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Eric Berg Provides Thoughts on Serving as 2017 Editor of Santa Barbara Lawyer Magazine

Dec 01, 2017
By Berg Law Group

This marks my final issue as Editor. As I hand off duties to the very capable hands of Jennifer Duffy, I am struck by a number of observations about our legal community that have been reinforced over twelve opportunities to put together this Magazine.

               We have very talented lawyers.  I’ve learned more in the last year about tax, ERISA, support guidelines, criminal sentencing, property exchanges and land use than at any other period of my practice.  That is a testament to our specialists who took the time to share their expertise with us.  The press of daily work often does not afford us the luxury of learning and appreciating the nuances of technical areas outside of our talents.  This Magazine, and its contributors, gives us the opportunity to not only get that quick overview, but to point us in the direction of additional resources.

               We have very generous lawyers.  More importantly, our legal community gives of their time and talent in abundance.  How many Santa Barbara lawyers serve on local Boards?  How many of us serve in leadership position on those Boards?  How many of us offer our services pro bono?  How many of us volunteer at our schools, sports teams, and houses of worship?  I could go on.  But the numbers are large.  My own very unscientific conclusion is that as a percentage of our total lawyer population, the statistics would surpass most larger communities.  Editing the Magazine has afforded me the privilege of witnessing this generosity on a grander scale than I would normally be afforded.

               We have very talented professionals supporting our work.  The talent does not stop on the legal side.  There are hosts of local professionals who make us look good every day—financial, real estate, technology, marketing, to name just a few.  The Magazine has been fortunate to serve as a platform for these experts to bring their knowledge directly to us, so the next time we need to hire someone we have a discreet talent and background to reference.  Broadening the pool of local magazine contributors also makes for a more interesting read.

               We are lucky to have such a vibrant Bar Association.  We are financially sound and under great volunteer leadership.  For those of you not familiar with the work of our Executive Director Lida Sideris, you should be.  Lida wears too many hats to fully capture here.  One of those is serving as Associate Editor of this Magazine, which means she has been tasked with keeping an eye out for the Editor’s inevitable mistakes.  For purposes of this column, it is sufficient to say that Lida is invaluable to us, and we are lucky to have her.

               Thank you for this privilege.  My best wishes for a healthy and successful 2018.

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