From the President

From the President

Our Events and the Quarterly

By Vilia B. Hayes

2-25-15 Hayes    I recently returned from the Federal Bar Council’s Fall Bench and Bar Retreat where over 160 adults and 35 children spent a wonderful weekend at Mohonk Mountain House.  The weekend was full of interesting CLE programs and an outstanding performance on Saturday night by the Inn of Court players.  The play showed the challenges of criminal trial work in New York federal court through a witty plot set to the music of West Side Story.  There was, of course, also the spa, pool, and a beautiful area to hike and walk, and great activities for the children.  But in reflecting on what made the weekend memorable for me, I must say it was the wonderful camaraderie among the participants, including many interesting conversations and late night singing by more than a few talented members of the Council.  

A Book and Poems

    Despite a very stormy night, more than 200 people came out on October 28 for the book launch of Courthouses of the Second Circuit: Their Architecture, History, and Stories at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse.  This beautiful book of photographs of the remarkable federal courthouses within the Second Circuit also includes stories of the famous and historical cases heard in those courthouses.  Courthouses can be purchased by individuals, law firms, law schools, and law libraries, from (use promo code FBC for a member discount).  

    We had a smaller turnout but a nice review in the Wall Street Journal of our first “Judges Reading Poetry” event at Poets House, a beautiful facility facing the Hudson River downtown, on October 20.  Inspired by Second Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs, the Council and Poets House sponsored this wonderful event, at which Judges Jacobs and Gerard E. Lynch of the Second Circuit, Judge William F. Kuntz, II, of the Eastern District of New York, and Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York, each read from favorite selections to a rapt audience.  Poetry night was a special treat that was at once thought provoking, touching, and great fun.  We hope to do it again.  

    I wanted to mention these events and take a few minutes in this column to invite anyone who is interested in the Federal Bar Council to consider joining one of our committees and attending more of our events.  Our upcoming events include the Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon on Wednesday, November 25,, our Winter Bench and Bar Retreat from January 30 to February 6, 2016 at the Four Seasons Resort in Kona, Hawaii,, and our Judges Reception on March 3, 2016, where we will honor the judges of the Eastern District of New York, who are celebrating that court’s 150th Anniversary.   Take a look at our website and feel free to contact me ( or Joan Salzman, the Executive Director ( if you want additional information.

The Quarterly  

    Finally, I am very pleased to announce that the Federal Bar Council Quarterly, which is distributed electronically, will be fully restored with this issue to print.  You will be able to find stories online and members can also look forward to your print copy arriving in the mail at your office or at home.


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