PRESIDENT’S WELCOMING REMARKS
A warm Hafa Adai and Welcome to all GBA Members:
On behalf of the Board of Governors of the Guam Bar Association, we are pleased to begin 2014 focusing on the goals and objectives of the Guam Bar.
One of the most important goals of the Guam Bar is to provide on-going and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) to our bar members for the improvement and betterment of the practice of law of Guam. Earlier this year, the Bar, in co-partnership with the Judiciary of Guam, conducted CLE training and education during the 2014 Annual GBA Meeting held on March 17, 2014 at the Sheraton Laguna Resort. At the meeting, topics, such as the Superior Court of Guam’s Interpreter program, Supreme Court Appellate Rules, and Mediation, were presented during this half day conference. The Bar also continues to focus and provide ethics training to our membership throughout the year consistent with its mission and role to ensure that members are following the applicable rules and law related governing our professional responsibility and duties within our legal practice.
The Guam Bar continues to promote a positive working partnership with the District Court of Guam and the Judiciary of Guam. This relationship between the bench and bar allows us to provide valuable CLE resources and information to our bar members. The Guam Bar looks forward again to working closely with the Federal Bench as a co-sponsor for the 2014 Annual District Court Conference to be held at the Hilton Guam Resort and Spa. Judges from the Ninth Circuit and distinguished presenters from other jurisdictions will present on valuable and helpful updates and educational training to our local bar members who practice in our Federal Court.
Another notable aspect of the Bar’s mission is the advancement of community outreach to the public to ensure access to justice and to promote the “rule of law”. The Guam Bar advocates community awareness by promoting activities in support of “LAW DAY”. This past year, the Governor of Guam, the Guam Legislature, and the Judicial Council of Guam proclaimed May 1, 2014 as “LAW DAY”, and April 21 to May 10, 2014 as “LAW WEEK”. The Guam Bar Association, together with the Judiciary of Guam and the District Court of Guam, were once again co-sponsors of the 2014 Law Week Celebration on Guam.
As we approach the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and having been reminded of the struggle for voting rights decades ago, and the rights of a citizen, this year’s 2014 Law Day theme, “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters,” called on our community to reflect on the importance of a citizen’s right to vote and the challenges we still face in ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy.
As the Guam Bar Association prepared for the 2014 Law Day activities in reaching out to the community, our Law Day activities helped to educate, not only about the Law Day theme, but about the legal system and the rule of law as a result of the mock trial performances conducted by our schools, the court tours, which help to teach students about court proceedings and the justice system, and the Law Fair, which allowed our community to obtain first-hand information of the different aspects of law from our justice system partners. This year’s 2014 LAW WEEK activities included a series of events designed to engage the community in the celebration of our legal system, which involved:
* Proclamation presented by the Governor of Guam and Resolution by the Guam Legislature on April 25, 2014, declaring 2014 Law Day;
* Law Day Naturalization Ceremony and Citizen Outreach Program held at the District Court of Guam;
* Open House tours at the District Court of Guam and the Judiciary of Guam;
* Mock Trial performances by elementary and middle school children;
* Supreme Court of Guam Appellate Outreach;
* State of Judiciary Address by Chief Justice Robert J. Torres;
* Presentation of the 2014 Hustia Award to our distinguished Bar Member, Joaquin C. Arriola;
* 2014 Law Fair at the Micronesian Mall;
* Student Leadership Day at the District Court of Guam;
* Law Day Coloring, Art and Essay Contest for the schools;
* Race Judicata 5K “Under Colors of Law”
As advocates in our legal community, the Bar continues to encourage its members to contribute “pro bono” services to our community as a way of giving back to our community. The Bar also recognizes the importance of specific organizations who help provide free services to community who cannot afford a lawyer. In November of 2013, the Guam Bar sponsored its Annual Charity Golf Tournament at the PHR Country Club of the Pacific where many of the members in our legal community participated. Proceeds from the event were donated to the Guam Legal Services Corporation to benefit the clients that they serve.
The Bar looks forward providing more on-going CLE training and education to its members, working in partnership with the Judiciary of Guam and District Court of Guam, promoting community outreach and coordinating charitable events that serve our membership and benefit the public.
CYNTHIA V. ECUBE