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|Mary M. Abate|
It is my great honor and pleasure to serve for 2015 as the 28th president of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association. I was admitted to the bar of the United States Court of Claims in October 1978, so I experienced first-hand the winds of change that were blowing in 1979, in the form of several legislative proposals to restructure the Court—the topic that dominated the first Judicial Conference that I attended. Because there was no Court-affiliated bar association at that time, the 1979 Judicial Conference was co-sponsored by the Court of Claims Committee of the District of Columbia Bar Association. Within five years after the Court of Claims was reconstituted in 1982, however, a group of private and government Court practitioners formed the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association. Throughout our 28-year history, with roughly 450 members on average, the Bar Association has worked hand-in-glove with the Court to advance the administration of justice in many ways.
Not only do we co-sponsor the annual Judicial Conferences and the annual Law Day observances, but we publish Inside 717 (with timely analyses of Court decisions), the quarterly Newsletter (reporting on the doings of the Court and the Bar), and the Deskbook for Practitioners; present educational programs relevant to practice before the Court; and sponsor law student writing and scholarship competitions. All of these activities require the active participation of Bar Association members, and they do not necessarily require proximity to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area (as our president-elect for 2016, who is based in Florida, can attest). In addition, members who have been admitted to practice before the Court for five years or less can join our Newly Admitted Lawyers Division. To explore ways that you can get involved, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practice before the Court of Federal Claims, and its predecessor the Court of Claims, historically has been remarkable for its civility. Participation in the Bar association’s activities not only provides opportunities for members to interact with judges and Court staff, but fosters this spirit of civility by bringing private and government practitioners together to accomplish common goals. There is much to accomplish this year, so please get involved. Your practice, and your life, will be enriched!
Mary M. Abate
President, Court of Federal Claims Bar Association