President's Page: Moving Forward

By Brandon Vaughn – 2021-22 HCBA President 

As I sit here and pen this presidential column, it is hard to believe we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. Many of the activities that brought members to the bar association have changed. Some for the better, and some bringing much dismay to our membership. I try to be a practical optimist in all aspects of life, but I have had limited success in achieving that goal lately. Today, I am going to focus on a few items we will hopefully be able to achieve together as we move forward in this 2021-2022 bar year.

In-person events

I know there are a wide variety of feelings about hosting and participating in in-person events. I am committed to hosting some in-person events this bar year, as long as they will be safe and consistent with recommendations of the CDC. Keeping this goal in mind, the HCBA will continue to offer virtual programming and events, and explore hybrid options for the future. 

I am happy to report that during the 2020-2021 bar year, the HCBA offered 79 section programs and CLEs—a 20% increase over 2019-2020. Additionally, we saw an increase in attendance and participation in HCBA seminars. Compared to the previous bar year, there was a 45% increase in registrations for our programming. During 2020-2021, the HCBA also co-sponsored an additional 17 CLEs with the Minnesota State Bar and the Ramsey County Bar Associations. These “tri-bar” CLEs, also offered via remote participation, had over 4000 registrations from HCBA, RCBA, and MSBA members throughout the state. I share this to say not every experience from the pandemic has been negative. While remote work became the new normal, we took the opportunity to use technology in new ways and offered more programming, and experienced greater engagement of our members. It is my hope to continue this trajectory in this bar year.

I am happy to report that during the 2020-2021 bar year, the HCBA offered 79 section programs and CLEs—a 20% increase over 2019-2020.”

New Lawyer Engagement Committee

The HCBA remains committed to meeting the needs of our new lawyers. Getting new lawyers engaged and involved in the HCBA will be a vital part in ensuring member participation and sustaining our membership numbers. To that end, the HCBA has created a New Lawyer Engagement Committee solely focused on addressing new lawyers’ ongoing concerns to ensure recruitment and continued involvement in the HCBA.

New Senior Lawyers and Judges Section

In the midst of the pandemic, we have increased our section offerings. Our new Senior Lawyers & Judges Section, which was approved earlier this year, provides seasoned members with opportunities to stay professionally engaged and personally connected with colleagues. HCBA members admitted to practice 37+ years or who are 62 years and older have been automatically enrolled in the section.

I have met with the executive committee of this new section and I have no doubt they will add value to the HCBA. They are coming to the HCBA with a strong desire to meet the professional needs of senior lawyers and judges, while considering what opportunities there are to collaborate with our sections and committees to enhance member value.

Attendance at Section Meetings and Other Events

I am always interested in attending section meetings and/or social events to have a greater understanding of the needs of our members. If I am unable to attend, I am willing to find a member of our Executive Committee to come and participate. It is critical that we support the activities of our members and showing up and directly participating is an opportunity to show commitment to the membership.

In closing, I encourage all members to remain as positive as they can be in these continuing uncertain times. I am proud of the adaptations the HCBA has made to continue to meet the needs of our members, and will continue to make. The real life of the HCBA comes from our members and it will be my commitment to ensure you receive the best value for your membership. If there is every any questions or feedback you have please do not hesitate to reach out, I can be reached at

Bradon-Vahughn-150Brandon Vaughn, a partner at the national law firm Robins Kaplan LLP, is known both for his skilled representation in high-profile, high-value personal injury and medical malpractice cases and for his leadership and advocacy for diversity in the profession. Brandon has tried to verdict and settled multi-million dollar cases on behalf of his injured clients. 

Managing Editor
Elsa Cournoyer

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Joseph Satter