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2016 Mid-Year Meeting
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2016 Mid-Year Meeting

5/12/2016 to 5/14/2016
When: May 12 - 14th
All Day
Where: Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
5 Estate Bakkeroe
St Thomas 00801
Virgin Islands, U.S.
Contact: Julia Baldini, Executive Director
(340) 778-7497

Online registration is closed.
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Join the ABA Law Practice Division's Spring Meeting and
the Virgin Islands Bar Association's Mid-Year Meeting
Thursday, May 12th through Friday, May 13th

Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
5 Estate Bakkeroe St Thomas, VI 00801 

Preliminary Program (as of 5/3/2016)


Hotel Information

Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort

5 Estate Bakkeroe
St. Thomas, VI  00801

Phone: 1-800-524-2000

Single/Double Room                $229

    Tax: 15%
    No resort fee, complimentary resort/guest room internet.

Book online or call 1-800-524-2000 to make your reservation.

Hotel deadline is Tuesday, April 12, 2016

CLE Information: Registration is Limited - Register Today 

Thursday, May 12, 2016            1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Can You Afford to Not Be Social? The Ethical and Effective Use of Social Media (Ethics Credit)

Everyone has told you lawyers should use social media. Everyone else has told you lawyers should never use social media. Which is it? Can you ignore social media platforms all together? Must you accept every invite to connect on LinkedIn?

The ethics rules around what lawyers must know about social media seems to evolve with the same speed that social media platforms evolve. Today there are rules obliging lawyers to know how social media platforms function, advising clients on what they can do or not do, and rules about how lawyers themselves use social media. Understanding how these platforms function and effectively evaluating how you personally can use them, what your staff can do on your behalf, and even more importantly what can clients do is absolutely essential for your business success and to remain in compliance with Bar rules.

During this panel session, we’ll cover both the ethics requirements (including MRPC 1.1, 1.4, 1.6, and 7.1-3) and the business imperative around:

• Communications: Using social media to engage your clients
• Research: Use of social media content to learn about clients, potential clients, jurors, judges, etc.
• Marketing: Evaluating the benefits of social media for your marketing strategy
• Reputation: Managing your online presence

Speakers: Michael Downey, Brendon Levesque, and Sona Pancholy

Thursday, May 12, 2016             3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Ethical Sandtraps for Lawyers (Ethics Credit)

This program will provide a unique look into current trends in the legal malpractice marketplace, while providing valuable risk control tips to avoid some common ethical sand traps in the practice of law. A panel discussion will touch on a number of trending topics including managing the scope of legal representation, deciding to file a suit for unpaid legal fees, avoiding common conflict of interest traps, and effectively documenting client files. The panel will make the case that developing a focus on ethical conduct may in turn result in a more efficient and successful practice.

This session will address MRPC Rule 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 1,6, and 1.7-12.

Speakers: Michael Barrett, Mark Bassingthwaighte and Simone Francis

Thursday, May 12, 2016              4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Leading Thriving Law Firms: Improving Lawyer Performance and Well-Being through Leader Development (General CLE Credit)

Firms aspire to build thriving organizations that attract, engage, and retain the best people and become magnets for Millennials. Yet few firms invest in developing leaders that can achieve their aspirations. Instead, almost all investment has been in higher salaries, which have not slowed the revolving door. While firms are filled with talented lawyers who excel in their individual roles, their natural inclinations undermine their ability to lead successfully. Personality research reflects that lawyers tend to be cynical, judgmental, questioning, argumentative, and somewhat self-protective, as well as scoring very low in the areas of intimacy skills and sociability. Statistically speaking, lawyers prefer focusing on the job rather than investing in relationships with people they work with. The result is that firms fail to get the best from their talented, colleagues, who flock to the exits after experiencing high rates of anxiety, exhaustion, and depression and a low sense of purpose and belonging. This is not inevitable. Research strongly supports that leadership ability can be taught and nurtured; leaders are made, not born. A large body of research (including specifically within law firms) links good leadership to the qualities that law firms seek— physical and psychological health, engagement, productivity, a sense of meaning, retention of women lawyers, and much more.

