OCBA’s Committees Provide Opportunities for You to Grow Personally and Professionally
Richard S. Dellinger, Esq. | The Briefs, November 2018 Vol. 86 No. 9
From 1969 through 1970, my law firm’s founding partner, John Lowndes, Esq., was president of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc. (“OCBA”). You can find pictures of the OCBA membership from that year hanging at the bar center. During that year, pictures of the entire membership of the OCBA fit on one poster-sized board; and during that year, the population of the City of Orlando was just 99,000. Orlando and the OCBA have grown exponentially since 1969. As of July 31, 2018, the OCBA had 3,477 members and the population of Orlando was 277,173. In Orange County, the population grew from 344,311 in 1970 to 1.348 million in 2017. This tremendous growth was accompanied by a trend towards specialization in the practice of law. Lawyers are no longer simply designated as litigators or transactional lawyers – they are tax lawyers, family lawyers, criminal lawyers, personal injury lawyers, real estate lawyers, estate planning lawyers, defense lawyers, corporate lawyers, intellectual property lawyers, in-house counsel, employment lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers, civil rights lawyers, landlord tenant lawyers, immigration lawyers, and others!
Our members practice in a broad spectrum of legal practices. They come from small and large practices, work in law firms and businesses, and work in private practice and in government. Our bar brings those interests together and engages our members as a whole, but we also engage our members on an individual level within their more specialized interests. The OCBA has twenty-five substantive law committees and four special program committees for our membership. The OCBA has the following committees: Alternate Dispute Resolution; Appellate Practice; Bankruptcy; Business; Civil Rights Law; Construction; Criminal; Diversity & Inclusion; Elder; Estate, Guardianship &Trust; Family; Gala; Health & Wellness; In-house Counsel; Insurance; Intellectual Property; International & Immigration; Judicial Relations; Labor & Employment; Law Week; Lawyers Literary Society; Membership; Professionalism; Real Property; Social; Social Security; Solo & Small Firm; Tax; Technology; Veterans; and Workers’ Compensation.
The four largest committees of the OCBA are Family Law, Business, Criminal, and Solo & Small Firm. Members of those committees routinely interact with one another and assist each other in their practice. The Family Law Committee holds monthly meetings, training sessions, judicial updates, and a holiday party that is the envy of the bar. The Business Law Committee meets regularly to talk about issues in business law, and currently the Business Law Committee is taking the lead on funding the court and reviving the Business Court. The Criminal Law Committee brings together prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges to discuss their practice and build relationships. The Solo & Small Firm Committee provides helpful business information to its members by holding meetings and operating a list-serve to share information, facilitate referrals, and help one another manage their practices efficiently and profitably.
Committees form a vital link between our members and the judiciary. Committee members frequently get to know their judges by meeting them and hearing them speak at lunches and receptions planned by the committees. And, the OCBA Judicial Relations Committee serves as a clearing house for sharing information among bar leaders and administrative judges for each of the divisions in the court. OCBA members who participate in the Judicial Relations Committee meetings develop a working relationship with our judiciary and strengthen the relationship between the bench and the bar.
As our bar continues to grow and trend toward specialization, committees also help bring our differing groups together, providing a vital outlet for members to interact with one another, share information, contribute to the growth of members’ practices, and enhance the practice of law in Central Florida. This could not be done without committed committee chairs, who tirelessly dedicate their time to the bar. This edition of The Briefs is dedicated to our active committees and our respected committee chairs and co-chairs. Thank you to all of you who have agreed to serve.
I am a long-time, active member of the OCBA Business Law Committee, the Intellectual Property Committee, and the Judicial Relations Committee. I currently serve on numerous other committees due to my position within the bar. If you are not yet involved with a committee, I highly recommend you join today. Committee membership is free and is one of your member benefits. Joining is easy. You can join committees when you renew your membership or at any time throughout the year by logging in to your member profile on the OCBA website. You are given the opportunity to select which committee(s) you wish to join and your information will be given to the committee chair.
Again, let me thank all of our committee chairs and co-chairs for their service and all of you who help make our committees a success.
Richard S. Dellinger, Esq., a shareholder with Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., practices in the litigation department in the areas of business litigation, trust and estate litigation, and significant dissolution of marriage. He has been a member of the OCBA since 1999.