Tomorrow I head to Buffalo to give my annual “Municipal Liability” update lecture to a room full of lawyers there. I have already given the same talk in Albany, Syracuse and Rochester earlier this month. Buffalo is the “end of the road” for this year.
I’ve been giving the annual update on this topic to my fellow New York personal injury lawyers all around New York state every year since 2007. To prepare the talk, I have to read EVERY published case from all New York courts on the topic for the entire year, which amounts to hundreds of cases. I then have to write an “outline” summarizing the most important hundred or so cases.
Lots of work? Sure. And it is UNPAID work. Totally voluntary. But still, I get more out of it than what I put in. How?
Well, in a sense I do get “paid”, but not in money. Having done these lectures for eight years has made me one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in New York State on the topic of suing municipalities (towns, villages, counties, etc.) and the State of New York and its agencies. I get calls from lawyers around the State who want to “pick my brain” about cases involving suits against towns, villages, counties, school districts, and New York State. That makes me feel pretty important, in a small and very specialized way.
Here’s a pretty cool feather in my cap: Last summer the New York State Court of Claims invited me to give a lecture on this topic of the governmental function immunity defense to a room full of Court of Claims judges gathered in Cooperstown. When you are asked to explain an area of law to a room full of judges, you know you have achieved a pretty good reputation in that realm at least.
So as long as the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers keeps inviting me to give my talk, I plan to keep on talking.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.