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Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association

President's Greeting

Summer 2014



It is a tremendous privilege and honor for me to move into the position of president of the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association for the next year. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a partner with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I have been practicing law since 1991.  I grew up around airplanes because my father was a flight instructor and commercial pilot.  I took my first flying lessons in 1983.  I own a Cessna 182 based at KUES. I love flying!  And, I love helping members of the aviation community with their legal problems.

This year marks my 20th anniversary as an LPBA member.  My membership in the LPBA has made me a better lawyer and a better pilot.  Joining the LPBA was one of my best decisions, both professionally and personally.  Professionally, the LPBA Journal and CLE Conventions provide invaluable information about aviation and legal issues.  Personally, my life has been incredibly enriched by the friendships I have made with fellow LPBA members.  The personal connections we have among our members as friends, colleagues, and fellow aviators are what make the LPBA a very special organization.

The best way to establish and maintain these personal connections is to attend our biannual conventions. So mark your calendars and begin planning for our next conventions! 2015 LPBA Conventions:  Mexico and New York!

Cozumel.  The 2015 Winter Convention will take place February 11-14, 2015, at the Sunscape Sabor Resort on Cozumel Island, Mexico.  LPBA President-Elect Mark Pierce is already hard at work putting together a CLE Program with speakers and materials that I know you will find interesting and educational. 

Cozumel is a Caribbean island, just 12 miles east of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Our resort has the most complete beachfront complex on the island.  It is located just 20 minutes from Cozumel International Airport. The resort is all inclusive!  This means that your room rate will include unlimited and no-charge access to dining at four different restaurants, and free beverage service (including beers, wines, liquors, juices, soda and water) at three separate bars/lounges. We have negotiated discounted daily rates from $112 to $161 per person.

During your stay at the resort you can relax by the two sparkling swimming pools, indulge in the Spa by Pevonia, take part in a variety of land and water sports, or bask in the sun on the largest beachfront on the island.  Our contract also includes free access to paddle boards, hobie cats, kayaks and snorkel equipment.

One of the best things about going to Cozumel is the opportunity to explore the wonders of the second-largest coral reef system in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Sunscape is closer to the reef than most other Cozumel resorts.  During our convention you can snorkel or scuba dive with help from the resort's full-service, on-site dive operator, Dive House, with its own scuba learning pool. Diving packages from beginner to advanced are available.

In addition to exploring the coral reef, other off-property activities will include: (1) golfing at the Cozumel Country Club, an 18-hole/72-par golf course designed by the Jack Nicklaus Group (2) touring San Gervasio, a famous Mayan archeological site, (3) visiting the Punta Sur National Ecological Park, and (4) exploring the Chankanaab National Marine Park.  The average high temperatures are around 82º with lows around 70º. Beautiful!

Watkins Glen.  The Summer Convention will be held July 22-25, 2015, at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel, in Watkins Glen, New York.  The hotel is located on the shores of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of western New York State.  This region is famous for the local lakes, wineries, beautiful scenery, and outdoor activities.  A few of the highlights we are planning for our 2015 Summer Convention are: (1) a visit to the Watkins Glen International Race Course (including a "Drive the Glen" experience in your own car), (2) winery tours, (3) golfing, (4) boating, and (5) our Saturday dinner at the Glenn Curtiss Museum.

For those of you who have not yet attended an LPBA Convention, I urge you to join us in Cozumel and/or Watkins Glen.  You will be pleasantly surprised by how different it is from any other bar association meeting or CLE program you have ever attended.

Writing the President’s Message gives me the opportunity and satisfaction to express my deepest gratitude to all of the previous officers, directors, committee members, and others who have worked so hard over the past 50+ years to create and maintain this great organization.  Specifically, I wish to thank our immediate past president, Jim Gilman, for his tremendous leadership and hard work during the past year.  Jim was responsible for several improvements to the LPBA, including resurrecting our Standard Operating Procedures Manual, and making some overdue by-law amendments.  Jim’s CLE conventions in New Orleans and Albuquerque were very successful.  I also want to thank Jim’s wife, Betsy, for helping Jim through his presidency and adding to the fun of our CLE conventions, and for all the other work she did supporting the LPBA.

Thanks are also due to John Yodice, the chair of our Convention Committee.  Without John's help we would not have enjoyed so many great conventions at great facilities in great locations.  I must also thank our Journal Editor Gary Allen for his incredible long-term contributions to the LPBA and its Journal.  Gary, of course, cannot publish the Journal on his own.  Hence, multiple thanks are due to our Associate Editor, Ellen Riddle, and our contributing editors and authors.  I also wish to thank our executive director, Karen Griggs, for the fine work she performs day in and day out through the year on behalf of the LPBA. 

Finally, I would like to thank in advance my fellow officers, Mark Pierce (president-elect), Glenn Cook (secretary) and Lloyd Kirschbaum (treasurer) for their help in the coming year; along with the newest members of the LPBA 2014-15 executive committee, John Cane (chair of our website and membership committees) and Glenn Kautt (publicity committee chair).

I want to say thanks to each LPBA member for joining and maintaining your membership status.  The essence of the LPBA is its members.  Improving upon this great organization requires attracting new members.  I will focus on increasing the LPBA membership during my presidency.  To attract new members we need your help!  

Please talk to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to join LPBA.  We will be better able to serve and support all of our members — and the aviation community as a whole — if we have more members.  Remember, membership is not limited to just folks who are both lawyers and pilots.  All persons with an interest in both aviation and the law are encouraged to join.  We welcome members who are lawyers with an interest in aviation, as well as non-lawyers with an interest in aviation law.
Our membership dues are very reasonable and include a subscription to the LPBA Journal.  We publish the Journal four times per year and it is a valued resource on aviation and the law.  You also have the option, for a few extra dollars, to become a Sustaining Member.  Special recognition is given to our Sustaining Members in the LPBA Journal, on the LPBA website, and at all of our conventions.

2014-2015 Priorities
One of my highest priorities during the next year, beyond membership growth, is to upgrade the LPBA website.  If you are interested in joining the LPBA website committee, please let me know.

Recognizing that each of you may have your own ideas for how to make the LPBA a better organization, I encourage you to share your suggestions to improve our organization.  I can be reached by email at or by phone at 414-225-4808 (office) and 414-520-6877 (cell).

I look forward to serving you as your president this year, and carrying out our mission as a unique professional organization dedicated to (1) fellowship among aviators, (2) aviation safety, (3) continuing legal education, and (3) the just administration of the law.  I hope to see you at an upcoming LPBA convention!

Russ Klingaman,
LPBA President






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Russ Klingaman and his family.

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