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Legally Speaking


Issue: October, 2009
Author: Sleeter C. Dover, Esq.

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An Insider's View

You missed it! We notified you; we asked you; we begged you; we cajoled you....yet, you missed it! Of course “It” was the 2009 Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting & Judicial Conference. We all heard the whispers and lamentations regarding the far, far away and distant land called Evanston and Uinta County. There was much gnashing of teeth and erudite analysis of the wisdom, if not propriety, of moving the whole “kit and caboodle” that is the Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting & Judicial Conference to such an exotic and unknown land. What if we called a meeting and no one came?! What if some came, but not enough to constitute a quorum?! What if we were unable to put a “foursome” together for the golf tournament? Or, horror of horrors, what if we had to cancel cocktails or the whole welcome reception in total? Well, we told you and yet so very many of you missed it anyway. This one was for Rick! The perpetual smiling faces of the 225 registrants told the story. You missed a great one!

The stunning and extraordinary facility that is the Evanston Roundhouse & Railyards left all in attendance supremely excited and happy that they did not miss this year’s annual gathering. Though certainly unique and spellbinding, the satisfaction went beyond the physical beauty and workmanship exhibited in the renovations accomplished so far, but just as pleasing, if not more so, was the exceptionally warm and sincere welcome we all received from the entire populace of the City of Evanston, Uinta County, and the entire Bridger Valley as a whole. While we expect to encounter the usual business courtesies and accommodations, the discernable and palpable warmth and welcome extended during our stay from downtown merchants, city wide inn keepers, City and County officials and their staffs, right on down to the wait staffs all around town, certainly exceeded the usual and customary reception we traditionally receive. It became pretty clear to me rather quickly that the entire community and surrounding confines work towards such efforts year-round and have nearly perfected “down-home western hospitality” to an art form. What a credit and example of community pride and cooperative spirit. You missed it!

Your absence also resulted in your missing a very important and long sought-after announcement. After many, many years of committees, task forces, blue ribbon panels, and any number of other assorted special entities, President Rick Lavery was finally able to announce that the Wyoming State Bar is on the cusp of addressing the perennial annual member survey request for health benefits for Wyoming attorneys, employees and families. Attendees were able to obtain preliminary information and explanation of the blossoming opportunity to partner with ALPS to finally move this goal and need forward. If the membership of the Wyoming State Bar reacts as positively and as timely as we hope, it is entirely possible, again, possible, that such a plan might be available for implementation as early as the first of the year. Much, much more information and proposed action items will be coming your way over the next weeks and months. Don’t under any circumstances miss this!

Parting is such sweet sorrow (so said some old English guy); nonetheless, there always comes a time when good and old friends must part and new ones arrive. Every year at this time we say good-bye and good luck to amazing supporters of the Wyoming State Bar. This year proves no different. As this is being written, warm good-byes and fare-the-wells have been extended to Commissioners P. Jaye Rippley; Stephen K. Palmer, and of course, the head honcho himself, Past President Rick Lavery. Of course, much like the bothersome pests we here at your Bar can be on occasion, we do intend to keep close watch and contact with these devoted and dedicated members in the future. There are ongoing and newly developing projects and goals to be accomplished, and many of these same folks will no doubt continue to make their valuable contributions.

Also, as in the past, the silver lining continues to shine brightly on the Wyoming State Bar in the form of newly elected replacements for those steady and earnest past contributors. If you have not done so already, please join us all in welcoming new bar commissioners Rin Karns, Seventh Judicial District; Jack Edwards, Third Judicial District, and Jim Hardee, Eighth Judicial District. Working with these newly elected district commissioners and showing them the ropes will be new President Bill Hiser of Laramie; President-Elect Brian Hultman from Jackson; Vice President Eric Jones of Wheatland, and Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Korell from Torrington.

A warm welcome and congratulations likewise goes out to the newly elected representative of the Bar on the Judicial Nominating Commission, effective March 1, 2010, Robert M. Shively of Casper.

Now for the hard and bitter truth; as mentioned, the opportunity to provide affordable and meaningful health benefits for Wyoming attorneys, their employees and families is at hand.
Now is the opportunity and means for YOU, individually and as a group, to take charge of your own destiny. It cannot, and it WILL NOT, be accomplished if each of you do not take serious steps to advance the cause beyond just the discussion stage. Even if in the end, you or your particular firm do not fit comfortably in the proposal at this time, it is still imperative that you participate in the information gathering, analysis, and development phase of this effort. The heavy lifting will continue to be done out of our offices here, but there will be very little to lift if the membership elects to take a lackadaisical and hands-off approach to this most encouraging opportunity.

Copyright © 2009 – Wyoming State Bar