OCBA UPDATE: Judges and lawyers coming together through the OCBA

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Here come old flat top,
He come grooving up slowly,
He got joo-joo eyeball,
He one holy roller,
He got hair down to his knee.
Got to be a joker, he just do what he please.

Come together,
Right Now,
Over me.

He bag production,
He got walrus gumboot,
He got Ono sideboard,
He one spinal cracker,
He got feet down below his knee
Hold you in his armchair, you can feel his disease.

Come together,
Right now,
Over me.

He roller coaster,
He got early warning,
He got muddy water,
He one mojo filter,
He say, One and one
And one is three.
Got to be good looking
'Cause he's so hard to see.

Come together,
Right now,
Over me.

"Come Together" (John Lennon)
Released: September 26, 1969
Abbey Road

In the fall of 1969 I began my senior year at Southfield High School. This was a very hectic time in my life. Like many high school seniors, I was preparing to take my SAT college board entrance exams and sorting out which colleges I might like to attend. Adding to this manic process were my responsibilities as senior class president, serving on the board of our National Honor Society chapter, and playing on the Southfield Chiefs traveling hockey team.

In the midst of all of this senior year chaos, a very unsettling rumor was spreading that my beloved Beatles were unraveling as a group and contemplating disbanding. Needless to say, I found the idea to be very disturbing.

In September 1969 the group released its last album, "Abbey Road." As I have noted in my other articles, The Beatles were sonic innovators whose creative demands resulted in new recording methods and techniques. Abbey Road Studios was the laboratory in which the band did their work. It is only appropriate the group's last album was named for the facility where they changed musical history.

"Abbey Road" was The Beatles best-selling album. In the United States alone, it spent 12 weeks in the top spot on the music charts and sold approximately five million copies. To many die-hard fans like me, this album seemed like the start of a brand-new era for the group. No one except The Beatles could have known "Abbey Road" would be the band's last album.

One of my favorite songs on the album was called "Come Together." The concept of "come together" originated as a campaign slogan for Timothy Leary a psychologist, writer, philosopher, "Apostle of LSD" and messenger of the counter-culture of the 1960s who was running for governor of California against Ronald Reagan in the 1970 election.

Timothy Leary and John Lennon had become friends in the summer of 1969 and Lennon asked Leary if there was anything he could do to help with Leary's candidacy. Leary asked Lennon to write for him a campaign song involving the slogan "come together." While the campaign song John Lennon wrote for Timothy Leary and the "Come Together" song that ultimately appeared on the Abbey Road album were quite different, both songs espoused the concept of coming together. (Ironically for The Beatles, "Come Together" on the Abbey Road album was the last song all four Beatles ever cut together as a group.)

One of the many benefits the Oakland County Bar Association offers to its members is that it provides opportunities for the members of our great Oakland County judiciary to "come together" with members of our stellar bar association. I cannot thank our Oakland County district court judges, Probate Court judges and Circuit Court judges enough for their commitment in participating in OCBA-sponsored events.

One such great come-together program is the "May it Please the Court" program, where members of our judiciary serve as panelists and discuss with our members practice tips for appearing before the judges. The "May it Please the Court" program is held in conjunction with the New Lawyers Committee's "Meet the Judges" event. "May it Please the Court" gives our judges and members an opportunity to interact with one another in a substantive learning environment in a fun and informal setting. These two programs have been hosted by the OCBA for many years and have proven to be a wonderful opportunity for our judges and OCBA members to get to know one another.

The OCBA also regularly invites our Oakland County judges to participate at committee meetings involving family law, probate law, juvenile law and employment law, to name but a few. Whenever our Oakland County judges have been asked to speak at the committee meetings, they have kindly obliged and have made meaningful contributions in their committee presentations. The Oakland County Bar Association provides committee opportunities wherein its members and judges get a chance to be with one another close-up and break down some of the barriers between practitioners and judges so we can all feel more comfortable and effective in one another's company.

The OCBA also sponsors come-together luncheons and social activities with our judiciary and OCBA members. In January 2016, the OCBA's Debtor/Creditor, Employment Law and Real Estate Law committees held a Business Court staff appreciation lunch. This event was a sold-out affair that provided a superb opportunity for our OCBA members who practice law in these areas to get to know better Judge James Alexander and Judge Wendy Potts, who serve as our Business Court judges.

In addition, the Probate, Estates and Trusts Committee, the Criminal Law Committee and the Family Court Committee each host a holiday party or a social event for OCBA practitioners in these areas and invite our Oakland County judges who are involved in these areas of the law to attend. All of these come-together events are extremely well-attended and again provide a unique opportunity for interaction between our OCBA members and judges that would not otherwise exist.

A fantastic come-together OCBA event is the annual bench/bar conference. The conference alternates each year between a Circuit-Probate Court Bench/Bar and a District Court Bench/Bar. On April 29, 2016, the OCBA is hosting a District Court Bench/Bar Conference at Orchard Lake Country Club. In keeping with the OCBA's egalitarian approach in bar association events, an open registration policy has been implemented. Hopefully, by the time you read this article, you have already signed up for what promises to be the best District Court Bench/Bar Conference ever.

Special thanks go to District Court Judge James Brady and District Court Judge Maureen McGinnis, who is also an OCBA board member, for donating their valuable time to be co-chairpersons of this year's OCBA District Court Bench/Bar Conference. There will be a criminal law track and a civil law track, and very informative and interesting speakers will be presenting.

The criminal law sessions at the District Court Bench/Bar Conference will include a timely update on medical marijuana issues including case law, legislative action and a preview of coming attractions in the area. Other interesting criminal sessions will involve alternative sentencing, and there will be an informative discussion on search and seizure law.

On the flip side, one of the civil law sessions will deal with effective, ethical and compliant collection of consumer debt, including do's and don'ts for general practitioners. Another session discusses landlord/tenant law and the most common issues faced by lawyers on both sides of the landlord/tenant process. The third civil law session will be a panel discussion with several of our distinguished district court judges, who will provide useful practice tips for attorneys appearing before our district court judges.

The upcoming OCBA District Court Bench/Bar Conference is a must-attend event. The OCBA prides itself on providing valuable programs throughout the entire year that bring its members together with our Oakland County judges. All of our OCBA members and district court judges should "come together, right now" at the OCBA District Court Bench/Bar Conference. I look forward to seeing all of you at this educational and fun event.

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David Carl Anderson, of Law Office of David C. Anderson PC, is the 83rd president of the Oakland County Bar Association. Share thoughts about the OCBA or anything else with Anderson at 248-649-5502 or dcalaw08@att.net.

Published: Mon, Apr 25, 2016

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