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JUNE President's message


Wendy Marie Weathers, Esq.

 

Inaugural Address

 
Welcome to June 2020! Even though I am writing this address the first week in May, I am hopeful that June has brought us into the recovery phase of this pandemic. As Chief Judge Janet DiFiore declared, “Not only can we handle the pressure, we can triumph over this pandemic…. We will emerge from this awful pandemic—and we will emerge better, stronger and more resilient than ever before.”
 
The Westchester County Bar Association is committed to remaining relevant and to being a strong resource for the bench, bar, students and community. We continue To Listen, To Learn and To Grow each and every day. From crisis comes opportunity. In the past month, the WCBA has provided numerous webinars, mostly at no cost, to educate and share information as quickly as we obtain it. We are grateful to our members, business affiliates, bench and community for allowing us to share your information and expertise with the entire community. It has been a wonderful opportunity for greater positive collaboration and interaction with all of you. 
 
The Westchester County Bar Association has created many links on its website to assist in navigating through all the information provided from so many directions, categorized by subject matter and audience. (Please see below).
 
WCBA Website Links for Attorneys & the Public
 
Community Recovery
Here WCBA continues to collect and centralize publications, webinars, and resource tools that may be helpful to our members. From learning how to adapt to working remotely to simplifying the many updates on Emergency SBA Programs & COVID-19 Capital Programs, Unemployment Insurance, and Health & Disability Insurance, the WCBA remains strong and resilient.
 
Resources for Attorneys 
Provides updates regarding changes in the State and Federal Courts as well as the Ninth Judicial District.
 
Resources for Children 
Provides both educational and fun resources such as the PBS Daily newsletter, reading, art and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
 
Resources for the Public 
Provides comprehensive information to the public including contact information for legal services and community outreach.
 
The WCBA will continue to collaborate and communicate for all of us To Listen, To Learn, and To Grow.

The Westchester County Bar Association and the Westchester County Bar Foundation are sensitive to the needs of our local law students during these challenging times. Last month, we were very happy to donate $8000 in support of the Pace Law Emergency Assistance for Students (P.L.E.A.S.) fund. The next generation of lawyers are truly impacted by this pandemic and we are honored to help the students and the entire Pace community. 

Collaboration and networking continue during this pandemic. The WCBA has made tremendous efforts to continue ways of staying in touch. One of these is through “Coffee Talk”, hosted online by yours truly, every Thursday beginning at 4:30pm. Since our inaugural Zoom meeting on April 2, the WCBA colleagues have been networking every Thursday afternoon. During this hour, colleagues share how they are adapting to this “New Normal”. We discuss technology, courts, family, economic programs and mental wellness. It has organically grown into a casual, informative and fun conversation. We welcome your participation! In order to keep the Zoom meeting secure, pre-registration is required. We look forward to seeing you. 
 
I am proud to share the creation of the WCBA’s Community Recovery Task Force, that is comprised of a cross-disciplinary team of WCBA attorneys, supervised law graduates, and affiliated professionals offering guidance and solutions to the current legal challenges facing first responders, the business and legal community, and the citizens of Westchester County as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In keeping with the mission of the WCBA, our mission is to employ our resources to aid Westchester County in navigating, recovering, and ultimately emerging stronger than before. 

The Task Force is addressing matters such as wills and estate planning, employment, small business, landlord/tenant and more.  Chaired by WCBA’s Vice-President, Dolores Gebhardt, Esq. and Rebecka Levitt, J.D., a recent graduate of Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and Vice President of Student Bar Association, the Community Recovery Task Force is seeking volunteers to answer questions, negotiate settlements and draft legal documents. To join this great cause, please contact us at www.CRTaskForce@wcbany.org.

 As we approach the month of June 2020, there are many things to be grateful for. First and foremost, congratulations to every student, from Pre-K to graduate school, on your graduation! As a mother of a high school senior, I can appreciate the mixed feelings of pride in your loved one’s achievements and the sadness of not being able to celebrate them in traditional ways. No matter if you are completing high school, college or graduate school, there are a lot of unknowns out there. It makes the precipice feel even scarier than it does when things are normal. Specifically, to the high school, college and graduate school classes of 2020, stay strong! Better days are ahead as we navigate through the “New Normal”. First step….Graduation. Next step…conquering the world!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Wishing you a very healthy, safe and happy day with your family. 

We also extend our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic. While recognizing that the world now is faced with many unknowns, we, as members of the bench, bar and students, should cooperate and collaborate as much as we can. To help recover from this pandemic, I ask you all to join me in responding to this life changing event by endeavoring To Listen, To Learn, and To Grow. Seize this time to help each other. In the words of Governor Cuomo, “stay on the balls of your feet.” I invite you all to please step up and volunteer on the WCBA Community Recovery Task Force.

Thank you for the privilege and the opportunity of serving each and every one of you. Be well, be safe and God bless. 
 
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 914.573.6213.

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