ewly-sworn members of the Racine County Bar Association, from left: Joshua Blakely, Johnson Bank; Devin Stasek, Foley, Shannon, Powers & Rusch S.C.; Anne Cohen, State Public Defenders Office; Abigail Gilman, Murphy, Johnson & Trampe, S.C.; Alexandra Tillmann, Racine County Finance Department; and Tony Dunn, Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., all of Racine.
Sept. 21, 2016 – Flowers decorate the empty chair, at the table where counsel for the defendants sit. In the jury box wait a half dozen men and women, quiet and expectant.
They are all part of the Racine County Bar Association’s Call of the Calendar.
It is a ceremony that stitches past with future. It honors those who are now history and welcomes new lawyers who will shape that future.
A Long-standing Tradition:
Portions of the Call of the Calendar ceremony are part of a tradition that stretches as far back as 1848 – lawyers new to the Bar Association sign the Bar’s Roll Book. The earliest signatures date from that year – when Wisconsin became a state.
“It’s a long-standing and wonderful tradition,” said Bar member Kelly Mould.
“It helps us keep in touch with each other, and to understand how much the relationships we form actually mean,” said Robert Keller, president of the Bar Association.
This year’s ceremony took place Sept. 8 – it is typically held on a Thursday afternoon in September – held in a full courtroom.
“There was no seating left,” Keller said. “It was very well attended.”
The ceremony is meaningful, quiet, and solemn. This year, eulogies were given by family or close colleagues of the four members who recently passed away: Gerald Crawford, William Dye, Patrick Lloyd, and Robert G. Riegelman.
“They are full of stories, some humorous,” Keller said of the eulogies. “But overall, it’s a really serious affair.”
“We as a Bar Association say goodbye,” Mould said.
Welcoming the FutureWhile the ceremony begins by looking to the past, it ends by looking toward the future: Those seated in the jury box are new members of the Bar – either experienced lawyers joining for the first time, or young lawyers with new positions in the county.
The chief judge – Judge Allan Torhorst – administers a short oath. It isn’t just the new attorneys who stand to take the Bar Association’s oath. Continuing bar members also reaffirm their oath. “We all stand and recite it,” Mould said. It is meaningful, and Mould has made the effort to attend each ceremony since she took the oath in 2012 for the first time.
And after, the newly-sworn sign the historic Roll Book.
“It’s an important thing to do, it’s a special thing for the community,” Mould said. “It’s also our job to make sure the new attorneys understand this tradition.”
Racine attorney Devin Stasek was one of six to take the oath and sign the Roll Book on Sept. 8. An elder law attorney with Foley, Shannon, Powers & Rusch S.C., she joined the firm in 2013, but didn’t have the chance to attend until this year.
“It makes me feel closer to my peers,” Stasek said. “It makes me happy to go down in the book as a little piece of Racine history.”
Madison native Anne Cohen moved to Racine in October to work at the State Public Defenders Office, taking the oath with Stasek. Cohen finds the legal community in Racine a close-knit one that has expanded her networking circle.
The eulogies were thought-provoking for the young attorney. “It’s inspiring to hear all the things they did, and where they came from,” Cohen said. Signing the book, she is now a member of the community. “It’s nice to become part of that tradition.”
Out of the Past
The origin of the Call of the Calendar comes from mid-20th-century tradition, when judges set their own schedules: the twice-yearly meetings of the county’s Circuit Court judges with local lawyers handling cases in their courts. At the beginning of the spring and fall terms, they met to discuss and manage cases on the civil docket – a type of pretrial conference.
“In those days, each circuit court kept its own printed calendar for the term,” said attorney Adrian Schoone, former State Bar president (1983-4). At 80 years of age, he is the second longest-serving member of the Racine County Bar – having been admitted to practice in 1959.
The senior attorneys, he remembers, would gloat over the number of cases they had. The meetings would conclude with an informal gathering of lawyers, where they met the new Bar members, and where they remembered those who were no longer with them.
Schoone remembers attending the first formal Call of the Calendar on April 3, 1961, with Alfred La France (who also served as State Bar president in 1955-56, and was a founding member of the integrated Bar). At the end of the Call, Bar Association members eulogized deceased colleagues.
The eulogies – then and now – are preserved as part of the court record.
In 1976, with law practice changes by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Call of the Calendar practice ended.
“It came to my attention we had not eulogized lawyers for some time,” Schoone said of that year. He volunteered to lead a committee to restore the ceremony in the late 1990s.
Today, putting together the Call of the Calendar takes Schoone and his secretary 20 hours of work in advance, plus that of other committee members. But such work is important. “I consider what I do,” Schoone said, “to be an honor and a responsibility.”
Its tradition is important as well, Schoone said. “There are few times in life one can show affection and respect for another and his or her family.”
It is meaningful for the families – and the current members. “We’re not just paying homage to the deceased lawyer. We’re paying homage to ourselves,” Schoone said.
And it connects the generations of lawyers with a special kinship, said Keller. “A kinship of pride in what we continue to believe is the most noble profession to which one can be called.”
