About Us - Statement of Purpose
President, Stephen Sturm Vice President, Richard Bruning Treasurer, Benjamin I. Berman
Secretary, Karen Mason
Directors: Benjamin I. Berman, Richard Bruning, James Case, Mildred S. Collins, Joel Helmrich
Michael Krasnow, Karen Mason, Judith Starr, Stephen Sturm, Harold M. Zabin
Newsletter Editor, Michael Krasnow
Our purpose is to promote on a voluntary, nonprofit, and nonpolitical basis the advancement of the administration of justice within the State of Florida and to provide a forum for the thoughtful exploration of current legal issues. Founded in 1983, our Association currently comprises over 130 retired attorneys and judges from throughout the United States. We enjoy great camaraderie and fellowship, especially when relating and swapping stories and highlights of our interesting and varied careers.
The membership meetings consist of monthly luncheons in Sarasota ordinarily on the last Friday of each month, to which we invite interesting speakers on law-related topics and current events. Thus far this year, we have heard from a Director of the Innocence Project, a Sarasota Commissioner on the state of the city, and a retired Justice Department Attorney, telling us some of his favorite "war stories". These speakers were very well received and are one of the primary reasons for our rapid increase in membership.
In fulfillment of our purpose, several of our members over the years have qualified as emeritus attorneys under Chapter 12 of the Florida Bar Rules and continue to provide pro-bono services to low-income persons under the auspices of Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc., and Gulf Coast Legal Services. We have commenced a relationship with the Booker High School Pre-Law Academy whereby our members teach, counsel, and mentor honor students interested in becoming attorneys. We are also participating in the Sarasota Juvenile Court Program and the Booker High School Tornado Trials and act as judges and advisors to the student-attorneys. Several of our members participated in Law Day exercises throughout the Sarasota County educational system. The Association is also currently seeking to expand the programs utilized by our members to perform pro-bono services to help our community, such as acting as Guardians Ad Litem.
We cordially invite all retired attorneys to consider joining our Association, as we strongly welcome new points of view, experiences, and personalities.
Our members participating at the Booker High School Pre-Law Academy
A slide show of members enjoying each other's company at a luncheon and our very dedicated Board of Direc
Booker High School Law Academy awards banquet. Front row: ARAS President Stephen Sturm,
three Booker High School Law Academy graduates, and ARAS members Judge Karimu Hill-Harvey and Jim Case.
Back row: the Chair of the Divergence Committee of the Sarasota Bar Association.