I am both thrilled and humbled to have been given this opportunity to serve as President of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association. I can remember attending one of my first FDLA seminars as a newbie lawyer; I was enamored with Joe Brooks’ presentation on taking killer expert depositions. The thought that I will be considered in the ranks of attorneys, like Joe, who have served as President of FDLA, is an honor. I want to thank all of the Past Presidents who recommended me for this position and who continue to devote their time and resources to this great organization.
Without question, we are entering an exciting yet challenging time for the FDLA. The legal community, and specifically the civil defense bar, has seen many changes over the years with increased competition and advances in technology. It is critical to the longevity of FDLA that we as an organization change to meet the needs and demands of our membership. With the hiring of a dynamic Executive Director, Ana Ramos, FDLA is already on the right path. We have also put in place a diverse, enthusiastic Board of Directors who will spend the next year formulating and implementing strategies to improve FDLA from the ground up. This will undoubtedly be a year of new ideas and transformation — and I promise it will be noticed by every one of you.
For the Winter Meeting, FDLA is going international for the first time in its history! The Winter Meeting will be held January 16-21 in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada at the Fairmont Tremblant. Our CLE program (which will take place on January 17-19) will be focused on all aspects of expert witnesses. The Fairmont Tremblant is a true ski-in/ski-out facility that offers skiers the opportunity to hit the slopes earlier than the general public — I have been told you can watch the sunrise from the slopes! For those who have never attended a Winter Meeting, you have missed out. The event draws some of our best and most experienced defense lawyers and highlights one of FDLA’s best attributes: the sharing of information and strategies among lawyers in a small setting. It is truly one of our best CLEs of the entire year!
You will also see an exciting change with our main event of the year — the Florida Liability Claims Conference. The FLCC will be held June 5–7 at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and will include additional opportunities for networking and fun, including a private meet and greet with two very special Disney characters. Mark your calendars and stay tuned to learn the exciting details about the 2019 FLCC!
Those who work closely with me know I am passionate about making an impact. I hope to leave this organization even better than it is today. But I am just one person. We can meet our goals only if we have members who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. I encourage each of you to step up and take on a leadership role. FDLA is always looking for members to write amicus briefs, present at webinars and conferences, write articles, serve on committees, and the list goes on. Thank you to everyone who has already stepped up — we need more people to do so. Please contact me or Ana Ramos if you wish to take on a leadership role!
I hope that you can sense my excitement and enthusiasm in reading this message. This will be an exciting year of new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. I encourage all of you to lean in, get involved, and enjoy the ride! I look forward to seeing all of you at our conferences and events this year.