May 01, 2020
Navigating the Storm With a View to the Horizon
May 01, 2020
By Susan Feder
Hello friends and colleagues! I hope you and your families are doing well, and that you have weathered the month of April in health and serenity. If you or a loved one have personally been afflicted with the virus, I wish you a full and speedy recovery.
Now that a new month is upon us, we are all beginning to look to the future, wondering what our “new normal” will look like through the summer months and into fall. At MCBA, we are busy putting together a roster of programs with an eye towards the future. On May 6, we hosted a Town Hall Forum with Judge Sweet and Judge Chou. We are immensely grateful to them for sharing their time and wisdom with us. During the Forum, Judges Sweet and Chou answered questions you had submitted about the state of the Court now, and what we might expect in the months to come. If you missed it, the recording is available here.
On May 12 and 13, we presented two Legal Practice Development webinars on how to more effectively use the Zoom platform, and how to maximize your LinkedIn profile to enhance business development. These two programs gave participants valuable tools for moving their practices forward while we are sheltering in place, and beyond. Keep an eye out for further practice development topics in our webinars.
On May 19, our Family Court judges will answer questions about the state of the Family Court in our second Judges’ Town Hall. We are also working on scheduling a similar program with the Probate judge.
On May 26, we will host a webinar for litigators from both sides of the bar, exploring how the practice of litigation is, and will continue to be, affected by the pandemic and resulting shutdown. I hope you will join us for what promises to be a robust and stimulating discussion by our panel of four prominent litigators from our community. You can learn more, and register for these and other timely programs on our website.
I recently came across a poignant anonymous piece that some of you may have seen. In stirring language, it reminds us that while we are all in the same storm, we are not in the same boat, as is often claimed. We each have our own challenges and crises to navigate, and our own ways we meet those challenges. We must be mindful that what may be an inconvenience to some is a matter of survival to others. The author asks us not to judge one another or our ways of coping with this crisis, and not to underestimate the pain of others if we do not feel it ourselves. Rather, we should recognize the reality that, “We are on different ships looking to survive [and need to] navigate [our] route with respect, empathy and responsibility.”
There are many people in our greater Marin community who are suffering greatly, and who are in desperate need of our skills and resources. If you are able, I encourage you to reach out to our other community nonprofits (Legal Aid of Marin, Canal Community Alliance, and many others) and offer to help in whatever ways you can. Whether you have time, expertise, or can help in other ways, your assistance is valuable, now more than ever.
We will emerge from this storm, and we hope to be stronger and more resilient because of it. My wish for all of you is that you stay optimistic, keep your balance, and most importantly, stay healthy and safe.
I hope we can see one another in person again soon!
Susan has been a full-time mediator since 2010, and is on the panel of Judicate West statewide. She uses insight and intuition to bring a fresh and creative approach to reaching settlement. Before becoming a mediator, Susan was a business litigator with a national law firm and practiced in house as litigation counsel for Bank of America. Susan’s mediation practice covers a wide variety of cases, including tort, employment, real estate matters and commercial litigation. When negotiating a settlement, Susan focuses on uncovering the issues fueling the dispute, and redirecting the parties towards resolution and finality. Susan is the MCBA President for 2020.