Arnie and Susan Lutzker hosted about 60 members and guests of INBLF firms in Seaside, Florida November 3-6, 2022, the first post-pandemic all-network gathering of the International Network of Boutique and Independent Law Firms. The 2022 Reunion/Retreat was attended by representatives of member firms from Australia, India, Dubai, Bolivia, the UK, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Canada. Jeannette Carmadella, Ben Sternberg and Carolyn Martin, in addition to Susan and Arnie, attended from Lutzker & Lutzker. Other U.S. members came from San Francisco, New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, San Diego and San Jose.
Business sessions included a panel on public benefit corporations (B-corps), featuring Dan Bailey of Seaside’s award-winning Amavida Coffee; and Ellisa Habbart of the Delaware Counsel Group, who was instrumental in writing Delaware’s law on B- corporations. Another panel focused on retaining and attracting junior lawyers to boutique law firms. Deborah Baker, Senior Law Career Counselor, Public Interest Advising and Programs at The George Washington University Law School spoke about the challenges of connecting law students with boutique law firms. Addressing the issues from the perspectives of young/junior lawyers were Jeannette, Adam Felix of Felix a Spol in Prague, Kathleen Berney of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLC in Boston. Post-pandemic employment and court issues were discussed by Nancie Marzulla of Marzulla Law, LLC in Washington, DC and Bill Murphy of Dillingham & Murphy LLP in San Francisco. INBLF’s Cybersecurity, Ransomware and Privacy Task Force met to plan ways in which the network can help both member firms and clients protect their data against attack. There was also plenty of time for informal networking and enjoyment of Seaside’s outdoor venues, including a bonfire on the beautiful Gulf beach.
Seaside, Florida was developed forty years ago as an alternative to suburban sprawl. It has been influential around the world as the birthplace of the New Urbanist movement, where cars are de-emphasized in favor of walking and biking, where town centers are a mix of residential and commercial uses, and where zoning codes promote human interaction. Tom Cordi, director of the nonprofit Seaside Institute, explained the philosophy behind Seaside, and Jacky Barker of Seaside Community Realty led an architectural walking tour. Attendees received a copy of The Gulf by Jack Davis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the Gulf of Mexico, written in part in Seaside as part of its Escape-to-Create program. The Reunion/Retreat suppliers were exclusively local businesses.