By Jack Goodchild
It is with great excitement and pride that I have assumed the role of Chair of the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the California lawyers Association. My term runs from October 12th of this year for one year. I have been privileged to be a part of the executive committee as it transitioned from functioning as part of the State Bar of California to its new role as a section within the newly formed California Lawyers Association. This has been a process which has been aided by extensive work by many people throughout our legal world including of course the many members of our section and of the other sections which have now become part of the California Lawyers Association. To be clear, what could have been a negative and diminishing event has been turned into an opportunity for the sections to take what they have been doing to improve our profession to a much higher and more productive level than ever.
The California Lawyers Association has essentially taken over the service- oriented functions of the State Bar leaving discipline and regulation as the remaining focus of State Bar activities. Education, community outreach, and service to the community is the focus of the activities promoted by the California Lawyers Association. Rather than feeling hampered by this change, we feel empowered by the support and organization which we now receive. In addition, the focus is now on substance rather than optics and we are excited to raise our work to even higher levels of accomplishment.
In assuming my new role, I wish to strongly acknowledge the inspiration and guidance and leadership I have learned from during my years on the executive committee. I wish to greatly thank Maria Sager the outgoing Chair who has led our committee with a sage and heartfelt approach leading us with kindness and dedication above and beyond the call of duty. I also thank all the present and past members and leaders of the executive committee whose hard work and dedication has served to educate me and to inspire me to continue to strive to provide the best service and education possible to our community. I thank Paige Levy, Yvonne Lang, Jay Shergil, Kenny Sheppard, David Skaggs, all of whom precede me and Maria Sager in our positions as chair of the committee while I have had the privilege to serve. All these people deserve recognition and appreciation from our community. While it is a privilege to serve, it is hard work, very time consuming and requires sacrifice.
My goals for the following year are further set forth in an article I have prepared for the Workers’ Compensation Quarterly. I invite you to read it in the forthcoming edition. In short, I have spent my entire professional career in this area of law, and I want our committee to do everything possible to raise both the level of practice and the reputation of those involved in our area of law. Part of this is getting rid of the “bad apples” who bring our mutual reputation down. I invite you to watch the webinar on Fraud in the California workers compensation system. I invite our community to reach out and become more involved in the work of our committee. Attend our education programs, offer to become a speaker or to present a webinar. Write an article for the e-news or the Workers Compensation Quarterly. Volunteer to become involved in community outreach. Apply for membership in the executive committee. This is your committee and we are here to serve you.