Our law firm hosted its sixth annual Legal Conference & Expo at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center last month. The two-day event provided continuing legal education credits and was open to all Alabama lawyers in private practice. The conference has grown steadily each year, from about 400 lawyers in 2007 to more than 1,400 who attended this year. Dawn Hathcock, Vice President of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitor Bureau, had this to say about the event:
Nationally acclaimed law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles, P.C. continues to support the local community while showcasing the city they so heavily invest in. Each year their Legal Conference, the largest of its kind within the state of Alabama, creates a huge boost to the River Region, contributing roughly a million dollars in economic impact. Events of this stature are extremely important, as we continue to market Montgomery as a true meeting destination.
A highlight of the conference was the presentation of the Beasley Allen Pro Bono Award and Grant. Established in 2009, this award recognizes the outstanding work of volunteer lawyer programs throughout the state. Volunteer lawyers donate their time to provide legal services to those who would not otherwise be able to afford a lawyer. The award is accompanied by a grant of $10,000 to help support and enhance volunteer lawyer programs. Past recipients are the Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program, Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program. This year’s award and grant was presented to the Montgomery County Bar Association. MCBA President Mike Winters was on hand to accept the award.
Practice areas addressed at the conference included Product Liability, Mass Torts and Fraud. Special programs include the topic of Legal Ethics. The meeting featured speakers including Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange; Dr. David G. Bronner, Chief Executive Officer, RSA; The Honorable Joel F. Dubina, Presiding Judge of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals; The Honorable Charles Price, Presiding Circuit Judge in Montgomery; Phillip McCallum, President, Alabama State Bar; Clay Hornsby, President, Alabama Association for Justice; and Mark Moody, Assistant General Counsel, Alabama State Bar. Bryan Kelly from Common Ground Montgomery Ministry was the guest speaker at the prayer breakfast held on Friday morning. Vaughn Stafford, an associate pastor at Saint James United Methodist Church, was the featured singer for the group that morning.
An important part of the conference was the Legal Services Expo. That’s where vendors provide demonstrations of products and answer questions about how lawyers can best enhance their practice. Event platinum sponsors this year were Jackson Thornton Valuation & Litigation Consulting Group, LexisNexis; Carr, Riggs & Ingram; and Freedom Court Reporting. Legal and community groups including the Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyer Program, Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Program, Alabama Law Foundation, Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Alabama Association for Justice, and Jones School of Law also had booth with representatives present. A number of other vendors had booths and each had heavy traffic throughout the event. We use all of the vendors and will furnish their names and pertinent information on request.
We were extremely pleased to have been able to offer this conference as a service for lawyers throughout the state of Alabama. It’s a valuable opportunity for continuing education, as well as providing the chance for networking with other lawyers. This year’s event was the best ever.
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