President’s Message – October/November 2021

PCBA President
Debra Hockett-Clark

Given the difficult times that we have had for the past few years, I decided to open this letter with a family law joke.

My neighbor told me that he was getting ready to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary. Being a family law attorney, I asked him what was the key to a long marriage. He told me that for his 25th wedding anniversary he took his wife on a wonderful trip to China and for 50th anniversary he was going back to pick her up.

In my first President’s Letter in July, we had hoped to be able to resume our monthly luncheons and events in person, but the rise in Covid cases made that unsafe.

Unfortunately, we will not be having any in person events through the end of this year, and we will update you on the status of lunches and events at the beginning of the year. The safety of our staff and members continues to be our priority. I am pleased to say that we will continue to provide our membership with virtual luncheons and committee meetings which have been well attended. While it is not the same as being in person with your colleagues, the important work of the PCBA and its committees must continue. We hope that you will join us for our future lunches and events.

October is National Pro Bono Month. Next month’s PCBA luncheon on October 5 will highlight the “Legacy of Chief Justice Mark Cady: Access to Justice.” This lunch is leading up to the Second Annual Cady Day of Public Service, which will be October 22. The State’s legal community is encouraged to participate in some form of public service or pro bono work in honor of Cady’s devotion to access to justice.

I had the honor of briefly talking to Justice Mark Cady on several occasions at various events. He made an effort to engage with everyone in the room. He always approached with direct eye contact, a kind smile, and a handshake. There was an ease about him that made you feel comfortable talking to him. As I think about those interactions, I realize how rare it is to meet someone who could command a room yet feel so approachable. He inspires me to show compassion to those in the community who so desperately need legal representation.

Please visit the Cady Day of Public Service website  and select one of the many projects that are available, or you can agree to accept a case from the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project and provide pro bono services to a low income client. There are approximately 30 cases that need to be placed in areas of law ranging from taxes, special needs trust, wills and many family law cases. You can email Sonja Diener to get the latest Wish List and select a case. Please do your part in fulfilling Justice Cady’s legacy of helping low-income people access legal justice.

The Fall PBCA CLE, which is free for PCBA members, is scheduled for all day on November 5. I would encourage everyone to mark your calendars for that date as the program is shaping up to be very informative. It will be virtual again this Fall.