Join us in this fun and educational session as we explore the dimensions of good leadership, the positive outcomes that can be achieved through leader development, and research-backed tools that you can start using today to improve your leadership skills. Drawing from our backgrounds as both practicing lawyers and positive psychology scholars, we will provide practical leadership strategies to help you and your organization thrive.

Speakers: Anne Brafford and Martha Knudson

Friday, May 13, 2016                9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Data at Your Fingertips: Better Client Service, Tracking, Billing & Getting Paid (General CLE Credit)

The key to any efficiently run law firm is ease of access to all pertinent information that is critical to running your business. Whether that be specific matter information (facts, calendar, contacts, emails, phone notes, documents, etc.), or whether that be client ledger, trust or other important financial data. There is no better example of inefficiency then watching an attorney or an assistant search haplessly for a physical file or a paper document in order to have an intelligent conversation with a client, a colleague or another firm member/employee.

This session will focus on exactly that – the organization and accessibility of the key information needed in a law firm environment. We will explain the use of legal specific software for time, billing and accounting, often referred to as the back office, as well as practice management software, also known as front office software or case management software in litigation firm environments.

Moderator: Sharon Nelson Speakers: Britt Lorish and Debbie Foster

Friday, May 13, 2016               10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Practical Cybersecurity Tips to Fulfill Your Ethical Duties (Ethics Credit)

Lawyers have an ethical duty to be competent and to keep their client data confidential. Clients too want to keep their confidential data protected. All too often, information security is not prioritized by law firms or their clients. It costs money to protect data and businesses frequently resist budgeting for security, even though an ounce of prevention is far less expensive than a pound of cure. Investigating and remediating data breaches is expensive, not to mention the necessity of complying with data breach notification laws. This session will cover practical tips for securing your data, many of them free or low-cost, including encryption, strong passwords, two-factor authentication, employee training, defending against ransomware, crafting an incident response plain and other firm policies, prompt implementation of security updates, upgrading unsupported software and much, much more. Bring your questions!

This session will focus particularly on MRPC 1.1, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.15.

Speakers: John Simek, Dave Ries and Ivan Hemmans

Friday, May 13, 2016         2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Future of Law and How To Future- Proof Your Firm (General CLE Credit)

Changes in the way we practice law happen more frequently today. Unprecedented economic pressures and the changing landscape of the legal profession got this all started, and now most of today’s changes are fueled by technology innovations. There is much talk about the future of law practice. This session will look at the challenges ahead and suggest strategies for “future-proofing” your law practice to succeed in our uncertain future.

Speakers: Jim Calloway and Natalie Kelly

Friday, May 13, 2016            3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
60 Tech Tips in 60 Minutes (General CLE Credit)

Audiences like nothing more than current tech tips that they can take back to the office and put in place right away. Our veteran team of tipsters will offer a wide range of tips, from the latest and greatest of legal tech. They will present tips on topics as diverse as new tablets and smartphones, password managers, cybersecurity, scheduling software, power banks, speech recognition, productivity software, podcasting apps, tools to find your lost phones and other devices, e-discovery tools, bookmarks, two-factor authentication, billing practices, simple encryption, artificial intelligence, credit card preauthorization agreements, backups which defeat ransomware, video conferencing systems, editing software and much more.

Speakers: Sharon Nelson, Tom Mighell, Debbie Foster, Natalie Kelly and Jim Calloway


Registration for VIBA Members

CLE Pass

Thursday 1/2 day CLE: $50

Friday CLE: $100

Both Days: $125


Networking/Social Events at cost:

Thursday Welcome Reception: $85 (includes hors d'oeuvres and open bar)

Friday Breakfast: $45

Friday VIBA Luncheon/State of the Judiciary Address by Chief Justice Rhys S. Hodge: $55

Friday Evening Reception and BBQ: $100 (includes BBQ dinner and open bar)

Saturday Sailing Adventure: $75

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