Last night's Annual Assembly, Dinner and Elections was a real success. Members unanimously elected Linda Backiel (picture, left) to be our new President. They also elected the following to the Board: outgoing President Mariángela Tirado-Vales (picture, right), who everyone agreed had done an outstanding job, Rachel Brill, Jason González-Delgado, Joseph C. Laws, Jr., Tom Lincoln (me), Jorge E. Rivera-Ortíz, Olga M. Shepard de Mari and Jorge E. Vega-Pacheco. As established by PRACDL by-laws, the new Board will meet and elect from among its members the Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
This past year brought many accomplishments for PRACDL and, as Juan Ramón Acevedo-Cruz pointed out, PRACDL has in the past few years become an organization that is respected by the institutional players we must deal with on various matters, as well as among the criminal defense bar in general.
A well deserved recognition was given to Olga M. Shepard de Mari, who quietly and diligently worked behind the scenes with Mariángela Tirado-Vales in all things regarding CLE course accreditation for PRACDL offered seminars and workshops. Aslo recognized was outgoing Board Member José L. Novas Debién for his assistance in implementing PRACDL's proposal as to the CJA Mentoring Program, a proposal which was largely approved by the Court thereafter.
I think the coming year bodes well for PRACDL. We are fortunate to have Linda Backiel serving as our President, a position she refused to accept without first forcing Mariángela Tirado-Vales to accept staying on the Board another term, now as Vice President.
We were somewhat surprised at the management of Castellanos Restaurant for presenting us with a bill addressed to the US Department of Justice. We almost refused to pay, but did so under the condition that they give us a corrected bill for our records. They promised to never again confuse us.
UPDATE: At the first Board meeting held on January 24, 2008, the Board elected from among its members the following officers:
- Linda Backiel - President (elected as such at Annual Meeting)
- Mariángela Tirado-Vales - Vice-President
- Jason González-Delgado - Secretary
- Jorge L. Rivera-Ortíz - Treasurer