Hon. Glenn A. Norton
BAMSL President, 2020-21
Of Counsel, Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch, L.C.
Mediator, Special Master, Alaris
Originally published in the June 2020 issue of the St. Louis Lawyer magazine. View in the archives.
As some of you may have witnessed, BAMSL held a virtual swearing-in ceremony of our 2020-21 Board of Governors and Young Lawyers Division Executive Board on May 1, 2020. As tradition would have it, during the annual Law Day celebration, we always hold a "passing of the gavel" ceremony in which all past BAMSL presidents in attendance are invited to the front of the room, and in order of the year they presided, a gavel is passed down to the new president. We still plan to do just that at this year's Law Day, which now has not only been rescheduled once, but twice. Please make a note that the new Law Day will be held on Fri., Oct. 2 at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown St. Louis.
As you may have seen on the video of the swearing-in, we held a slightly revised version of the passing of the gavel. Outgoing President Sara Neill held a gavel on camera and tossed it off-screen from her home. By the magic of technology, in the next shot, you could see a "gavel" tossed to me from off-screen in my home. It had morphed to be a mallet by the time it made it in warp speed to my living room.
As it turns out, despite being in a household with a current judge and a retired judge, there were not any real gavels to be found, so instead, a mallet was used. I joked that it might represent how much damage I could really do this year. The reality is, I hope to build upon the great foundation already in place for this amazing organization.
By the time the 2020-21 Law Day rolls around, I will have served five months as president already, so it may seem a little silly to conduct another swearing-in, but we will still keep some of the traditions of the day, including honoring everyone Sara selected to receive Law Day Awards for their commendable work during the 2019-20 bar year. I also invite all past presidents to attend and participate in the official passing of the gavel ceremony.
Although the 2020-21 BAMSL bar year did not start out exactly as everyone had envisioned, I continue to be impressed with what BAMSL leadership, staff and members have been able to accomplish as we all work remotely. I strongly encourage you to read this month's Cover Story that outlines all of the amazing things that have happened just since mid-March, when the local and state stay-at-home orders were implemented.
As we begin to open back up and feel more comfortable about returning to in-person events and meetings, I hope that we all will continue to take a pause and realize what is really important, and continue to exercise caution and kindness toward each other.
Although everything is delayed, I look forward to being with all of you at this year's now first official in-person event, Rendezvous on the Roof, which currently is scheduled for July 23 at Clayton On The Park.
As I write this, the annual Bench & Bar Conference would be starting in a week, always a great time networking with colleagues and our friends in the judiciary in a relaxed, fun environment at the Lake of the Ozarks, and an official kick off to the summer. Instead, we will have to wait and actually close out the summer with Bench & Bar this year, as it now is rescheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 2. It promises to be a great, informative conference as always. And contrary to rumors that I may appear in a "Saturday Night Fever"-inspired John Travolta outfit to go along with this year's Disco at the BAMSL theme, let me just inform everyone that it was been permanently lost in a previous move.
I look forward to the day that all of us feel safe and comfortable enough to gather once again for in-person meetings, CLEs and networking events. Regardless of how we meet, virtually or in-person, I appreciate the teamwork of BAMSL members, leadership and staff that already has been provided and will continue throughout the 2020-21 bar year. And I promise to have a real gavel for future official business.