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         President's Message


Greetings Colleagues!


Thank you to all of those who attended the LBA’s first ever hybrid monthly meeting on September 11.  We had about a 50-50 split between those who attended in person and those who attended virtually.  For all of those who attended, you learned what a wealth of knowledge and experience Judge Ralph Artigliere possesses.  If you are a LBA member who attended and have not received the terrific handouts that accompany Judge Artigliere’s presentation, be sure to request those from our Executive Director, Lisa Oliver.  Judge Artigliere has also generously offered his contact information and is happy to speak with anyone who has questions.

On October 9, Florida Bar Counsel, Ken Bryk, presented an informative and entertaining CLE on ethical conflicts.  Ken, who is well-known to many Polk County lawyers, spends so much time in Polk County that he has become one of the LBA’s newest members.  Welcome, Ken!  We look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with you.

On November 13, we welcomed Lakeland’s own, Dennis Ross.  Wow!  What a timely and critical message he delivered.  I wish that every American could hear Dennis’s talk.  Not only does he have a clear vision for returning civility to politics but he is actively promoting that vision.  Thank you, Dennis, for giving us all hope for the future!

Turning to the subject of our monthly meetings in general, the LBA Officers and Board of Governors are considering offering hybrid meetings indefinitely if there is sufficient interest.  The thought is that this might be an added benefit to members who, on occasion, can’t get away from their offices long enough to make the trip to Eaglebrooke but who would like to hear the speaker or earn CLE credit.  We’ll be looking to get your thoughts on this idea in the near future.

Recently, I had the privilege of representing the LBA as a panelist on the Florida Bar’s Virtual Town Hall for the Tenth Circuit.  Led by Florida Bar President, Dori Foster-Morales, the focus of the meeting was how Florida attorneys and judges are coping and adapting during the pandemic and what the Bar can do to assist its members.  A feature of the call was the Bar’s Mental Health and Wellness Center.  If you haven’t checked it out on the Bar’s website, I encourage you to do so.  The stated goal of the Mental Health and Wellness Committee is to “destigmatize mental illness, recommend best practices and remedies, and help bring more balance into members’ daily professional lives.”  The Committee offers numerous helpful tools, including free CLE videos, podcasts, meditations, news articles, suggested reading, and comprehensive resource listings.  New this year is the Florida Lawyers Helpline, 833-FL1-WELL.  This is a free, confidential, 24/7 lawyers’ helpline with professional counselors.  Through the helpline, lawyers may be referred for up to three free telehealth counseling sessions per year.  The helpline also includes a Work/Life Program for assistance with such issues as childcare, elder care and finances.  I hope all members will consider these invaluable resources should the need arise.

In closing, I’d like to encourage you all and your families to join us for a safer holiday get-together, as we take over a portion of the drive-in theater for a fun movie and desserts.  In January, I hope to see you again as we welcome Chief of Police, Ruben Garcia, for our monthly meeting and luncheon.  Until then, stay safe, stay well, and stay engaged.



Barbara Davis




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