Another Edition of the DCBA Grief; Well, Isn’t That Special?
By Ted A. Donner
Mazy Hedayat was the Editor-in-Chief of the DCBA Brief in 2006 and I was his Associate Editor, waiting for my turn at the helm to start that next year (just as patiently, I’m sure, as I waited for Jay Laraia to finish his term as President this last year). Our monthly meetings weren’t necessarily constructive but they were at least fun. With folks like Susan Alvarado, John Pcolinski and Sean McCumber bringing a levity to the room that made ours the envy of the bar, the Editorial Board was then (as it remains) a great group with whom to hang out if you got the chance. The slap-happy insanity which permeated every meeting was simply part and parcel of what made it all work so well.
Melissa Piwowar was relatively new to the magazine at the time, but she certainly helped ratchet up the snark at our meetings and it was she who gets the credit, in my book, for taking that snark and turning it into something readable. Our photographer, Rob Potter, may have given the DCBA Grief its name, but it was Melissa, through her thoughts on Attorney
Liability Under the Wrongful Tree-Cutting Act and how best to interview the fictional Judge Claire Eastwood, who gave that first edition its heart and soul. Glenn Gaffney, Sean McCumber, John Pcolinski, Rob and I certainly helped out, and Mazy was at least patient with us, but I sure never thought back in April 2007 that there would still be a DCBA Grief in April 2017. For me, it was just a crazy idea worth pursuing because I wanted to and because it was likely that others would too (most likely those lacking the vocal chops to cut it with the Judges’ Nite cast).
Eleven years later, here we are. Melissa’s tenure as Editor ran for seven more years (seeing this edgy little parody of a bar rag through an evolu- tion which culminated in a national Luminary Award for Excellence) and her successor at the helm, Christopher Maurer, has now completed his third year. I don’t get to contribute these days (once the election was over, I was told in no uncertain terms that I’d better be ready to take it as well as I could give it out), but I’ll always be proud of the years I got to spend with this rag-tag band of ne’er do wells. Indeed, if there’s anything I’m looking forward to when my term as President ends (other than a long overdue family vacation), it is the prospect of getting back with this crowd. I’m sure there are a few folks on the Editorial Board who, as they read that, filled in the punch-line in their heads, “what makes you think we want you back, Donner?” But I’m not all that worried. I’ve seen the galleys for this issue. After this puppy gets back from the printer, next year’s editor, Azam Nizamuddin, will be looking for whatever help he can get.
So let me close here by offering my thanks on behalf of the Association (I get to do that this year) to Melissa, Rob, John, Glenn, Sean, Terry Benshoof, Frank Wesolowski, Jacki Hamler, and everyone else who’s contributed their ideas, their writing and their photoshop skills over the years to make the DCBA Grief what it still regrettably is today. I should also thank Judge Eastwood, Tiffani Kellogg, Grace McCumber, Dirk Algonquin, and Clyde Chu, whose fictional contributions often made it seem to me as if we truly were living in another universe. I know we’re not likely to see those characters here today, but as much as I miss them, I am looking forward to meeting whoever’s moved in to their old stomping grounds, and that makes it time, I suppose, to turn this issue over and see what’s happening on the flip side!