June 2017Volume 8Number 3PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)

A few words from the Chair

One comment often heard from seniors is how fast time seems to accelerate as we age. Well, that certainly applies to my privilege to serve as Chair of the Senior Lawyers Section Council. As you read this newsletter issue, the current year of this Section Council is concluding, even if it seems to me that it just began. That said, it was a busy year with significant accomplishments, thanks to the hard work of the Senior Lawyers Section Council members.

As reported in the last issue, our basic technology CLE program was very highly praised by all attendees, who made it clear that another workshop is both wanted and needed. In response, our Technology Committee is in the process of planning a more advanced program for next fall. We will keep the emphasis, however, on basic computer, smart phone, tablet and related technology for the more “seasoned” practitioner who has spent a large part of his or her practice without the training and experience benefiting younger lawyers. In my opinion, one of the greatest challenges to senior lawyers who want to continue to practice is dealing with electronic filing, email communication, document preparation and storage, electronic research, social media, etc., along with all of the technology, ethical and security issues inherent with that. I am certain that our Council, under the leadership of incoming Chair Tim Howard, will continue its efforts to assist those who no longer have the “luxury” of leaving the use of technology in the practice to younger members of the Bar.

In addition to the technology seminar, our Council offered a “Winding Down” of the practice program in April which had one of the largest live presentation audiences in current CLE history. A special thanks to Council members (and past ISBA presidents) John O’Brien and Leonard Amari, who planned, organized and presented the well received program. In addition, many of the attendees enjoyed a post seminar social hour, hosted by the ISBA Mutual Ins. Co. at its new offices in the 20 S. Clark St. building. Another special thanks to the Mutual for its greatly appreciated sponsorship, in addition to all of its other significant contributions to the ISBA.

Since this is the 10th year of the Senior Lawyers Section Council (which I am told was originally formed as an ISBA Committee), it is particularly rewarding to see the growth in popularity of the CLE programs, the listserv and our newsletter, not only by our over 12,500 section members, but by many others in the ISBA. I personally am glad to see that the ISBA and its leadership not only value “seasoned” members, but encourage continued significant participation by a group with vast education and experience who are happy, even anxious, to share the benefits of all that hard-earned knowledge with younger members of the profession. While the average age of our section membership is likely higher than that of most of the other sections, I can assure you that the energy and professional dedication is alive and well!

Enough of my reflections on the past year; you need to get on to the excellent articles in this issue. Among them is a useful description of an application to deal with unsolicited cell phone calls by Don Mateer; an article on “tailoring” advanced directives by Mike Maslanka; another great book review, this time of ‘Red Sparrow’ by Gary Rafool; and a “primer” on exemptions for real estate taxes by Leonard Amari. We are also pleased to include an announcement of a volunteer opportunity by the ARDC and a book review of a wonderfully practical real estate “manual”. Finally, we are saddened to note the passing of Toby Barry, an accomplished lawyer and jurist, known to many of us.

I would like to thank all of this year’s contributors to our newsletters for their useful and frequently entertaining articles.

Finally, I thank all of our Committee chairs and members for their efforts on behalf of the Council and the Senior Lawyers Section. As I said in my opening newsletter column last October (sure seems like last month!), working with this Section Council’s membership is truly rewarding. Looking around the room at our meetings is like looking at a history of the ISBA leadership (at least in “modern times”). It has been a true honor to work with those who have literally shaped and directed the ISBA since I have been a member (over 45 years). I leave you with the sincere hope that you will continue to remain an active and contributing member of the ISBA and its important role in the practice of law. There is little more consequential to society than the law, and the role therein played by our profession. Our participation is a privilege which requires that we continue to serve as long as we effectively can. We can and should also have fun, which reminds me that I need to stop reminiscing and do a FaceTime call with my grandkids! Thank you.

Member Comments (2)


We appreciate your leadership that managed many interesting programs.

Wonderful farewell (I hope not permantly from the Section Council) address.
It has indeed been my pleasure to once again serve on a Council or Committee chaired by you, and I look forward to now continue working with you to keep our Senior Lawyers' Section Council as an active and informative service to senior (and other) members of the ISBA. And last, but by no means least, to continue enjoying our many conversations over wine and interesting dinners.
Thank you for all of your work and initiatives,
Gary T. Rafool

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