Paul J. Scheck, Esq.
The Briefs, June 2013
Every man is said to
have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I
have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by
rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying
this ambition, is yet to be developed.
--March 9, 1832, Abraham Lincoln
I have reflected on these words from Abraham Lincoln (one of my personal heroes) as I embarked on crafting my first “President’s Message.” In this political announcement from 1832, Lincoln acknowledged that his ambition was to be “truly esteemed” and to be worthy of such esteem from those he sought to represent. I, likewise, am truly humbled to have been entrusted with the leadership role of this great organization and assure each of you that I will endeavor to render myself worthy of your esteem during the upcoming bar year.
During the upcoming year, I hope that your bar leadership will be able to accomplish three main objectives. First, we will be developing and implementing a long-term strategic plan for the OCBA. The focus of this process is to devise a plan to further grow and diversify the OCBA through the foreseeable future, while making future transitions at the OCBA a seamless process. A second objective will be to maintain and further develop the level of professionalism and civility among members of our profession. Through our already very active Professionalism Committee, it will be one of my priorities to include a professionalism element in more of our programs and events. A third objective is to continue to make the OCBA relevant to all of you, its members, as well as those who are not currently members. I look forward to discussing these numerous programs in upcoming messages.
In speaking of “esteemed,” that is certainly a term describing the OCBA. As I have traveled recently in my capacity as the president-elect of your bar association, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of respect and admiration that other lawyers and bar leaders throughout the country have for the OCBA. This admiration is largely a product of the hard work of our current bar staff, led by our executive director, Brant Bittner. I am inspired by the dedication and commitment expressed by each member of our bar staff on a daily basis, and I commend them for setting the standard by which all other bar associations should be measured. We are working very hard to maintain the high level of relevant services currently being provided, while at the same time striving to implement new programs to further benefit our members over the next twelve months. I would encourage each of you to acquaint yourself with the numerous and diverse programs and services offered by the OCBA.
The word “esteemed” is also something that applies to the men and women who have gone before us and established the foundation of the OCBA, molding it into the distinguished voluntary bar association that it is today. A review of the pictures of past OCBA presidents hanging in the bar center is a constant reminder that we are called to follow their example of being servant leaders. We should collectively seek during this upcoming bar year to impact our community with the talents and treasures with which each of us has been blessed and entrusted.
“Esteemed” is a concept that also readily applies to you, the members of the OCBA. By virtue of this being a voluntary bar association, each of you has voluntarily committed yourself to being a part of something larger than your own success. This commitment level is reflected in the numerous hours dedicated on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to the less fortunate citizens of Central Florida in the form of pro bono and reduced fee services. It is also reflected in the leadership and servant roles that our members have assumed in various charitable organizations throughout our community, meeting the physical, spiritual, educational, and legal needs of our citizens. In short, I am proud to be a member of the OCBA, the finest bar association in America.
I want to thank you again for the honor and the privilege of
serving as your bar president for the upcoming year. I consider it a true blessing to have been
called to this role. As for how well I
succeed in rendering myself worthy of your esteem, as President Lincoln said, that
is yet to be developed.
Paul J. Scheck, Esq., is a partner with Shutts & Bowen, LLP. He has been a member of the OCBA since 1993.
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