Three weeks (of voting) left to go in the District One Board of Trustees Election. Voting continues until February 29.
The election is underway in earnest. In fact, I received my ballot via email a little more than an hour after midnight, January 1st (yes, I’ve already voted). I understand that ballots will also go out via regular mail.
For those who took the time to read my District One candidate statement (thank you), you already know that my campaign is focused on “The Technology of Law” and how I can assist the State Bar to leverage technology with the goal of: 1) Better preparing lawyers to use technology to advance their practices and support their clients, 2) Opening up more lines of communication from lawyers to other lawyers and the public, and 3) [Maybe the most important of all] Opening up more lines of communication from the public to lawyers.
Coincidentally, the State Bar conducted their usual monthly poll: “What’s the most important change in the legal profession since you joined?” The poll was posted around Monday, January 4th and with the first 235 responses collected, look at these results!
It’s heartening to know that a lot of attorneys out there see what I see. If you agree, perhaps you’ll consider giving me your vote. If so, I thank you.
Balloting remains open through February 29, 2016.
I thought you’d like to see my “official” candidate statement for District One. We were limited to 500 words, so I’ve reproduced it verbatim. Naturally, I’ll be fleshing this out over the coming weeks:
“I have an unusual story in that I’m a technology expert who decided to put myself through law school in my late thirties. Fifteen years ago, I saw the increasing convergence of law and technology issues and how they would affect my clients – and the law firms who support them – into the future. I feel my experience as owner of a consulting business since 1999 and approaching my 17th year – adding a solo law practice in 2008 – gives me a unique understanding of how the laws apply to these technological advances.
As a Technology Consultant, I’ve managed groups of people as well as complex projects (with budget control) for some very large international conglomerates. I have carried my leadership skills to the State Bar by being appointed to the Law Practice Management and Technology Section Executive Committee only 18 months after passing the Bar exam and being elected Vice-Chair, then Chair by my third year on the Excom. I was appointed an Ex-Offico Member of the Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform (TFARR) by former Bar President Jon Streeter, receiving high marks from him for my contributions.
I currently serve as Immediate Past Chair of the Council of State Bar Sections. I write a popular blawg, eDiscovery Insights (www.ediscoveryinsights.com), that was selected by the ABA as one of the top 100 law blogs in 2010 – written by lawyers for lawyers – and selected for inclusion in the archives of the Library of Congress. At the time of these accolades, I’d only been an attorney for two years. I present several CLE programs for the Bar annually, and personally wrote a large portion of the book, “The California Guide to Growing and Managing a Law Office”. I possess the ability to liaise seamlessly between legal and technology issues to facilitate cooperation between the two disciplines.
I’m firmly behind the State Bar’s mandate of protecting the public and have made it a cornerstone of my practice. In fact, I consulted with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on their “Protecting Our Kids” program, which was created to protect the Internet activities of young people.
In less than eight years, I’ve expanded my practice from Los Angeles to San Francisco, New York and Nevada. I feel that I can make a valuable contribution as a business owner, multi-state solo law practitioner, and technology expert. As I say in my classes, “Older attorneys are too intimidated by technology, and younger attorneys aren’t intimidated enough!” I would very much like to contribute by making the ‘technology of law’ less intimidating and mysterious to both groups, with the end-game to protect lawyers – and by extension, the public. A better-prepared lawyer protects the public!
I want to be clear where I stand. I’m very bullish about the State Bar and believe that our best years are ahead of us. It would be a privilege to put my knowledge to work for the Board of Trustees. I’m ready to contribute any way I can.
Thanks for your consideration.”
Late last week, my nomination as a candidate for the State Bar of California Board of Trustees in District One was certified (I just haven’t had time to mention it until now). For those who are wondering, District One includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma counties.
Who can vote? “Any active member of the State Bar, in good standing on the date the eligibility list closes, whose principal office for the practice of law is located within a county that is included within the State Bar district in which there is an election, shall be eligible to vote in the 2016 election.”
I understand that ballots will be mailed out December 31, 2015 and voting concludes February 29, 2016.
More to follow.
As a (former, recovering, retired) musician, I relate to this post by my friend, John Sadler:
Playing music in a band is a team activity that can be complicated by the ego issues and creative preferences of the band members, as well as role ambiguity. Over many years of playing music with other people, I’ve learned some behaviors that help a group work well together musically, and others that can make it fall apart. Many of those lessons port nicely to other team activities.
The biggest element of success in a band is to show respect for your bandmates. Other necessary conditions include:
Show up, on time – Clarinetist (among other vocations) Woody Allen has been quoted as saying that “Eighty percent of success is showing up”. It’s important to be dependable and do what you say you’re going to do. It’s equally important to pick bandmates who do the same.
