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President’s Message

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August 2022


By: Michael A. Scafiddi, Esq.

Work Hard and Play Hard

Like most of you, I find that in order to be successful as an attorney, you need to work long hours.  It requires you to make many personal sacrifices to represent your clients well.  I often still work sixty-hour work weeks, which leaves me emotionally and physically exhausted.  I understand from my mentors that this is what is required to do the best work possible.  I would not change the way I practice law for anything.

However, over the last few years, I have done my best to have a better work life balance.  I do that by trying to walk more, exercise more, and in trying to regulate my sleep.  I also try to go on weekend get aways with my wife to try to relax and take a deep breath before I go back to the next work week.

This year, to celebrate our 44th year wedding anniversary (if you talk to Darlene, she will tell you it seems longer), we took a three-year delayed, three weeklong vacation in Europe.  Our first location was flying into London from Los Angeles, where my wife and I met up with my dear cousin, Barbara, who I had not seen in many years.  We also enjoyed a Duran Duran concert in Hyde Park, London, along with 70,000 other fans of the band.  It was truly a wonderful Saturday evening in London.

While in London, we were also able to go on the Beatles tour and Darlene and I took a photograph of us walking across Abbey Road in front of the Abbey Road studios.  If you are a Beatles fan like I am, you know that is a once in a lifetime experience.

We left London and took the train to Paris, the City of Love.  That was my third trip to Paris in the last fifteen years, and as always, it is a remarkable, fun, and romantic city, whether it is just sitting at a sidewalk café, having a wonderful lunch, drinking a bottle of French wine, and watching people walk by, or attending the Coldplay concert at the national stadium with 80,000 other fans of the band.  If you are a Coldplay fan, you know their concerts involve one of the most interactive bands in the world.  The music, the lights, the fireworks, the feeling of love that is in the stadium is just remarkable.

Darlene and I were able to watch the Bastille Day Parade on July 14th and had the opportunity to be within seventy-five feet of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, as he was waving to the crowd.  That was a pretty awesome event.

We were in Paris for four days and then we went to Basel, Switzerland, where we were able to enjoy the local customs and some food.  We had an opportunity, along with our dear friends, Eric and Wendy Hunt, to float down the Rhine River which is a local summer custom in Basel.  We also had an opportunity to stay at this wonderful hotel and enjoy the Napoleon Bonaparte Suite which was simply an amazing part of history.

We then took our seven-day Rhine River Cruise which began in Basel and ended in Amsterdam.  Throughout our cruise, we were able to stop and discover great cities such as Salzburg and Cologne, Germany.  During the cruise, we enjoyed castles, great food, great company, and great wine. One of the highlights was in Cologne, Germany where we went to the Cathedral that is believed to be the resting place of the Three Magi (Three Wise Men).  We ended our cruise in the Netherlands, where we saw working windmills.  I took a couple of great pictures of that which you will be able to see below.

Our next port of call was in Amsterdam where we spent one and one-half days in that wonderful city.  The highlight of Amsterdam, and one of the most memorable events of our holiday, was touring the Anne Frank home and museum.  It is hard to put into words walking around that house and knowing the story of Anne Frank and the other people who were hiding there for about fifteen months before being captured by the Gestapo.  Seven of the eight people died, and the only one who survived was Anne’s father.  It was important for me to spend many hours at that museum that day and to reflect on the atrocities the Nazis committed on innocent Jewish people.  The Holocaust is undoubtedly in my opinion the most horrific event in the history of man.  I prayed that day for their souls and for peace for them and their family.  I will never forget that day for the rest of my life.

Darlene and I then traveled back to London where we had one more great evening in that cosmopolitan city.  It was truly a trip of a lifetime and which I will hold fond memories of forever.

Of all the things that we did, it is hard to make a list of what was best, second best, etc., but ultimately what was truly best was sharing that time with my wife, Darlene, a short time with my cousin, Barbara, and a week and a half with our best friends, Eric and Wendy Hunt.  It was really the trip of a lifetime that filled my heart with happiness.

I would encourage everyone, especially the lawyers who work sixty-hour weeks, to take some time for yourselves and your loved ones to enjoy the fruits of your labor and to take those moments to refresh, reflect, and to gear back up.

If I have learned anything over the last several years, it is that life is fleeting, and we should live each day as if it were our last.

As always, stay safe and healthy, and work well and care.

Michael A. Scafiddi, Esq.

WSBCBA President