Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 5

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Opening Statement

Bar roars into the '20s
W

hen I first joined this
Bar Association 27
years ago, gasp - yes I
know, I was 5, I never imagined that
one day I would have the honor of
becoming its President.

I have loved this organization since the beginning of my career.
Seeing the camaraderie that exists between the members, and
realizing that despite differing positions taken in the courtroom,
attorneys can be cordial colleagues and, in some cases, true friends,
made me feel as though I had found a home.
At one point in my early career, I left Berks County to join a
firm in another county. At that time, I was shocked at how the
attorneys treated each other, and thankfully, my former firm asked
me to come back. I have never once regretted the decision to
return to Berks County, and consider myself extremely lucky that
I have been able to practice with what I consider to be the best bar
association in the country.
I realize that I have very impressive shoes to fill. The Presidents
that have come before me, Fred Hatt, Tom Bell, Jeff Franklin,
Jill Scheidt, Jill Koestel, Joan London, John Speicher and Chuck
Phillips, to name just a few (I was "strongly encouraged" to
mention those last two, I believe the phrase "remember where your
bread is buttered" or something like that was used), all lent their
unique talents and strengths to help this Bar Association become
what it is today: An award-winning organization committed
to not only helping each other in this, at times, frustrating and
challenging profession, but also to helping people and to making a
difference.
As I mentioned in my remarks at our meeting in October,
which I'm sure at least one or two of you listened to intently, we do
make a difference. I plan to highlight some of the specific ways we
make a difference in Berks County in future columns, which will

be mercifully brief as I am not a prolific writer. But for now, suffice
it to say that the relationships that form between our attorneys
are, for the most part, unparalleled. These relationships, which are
begun and nurtured during our many activities, meetings, projects
and events, are the biggest difference. We are not just lawyers-we
are musicians, artists, philanthropists, community activists, and
most of all, helpers, assistants and confidantes. Not only do we
help our clients, but we also help each other on a daily basis. For
those of you who are not involved already, join a committee, go to
a section meeting, serve on a task force, get involved.
Through this Association, not only have I been able to make
a difference by helping to develop and implement the Mortgage
Foreclosure Diversion Program, I have also met people that I
am honored to call true friends, those individuals in my life that
understand what it's like to be a lawyer, and who are there for me
when I need help, or to listen when the going gets tough.
Our Immediate Past President, Jeff Franklin, is one of the most
shining examples of how our members help each other each day.
He helps the Bar Association, and many of us individually,
remain tech savvy in an ever-changing technical world. Most of
his endeavors are behind the scenes.
I don't always understand everything that Jeff does for us, but I
know that we would be lost without him. I want to thank Jeff for
his outstanding Presidential leadership, and for selflessly sharing
his vast knowledge with us. And he even knows how to stop those
annoying robocalls that tell you that the IRS is planning to arrest
you if any of you out there are currently on the run.
The Memorial Service that we hold for our departed members
is another way that we help one another, as well as our members'
families.
While I did not know Paula Szortyka and Peter Cianci
personally, as I listened to the memories and stories shared by their
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Spring 2020 | 5


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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020

Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 1
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 2
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 3
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 4
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 5
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 6
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 7
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 8
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 9
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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Spring 2020 - 40
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/BerksBarrister_Springr2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/BerksBarrister_Fall-Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/Berksbarrister_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/BerksBarrister_Springr2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/Berksbarrister_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/Berksbarrister_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksBarrister/berksbarrister_winter2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com