David S. Willig
ILS Chair (2003-2004)
As I embark on the year ahead for the chair’s mandate, as I survey all that I may behold within the International Law Section, I see that it is good. As both a participant and an observer over a number of years, I’ve seen many members come and go. In no particular order, I can attest that only a handful remain active over the entire course of a career, and fewer still throughout Section history. These would include, of course, none other than the likes of Drucilla Bell, Bill Hill, Jack Bierley and Bob Hendry, some of whom have been around the Section since, well, since before it was a Section.
Yet, I’ve also born witness to the talent and fortitude of more recently active members, such as Mark Kruse, Nancy Thevenin, and Elena Marlow for their contributions to Section activities and interests. Another group, though new to section programs, worked themselves to exhaustion in ensuring the remarkable success of the pioneering International Legal Symposium in Russia, and they include Jonathan Innes, Maxim Istomin, and Natalia Poliakova.
Of course, one of the things that makes International Law Section events a hit is the energy of our members, who, even with their long experience, expertise and success, still choose to bring sheer enthusiasm to the implementation of Section programs. While they are many, some names in this category stand out, namely, those of Lucius Smejda , John Rooney and Ed Davis. As I contemplate the great weight on my shoulders as Section Chair this year, I am gratified to know that I share the burden with exemplary Section members, and that they share the burden with me.
Indeed, the collective voice of experience, of recent past chairs Larry Gore, Tony Santos, and Todd Kocourek, and of others more distant past, such as George C.J. Moore, Josh Markus, Larry Rifkin, can always be counted on for guidance. Their voices are still heard and still heeded, the past gently guiding the present into the future.
The ILQ editorial page limit could not permit me space enough to name all of those who have served the Section over the years, but with such luminaries as these around me, it is hard to imagine it could ever be “lonely at the top.”
What we all know for sure in our International Law Section is that what we as a section do is cutting-edge, sensational, and a lot of fun. I would like to make it our mission to bring that message to every member of the Florida Bar, every member of every section and every committee of the Bar.
I ask each of you to join me in this outreach effort, to connect with other lawyers and members of another section or committee, to find out how they can learn and benefit from International and Comparative Law, and from membership in our Section. Think of an idea how we can help them do that, about how our section can provide or co-sponsor a speaker or seminar, introducing an international or comparative law perspective on everything our own Florida confrres do. If we do that successfully, we’ll grow only stronger.
Please join me in an International Law Section Outreach!
*Note, this greeting was first published at the beggining of Mr. Willig’s term as Chair.