OCBA President's Page




Your Resolution Solution

by David C. Anderson
2016-2017 OCBA President 




Paul had his doubts. The Irish teen had always wanted to be in a rock band, but now that he had an opportunity to audition for one, he just wasn’t sure if he had what it takes. His good friend, Gavin, encouraged him. “You’ll be great, Paul. Be a chancer.”

“Stop acting the maggot,” Paul retorted. “They’ll quickly figure out that I can’t sing very well or even play an instrument.”

Gavin stayed the course. “Where’s the audition?”

“It's at some drummer's house. His name is Larry Mullen Jr. And that’s another thing. I’ve no way of getting there anyway,” Paul argued.

“I’ll give you a ride on my motorcycle. Come on, let’s go.”

Paul eventually complied, complaining, “Oh, bollocks! I'd better not end up scarlet.” They were both 15 years old at the time and the year was 1976.

A number of wannabe rockers also showed up at the drummer’s house to audition. They included a 15-year-old guitarist named David Evans and a 16-year-old named Adam Clayton, who couldn't actually play bass guitar but certainly knew how to talk as though he did. In the end, Paul earned a spot as the lead singer. So, he, along with David Evans on lead guitar, Adam Clayton on bass guitar and Larry Mullin Jr. on drums, formed a band called Feedback. They called it Feedback because of the ear-splitting wailing that always seemed to emanate from their guitar amps. Two years later, the band won a talent contest on St. Patrick's Day, winning £500 and, more important, studio time to record a demo. Years later, Feedback became The Hype. Now, they are known as U2, arguably the most successful and influential rock band in the world. They have sold more than 170 million albums worldwide and won 22 Grammys, more than any other rock band.

I heard Bono (Paul Hewson) tell this story during an interview recently. And it reminded me that opportunity favors the bold. Bono auditioned that day in 1976 despite his fear of failure and it put him on an upward trajectory of record-breaking proportions. Opportunity indeed favors the bold.

That's what we tell our kids, isn't it? We encourage them to excel in school. We support them when they join a sports team, a club or student government. We urge them to engage in diverse interests, such as playing a musical instrument, learning to give a speech or recreational reading. And we help them choose the right college. We do that because we want our kids to have as many opportunities as possible in life. One of my favorite things to say to my two boys (ages 15 and 13) is, “When life shuts a door, open it. It's a door. That's how they work.” They hate it. But I think it's funny.

We should be keen to take our own advice. If we remain open to them, opportunities abound all our lives. And the OCBA is an opportunity-making machine. As approximately 3,000 members already know, participation in the OCBA will expand your horizons, grow your practice and connect you more fully with the legal community, not just in Oakland County but throughout the state of Michigan. Just like Bono was encouraged by his friend to go to the audition that ultimately led to the formation of U2, I encourage you to actively participate in the OCBA. The OCBA is like the motorcycle that Bono rode on to the audition. Take a chance and get involved. If you don't know where to start, feel free to email me or our executive director, Terri Gilbert, and we will help you find the right committee for you. The sense of community that the bar association fosters will enhance your career and your life. Join the OCBA and you, too, can be a rock star.

And while we're on the topic of rock stars, I'd like to thank the 15 judges and four judicial staff attorneys who have generously volunteered to participate in the OCBA U series on courtroom advocacy. Each class begins with a judicial staff attorney discussing pretrial matters and effective motion practice. Then a panel of judges goes over the “do's and don'ts” of practicing in their courtrooms. Go to www.OCBA.org to register for classes before they sell out.

Oakland County Circuit Court - Civil Cases
January 12, 2017

Hon. Martha D. Anderson
Hon. Shalina D. Kumar
Hon. Phyllis C. McMillen
J. Scot Garrison, staff attorney to Hon. Rae Lee Chabot

Oakland County Circuit Court - Criminal Cases
February 9, 2017

Hon. Leo Bowman
Hon. Hala Jarbou
Hon. Michael Warren
Victoria King, staff attorney to Hon. Leo Bowman

Oakland County Family Court
March 9, 2017

Hon. Mary Ellen Brennan
Hon. Jeffery S. Matis
Hon. Karen McDonald
Jacob Cunningham, staff attorney to Hon. Mary Ellen Brennan

​Oakland County District Courts
March 21, 2017

Hon. Julie A. Nicholson
Hon. Marla E. Parker
Hon. Cynthia Thomas Walker

Oakland County Probate Court
April 13, 2017

Hon. Linda S. Hallmark
Hon. Daniel A. O’Brien
Hon. Kathleen A. Ryan
Ryan Deel, staff attorney to Hon. Linda S. Hallmark