It is truly an honor to be elected by my peers to be the President of the South Broward Bar Association (SBBA), a long standing, local Voluntary Bar Association (VBA). The SBBA was founded in the mid 1960s as a group of local attorneys decided to get together in a social setting during the week for friendly lunchtime banter. The emergence of the SBBA as a true grassroots group is the catalyst for today’s SBBA and the consistent strength displayed throughout. I am proud to say that I have attended nearly all meetings since 2008 and have been a member of the Board of Directors and holding Officer positions for many of those years.
In our most recent year, as with every aspect of our lives, the SBBA has had to make major adaptations which have been boldly and thankfully implemented by our immediate Past President, Steve Farbman and we are all grateful for his service.
After a year of remote meetings for the SBBA and remote courtroom attendance for hearings, trials and all otherwise scheduled Court appearances, we are able to truly step back and assess the impacts and try to gauge where we need to place some crucial focus for the future of our profession.
This year, our plan is to focus on that which binds attorneys and courts together and keeps the balance within the profession for the established attorneys and the incoming professionals. While we, as established attorneys have been continuing on our professional paths, with the exception of how we interface with the judiciary, counterparts and clientele, across the country and here in south Florida, law schools continue to graduate students who enter their new profession with unprecedented obstacles. The SBBA is in a unique position having the agility to absorb the new attorneys and be an integral part of their assimilation into the profession…a welcome task which must be handled with great care.
While the SBBA and many other VBAs have always placed a high focus on professionalism and balance of life issues, now more than ever, these maxims must be thrust to the forefront and best practices must be disseminated as far as our cordial group can reach. This year, the SBBA will maximize its efforts as a group and we ask that all members and meeting attendees make a conscious effort to do all we can to promote professionalism and make concerted efforts to lead by example in every aspect of our everyday lives.
So come join us for our lunchtime virtual meetings, earn your Continuing Legal Education credits in an insightful, fun and consistent setting and continue to grow with us by becoming a member and attending all special events both virtually and when we ultimately return to in-person socializing.
Bernardo “Ben” Protano, SBBA President