Rumberger Hosts Interactive Fireside Chat on Legal Professionalism and Ethics in Orlando

05.20.15

Moderators John Berry and Paul Lipton Believe Open Forum Concept Gives Attorneys Opportunity to Discuss How to Resolve Several Critical Issues Affecting the Image of the Profession

ORLANDO, Fla. – May 20, 2015 - Judges, lawyers and The Florida Bar representatives participated in a “fireside” chat with John Berry, Director Legal Division of The Florida Bar, and Paul Liption, Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell’s Director of Professionalism, Career and Skills Development on May 13. Hosted by Rumberger at its Orlando office, the luncheon format was designed to be a casual, “fireside chat” discussion about the diminished level of civility and professionalism in the practice of law today.

“While technology has helped us be more efficient, it now challenges all of us to develop social skills to connect with each other on a person-to-person basis,” said Berry.

This was event was the first of it’s kind, and one that Berry and Lipton hope to do again around the state. “In order to make positive changes, we need to start having the discussions with as many people as possible,” said Lipton. Lipton joined Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell after a 40-year career as a trial lawyer with Greenberg Traurig and now focuses on working with the firm’s younger attorneys in looking for new and innovative ways to provide an engaging and challenging work environment. "We have expanded the initiative with Paul to create programming in other cities in Florida and in Alabama that pushes forward the very core messages of our firm culture and promotes professionalism and civility within the legal profession,” said Rumberger’s Managing Partner Frank Sheppard.

Also in attendance were leaders from local bar associations –Florida Association of Women Lawyers (CFAWL), Paul C. Perkins Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association and managing partners from other firms including Baker Hosteltler, Akerman and Gray Robinson. “This format is meant to be a candid and frank exchange of real life challenges between the audience and the speakers whose careers spanned different vantage points but who have reached strikingly similar concerns and possible answers for enjoying life as a person first and a lawyer second,” said Lipton.

Berry and Lipton are hopeful that this format will catch on and engage other lawyers around the state to take action into making positive changes in the profession as a whole. Berry pointed out that issues like alcohol and substance abuse, mental illness and personal problems plaque many of the attorneys who find themselves in trouble with The Bar. “That’s why these discussions are important, and steps need to be made to offer a safe harbor where we, [The Bar] can work with these people and help them.” Berry added.

“This format is meant to be a candid and frank exchange of real life challenges between the audience and the speakers whose careers spanned different vantage points but who have reached strikingly similar concerns and possible answers for enjoying life as a person first and a lawyer second,” said Lipton.

About Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell:

Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell provides litigation and counseling services in a wide range of civil practice areas including product liability, securities, banking and financial services litigation, commercial litigation, real estate and construction litigation, intellectual property litigation, environmental, labor and employment law, insurance coverage, professional liability, bankruptcy, and administrative law. Offices are located in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Tallahassee, Fla. and Birmingham, Ala. For more information, please visit www.rumberger.com.

 
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