2016 FBA Annual Meeting in Cleveland Recap

Recap of Matt McGhie’s Experience at the September 2016 FBA Annual Meeting in Cleveland



I had the privilege of representing the International Law Section at the FBA Annual Meeting in Cleveland on Sept. 15-16. On Friday morning, I attended the Legislative Update featuring Bruce Moyer, the FBA’s longtime Counsel for Government Relations. He indicated that there are now 96 Federal Court vacancies, most of which are in the Federal District Courts.

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, I attended a U.S. Naturalization Ceremony at the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank for 26 new Americans from 20 different countries. While I was there, I had a nice conversation with a woman from Ukraine who didn’t have any friends or family with her to celebrate her naturalization. It was a very moving experience, which reinforced my gratitude for living in such a wonderful country.

The International Law Section sponsored a small gathering in the conference hotel from 3:30-4:30 p.m.. About a dozen ILS members attended, including our incoming Chair, Brian Murphy; our Treasurer, Roger Kobert; one of our Committee Chairs, Angelika Hunnefeld; and Linda Murnane, who was profiled earlier this year in Global Perspectives. After brief introductions, we talked briefly about the process by which the ILS could gain consultative status at the United Nations.



On Friday evening, the host committee sponsored a delightful event at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which sits on the shore of Lake Erie. The food was delicious, the band was excellent, and the venue was incredible. Near the end of the evening, as I was trying to leave, I got dragged onto the dance floor by a group of ladies who needed a dance partner. As it turns out, the event photographer was in the right place to preserve the moment. Check out the next issue of The Federal Lawyer to see if the photo survived the cutting room floor.

Saturday began at 8:00 a.m. with the National Council Meeting. Karen Silberman, who has been serving as the FBA’s Executive Director for the last four years, was given a standing ovation for her service and Stacy King, who had been serving as her deputy, was introduced as her replacement. The highlight of the meeting, as usual, was Jonathan Hafen’s Membership Report, which featured the Ohio State Alumni Band and an announcement that the organization had finally crossed the 18,500 membership threshold.

While the meal at Saturday’s Awards Luncheon was not particularly satisfying, I was deeply satisfied to receive two awards on behalf of our outstanding section. Thanks to Heather Carney Costanzo’s tireless efforts, we received the Meritorious Newsletter Award. In addition, we were one of only six sections and divisions to receive the Section and Division Recognition Award. I am sincerely grateful to all who contributed to our section’s rebirth during the past year.

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