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Dear Members of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association,
Shortly after I joined the Tax Division of the Department of Justice as a newly-minted lawyer, I attended my first Judicial Conference of the then-United States Claims Court. That was in 1988—only a year after the founding of the Bar Association. While I’m sure the panel presentations were timely and riveting, my most vivid memory is of the conference luncheon, where I had the pleasure of sitting next to an individual with whom I enjoyed a lively conversation. Shortly after appetizers were served, I realized that I, a neophyte member of the Court’s bar, was hobnobbing with one of its most experienced and respected Judges—Christine Nettesheim (now Judge Miller). This unique opportunity was in many ways thanks to the Bar Association, which provides robust support for the Court’s annual judicial conferences and other regular interactive events. One of my goals this year is to ensure that the Bar Association’s collaboration with the Court in providing these memorable opportunities for its members continues in the tradition established 25 years ago.
To that end, the Board of Governors and I will concentrate on assisting the Court in maintaining the stellar quality of the signature annual events--the Law Day celebration in May and the fall Judicial Conference—as well as the Brown Bag panel presentations in which both bench and bar are active participants. Moreover, we will pursue the Association’s educational mission, consistent with our 501(c)(3) status, through the annual Carole Bailey Scholarship that recognizes substantial commitment to public service (and had 89 applicants in 2012), our writing competition, and scholarships covering expenses related to the Association's activities. In addition, we will continue to provide to Association members timely and thoughtful updates on significant Court developments, through our publications, the periodic Newsletter and Inside 717.
A recent innovation to encourage membership in the Bar Association is a standing offer to existing members: if you refer a new member to the Bar Association, your membership for the year is free. We hope that in the coming year we will gain many new members, in all practice areas within the Court’s jurisdiction. We are fortunate to be a part of the Court of Federal Claims community, and our ultimate goal is to ensure that the Bar Association enriches your practice before the Court.
In closing, the Board of Governors and I thank you for supporting the Bar Association and encourage you to become actively involved.
U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association