Lawyer Pilot's Bar Association

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LPBA Winter 2012 Meeting
Hilton Waikoloa Village
The Big Island,  Hawaii

Convention Program - Including Speakers and Presentation Titles

As I write this, I am back from Hawaii, after one of the most successful and best attended LPBA meetings ever. Our meeting was at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii. We had perfect weather, excellent accommodations and a superb CLE program, which was organized by our president-elect, Gary Evans. For those of you who missed the meeting, the photos in this edition of the Journal and those posted on the LPBA website and the LPBA Facebook page will give you an idea of what you missed.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that our meeting contract was professionally negotiated by Kristin Vines, of HPN Global, who negotiated incredible hotel rates in the middle of peak season, and perks such as free Internet, no resort fee, a spa discount, and free Big Island Breakfast buffets which more than carried us over until lunch. Speaking of lunch, many of us ate at the Lagoon Restaurant, an outdoor restaurant next to the Dolphin Lagoon, where the dolphins entertained us while we ate. From the captive dolphins and the parrots in the lobby to the breaching whales offshore and the mynah birds outside our windows [not to mention the gatherings in the Hospitality Suite! – Ed.], Hawaiian wildlife abounded and reminded us that we were truly in a tropical paradise. I was brought down to earth, however, when my name was called during the Legends of the Pacific Polynesian dance show to come up on stage and (attempt to) dance the hula. Fortunately, I had my supporting cast on stage to divert attention from me, as the Editor and others from our group (see, e.g., the photo spread) were also called up.

My wife Jeanine planned three mornings of activities for the spouses and others who were not attending the morning CLE sessions. They included a pareo tying demonstration, a lei-making class and a demonstration by one of the hotel chefs who prepared “Deconstructed Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.” Much to my surprise, when I returned to our suite after our CLE meeting, I found in our fridge a special edition of his signature dish, which he made especially for me. To say that I inhaled it would be an understatement. Each morning’s activities were well-attended and all the spouses really enjoyed themselves.

After dinners at restaurants both within and without the hotel, many of which were outside at sunset, our 3600 square foot hospitality suite was filled late into the night (and early morning) by our attendees who chose to trade sleep for a chance to enjoy more time in the tropical air with drinks from our well-stocked bar and conversation and cigar smoking on our 60-foot-long lanai overlooking the Pacific, lit by a full moon. (Jeanine and I arrived the Sunday before the meeting and made sure that the hospitality suite was open for those who arrived early.) The suite was also well stocked with snack food, and after the meeting concluded, Jeanine and I donated all leftovers to the Hawaii Food Bank.

Many members also took advantage of the opportunity to rent a Cessna 182 from the Tropic Bird FBO, at Kona Airport to log time flying around the island with a flight instructor onboard, who explained the special considerations involved in flying around an active volcano and its surrounding microclimates. Others chose to take the helicopter tours which swept at low altitude over the cliffs and Kilauea Volcano’s lava vents, to go deep-sea fishing or to take whale-watching boats to observe close-up, and even listen to, the humpback whales as they continued their migration through the islands.

We had 16 members and spouses at the meeting who had never been to an LPBA meeting before. Other long-time members who hadn’t attended a meeting in quite a while also were there. They learned, or were reminded, that LPBA meetings are like no other bar association or symposium meeting. Besides fine CLE, the other activities, both planned and unplanned, provide an opportunity to meet others in our profession, to network with and truly get to know our colleagues and their families, which is something that is lacking at most law conferences. Law may be what we do, but it is not who we are. It is always personally enriching to share other aspects and interests in our lives with others who have the common bond of being members of the legal profession and of aviation and its related activities. Many members arrived before and stayed after the meeting dates, which made the experience even more memorable.

I would also like to thank our sponsors for their generosity in contributing to help defray the costs of the meeting so that registration fees could be kept low. Besides Jeanine and me and the Law Offices of Robert L. Feldman who sponsored the luau evening, our Hawaii meeting general sponsors included Gary & Marie Allen; Coats & Evans; Dean & Gibson; Hoff & Herran; Gilman Law Offices; Law Offices of Cecile Hatfield; Magana, Cathcart; Jarvis McGee Rice; Luman Helfman Tucker; Robson Forensics; Slack & Davis; TVPX 1031Exchange; and Weiss & Associates. Sponsors for the spouse events included Robert & Jeanine Feldman; Jim & Betsy Gilman; Art & Susan Luman; Mark & Donna Pierce; and Marty & Susan Weiss.

Robert Feldman, LPBA President, 2011-2012

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