Jessica A. Pritchard, Esq.
Bucks County Bar Association President

As my year as President of the Bucks County Bar Association begins, I am looking forward to  many fun events, learning opportunities and new friends in the 135th year of this venerable institution.  However, I cannot move forward without thanking he who has come before me. Past President, Dave Truelove, led the organization through a trying time as we transitioned to a new Executive Director in early 2017.  By the end of his year, you would not have known there had been disruption at all.  I was blessed to be part of the process. Following his example will be a real challenge.

It’s been a busy year so far, with more great things on the horizon.  By the time you read this (I am writing in early January), we will have celebrated the annual Opening of the Assizes on February 15, 2018.  A week earlier, in conjunction with the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, there was a business card exchange.  We will continue to seek opportunities to meet and interact with members of the local business community – otherwise known as people who could benefit from the services of our members.

During late January and early February, the Young Lawyers’ Division will host the annual state-wide high school Mock Trial competition.  Our Young Lawyers arrange for courtrooms, bailiffs, time keepers and volunteer attorney jurors for this month-long competition.  It is not an easy feat.  Many thanks to all of our members who logged many hours coordinating and volunteering for this time-consuming but rewarding event. I am particularly grateful to our YLD chair, Mike Martin, and YLD chair-elect, Jeremy Puglia, for making this a successful event for the members of our community – legal and larger.

Our various committees, sections and divisions are hard at work planning programs and events for our members, as well as diligently working behind the scenes on policies, procedures, and an updated strategic plan. Our CLE schedule is packed with informative programs in key substantive areas. We continue to look for new member benefits and services to maximize the value of your membership.

We are excited to announce that our annual Bench-Bar Conference will be returning to the beautiful Hotel Hershey from September 20 – 22.  Our Bench-Bar committee, chaired by Julie Goldstein, is planning exciting events, speakers and golf.  It is my express goal to have the most attendees at this year’s Bench Bar conference than ever before.  [It should be noted that the existing record is claimed by our Board Secretary, Dan Keane, when he chaired the Bench Bar committee for then President, the Honorable Brian T. McGuffin.  Beating their record has become an unhealthy obsession for me.  I hope you all help me with my goal.] I will be encouraging members throughout the year to consider attendance – I am not above bribing you all with chocolate!  It is a wonderful opportunity to interact with peers in a casual setting.  I suspect it has a large role in the civility that can be found throughout our membership.

Last year, through the hard work of the Members Services Committee, led by Tyler Tomlinson, the Association created its own app.  It is believed that we are only the second bar association in the country to have one.  It can be found in the App Store or can be downloaded to your Android or iPhone with the following links:

Android:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.org.bucks

iPhone:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bucks-county-bar-association/id1249939228?mt=8

The app makes it easy to complete your member profile so your information is up to date, including your committee, section and division selections. The BCBA App allows you to register for events and CLEs online and updates your calendar automatically.

It was 135 years ago that 40 members of local legal community joined together, initially addressing the welfare of the judicial system, service to the public and the betterment of the profession.  These basic tenets remain an integral part of the mission of the association all these years later.  The Bucks County Bar Association and is charitable arm, the Bucks County Bar Foundation, remain committed to the betterment of the profession with quality continuing legal education opportunities and providing legal services to underserved communities.  The members of our Board are committed to continuing in service to our legal community, colleagues and friends.

I am looking forward to an amazing year at the Bucks County Bar Association, particularly with the support of my Executive Board, Bob Repko, Sean Gresh and Dan Keane.  As always, we welcome your input and suggestions. Feel free to call or email me any time.

Jessica A. Pritchard
BCBA President