|Message From The President
I love the Olympics — the colors, the pageantry, the spectacle. As I grew up loving winter sports, I have always been somewhat partial tot he winter games. The first time I really paid attention to the Olympics was in 1980 when our country hosted the games in Lake Placid. Most will recall that year being famous for the “Miracle on Ice” as the United States claimed the gold medal in ice hockey. I can remember the national pride and inspiration I felt just watching on television as a young boy. Many years later, the movie “Miracle” captured the essence of those feelings and stands as a tribute to the triumph of the team and their coach, Herb Brooks. His famous quote, “Great moments are born from great opportunity” can be applied to our daily lives. Whether in our personal goals or professional pursuits, we all have opportunities to seek greatness.
This month, the Winter Olympics take place in Sochi, Russia and are certain to provide hours of thrills and entertainment. But, the games and the performances of the athletes should remind us of the individual commitment to achievement of excellence. We should also be reminded of the Olympic movement’s ideal of promoting peaceful resolution of conflict. As we week results on behalf of our clients, we should always do so in ways that promote professionalism among lawyers.
February is the month the BCBA celebrates professionalism. We often talk about professionalism without really questioning what it means to practice law with professionalism. The current Standing Committee on Professionalism of The Florida Bar has adopted the following definition, “Professionalism is the pursuit and practice of the highest ideals and tenets of the legal profession. It embraces far more than simply complying with the minimal standards of professional conduct. The essential ingredients or professionalism are character, competence, civility, and commitment.”
Since May of 1990, The Florida Bar Board of Governors has adopted the following aspirational guidelines for professionalism by lawyers:
1. a commitment to serve others;
2. being dedicated to the proper use of one’s knowledge to promote a fair and just result;
3. endeavoring always to enhance one’s knowledge and skills;
4. ensuring that concern for the desired result does not subvert fairness, honesty, respect and courtesy for others with whom one comes into contact, be they fellow professionals, clients, opponents, public officials, including members of the judiciary, or the public;
5. contributing one’s skill, knowledge and influence as a lawyer to further the profession’s commitment to serving others and to promoting the public good, including efforts to provide all persons, regardless of their means or popularity of their causes, with access to the law and the judicial system;
6. educating the public about the capabilities and the limits of the profession, specifically what it can achieve and the appropriate methods of obtaining those results; and
7. accepting responsibility for one’s own professional conduct as well as others in the profession, including inculcating a desire to uphold professional standards and fostering peer regulation to ensure each member is competent and public-spirited.
From my years of law practice and service to the Bar, I believe the members of The Brevard County Bar Association have exhibited a commitment to professionalism. As we honor those among us who have shown the best of professionalism in the past year, let us keep striving to promote those ideals and to strengthen our reputation as a Bar with a foundation built on character, competence, civility and commitment.