Albert Menashe, 1997-98

Staff, facilities

The MBA staff consisted of Mona Buckley and two or three others. By that time, Mona was a seasoned veteran and doing a great job of running the MBA. Our office was at 630 SW 5th Ave Ste 200 (the Kress Building).

Board members

Other members were Ward Greene, Mark Wada, Judy Snyder, Amy Alpern, Ruth Beyer, Charles Corrigan, Michelle Druce, John Geil, Peter Richter, Lynn Stafford and Ed Harnden.

Events of interest

We conducted a Summit on Professionalism; had a very successful black-tie event at Montgomery Park; and worked hard to generally involve lawyers in the MBA.

Community service

There were numerous educational programs during the year; there was the annual Law Day celebration, and other outreach efforts.

Principal challenges

With the changing legal climate and recognition of lawyers then characterized as Generation "X" and "Y" lawyers, it was a challenge trying to interact with one another. It was felt that the more lawyers interacted with each other and knew each other, the greater the likelihood of civility and professionalism.

New activities

One different activity we conducted during my year as president was an effort to establish relations with the (Seattle) King County Bar Association's Board of Directors.

Funniest presidential moments

There was no one funniest thing, but there was a general emphasis to bring "fun" into our hard work for the MBA. It was the belief of our board that we were spending a lot of time together, working hard, and that we should have fun among ourselves. We accomplished this through treats at the Oregon Coast, dinners as a group, and dinners with other bar-related groups.

Proudest presidential moment

Without question, the proudest moment was when the Summit on Professionalism issued its report in March, 1998. The summit was chaired by (then) Chief Justice Wally Carson and attorney Tom Cooney. All three law school deans, several past MBA presidents, judges and other highly respected lawyers participated. The MBA Executive Director also took part. This group met for several Saturday mornings and issued a report with recommended actions adopted by the Summit on Professionalism and unanimously approved by the MBA Board. It has impacted the ongoing discussion about professionalism among lawyers and law schools in the state.

Memorable characters

Who wasn't a character? Everyone had stories of great interest. We would often start retreats with participants telling three things about themselves; tow of which had to be true and one made up. I remember Tom Cooney three choices all had to be made up because they were so outrageous. I'm still not sure whether I believe him.

Over the years, I have always been amazed at the dedication of the MBA Boards, and especially the commitment and time expended by its presidents. The three presidents preceding me were Monte Bricker, John Holmes and Ed Harnden. All three worked  tirelessly and were great role models. I felt honored to be part of that "club."

MBA then versus now

The MBA has grown from an acorn into an oak. Staff, facilities and programs have become more sophisticated. The MBA has always remained conscious of its members and has done a great job of serving not only its members, but the bench, bar, law schools and community.