Vol. 39, No. 1

One Great Name: We have the winners (and many other terrific entries)!

by Marilyn Cavicchia

Votes are in, and the results for the One Great Name contest are very clear—and unchallenged (at least for now).

Open to debate is why county, metro, and other local bars dominated this contest so thoroughly—but we will state quite firmly that the results were not skewed by ballot stuffing, bribery, or any other illegal and unethical practices on the part of the judge. Without further ado, here are the winners in our summer contest for “people who name things.”

Second runner up in the state bar category

Second runner up among state bars is the Oregon State Bar, with “Portland UnConventional: Fresh Ideas for Bar Communicators.” (Yes, this was the 2013 NABE Communications Section Workshop, but it was named by OSB staff.)

The submitters of this entry, Paul Nickell, editor of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin, and Julie Hankin, associate editor, note that the bar staff initially struggled to find a name that expressed what was special about Portland without being too specific and limiting.

The resulting name, which Nickell and Hankin believe was proposed by Communications Director Kay Pulju, plays off the well-known unofficial motto “Keep Portland Weird.” The “brand” was reinforced with a simple graphic of a bird, referencing the “Put a Bird on It!” sketch from the TV show Portlandia.

First runner up in the state bar category

First runner up in this category is the Oklahoma Bar Association, for “Lying, Cheating and Stealing in Automobile Dealing,” a breakout CLE session at the bar’s 2014 Solo & Small Firm Conference.

The program covered “lemon laws” and other aspects of consumer law that apply to car dealerships, notes submitter Jim Calloway, director of the OBA’s Management Assistance Program. Calloway was pleased when he came up with a name to very simply express concepts that were important but that could also be “wordy and cumbersome.”

And the (state bar category) winner is …

The North Carolina Bar Association, for its “Legal Launchpad” program, which helps lawyers start their own firms. One voter called this entry “concise” and “descriptive,” and noted that it had “great design possibilities.” Congratulations to the NCBA and the submitter of this entry, Erik Mazzone, director of the bar’s Center for Practice Management.

Second runner up in the local bar category—and the whole contest

This honor goes to the Monroe County (N.Y.) Bar Association, for a trusts and estates program called “Tangible Personal Property: Who Gets Grandma’s Pie Plate?” The submitter, Louise Spinelli, the bar’s director of continuing legal education, says the program was well attended and that the title added some humor.

The program chair came up with the title after a small group discussion on potential programs. During that discussion, it came up that “when settling estates, the process can get bogged down with the heirs bickering over the little things, like a pie plate,” Spinelli explains. “Attorneys could immediately relate to similar situations with their clients.”

First runner up in the local bar category—and the whole contest

That’s the San Joaquin County (Calif.) Bar Association, with a program called “Fifty Shades of Wrong: How to Abuse Discovery and Mishandle Discovery Disputes.” Its submitter, executive director Rebekah Burr-Siegel, says the bar’s MCLE committee is fortunate to have “a wonderful attorney” who is “great at naming things.” Many voters in this contest agreed with that assessment; one of them called this entry “just hilarious.”

And the (local bar category and whole contest) winner is …

The Sarasota County (Fla.) Bar Association, for a family law program called “The Gray Divorce Revolution … Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, when I’m 64??? Probably Not.” Its submitter, executive director Jan Jung, says the program was very well attended.

“It was held at one of our local theaters,” she writes. “Speakers presented from the stage, and we played the song as members were being seated.”

This entry was the voters’ favorite by a sizeable margin (we hesitate to use the word “landslide”). One voter wrote, “I love the Beatles reference!”

Honorable mention, both categories

Here, in no particular order, are all the other entries. All of them, in the judge’s and voters’ opinion, show great naming prowess and are worth borrowing:

  • “The Tasting Games!,” a fundraising event for the Camden County (N.J.) Bar Foundation. Submitted and named by Larry Pelletier, executive director of the foundation and of the Camden County Bar Association, this event combined a wine and craft beer tasting and a night of casino games. Pelletier played off the Hunger Games movies and books. The pop culture reference might explain why both members and the public responded so well: Nearly 300 people attended, Pelletier notes. It should also be mentioned that this entry missed the winners’ circle by only a very slim margin.
  • “The Law Launch Project” from the Tennessee Bar Association. Entry submitter Suzanne Robertson, editor of the Tennessee Bar Journal, explains that this Journal project followed 15 law students from the state’s six law schools during their third year. In the Journal and on a related blog, the students shared their experiences, including reflections on the legal job market.
  • “Cars, Cops & Stops,” named and submitted by Doris Barnes, executive director of the Baltimore County (Md.) Bar Association. “I was conducting a planning meeting for [the criminal law] committee's programs, and simply thought ‘Fourth Amendment Rights & Issues’ was too boring,” Barnes recalls.
  • Also from the Sarasota County bar—this one, from its Diversity Committee—an upcoming program called “From the Cradle to the Grave: Representing the LGBT Client.”
  • “What You Are Dying to Know about Probate News,” also from the San Joaquin County bar. One voter called this entry “so simple in its cleverness!” This entry is another that just missed the top award levels.
  • And finally, another from San Joaquin (yes, the rules called for one entry per bar association ... but all the entries were too good to disqualify)—“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Presentation of Evidence in Criminal Cases.”

Congratulations, and thank you

Congratulations to the big winners, the runners-up, and the honorable mentions. Thank you to all those who took the time to enter, and to the many who voted.

Winners, sit tight … As promised, the judge will now get to work on certificates that are suitable for framing and that showcase your One Great Name.