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From the President: Gratitude for Years of Service


Scott Bonder, DBA Presidentby Scott Bonder
President, DeKalb Bar Association

Fifteen years ago the Twin Towers stood in New York City, NASADAQ hit an all-time high, Vladimir Putin became President of Russia, Elian Gonzalez was all over the news, and Jack Fishman took over the treasurer position for the DeKalb Bar Association. Many of our members were fledgling lawyers and a handful were in high school when Jack quietly starting laboring on behalf of the DeKalb Bar. Just recently Jack stepped down for personal reasons and he has my heartfelt gratitude.


For those of you who do not Jack personally, you should know that his has been a lifetime of service. This is a picture of Jack long before most of us knew him (and some of us were born):

jack-fishman-2smAfter the Army, Jack spent 1971 through most of 1997 working for the federal government. He was a special agent for the IRS, fought organized crimes with a Drug Enforcement Task Force and was with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. In late 1997, a scant three years before becoming treasurer of the DeKalb Bar, Jack moved to solo practice defending tax controversies, allegations of money laundering, and other financial issues.

For the DeKalb Bar, Jack has been the voice of reason and caution on financial matters. His labors likely went unnoticed by the general membership, but were deeply appreciated by the Board and officers. Indeed, a bit of a secret about the DeKalb Bar is that the lion’s share of work done by all Board members and officers combined is shouldered by the treasurer.

Please join me in thanking Jack for his time and dedication to our DeKalb Bar Association. Times such as those shown below will be more abundant for Jack now that he can simply enjoy our membership meetings and has passed along his laboring oar. Thank you Jack.

RSVP Now for the FLS Breakfast March 3


The Family Law Section Breakfast is held on the first Tuesday of each month, 7:30-9 am at the historic Old Courthouse on the square in downtown Decatur, 101 E. Court Square. Join us for for a delicious buffet breakfast and a changing lineup of guest speakers who provide insights and new information about family law.

Our guest speaker for the March 3 breakfast is Judge Desiree Peagler, Chief Judge of DeKalb Juvenile Court. To RSVP click here.

For more information . . .
If you practice family law in DeKalb County we encourage you to visit the Family Law Section page on the DeKalb Bar website where you will find valuable information regarding each DeKalb County judge’s preferences for a variety of calendar and procedural issues.

The Practice Corner: The End Credits


by Daniel DeWoskin
Trial Attorney

Anybody who knows me knows that I love movies. I love good movies, bad movies, and all that is in-between. I enjoy the experience of being inside a movie theater and watching a film from the previews to the end credits. Ever since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by the very last minutes of films, just as the screen fades out and the credits begin to roll. It is less that I care about who the key gaffer was and more about what music is playing and what feeling the audiences are left with just before they exit the theater and return to their lives.

How might our own lives be if at the moments of our death, there are end credits? Certainly everyone who mattered in any even slightly significant way would be represented. The good guys who cared, nurtured, and inspired us would be there. The villains, the antagonists, and those who caused any kind of adversity would also be there. Our friends from grade school, some of whom we might not even remember by name, would be there as they taught us something about what it is to be a friend. We learned about impermanence from these sorts of relationships.

When I think about my own life, I think about how few extras there really are in life. Everyone else on the roadway as we commute to and from work has the capacity to drastically effect our own or another’s life by the manner in which he or she chooses to drive. When we are considerate and exercise good manners or rudely brush others off, we contribute to how they may go about their day after that relatively meaningless contact. These people might have their own section in our end credits.

Next, what music might be playing as the credits roll? There are days when I think that something like Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll, Part 2” might be most fitting, but then others when something a little more toned down might speak volumes. Once again, this is not what music plays at a funeral, but what music plays as the credits to our lives roll on. If you have seen the brilliant Albert Brooks film, “Defending Your Life,” you may better understand my unusual topic this month.

In “Defending Your Life,” Albert Brooks dies and travels to an afterlife-like place, where he must engage the services of a lawyer, as all the deceased must do, and essentially affirm the value of the life that he has led. Brooks, his lawyer, and a panel of judges observe several events of his life as though they were clips from a movie. I don’t spend much time thinking about the most representative moments of my life or how they play out, but I do think from time to time about what the most important things are in my life and who the most important people are.

These are the things that had me considering the end credits. At the moment, I have no intent for the end credits to play anytime soon. I hope to have many healthy decades left, but I would hope that my own personality doesn’t age such that any rock and roll songs that might play out the last scene would turn into elevator music. What an awful thought. I suppose that if elevator music plays as someone’s end credits roll, it means little more than that they just took up space throughout their life, stopping from floor to floor and never stepping out.

If you have seen any of the Marvel superhero movies, you might understand how I would hope that, as the last few credits of my life float upward, there is a final teaser scene for the sequel. I have not yet decided whether I want this to signify that I aspire to art house reincarnation or a George Romero zombie movie. With any luck, I will have a long time to decide.

RSVP for the Bench and Bar Dinner by April 1


The officers and directors of the DeKalb Bar Association and the DeKalb Lawyers Association cordially invite you to attend the annual Bench and Bar Dinner in honor of the members of the DeKalb County Judiciary.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
6 p.m. Reception
7:30 p.m. Dinner

Justice Harold D. Melton

Druid Hills Golf Club
740 Clifton Rd NE
Atlanta GA 30307

Please R.S.V.P. by 4/1/15
Tickets: $75 per person
Complimentary admission for full-time DeKalb County judges and senior judges

Download your RSVP here.
Please fill it out and send, along with your check (if applicable) payable to:
DeKalb Bar Association, P.O. Box 3136, Decatur, GA 30031

January Luncheon Speaker Provided Insights into Background Investigations


jan-luncheon-3798smKimberly hall, our guest speaker for our January lunch, gave an engaging presentation called “Background Investigations–Not Just for Dating Anymore.”

Kimberly is pictured at right with DBA President Scott Bonder.