All of us should be proud of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association’s performance in 2014, and thankful for all of the volunteers who made it happen.
Financially, the SBCBA is in great shape, possibly its best financial condition ever. This year we were able to fund an investment account from which we hope, in the future, to make charitable donations to SBCBA-supported organizations. We were also able to make a donation to the Legal Aid Foundation, in its year of dire need. This year’s CFO, Katy Graham, and Fiscal Committee member Nathan Rogers did a great job.
One of SBCBA’s most significant successes has been its Lawyer Referral Service. The LRS generates about half of our operating revenues. Special thanks to Lida Sideris for all her work, and to the LRS committee members Donna Lewis, John Reyes, Lynn Goebel, Lauren Udden, Colleen Connors and Phil Dracht.
Santa Barbara Lawyer magazine continues to be one of the crown jewels of the SBCBA operation. This year SBL was both profitable and popular. It continues to draw new advertisers, and helps us to encourage vendors and service providers to participate in our members benefit program. SBL takes a lot of work to put out each month. Many thanks to SBL editor Claude Dorais and assistant editor Shelley Vail for all their efforts.
The SBCBA has put on at least 20 Mandatory Continuing Legal Education events this past year. All of our section heads have stepped to the plate to provide excellent content to our members. James Sweeney, who oversaw the MCLE mission, deserves the credit and our thanks for the successful MCLE year.
The tireless Emily Allen and Lauren Wideman were in charge of SBCBA events in 2014. Those events included the Annual Barbecue, Lawrence Tribe at the New Victoria Theatre, the Past Presidents’ Luncheon, the Golf and Tennis Tournament and the Annual Dinner. Each event stayed in the black, and each went off without a hitch. SBCBA events take a lot of work to put on, and Emily and Lauren’s timely and flawless performance was spectacular.
Paula Waldman was our SBCBA liaison to all other local law-related organizations. Paula was able to connect us to a number of organizations we had not previously been connected to, and she revolutionized the reporting of significant events of other law organizations.
Along with Allan Morton, Paula was also tasked with SBCBA board development duties. Paula and Allan were able to identify and vet a number of willing board volunteers so that we can have every confidence that next year’s board will be as productive and successful as this year’s was. Thanks to Paula and Allan for their hard work.
This year we have been preparing for next year’s Bench & Bar Conference. The conference requires the coordination of a venue, food, debaters, keynote speakers, judges, sponsors and subject presenters. We can all thank the unflappable Michael Denver and Nathan Rogers for their hard work in putting this all together. (And, do not miss January’s Bench & Bar Conference featuring a debate about the constitutionality of electronic surveillance!)
Jim Griffith has been among the hardest-working board members. Jim became head of the Bench & Bar Relations Committee at a time when the Legislature drastically reduced court funding. So, in addition to chairing the committee — which includes Maureen Grattan (family law), Mark Coffin (civil litigation), Sue McCollum (probate), Betty Jeppesen (SBWL), Lauren Joyce (Barristers) and Barbara Liss (SBPA) — that meets regularly with Superior Court Judge James Herman, Jim has been called upon to travel to Sacramento to lobby legislators directly on court funding issues.
Jim also has done a number of interviews that were published in the SBL, and he has been a member of the Legislative Liaison Committee. This coming year Jim moves to the SBCBA officer track as CFO.
2014 was the inaugural year of the SBCBA’s Legislative Liaison Committee. The purpose of this committee is to establish and maintain communications with local legislators and county supervisors.
Angela Roach was given the job of organizing and chairing this committee. Through her leadership we established excellent — and we hope lasting — relationships with state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and Assemblymen Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, and Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, along with Santa Barbara County Supervisors Salud Carbajal, Doreen Farr, Steve Lavagnino and Janet Wolf. Other members of the Legislative Liaison Committee are Jim Griffith, Emily Allen and Sue McCollum.
Congratulations to all of them for a great start to an important bar committee. In recognition of Angela’s many years of devoted service to the SBCBA, she moves to the officer track by becoming next year’s SBCBA secretary.
Naomi Dewey will be the 2015 SBCBA president. With her calm and thoughtful approach to SBCBA issues and decisions we can be confident that we are in good hands.
All of us owe our profound thanks to Donna Lewis for her 10 years of service to the SBCBA. Donna has done much to improve the SBCBA over the years. She has been relentless in identifying duties to be performed (and putting them in writing), vetting of volunteers (including written vetting criteria), and analyzing revenues and costs of every event put on by the SBCBA.
Donna also came up with the idea for the Member Benefit Program, which we expect will continue to grow in the coming years. Donna deserves the credit for making the SBCBA more relevant to all of us, efficient and financially stable.
I became president with trepidation. Donna Lewis was a hard act to follow, and I was worried that I would screw up. As 2014 went on, however, I found that I enjoyed every aspect of my presidency, and as the year ends, I am pleased to report that the SBCBA is as relevant, useful and financially secure now, as it might ever have been in its past.
I am grateful to have been a part of its continued evolution and positive direction. I will cherish my memories of 2014 for many years to come. Thank you for the honor.
— Scott Campbell is a partner at Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP of Santa Barbara and a board member and outgoing president of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association. A version of this article was first published in the December issue of Santa Barbara Lawyer. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.