May I introduce myself, Peter B. O’Connell, as the newly elected President of the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association. After forty-six years as an attorney in the Bridgeport area, I am proud to assume leadership of this great organization for the upcoming year.
My election occurred at one of the most successful and well attended bar dinners in recent years. I was pleased to see so many colleagues at this social event because, as we all know well, there are so few opportunities to meet and great our fellow attorneys. Much has been said over the past years how the practice has changed, but the most significant change, in my opinion, is the lack of opportunity to see each other outside the realms of litigation, emails, and computer filings.
The practice of law when I first passed the bar and was sworn in and started to practice would cause laughter with our new attorneys. Short calendar weekly appearances, coffee between court calls, strange markings of cases (ready nisi, ready until reached, and so many others) all formed a way of life that as the classic movie title states, is “Gone with the Wind!” It was a less frantic time where manners, cordial behavior, and concern for fellow attorneys existed perhaps because there were fewer attorneys.
Enough of the past, let’s move in to the future and talk about the GBBA in the future year ahead.
My first official commitment was to attend the 2016 Bridgeport Public School Debate League Championship held on May 21st at Cesar Batalla School. The debate included debates from seven local schools. Thanks to Kathleen Dunn, head of our Outreach Committee, a winner was selected, and a trophy purchased by our Bar Association was presented by me to the winner. It was a great experience and the Bar should renew the funding for next year’s debate.
Thanks to Matt Reale who suggested that the GBBA join up with the Center for Family Justice for a golf tournament, a very successful event was held at Mill River Country Club on June 20, 2016. The President of the Center, Debra Greenwood was very pleased with the capacity crowd and everyone had a delightful day of golf and dinner.
A summer social was held on June 27, 2016 at the Black Rock Yacht Club. It has always been an opportunity to see attorneys, spouses and friends in a social summer setting.
In August the GBBA will sponsor a barbeque for members, family and friends at Fairfield Beach Pavilion. It will be a simple event from last year’s lobster fest, but will still be an enjoyable beach experience!
Come September an annual “Meet the Judge’s” event will be held at the law firm of Cohen and Wolf. This affords all to meet the Judge’s sitting in our local Courts. We thank Cohen & Wolf for their generosity and urge all our members to attend.
We will start in the fall season with committee chair meetings and schedule plans for seminars for fall, winter and spring. Existing committee chairs have already indicated their commitment for another term, which I greatly appreciate.
As President of the GBBA I hope my tenure will be successful, and I thank all for your anticipated cooperation.