I’m honored to serve as the President of the Desert Bar Association this year. Thank you for believing in me and for your continuing support of the good work we do. Specifically, I want to thank our past presidents, past board members, members and friends who have helped build this great organization to what it is today.
As President of the DBA, I hope to continue the association’s great work by building strong connections amongst members of the legal community. We will do so by promoting continuing legal education and collegiality within the desert’s legal community. The DBA also has programs that extend to the entire community, including high school students and mature adults, and to educate local residents about legal rights, issues and processes.
We plan to have many enjoyable programs for the members to increase their professional knowledge as well as their sphere of influence. Rob Gilliland, our incoming Vice President, has many wonderful speakers lined up for the MCLE luncheons as well as exciting new locations for the DBA Mixers.
As many of you know, my practice focuses in estate planning, trust and probate administration. Most of our clients are age 50 and over and we are seeing a growing epidemic of frauds being committed against this age group. Fraudsters are using new tactics to take advantage of retiring baby boomers and the growing number of older Americans because this age group controls approximately 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. This includes scams such as phony IRS agents threatening to file lawsuits and to have arrest warrants issued against the seniors. Financial abuse of mature adults is estimated to have cost victims at least $2.9 billion last year.
As your President this year, I am committed to an outreach program in the Coachella Valley to proactively protect victims of this growing crime in America – Financial Elder Abuse. I plan to do so by establishing educational classes across the Valley to increase public awareness. The DBA will also provide resources and information on our new website for those who may be at risk, and offer victims access to our member attorneys who assist them.
I plan to accomplish this goal by working with those of you who are willing to be community speakers to help spread the important knowledge to the aging population and those who love them. In addition, the DBA will work with the State Bar of California, Adult Protective Services, as well as the Elder Abuse Unit of the Riverside County District Attorney’s office to elevate the impact. I’m looking forward to working with the excellent and dedicated Officers and Trustees. We also have a remarkable executive assistant, Sue Byerly, to help us run things smoothly. Together, we will work hard so that the DBA can achieve its new initiative.
Finally, we need your new and continuing support and participation. We cannot make this happen without you. As you celebrate with us tonight, we thank all of you for the strong support of the Desert Bar Association and for making the last 65 years possible. Here is to the next 65 years!