We represent firms across Louisiana. Unlike our prior challenges, which usually affected only one region of the state, this health crisis impacts the entire state. During those prior events, members outside the impacted areas could step in and help. Today's pandemic impacts all of us. We are a community, and we must be able to rely on one another through this.
This will be a prolonged event with so many uncertainties. There is no timeline, and that creates great anxiety. We feel that same distress. In uncertain times, it is normal to reassess financial commitments and prioritize them. We write you today to remind you that your commitment to LAJ is vital. We urge you in the strongest terms possible to maintain your LAJ membership and to recruit others to join. If you are in leadership and make voluntary contributions, you know how important you are to our success. Every reason you had for being in LAJ before COVID-19 still exists and will continue to exist after the crisis passes.
We make this urgent request because of a mutual need.
You need LAJ and LAJ needs you.
Prior to the crisis emerging, LAJ faced one of the most challenging legislative sessions since 1996. Insurance companies and their allies invested millions of dollars during the 2019 election cycle to elect legislators who would make tort reform their number one issue in 2020. As always, LAJ is standing in their way. LAJ recently sent its a members a legislative update that we should all take very seriously. Please continue to check your email for LAJ updates and remain vigilant.
Our association is reviewing its operations and finances to ensure that LAJ will be able to succeed. Even with belt-tightening, the revenue from your membership and voluntary giving will be critically important. We may have to retool, but we must not retreat.
LAJ's officers are focused on helping LAJ through this turmoil, even as each of their own firms is facing the same challenges you are. LAJ's remarkable staff, led by Connie Koury, is performing at the highest level despite operating under indescribable stress. LAJ has quickly put together rapid-response webinars on timely topics like how to operate remotely and apply for small business loans through the CARES Act. Thanks to all of you who participated in the webinars and conferences.
All of this is to make sure that when the crisis eases, you will still be able to do what you've always done; give your clients a voice.
When this crisis passes, we know these things will be true:
1. The civil justice system will continue to exist and be more important than ever.
2. The forces seeking to pervert the civil justice system will still be around and will work even harder to restrict access, delay justice, and protect insurance companies.
3. As before this crisis, LAJ will be a powerful voice against those forces.
4. Courthouses will reopen to full strength.
5. Clients will need representation.
6. LAJ's mission will be unchanged.
We must ensure that the civil justice system will survive. With your unwavering support, it will.
We urge you to maintain your membership when you receive your notice to renew, recruit another member for LAJ, renew your section and list serve memberships, and make a voluntary contribution to LAJ if you are able to do that. For questions about recruitment or to join the effort, please reply to this email and ask for a list of non-members in your area to connect with. The legislature is suspended, but they have not agreed to sine die. Legislators are discussing calling themselves in so that they can include their number one item in the call. You need LAJ and LAJ needs you. Let that mutual need guide your decision to support an association that protects you and your clients.
Stay safe and well,
Your LAJ Past Presidents
Bob F. Wright, 1969-70
Harold J. Lamy, 1971-72
Troy E. Bain, 1976-77
Stephen B. Murray, Sr., 1977-78
Chris J. Roy, Sr., 1978-79
Leslie J. Schiff, 1979-80
Russ M. Herman, 1980-81
Paul H. Dué, 1982-83
James E. Bolin, Jr., 1983-84
Thomas A. Gennusa, II, 1985-86
J. David Painter, 1986-87
Charles R. Moore, 1987-88
James P. Roy, 1990-91
Michael X. St. Martin, 1991-92
Philip G. Hunter, 1994-95
Calvin C. Fayard, Jr., 1995-96
Drew Ranier, 1996-97
Donald G. Kelly, 1997-98
Sam N. Gregorio, 1999-2000
Michael C. Palmintier, 2000-01
Tom Anderson, 2002-03
Tom W. Thornhill, 2003-04
Maury A. Herman, 2004-05
Robert E. Kleinpeter, 2005-06
J. Burton LeBlanc IV, 2006-07
Conard S. P. Williams III, 2007-08
Allan Kanner, 2008-09
Donald W. Price, 2009-10
Richard J. Dodson, 2010-11
Philip F. Cossich Jr., 2011-12
Glenn J. Armentor, 2012-13
Daniel S. Foley, 2013-14
Stephen J. Herman, 2014-15
P. Craig Morrow, 2015-16
Matthew E. Lundy, 2016-17
Paul M. Sterbcow, 2018-19