CBA Record July-August 2020

CBANEWS President Ahmad Asks Members to ‘recommit to the CBA’ at Virtual Annual Meeting By Sally Daly, CBA Public Affairs Director

A virtual annual meeting was certainly not what anyone had planned for, but the Chicago Bar Association rose to the challenge, producing an engaging first-of-its-kind annual meeting to welcome its new President, Officers and Board of Manag- ers for the 2020-2021 Bar Year. The June 25 meeting was held over Zoom and was streamed on Facebook and YouTube. It featured live presentations and pre-recorded segments, remarks from outgoing CBA President Jesse Ruiz and incoming President Maryam Ahmad, and a moving tribute to retiring CBA Execu- tive Director Terry Murphy. Ahmad, a former Cook County Cir- cuit Court Judge and Public Defender – who is now Chief of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Juvenile Justice Bureau – spoke about the tremendous challenges resulting from the pandemic and issues surrounding racial injustice and police brutality. She asked members to “recom- mit to the CBA” and to use their skills to address crucial social justice issues and to help other lawyers along the way. “Like everyone else, my life has been upended since March 2020. Goals and objectives I initially imagined I would be pursuing this year now seem hollow,” said Ahmad, the CBA’s 147th president and the third African American woman to hold the post. “Join me in committing to the CBA’s underlying principles. To Chi- cago, to the bar, and to the association. I ask that you join me in my focus because historically, transforming societies and righting wrongs is what lawyers do best.” In his outgoing remarks, Ruiz thanked

Outgoing CBA President Jesse Ruiz gives a virtual pass of the Lincoln Gavel of Leader- ship to incoming President Maryam Ahmad at the first-ever virtual Annual Meeting, held June 25. Watch the full meeting video at

members and those who supported him during his presidency. He too noted that the legal profession plays a pivotal role during these extremely trying times. “A number of great civil rights battles have been won in the courtroom, and lawyers have helped craft and implement reforms that brought our nation out of a number of challenges in our history,” noted Ruiz. “We maximize our impact as lawyers when we join together in com- munity, and for us, that community is the Chicago Bar Association.” Other parts of the annual meeting included a virtual “passing of the gavel,” a segment that featured more than 25 former CBA presidents who simulated a handing of the CBA’s Lincoln Gavel of Leadership to their successors, until the final pass from Ruiz to Ahmad. And in creative, pre-recorded segments, CBA

Secretary Ray J. Koening III turned the annual reading of the minutes into a clever skit about the rules of order, and Treasurer Timothy S. Tomasik presented his financial report in a spoof interview of CNBC’s “Closing Bell” news show. The program also featured virtual swearing in segments for the CBA’s Execu- tive Committee and the new members of the Board of Managers, who were all sworn in by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Robert F. Harris. Ahmad is joined on the CBA’s Executive Committee by First Vice President E. Lynn Grayson, of Nijman Franzetti LLP; Second Vice President Tomasik, of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman LLC; Secretary Koenig, Man- aging Partner at Clark Hill; and Treasurer John C. Sciaccotta, Partner at Aronberg Goldgehn. NewCBA Board of Managers members

8 July/August 2020

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