JULY/AUG 2021 BAR BULLETIN July | August 2021 - Page 13

JUDICIAL RELATIONS CORNER

JUDICIAL RELATIONS CORNER

Not Merely Surviving But Thriving - Together

BRIDGET BERRY
The Palm Beach County Bar Association Judicial Relations Committee Programming Subcommittee has thrived over this past year of pandemic disruption . The JRC is grateful for robust engagement by the Bench , tireless support of the Bar Association , and the passion and investment of JRC members and other Bar Committees and the YLS . Following are highlights , and we extend a warm invitation to anyone who might want to become involved in or financially support any of these programs in the coming year .
“ Judicial Lunch Seminar Series ” Inspired by Judge James Nutt and Judge Joseph Curley , the JRC partnered with the Young Lawyers Section of the PBCBA to present a three-part series to meet the special challenges brought by the COVID environment . Addressing impediments to the “ onboarding ” of new attorneys , the first CLE gave an inside look at the workings of the Court and was presented by Judge Nutt and Judge Curley together with 15th Judicial Circuit General Counsel April Bristow . The second CLE , on the Art of Motion Practice , was presented by Judge Curley , Judge Nutt and Judge Sherri Collins , moderated by JRC Co-Chair Bridget Berry and YLS President and JRC secretary Lauren Johnson . The third in the series , titled “ Zoom to Judgment ,” also was presented by Judge Curley and Judge Nutt and moderated by Ms . Berry and Ms . Johnson . It addressed the new summary judgment standards and other changes , including Zoom hearings and trials . All three programs were sponsored by personal injury attorney Salesia Smith-Gordon and made possible by the patient and skillful service of PBCBA CLE Coordinator Kathy Clark .
“ Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions ” ( a / k / a “ Teen Discourse and Decisions ” or “ TD2 ”) With the support of U . S . District Judge Robin Rosenberg and Palm Beach County Circuit Judges Nutt and Curley , Greenberg Traurig securities litigation attorney Natalie Brandon brought this national initiative of the Federal Courts to the 15th Judicial Circuit , adopted it for distancelearning ( Zoom ), and organized two diverse programs , embraced by the local high schools . The initiative is designed to sharpen the student ’ s civil discourse , listening and decision making skills , motivate students to serve willingly on juries when called , provide a heightened awareness of situations that can have legal and long-term consequences and provide interaction with judges , attorneys and other professionals to expose students to career opportunities . The first program involved Magnet Program students from Palm Beach Gardens High School . Judge Curley and Judge Nutt presided , and students , coached by Alexa Klein ( business litigation , Greenberg Traurig ) and Taylor Patton ( business and securities litigation , Greenberg Traurig ) participated as defense or prosecution attorneys or jurors . The second program , also via Zoom , involved Law Academy students from Palm Beach Lakes High School , coached by Lauren Johnson ( business , securities and Qui Tam litigation , McCabe Rabin , P . A .), Robert Wight ( estate planning , estate and trust administration , probate and trust litigation , Mettler Randolph Massey Ferguson Carroll & Sterlacci , P . L .), Ashley Houlihan ( General Counsel to PBC Supervisor of Elections ) and Samuel Cohen ( personal injury litigation , Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith , P . L . L . C .). Judge Sarah Shullman presided .
“ Coffee and Bagels with the Judges ” ( on Zoom ) Never shying from a challenge , Co- Chairs Kate Woods Harris ( litigation defense , Cole , Scott & Kissane ) and Laura Scala Olympio ( water , environmental , administrative and government law , Manson Bolves ) together with PBCBA Communications Director Lynne Poirier collaborated month after month to provide an opportunity for the Bench and Bar to get together to chat via Zoom and in breakout rooms . Generous engagement by 15th Judicial Circuit and West Palm Beach Division Federal Court Judges was consistently strong . Participants shared , commiserated and laughed around a wide range of topics , including COVID-19 , movies , books , travel and changes in the practice of law . The JRC is grateful to the many generous sponsors of this program , who made it possible for the opportunity to be made available free of charge to all PBCBA members .
“ Reading & Robes ” Program Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer brought the Reading & Robes program to the JRC and JRC subcommittee chair Kate Woods Harris made it happen . After partnering with The National Judicial College to bring this community outreach initiative to the 15th Judicial Circuit , and with the support of PBCBA Executive Director Carla Tharpe Brown , Ms . Harris worked together with Lawyers for Literacy chair Brad Avakian ( wills , trusts and estates , Avakian Law ) and Law Related Education Committee chair Andrew Kwan ( commercial litigation , Pankauski Hauser Lazarus PLLC ) to raise over $ 1,200 for the initiative . Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente , Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer , Judge Bradley Harper , and Judge Paige Gillman read to students at Starlight Cove Elementary United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’ s autobiographical book , Turning Pages : My Life Story . Together with representatives of each Bar Committee , the Judges discussed with the students the book as well as questions the students had about law , jury trials , the legal justice system and careers in the law . Each student received an autographed copy of Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’ s book to encourage the students to build their own libraries at home . Another program is planned before summer break with Roosevelt Elementary students . We hope to continue and expand fundraising and support to bring this program to elementary schools across the County .
PBCBA BAR BULLETIN 13