Come prepared and in tune – don’t waste your bandmates’ time by playing your part poorly or wrong if you could have practiced it beforehand. Similarly, nobody wants to stand around while you set up and tune your instrument. If you have a complex kit, show up early and be ready to go when everyone else is.
Listen to the band – not just yourself. A great bandmate is a great listener, and will adapt his or her performance to make the band sound as good as possible. There is a lot to this. When you accompany, your job is to make the soloist sound great. What you don’t play is at least as important as what you do play. Leave space! (AKA silence). Get used to hearing yourself in the context of the band to get a feel for the right volume level. If you’re accompanying a soloist or a singer, make sure you’re not too loud – you may even lower your volume so the featured performer stands out in the mix. What sounds like the right volume when you practice may be way too loud in the context of a band. When you solo, you need to be a bit louder; more importantly, others need to back off. If in doubt. record the performance and listen carefully.
No drunks, no jerks – it’s hard enough to make great music without impairing your ability to think and perform. Give yourself every chance to have sound judgement and the best possible control over your actions. Check your ego at the door as much as possible – there needs to be honest give and take to make great music. You may think that you are a creative genius, but the odds are against it. Few team efforts are improved by verbal abuse, ego games, or infliction of emotional distress. A great band can rise above the limitations of its individual members if everyone is working well together.
Take mistakes in stride – the audience notices how you react to mistakesmuch more than the mistakes themselves. It’s OK to make a mistake. It’s not OK to call attention to it while performing. If someone makes a mistake (and everyone will) during practice, keep playing and have a critique at the end of the song. Remember that you will make mistakes as well – treat people kindly. They’re supposed to be your friends.
Everyone should have a chance to contribute ideas to improve the sound and performance. Everyone should be able to try ideas, especially during practice, that might result in a better sound. So mistakes have to be OK in order to perform at the highest possible level.
Expecting mistakes to happen and handling them with grace is a huge life skill. As bassist Victor Wooten points out in his excellent book The Music Lesson, a “good” note is never more than one fret away. Did you know that you can practice recovering from mistakes, the same as an astronaut practices dealing with emergencies?
Discuss and align your goals together – this one issue is responsible for the demise of many bands. You and your bandmates must agree on goals, whatever they may be, in order to form a cohesive team. If one person needs income or commercial success while the rest want to jam on the porch on a Sunday afternoon, you have a problem. You must decide what kinds of music you will play, what the roles of the members are – to name a few:
- Who selects the material?
- Who is the band leader?
- How many soloists or lead singers are there?
- Who are the song writers?
- Who buys the beer? (Just kidding)
Finally, a couple of ideas for performance:
Play it the way you practiced it – Conversely, if you practice poorly, you will perform poorly. Good practice skills are highly underrated! Here’s one pointer that is easy to miss and hard to learn, but works exceptionally well: go slow to go fast. Practice only as fast as you can play smoothly and without mistakes. Speed up the tempo gradually. If you practice too fast, you will be teaching your muscle memory to make mistakes, and you will never play your part well. This general principle applies to almost any physical activity.
By the way, most great soloists practice their solos. Really. They don’t just step up and fake it unless they have to. Yes, there are exceptions, but I’ll bet they worked very hard to become exceptions.
Don’t stop until the song is over – Starting and stopping together are the second steps to sounding like a band (the first step is to play the same song together in the same key and tempo). You need to agree as a band on how you will know the song and tempo, how it will start, and how you will know when to end it. These things do not happen by magic. They happen by agreement, by knowing the material cold, and possibly by years of playing together.
Those are a few lessons I’ve learned the hard way by playing bands since I was a kid. I think many port nicely to the workplace. What do you think?
Reprinted by Permission. Photo credit: Tomasz Budzyński.
Hey – everyone’s raving about the new Star Wars film, so why shouldn’t I get in on it?!?!?!
Speaking purely about the blawg, the week started out like this:
As of this moment, it’s ending more like this:
If you’re a subscriber, hopefully you’re receiving this through your feed. It’s one – of many – tweaks that were needed to get the site back into shape.
I’m not quite done, but we should be pretty close by Monday. Thanks again for your patience!
Just a short note to let you know that I’ve migrated the blawg to a new platform. It’s a bit of a job migrating 577 posts that have accumulated since 2008, and there are a few tweaks to complete; however, since I depart tomorrow morning for the State Bar of California 88th Annual Meeting, it will remain a work in progress for the next couple of weeks.
I’ll also re-establish subscriber feeds soon. Thanks for your patience.