A Happy New Year to all PCBA members, their staffs and families—let’s all commit to doing something to make 2023 a better year for someone else, for as many as possible!
The Association was busy in December, capped by our best-attended holiday party in six years! Over one hundred members enjoyed the evening, from Joe Napoli who has been to quite a few of these in his career, to Katelyn Schwiderski, from Heyl Royster, just sworn in as a new lawyer in November. Notable guests included U.S. District Judge Jim Shadid, Chief Tenth Circuit Judge Kate Gorman and several other Tenth Circuit Judges, our new Supreme Court Justice Lisa Holder-White, and the two newest Fourth District Appellate Court judges, Justice Amy Lannerd from Quincy and Justice Eugene Doherty from Rockford. Also attending was Perry Browder, of Alton, a member and currently a candidate for Third Vice-President of the ISBA. Thanks to Dennis Merkley for the event planning and oversight, and, as always, to Stephanie for making it all happen. Special thanks to Matt Smith for his on-stage talents! Also great to see some of our retired members in attendance!
Ed Murphy and the Family Law Section Committee members individually donated a total of $500 to the Crittenton Center and the Dream Center, a nice supplement to our Young Lawyers’ annual Project Santa. The Family Law Section has also put together what looks like an excellent program for the annual PCBA Family Law Seminar on February 4, and the remaining Winter Series will include the usual Civil Practice seminar along with the Estate Planning, Probate & Elder Law seminar in the second half of January. These seminars will be held at the Spalding Pastoral Center. The Criminal Law seminar, previously scheduled for Friday, February 10 through Zoom, has been postponed due to the pending appeal regarding the Pretrial Fairness Act.
The annual Lincoln Memorial Banquet is coming up on February 16, at the Par-a-dice Hotel, with Justice Holder-White as our honored speaker. I attended the tasting with Chairman Jim Rochford, to check out the suggested menu, and all I can say is that the food should be excellent! We know the speaker will be, and we appreciate the many visits that Justice Holder-White has made to Peoria recently as we adjust to our new Appellate District.
The Association allows the ideas of individual members to be amplified and put into effect on a much larger scale than might otherwise be possible. Leverage your membership—get involved and contribute to the well-being of the legal profession and the justice system as a whole! Thanks to all who have done that and are doing that!
Michael A. Fleming