SARASOTA, Fla. — Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP (www.slk-law.com) attorney Douglas A. Cherry has laid out an ambitious agenda for his upcoming one-year term as president of the Sarasota County Bar Association, with plans to focus on the future of the legal profession and empowering its members to embrace and take advantage of the opportunities that upcoming changes to the profession will present. Cherry, who has actively served in the Bar Association since 2000, will be installed as president during the organization’s September 17 installation dinner.
An expert in intellectual property law, Cherry has already begun lining up programs and guest speakers for the Bar Association’s coming year. During the installation dinner, the current president of The Florida Bar, Eugene K. Pettis, will update Sarasota County members about the state Bar’s ongoing Vision 2016 project, an in-depth study of several high-level issues facing Sunshine State attorneys. Following that, the October Sarasota County members’ meeting will focus on the research being done by Vision 2016’s technology committee.
“The technology committee will look at how you can use technology to minimize overhead, to work remotely, to create employment opportunities and to work more efficiently, all information that is vital to preparing today’s lawyers for tomorrow’s legal world,” Cherry says. “We’ll be discussing everything from software that can help attorneys quickly sort and analyze voluminous documents and data to automated case management, online dispute resolution, cloud computing and courtroom technology.”
In January, futurist thinker David Houle will address the Bar Association, discussing the concept of “the Shift Age” and the importance of branding. A well-known speaker who has addressed audiences on six continents and in 12 countries in the last three years, Houle analyzes upcoming transformations and helps industries and organizations prepare for the major changes to come.
“The law industry is a 100-year-old business model,” Cherry says. “Like those who work in any field, attorneys must be ready to adapt to the challenges of the digital age. You have to be skilled with the tools needed to succeed in the 21st century.”
Part of that, Cherry says, is beginning to rethink how attorneys brand themselves. Attorneys excel at creative problem solving, and they need to present themselves in that light.
“I have spent a good deal of my practice helping clients stay competitive with branding. Attorneys are some of the most creative people I know,” Cherry says. “In the great majority of cases, there are no canned solutions to a client’s problems when he or she comes in the door. I don’t think we’ve branded ourselves well as creative thinkers, and that’s one thing I’d like to help our members with over the next year.”
In addition to driving the organization’s discussions and programs over the coming year, Cherry, as president, will act as a liaison between the local legal community and the court system. As the face of the Bar Association, he will also represent the group with business organizations, nonprofits and government agencies. At Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, Cherry’s practice focuses on patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, unfair competition, consulting, acquisition, licensing and litigation.
The Sarasota County Bar Association was founded in 1926 and now claims 950 members out of the county’s 1,300 attorneys. Cherry served as the organization’s docket editor, treasurer, secretary and president-elect before becoming president. For more information about the Bar Association, visit sarasotabar.com.
About Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP (www.slk-law.com) is a full-service business law firm with 235 lawyers, 61 paralegals and 493 employees in five offices: Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and Sarasota, Fla.; and Charlotte, N.C. In each of its markets, Shumaker is the premier provider of quality legal services to individuals, small businesses, healthcare providers, nonprofits and Fortune 500 and international corporations.