, and Lawyers in the Classroom to name a few.  I look forward to the video recording of our upcoming CLEs so we can provide continuing legal education to those unable to attend, allowing them to view the program at their own leisure.  

WCBA will again be hosting the New York State Bar Association’s Mock Trial Competition for Westchester County during the month of March.  Anxious high school students are currently competing in four rounds held in the Westchester County Courthouse.  If anyone is interested, there may be some open slots for volunteer judges.  As a judge you will help the educational aspirations of Westchester students, sharpen your courtroom skills, and earn three CLE credits from the NYSBA (provided you’re an attorney admitted for over two years).  If you are interested, please contact Isabel Dichiara at ExecutiveDirector@wcbany.org.  This is a wonderfully rewarding experience.

March is also Women’s History Month.  It is a month where we commemorate and highlight the contributions of women. It is a way to promote equality among the sexes, while celebrating the vital role women have played in American history.  By 1986, fourteen states had declared March National Women’s History Month and in 1987 Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity.  Since 1995, each president has issued an annual proclamation designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.  The theme of Women’s History Month for 2020 is “Valiant Women of the Vote” which will honor the brave women who fought, and continue to fight, for women’s suffrage.  Please remember to honor all the women who helped open doors for so many of us.

Spring Events

We have many CLEs and events scheduled for March.  First is Swept Under the Rug – An important discussion about mental health and well-being in the legal profession will take place on March 9th from 5:30pm – 8pm at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.  It will be a dynamic and thoughtful program that all should attend.  Please register for this free and important program addressing a serious topic that affects all of us.

Join our Real Property Section for its CLE to learn the basics in negotiation of commercial real estate contracts on March 12th at our offices. 

Also, please join us and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University for a comprehensive program on the new Criminal Justice Reforms on March 20th at the school.

Finally, our newly formed Technology Law Committee together with the Trial and Tort Committee will provide an informative and very useful program “Trial & Social Media: A Match Made in Heaven” on March 26th at our offices.

Remember, if any of you would like to reach me with comments, suggestions or concerns, I am always available at President@wcbany.org or by appointment, by calling 914.761.3707.