Thank you very much for the opportunity to be president of WILG for the coming year. This is my first WILG President's Message and I hope to set out some of our goals for the coming year. As I said in my speech at the President's Dinner at the Las Vegas convention, my theme for the year is Working for Justice Together. There are many ways that all of us in WILG can accomplish this in the upcoming year.
For those of you who did not come to the Las Vegas convention, it was a very successful Convention. Our staff, led by Executive Director Jennifer Comer, Office Manager Carol McCann and the newest member of our team, Membership and Marketing Director Wendy Dyal, did an outstanding job of planning this convention. The convention had the third highest attendance with attendance at the CLE Conference the highest ever.
For those of you who missed the convention, you missed an opportunity to network and learn from workers' compensation thought leaders throughout the country. WILG members set the standard in representation of their clients and as policy advocates that benefits all injured workers in both the state and federal systems. This is one of the ways that we Work for Justice Together.
I also want to give special recognition to Mack Babcock and David Nomberg, CLE Chairs, who did a tremendous job putting together the CLE program. It is hard to beat the number of hours and quality of speakers that were on display at the WILG conference.
For those of you who were unable to make the Las Vegas convention, WILG will be coming to an area near you throughout the year. The weekend of December 16 and 17 will see the Northeast Regional Conference in New York and the Northwest Regional will be in Whitefish, Montana from February 21-23. The Southeast Regional Conference will overlap our Longshore conference in New Orleans with Longshore being held March 22-23 and the SE Regional being presented on March 23-24. The newest member of our regional conference schedule, the Midwest Regional, will be held in Kansas City, Missouri April 28-29. There are many opportunities for WILG members to interact with colleagues in their parts of the country through attendance at the regional conferences. The regional conferences have been proven to be very popular and we hope that you can make the one in your region this year.
In addition, WILG leaders will be speaking at numerous conferences throughout the year. Immediate President Amie Peters and I spoke at the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives (NATLE) in Seattle in November. Past President Mike Gruber spoke at the NJ Association for Justice Meadowlands Conference in November. I will be speaking to Michigan Trial Lawyers Association in January and we will have a strong presence at the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers induction in Coral Gables from March 14 through 16. Additionally, there will be a WILG Dinner on March 15th honoring the newest WILG Fellows of the College.
Many of you have asked me how you can become more involved in WILG. It is very easy because there are so many ways in which you can help WILG. We need more people to become involved with our task forces or committees, you could get on a Steering Committee for one of our Regional Conferences, you can always increase your own membership level to become a board member, or get another member for WILG. Like most organizations, we are always are in need of more members so any assistance that can be given would be gratefully appreciated.
Also, you may have received an e-mail from Jennifer asking you to fill out the WILG Legislative Survey. We send this out in December so that WILG can help determine which issues need our attention. Please fill that out as soon as possible. The more responses we get, the more effective we can be. Let us know how we can help you during this legislative season. There will also be a survey at the end of the legislative season. Responding to those surveys is a great way to let us know how we can work for Justice with you this year.
Additionally, we are here to help you. If you think that the presence of a WILG leader at your state organization would be helpful, please let Jennifer or me know. We have had speakers in Alabama and New Jersey in the last couple of months, and are scheduled to be in Michigan in January and Montana in August. Let us know how we can help you.
We are also looking to help a number of states better organize their workers' compensation attorneys. It is clear that some of the states that have suffered from tremendous workers' compensation reform efforts are those in which the workers' compensation attorneys are not organized. Even if you have as few as 10 or 15 claimants' lawyers doing workers' compensation work in your state, being well organized with a well-organized listserve can be of great assistance when the future political battles arise.
There are many ways that we can Work for Justice Together this year. Whether helping your individual clients, whether being on our amicus committee, whether being on one of our task forces or committees or helping to better organize the attorneys in your state we do well for our clients when we all work together. Please contact me at email@example.com if I can be of any assistance to you. I look forward to Working for Justice Together with you this year.
Gerber & holder
16 Lenox Pointe
atlanta, Georgia 30324
Click here to read President Amie C. Peters President's Messages
Click here to read Immediate Past President's Messages by Michael K. Gruber