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Outgoing board members share advice for the future

first_img Outgoing board members share advice for the future June 15, 2002 Regular News Joking that his 10 years on the Bar Board of Governors amounted to “60 meetings and 25 pounds,” board member John Cardillo advised his fellow board members to keep their ears tuned to what individual lawyers are saying.The occasion was the close of the board’s May 24 meeting in Jacksonville, the last board gathering of the 2001-02 Bar year and the final one of Bar President Terry Russell’s tenure. tradition, the board reserves the closing minutes for “Comments for the Good of the Order” from retiring board members.The occasion was marked by sentimentality, sincere advice, and appreciation for the experience and friendships made during board service. Or as board member Michele Cummings put it, “This has been the best experience of my life.” After a pause, she added with a smile, “Don’t tell my husband I said that.”Cardillo led off, recalling friends he’s made and the camaraderie among board members. But he cautioned them, in closing, to remember to listen to their constituents and to prepare for the future of the profession.“We must be conscious of what is going on at [Bar] committee levels and allow lawyers to get our ears,” Cardillo said. “We are the most privileged of the professions. The lawyer keeps the client’s confidences and is the defender of the client’s rights and is his key to freedom. . . . No other profession has that great a role and that great an impact on society. We have to take that and educate the youth of our profession. Our salvation in the future is the youth of our profession.”Board member Mike Smith, like several other speakers, advised the board to continue mentoring new board members, who can be overwhelmed by the scope of board work, including the necessary work on board committees. “I will go back to my circuit and try to educate them on the fact the job you do is an important one,” he said.Board member William Kalish, as might be expected from the outgoing chair of the Budget Committee, sounded a fiscally prudent note. He urged board members to always recall “it’s really not our money and we cannot play around with it. . . . We cannot play around with other people’s money,” he said. “Sometimes when people refer to me as ‘Dr. No,’ I take it as a badge of courage.”It’s also important for board members to educate local bars and others about what they do, board member John Kest said, and remember that not everyone plays by the same codes and rules that lawyers do.Referring to the hundreds of pages of backup that board members get for each meeting and the countless hours they spend on Bar business, he said, “Members of your [local] bars, no matter how good they are, have no appreciation for what goes on in this room, and no concept of what we read or what we do. They really don’t know and you need to start at square one and explain it to them.“We are a very trusting group of people, trusting in the sense we are bound by ethical standards different from other professions,” Kest added. “We need to look at the things we are dealing with and say, ‘What if the other side doesn’t act as ethically as we do?’ We can pass laws, but if other people aren’t going to follow them, it won’t be very effective.”Board member Kirk Kirkconnell praised the fellowship on the board as one of its strengths. “When I came on the board, I was totally intimidated. I didn’t know where to sit. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know if I could say anything,” he recalled. “Within five minutes, people made me feel at home.”He also said for those who complain about the public perception of lawyers, one solution is to get involved in Bar and other work. “I’ve had a pet peeve and that’s people who complain about lawyers and their image and then don’t get involved,” Kirkconnell said.Leaving was bittersweet for Steve Chaykin, as he noted he won a contested election two years ago only to have his seat abolished by reapportionment this year. He decided not to run against other board incumbents seeking reelection for the 11th Circuit this year. He referred to his departure as “a short recess,” and he urged board members to follow through on President-elect Tod Aronovitz’s Dignity in Law campaign, on the proposed new Internet portal for Bar members, and other challenges.He also reminded them that “Lawyers are the guardians of our system of justice, and you all are the guardians of the guardians.”Cummings picked up on that theme, noting, “We are the guardians of the profession and the work has been energizing. Every time you come to a meeting, no matter how tired you are, you become so entrenched in what is going on.”She thanked board member Henry Latimer, who she said called her and encouraged her to run for the board.Board member Christine Milton agreed the work was fascinating, but she also urged the board to keep its eye on what is important.“I found the breadth and diversity of the issues fascinating,” she said. “The procedures, I found sometimes incomprehensible and difficult. Sometimes the board misses the point because it gets caught in the procedures.”Young Lawyers Division President Liz Rice thanked the board and Russell for their cooperation with the division, including delegating to it the job of putting on last January’s CLE program on ancillary business. “I have been so impressed by the level of collegiality and debate,” she added.center_img Outgoing board members share advice for the futurelast_img read more

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) earnings Q3 2020

first_imgAs the coronavirus pandemic weighs on its operating earnings and stock price, Berkshire Hathaway ramped up its stock repurchasing program even more in the third quarter, nearly doubling the record buyback from the second quarter.Warren Buffett’s conglomerate bought back $9 billion of its own stock, it was revealed Saturday in its third-quarter earnings report. That’s up big from the $5.1 billion level during the second quarter that turned heads when it was announced and brings Berkshire’s total buybacks to $15.7 billion for 2020.Berkshire repurchased more than $2.5 billion in Class A shares and about $6.7 billion in Class B stock during the quarter. This blew away the UBS estimate for a total quarterly buyback of just $3.2 billion.- Advertisement – In his annual letter released earlier this year, Buffett discussed when he and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger would decide to repurchase stock.“Our thinking, boiled down: Berkshire will buy back its stock only if a) Charlie and I believe that it is selling for less than it is worth and b) the company, upon completing the repurchase, is left with ample cash,” Buffett wrote. “Over time, we want Berkshire’s share count to go down. If the price-to-value discount (as we estimate it) widens, we will likely become more aggressive in purchasing shares. We will not, however, prop the stock at any level.”Buffett also defended the practice in general at the Berkshire annual meeting in May.“When the conditions are right, it should also be obvious to repurchase shares and there shouldn’t be the slightest taint to it any more than there is to dividends,” he said.Despite a nearly 20% comeback in the third quarter by Berkshire Hathaway’s class A shares, the stock is still widely underperforming the S&P 500 this year. The share have lost 8%, compared to a 10% total return for the S&P 500.Buffett’s buyback spree comes as the Oracle of Omaha has made relatively few big moves this year. In late August, Buffett announced that Berkshire had taken stakes of at least 5% in Japan’s five leading trading companies: Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co., and Sumitomo Corp. But the company has announced no other major acquisitions this year.Even after the record buybacks this year, Berkshire’s cash pile still stands at $145.7 billion through the end of the third quarter.Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world. – Advertisement – Buffett’s repurchase spree comes amid a tough time for its operations as the global economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus, directly impacting the company’s wholly owned businesses which include railroads, utilities and insurance.Berkshire said its operating earnings came in at $5.478 billion, down more than 30% from the year-earlier period. But the company’s net earnings — which account for Berkshire’s big investments in the public market like Apple — skyrocketed more than 82% on a year-over-year basis to $30.137 billion. Apple, Berkshire’s biggest stock holding, rallied more than 26% in the third quarter. Coca-Cola gained 10.5% over that time period. Though Buffett has cautioned investors not to pay attention to those net earnings because the investing gains are unrealized and volatile.Does Buffett think the stock is cheap?- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – Warren BuffettGerard Miller | CNBClast_img read more

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