The above article was Shannon Green is communications writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. She can be reached by email or by phone at (608) 250-6135.written and published by the Wisbar.com Inside Track author Shannon Green.
Adrian Schoone, left, and Robert Keller, right, with the Racine County Bar Association Roll Book – containing signatures dating back to 1848.
Class Action Success!
13 Full Boxes of School Supplies and Supplies for Teachers were delivered to the Community School Project located at Knapp Elementary. Jamie Racine of United Way said, “This outpouring of support from the Racine County Bar Association is going to positively impact many families and students, your effort is really going to make a difference!” Representatives from United Way and the school expressed tremendous gratitude as the boxes were wheeled into the school last Friday in plenty of time to help student’s be prepared for their first day of school this week!
Much thanks to all who so generously supported this effort!
“Valuation Vendetta: 2704 Regs Seek to Dump Discounts!”
There is no charge for the conference however Attorneys must register to receive CLE Credit. Please contact Peggy at 262-619-2922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: 555 Main Street, Racine, WI in the Learning and Development Center.
When: August 30, 2016 – 11:30PM To 2:00PM Lunch Will Be Served!
R.S.V.P: Peggy at 262-619-2922 or email email@example.com
On Thursday, August 4, the IRS published proposed new regulations under Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code. These proposed regulations, if finalized in their current form, will have a monumental impact on tax planning for many estates potentially subject to estate tax. In particular, valuation discounts for certain intra-family transfers of equity in corporations and partnerships, for many years widely available, may be severely limited going forward. In this teleconference, Clary Redd and Turney Berry will explain what Section 2704 was intended to address when it was enacted, how it has worked up to now and what these new proposed regulations seek to accomplish. Among other things, Clary and Turney will discuss:
RACINE — As a new school year approaches, community members and groups often pitch in to help needy families with the back-to-school expenses by donating necessary school supplies.
To assist with such efforts, the Racine County Bar Association launched “Class Action” this summer.
A partnership with the Community School Pilot program, the project has consisted of placing school supply collection boxes in area law firms, at the Racine County Courthouse and at the Racine County District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices.
Most of the boxes, which were decorated by children of the bar association members, were picked up in late July, but some boxes will stay in the community through Thursday.
“We have had a terrific response to Class Action, not only in the raising of school supplies for students, but also supplies for teachers who we know spend a great deal of their own money purchasing needed supplies," said Robert Keller, president of the Racine County Bar Association, in a press release. "We know thriving students mean a stronger community. We want to do what we can to help the Community School Pilot (program) be successful."
The Racine County District Attorney’s Office and Behavioral Health Services of Racine County are proud to announce a collaboration to provide first time adult offenders, an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction for possession of marijuana or marijuana drug paraphernalia by participating in an educational program regarding the hazards of drug use, the risk of addiction, and decision making. It is our goal to provide these individuals the tools to make better life choices in the future.
The District Attorney’s Office will select and refer appropriate individuals to the THC Alternative Solutions Class (T.A.S.C.) Program. Upon successful completion of T.A.S.C., the District Attorney’s Office will dismiss the charges.
Behavioral Health Services (BHS) will utilize the Prime for Life curriculum as a basis for the T.A.S.C. Program. PRIME For Life is a motivational intervention used in group settings to prevent alcohol and drug problems or provide early intervention. Prime for Life has been used primarily among court-referred impaired driving offenders, as in the two studies reviewed for this summary. It also has been adapted for use with military personnel, college students, middle and high school students, and parents. Different versions of the program, ranging from 4.5 to 20 hours in duration, and optional activities are available to guide use with various populations.
Based on the Lifestyle Risk Reduction Model, the Trans Theoretical Model, and Persuasion Theory, Prime for Life emphasizes changing participants' perceptions of the risks of drug and alcohol use and related attitudes and beliefs. Risk perception is altered through the carefully timed presentation of both logical reasoning and emotional experience. Instructors use empathy and collaboration (methods consistent with motivational interviewing) to increase participants' motivation to change behavior to protect what they value most in life. Participants are guided in self-assessing their level of progression toward or into dependence or addiction. PFL also assists participants in developing a detailed plan for successfully following through with behavior change. Multimedia presentations and extensive guided discussion help motivate participants to reduce their substance use or maintain low-risk choices. Individual and group activities are completed using participant workbooks.
The Racine County T.A.S.C. Program will run for three (3) weeks. Participants will be required to attend class twice a week. There will be a total of twelve (12) hours of instructional time. Participants will be required to attend all sessions of classroom work, complete all assigned workbook exercises, and participate in discussions. BHS will issue a T.A.S.C. certificate of completion to all individuals, and report to the District Attorney’s Office. BHS will also report to the District Attorney’s Office any individuals who fail to comply with the program.
The cost of the class: $350 and classes will be held monthly at the Dennis Kornwolf Service Center located at 1717 Taylor Avenue, Racine, Wisconsin.
Information is available at the Racine County District Attorney’s website under the helpful links tab. Further information is also available via Deputy District Attorney Tricia Hanson (636-3172) or Michelle Goggins (638-6744)