The Annual Florida Bar Convention caters to hundreds of judges, lawyers, and law practitioners every year. What goes into organizing such a large event, and why should legal professionals attend such functions?
In this Special Report, host Laurence Colletti speaks with the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention co-chairs Melanie Griffin and Renée Thompson about the triumphs and challenges of organizing a conference. Melanie and Renée address the recent tragedy in Orlando, providing options for people to help support the local community, and reflect on how The Florida Bar beefed up event security efforts all week. Renée talks about the increased attention that they put on making the event more family friendly this year and Melanie emphasizes that they wanted the convention to reflect how the bar was exceeding the goals of “Vision 2016.” They also discuss the various efforts, from raising money to choosing speakers, that the entire annual convention committee worked on to make this convention a reality. Melanie and Renée close the interview with a review of their favorite events, their proudest moments while organizing the convention, and their top three reasons law practitioners should attend.
Melanie S. Griffin practices in Dean Mead’s litigation department, representing clients locally in Tampa and Orlando, statewide throughout Florida, throughout the Southeast, and beyond. She primarily advises and represents businesses of all sizes and types in commercial disputes and litigation, ranging from simple breach of contract actions to complex commercial cases involving intellectual property issues, real estate actions, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements., and tortious interference with contracts and business relationships. She also represents individuals and entities in trust and estate litigation, having handled several multi-million dollar trust litigation disputes for prominent Florida families.
Renée Thompson established a reputation at a young age as a high achiever, listed among Super Lawyers since 2015 after the organization named her a Rising Star for 5 consecutive years. She is an active leader in The Florida Bar and has received the President’s Award of Merit for the last two years while serving on the Board of Governors. Renée has long had an interest in alternative dispute resolution and was certified as county mediator in 2002 and thereafter as a circuit mediator in 2010. She mediates disputes at Upchurch Watson White & Max in both state and federal court.