As I receive the gavel from Daren Lipinsky, and seek to fulfill the challenges and responsibilities of President for the Western San Bernardino County Bar Association, I am confronted with the privileged opportunity of building upon a legacy created by my many predecessors who have established a tradition of excellence. I ride on the coat tails of some of the most accomplished, highly respected, and dedicated lawyers as I now look to continue, and to build upon, the many standards of excellence with which we, as an organization, serve our members.
I have been practicing law for over thirty years in this community, and my primary focus has been representing plaintiffs in all sorts of injury producing accidents involving motor vehicles, premises, dog bites, and medical malpractice. I am blessed in that throughout the tenure of my career, I have worked in a profession that has given me so much, on so many different levels. Yet, I am even more blessed to now be in a position to give back to the very legal profession that has provided me with such an abundance of benefits.
I enthusiastically look forward to bringing forth a type of leadership that continues with the level of passion and discipline reflected by our past presidents. I whole heartedly believe that with the collective efforts of our board, a diverse group of hard working, highly dedicated, and well accomplished legal practitioners, coupled with the participation of our members, we can continue to build upon an agenda that catapults our association into an organization, which provides benefits to our membership that are unparalleled.
The primary focus of my agenda includes the following:
1. I will make the task of increasing our membership base my primary focus. I will implement new and innovative ideas that will help improve the manner and efficacy in which we reach out to prospective members in our community. I will review the benefits provided to our members and seek ways to improve upon the types of continuing education courses, social functions, and overall benefits provided to our members with the primary focus of increasing the appeal of becoming a member.
2. I will extend my hand out to our sister organization, the San Bernardino County Bar Association with the intention of exploring ways in which we can support one another, and collaborate to create joint continuing education programs, joint social functions, and in doing so, create opportunities whereby members from both Associations will be certain to create vast opportunities for networking that will yield tremendous benefits to our members. We are a diverse legal community and uniting the efforts of our organizations will only exponentially increase the benefits provided to our members- and of course, the appeal of becoming a member.
3. I will continue with our efforts to introduce the Fee Dispute Program with the hopes of doing so by the beginning of 2018.
4. I will also continue in our efforts to work closely with our civil courts in seeking to re-introduce the programs on low cost mediations with ADR specifically focusing on cases that have a value of less than $50,000.00. The ultimate goal in re-introducing this program is two-fold. First, to help alleviate the court’s congestion by providing a low-cost avenue to settle a plethora of cases that are presently backing up our system. Second, to benefit the San Bernardino County litigants by introducing a low cost means of resolving cases to litigants that might not otherwise be able to afford the cost of mediation.
5. I will continue in our efforts to strengthen the mentorship program. Looking back on my career, my first year of practicing law was the most stressful because I had to learn things by the school of “Hard Knocks”. I will seek to encourage the more senior lawyers to mentor the baby lawyers with the goal of equipping them at an early stage in their careers with knowledge and information that will help create highly effective and well refined practitioners. In fact, if you would like to be a mentor, or would like to be mentored, please reach out to me or anyone of our Board of Directors.
If you have any ideas on how this organization can continue to grow and flourish, I encourage you to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to call me at (909) 982-0707.
I eagerly embrace the privileged opportunity to serve as your President, and reiterate my vow to bring a disciplined and passionate work ethic in meeting the challenges of the Western San Bernardino County Bar Association, as we embark on our continued quest to bring an unparalleled level of excellence to our organization.
Fernando D. Vargas