Nameplate: New president takes helm of bar association

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– Photos by John Meiu


GROUP PHOTO: The OCBA also recognized its 40-Year Honorees, a distinguished group that included (listed alphabetically) Phillip G. Adkison, Dennis D. Alberts, Denise Alexander-Pyle, Frank L. Andrews, C. Leslie Banas, Larry W. Bennett, Barry L. Brickner, Joseph P. Buttiglieri, Donald F. Carney, Jr., Dan W. Chandler, Ronald T. Charlebois, Karen Gullberg Cook, Margaret A. Coughlin, Richard D. Fox, Michael S. Freud, John L. Gierak, Deborah L. Gordon, Ronald F. Graham, Dennis M. Haffey, William C. Hanson, David M. Hess, Richard A. Hooker, Lon R. Jackson, Paul H. Jacokes, Chui Karega, L. Neal Kennedy, Gerald H. Ladue, Hon. David M. Lawson, Michael B. Lewis, Kenneth M. Mattson, Stephen D. McGraw, Dale J. McLellan, Keith J. Norman, Victor M. Norris, Joseph E. Papelian, Richard G. Partrich, Lee C. Patton, Mitchell Ribitwer, Mark A. Roberts, Barry M. Rosenbaum, Jerome Sabbota, Shirley A. Saltzman, William C. Schaefer, Daniel M. Share, John A. Stevens, Tess Schafer Sullivan, James J. Williams, Richard E. Zuckerman.

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

There was a changing of the guard June 2 at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Oakland County Bar Association, but in more than name only.

David Carl Anderson, president of the OCBA for the past year, turned over the ceremonial gavel to an equally familiar name in Oakland Bar circles, David C. Anderson, a longtime attorney with Collins Einhorn.

The outgoing president, a solo practitioner based in Troy, welcomed his successor to the task of leading the 3,000-plus-member OCBA after receiving kudos and accepting congratulations for his tireless efforts in helping guide the largest local bar association in the state over the past year.

The new president, the 84th in the annals of the OCBA, began his tenure at the top by delivering a heart-felt talk centered around the theme of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” borrowing the phrase from founding father Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

“‘Life’ begins and ends with my family,” said Anderson, a University of Michigan alum who earned his juris doctor in 1998 from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

In particular, Anderson singled out his parents, sister, in-laws, sons Adam and Jacob, and his “wonderful wife, Lorelei,” who “works full time at Pfizer and still manages to make our house a home.”

On the topic of “Liberty,” Anderson said it encompasses the “freedom to accomplish our goals because of the OCBA staff” and its hard-working executive director, Terri Gilbert, along with “really great and dynamic board members.”

Anderson also recognized the role of his partners at Collins Einhorn, which is marking its 45th anniversary this year. The firm counts Brian Einhorn, past president of the State Bar of Michigan, and Mike Sullivan, past president of the OCBA, among its partners.

He also paid tribute to the work of the Oakland County Bar Foundation, led over the past year by Chuck Moore and currently headed by Kaveh Kashef, an attorney with Clark Hill.

“This year,” Anderson told those gathered for the Annual Meeting at the Centerpoint Marriott, “we're going to focus on financial and structural issues facing the bar. There is a need to become ‘leaner and meaner,’ as cost continue to rise while revenue has remained stagnant.”

As such, according to Anderson, there will be “no new presidential initiatives this year.” Instead, he indicated, “we’re going to make sure we’re using our resources appropriately and ensure through good governance that the bar is here today, tomorrow, and for years to come.”

In order to accomplish the goal of long-term viability, “we need to understand what our value proposition is,” said Anderson, who specializes in professional liability defense work at Collins Einhorn.

The proposition leads to the ever-elusive “Pursuit of Happiness,” said Anderson, noting that the “happiest people are the ones with the most community,” the kind that the “bar association provides.”

The OCBA, he said, “does many things, but above all else, the association is a community, a community where we can ask our neighbors for help. We can rely on our neighbors.

We eat together. We become friends. We participate together. And who knows, maybe we’ll even dance together from time to time.

“So, when people ask, ‘Why should I join the OCBA?’ tell them the obvious, because it will help you grow your network, be more successful, but most importantly, it will allow you to be part of a community that will make you happier.”
 

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