Welcome to the start of the Desert Bar Association’s 68 th year! It is never an easy task to follow in the footsteps of so many great Presidents of the Desert Bar Association. I have done my best to learn from our current, outgoing president Robert J. Gilliland, Jr., along with all of the great presidents that I have served under over the past eight years. It is through their efforts and those of all the other past presidents and trustees that have served our community, that our Desert Bar Association has such an excellent reputation in Riverside County and across the state. And in my view, very few, if any, Bar Associations can boast of such an extraordinary relationship between fellow members and our local Judges. This is truly a wonderful place to live and practice law, and I will do my best to continue to strengthen our comradery, our Bar Association, and our great relationship with the Bench!
We, as attorneys, have a rare opportunity to help people solve their problems, positively impact our community and promote the Rule of Law. The Rule of Law is essential to preserving and protecting the rights and liberties of a free people, and throughout history, lawyers and judges have preserved, protected and defended the Rule of Law in order to ensure justice for all. As you may know, I am a proud member and I serve as the Secretary/Treasurer of our local Inn of Court, the Warren Slaughter-Richard Roemer Inn of Court. Our Inn’s main purpose is to promote the highest standards of excellence in civility, professionalism, and ethics in the practice of law. I am a strong believer in the Rule of Law and the mission of the Inn of Court and will do my best to promote these ideals within our Desert Bar Association this year.
Over the years, I have been privileged to work with our officers and trustees on many great Desert Bar Association projects, from serving as Chair of our Fee Arbitration Program, to Patricia Muro’s efforts to promote charity in under-served parts of our community, to Kimberly Lee’s efforts regarding Estate Planning and Elder Abuse programs, to Karen Sloat’s efforts regarding mentoring and our DBA website, to Julie Balbini’s efforts in keeping the Bird Awards going and growing over the years, to Rob Gilliland’s current efforts to update our DBA Bylaws and bring the Desert Courts back to a direct calendar system that we know to be so much more efficient and effective for our Desert community. I will continue to work with our officers and trustees and our members on these and other important programs, and I would encourage all of you to reach out to me or any of the other officers or trustees if you would like to volunteer to assist or support in these efforts.
Finally, I encourage each of our members to get more involved with the DBA in some way. Whatever your area of practice or interest, the DBA likely has a committee or group to enhance that area of the Law, or would be willing to start a group to do so, as we recently did with the Real Estate, Business & Bankruptcy Section. I urge you to make every effort to come to at least one additional DBA event next year. I invite our younger members to introduce themselves to more seasoned members, and vice versa, leaving each event knowing one new person. I can promise you we will try to make every meeting and event worthwhile to our members.
Looking forward to the wonderful year ahead! Thank you for your continued support of the DBA.
Christoffer J. Thomsen
President of the Desert Bar Association