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Lawyer Pilots Bar Association – LPBA
Benefits of Membership


A Message From 2013-2014 LPBA President and First Lady

Jim and Betsy Gilman


Greetings to all members of the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association from Betsy and me. We are thrilled to serve as your President and First Lady through the 2014 Summer Meeting and look forward to greeting you in person along the way.

As you know, the LPBA is indeed unique among all bar associations for its most friendly collegiality, its camaraderie, and the eclectic diversity of our members, both personally and professionally.  Over the past 15+ years, Betsy and I have made more lifetime friends in the LPBA than in any other bar association.  The one thing we all have in common is a love for and fascination with aviation. With that as a given, we are an incredibly diverse group.  So we do not put on “airs” or have cliques; we just enjoy one another and our shared enjoyment of everything that flies.  Professionally, it seems that many of us just run from deadline to deadline, fitting in as much aviation as possible!

We pride ourselves in having the best national-level quality of continuing legal education at our semi-annual meetings on a wide variety of topics of interest to aviation enthusiasts and practitioners.  We add in local exploratory activities, aviation adventures, and social occasions at our semi-annual meetings held at affordable “destination” resorts.  We also pride ourselves in our quarterly LPBA Journal managed by our journal editor Gary Allen which contains articles of current interest running the gamut, but always seeks (in our Editor’s words) “that sweet spot somewhere between the Harvard Law Review and the National Enquirer.”

All of this is in furtherance of our mission which is, according to our Charter, “dedicated to aviation safety, the just administration of the law and continuing legal education.”

The LPBA started  in the late 1950’s by lawyer-pilots, many of whom became aviators through the military, and we are proud to note that tradition continues to some extent to this day.  The LPBA has evolved over the years, especially in these challenging times of post 9/11  FAA/TSA hyper-regulation and price escalation;  the fact is that it is more difficult and much more expensive to own and operate GA aircraft these days.  We recognize these realities, along with the contracting opportunities for lawyers to have a solely-aviation practice.  But our mission does not require our members to own or operate aircraft, or to practice professionally in aviation law.  It just requires that applicants and members have a love and fascination in aviation, and a desire to improve safety and to promote and protect the existence of general aviation.

Our Summer meeting at Whistler, British Columbia was a great success.  It was held at the Fairmont Chateaux Whistler at the center of what was the 2000 Winter Olympics at the base of the many ski runs in the spectacular Canadian Rockies.  We could see the treelines and the snowlines. Many people were snow-skiing in July and others were  taking their mountain bikes up the gondolas and mountain biking down the mountains.

Our opening reception Wednesday night was on a high terrace with a wonderful view of the mountains across the valley from the ski mountains.  The valleys had lakes from which seaplanes were  taking off and landing to deliver and transport guests from and to Vancouver from time to time.  Golfing was on a magnificent mountainside course with many streams, wild flowers, and some bears… a challenging course, but it took our thoughts off of business and set us free.

At a lovely outdoors service, on the same Fairmont Chateaux terrace,  Gary and Penny Evans, who were married there at the LPBA Summer 2002 Meeting, and Betsy and I renewed our wedding vows in respons to Gary and Penny’s open invitation to join them in the occasion. Now, this was something I had never even thought about doing until a few weeks before the conference.  At first it seemed a little corny.   But when we were standing there at the altar before the Marriage Commissioner of the Provence of British Columbia with the spectacular scenery all around us, with the friends and flowers and candles, it transported us. It really was a moving, enriching experience for us and I believe for the many members who graciously attended. And, of course, experiences like this don’t happen at your usual professional gatherings!

The CLE classes at Whistler were just outstanding and included topics diverse as air search and rescue operations on land and at sea in British Columbia, a seaplane crash analysis and safety recommendations by a panel of the lawyers on both sides trying the case and including the director of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, ethics and conflicts of interest in legislative lobbying, aviation claims arising out of a Blackwater contract military flight in Afganistan, re-manufactured aircraft parts and failure to disclose previous defects,  and many more---all excellent.

Our upcoming 2014 calendar includes the Winter Meeting in New Orleans, February 5-9 (pre-Mardi Gras)  at the Intercontinental Hotel on Canal Street across from the French Quarter.  We will have Cajun cooking events, historical tours, and as always, golfing and the Spot Landing event.

For the Summer Meeting, July 23-27, join us in Albuquerque at the Hyatt Tamaya Resort, which is very family friendly so bring the whole gang!  Tamaya is owned by the Santa Ana Pueblo, operated by Hyatt Hotels, and staffed by Native American Indians.  The Resort conducts all sorts of American Indian cultural activities from pottery making to bread baking. The entire resort is on ancient Pueblo lands in an enchanted setting by the Bosque [woods] on the Rio Grande with the Sandia Mountains in the background.  The Twin Warriors Championship Golf Course is at the Resort.  The Santa Ana Championship golf course is two miles away, also on Pueblo land.  The casino is on the road entering the property at the highway. There is truly something for everyone at this fine resort.

Now, First Lady Betsy would like to expand on the activities she’s planning:

Let me add my welcome to Jim's and expand a bit on the wonderful spouse and family activities we are planning for our 2014 meetings.  In New Orleans, we are planning a New Orleans-style cooking class as well as a bayou boat trip and tours of some of the majestic southern mansions in the area.  There will also be a luncheon steamboat harbor cruise featuring creole food, and also a wonderful 2 1/2 hour city walking tour. 

We are especially excited about welcoming you to our home city of Albuquerque.  As Jim has outlined above, there will be a wide variety of Native American Indian activities including classes on making traditional Indian oven bread, landscape painting on wine glasses, making copper jewelry, and demonstrations of both Native American artisan activities and ceremonial dances. 

Specifically for kids, for ages 3 and up, there is a class on making mini pizzas, biscochitos in an outdoor Indian oven.  Ages 5 and up can add a class on creating and painting a pottery piece taught by a tribal member; there is also an adobe-making class for them.  Ages 6 and up can take a class on petroglyphs and paint a souvenir box with their own design.  Ages 8 and up can learn how to design and paint gourds they can take home.  For the older kids there is Geocaching, campfire cookouts with S’mores and Native American storytelling under the stars that can be enjoyed by all ages. 

I would appreciate a quick email to me ( or Karen Griggs ( if you are planning on attending either or both of these meetings so we can keep you posted on these activities.  Please feel free to contact me or Jim if you have questions or suggestions! We welcome both, and we look forward to seeing you all and having wonderful, memorable times at these meetings.

Thanks and best wishes from us both ~






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