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People helping people

By May 26, 2006katrina

The two day law/technology conference held in New Orleans last Monday and Tuesday was a well-attended, and highly appreciated by the attendees.  I’m still reeling at the generosity of the speakers, folks like Craig Ball, Andy Atkins, Jim Calloway, Tom Mighell, Adriana Linares, Natalie Kelly, Lincoln Mead, JoAnna Forshey, Mark Rosch, Carole Levitt, Monica Bay and Sean Carter.  All of these people, and others not mentioned here, came because they wanted to help New Orleans in some way.  None of them came for money or with any business motive; they came to help local lawyers learn to use technology better.

The lawyers I spoke with were all effusively appreciative. They had been given valuable information that they could use to revitalize their law practice, and they were awe-struck.  Some were displaced lawyers who hadn’t returned to the city until this conference.  I was surprised at how many people had driven in from other cities, but perhaps I shouldn’t be.

When the conference was over there was a palpable sense that something special had happened.  Every one of the speakers came up to me and thanked me for inviting them to the conference.  They also thanked Tom and Gayle O’Connor, who were single handedly responsible for organizing this conference (my role was just being a local ambassador).  I join them in thanking Tom and Gayle because they alone are the reason we all came together at the Sheraton.  Tom and Gayle love New Orleans as much as anyone living there does, and you can bet we haven’t seen the last of them.

Yesterday I flew to South Padre Island to speak at a Texas State Bar CLE program.  I was invited by Craig Ball, and last night we had dinner and talked about a lot things.  I mentioned to him that I was moved by how grateful he and the other speakers had been, and how it seemed strange because they were the ones that were taking time and travelling etc,   Craig explained that everyone wants to help New Orleans and they just can’t figure out what the best way is, and when they have an opportunity to help by giving something personal they crave it.

I certainly welcome the opportunity to talk to the lawyers here in Texas and tell them how much I appreciate what they have done for my fellow citizens from New Orleans.  After all, this whole big blue spinning ball that we call "Earth" is just a habitat for creatures who want to help other creatures.


P.S. If you appreciate these kinds of observations, you might want to read this as well.

One Comment

  • Rob Robinson says:

    Ernie,

    It was a pleasure to meet you and many of the people you mentioned in your post at the NOLA law/tech conference. There is an incredibly positive feeling generated when people come together, pure in motive, and work together to better all. That feeling was tangibly apparent at the conference – and it was humbling yet refreshing to be able to meet, share, and learn from those in attendance – both from the NOLA legal community and those supporting the NOLA legal community with their most precious resource – TIME.

    Kindest Regards/Rob Robinson

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