My name is Avalon Johnson Fitzgerald, and I am both honored and excited to serve as President of the Sacramento Chapter of the Federal Bar Association in 2017. I want to thank Tom Woods, whose dedication to our organization resulted in a year filled with successful, interesting, and well-attended events in 2016. I also want to congratulate the members of the 2017 Board: Vice President Megan Sammut, Secretary Cammy Desmond, Treasurer Julie Yap, and Programs Chair Stephen Duvernay.
With more than 200 members—attorneys from the private sector and governmental agencies, members of the federal judiciary, and students—our chapter is dedicated to organizing learning opportunities and networking events for federal practitioners in the twenty-three northern counties that make up the Eastern District of California.
We started off this year with an enjoyable mixer in the chambers of United States Court of Appeals Judge Consuelo Callahan, at which we elected our new board members. In March, students from Sacramento-area high schools visited the Robert T. Matsui Courthouse and participated in a mock trial through the Open Doors to Federal Courts program. This program is a national initiative that local federal judges conduct in their courtrooms. Some students played the roles of attorneys and witnesses, while other students acted as jurors. With guidance from volunteers, including many FBA members, the students tried their cases, and then deliberated and rendered verdicts. The FBA sponsored a snack table for the students participating in the program.
In March, we also learned FBA Sacramento's McGeorge Student Division received the prestigious Pacific Tiger Award from the University of the Pacific Alumni Association. The Student Division is one of two McGeorge School of Law student groups to receive this award, which recognizes organizations that exhibit extraordinary school spirit and encourage student participation in activities and events. The students will be honored at a lunch reception this spring.
In the coming year, members can look forward to the twenty-sixth Supreme Court Year in Review, which will be held in late July. In recent years, McGeorge and King Hall professors have served as keynote speakers, educating our members about interesting and important rulings in the Supreme Court’s most recent term. Night to Honor Service is another annual event held in November, which recognizes those attorneys in the community who volunteer on the pro bono panel for the Eastern District. Our social mixers include the upcoming Spring Mixer, which provides a great opportunity for our members to network with other attorneys and members of the bench.
If you have not already done so, I invite you to join the Federal Bar Association and join your colleagues who are active in furthering the interests of federal practitioners. You can join, or renew your membership, at http://www.fedbar.org/Membership.aspx
. If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas about how to make the FBA better, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.