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President’s Message

Thanks, Mom.

Honorable Jill Gehman Koestel, 2016 President

President Koestel welcomed nineteen new citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony on July 20. With her is the keynote speaker, a son of immigrants, our very own Bernardo Carbajal, Esquire.

2016 is turning out to be the best year of my life! First, for the past two years, I have known my son was planning to get married in July of this year. Lots of planning for a great event, but well worth it in the end. The new Jessica Beisswanger Koestel works in our Courthouse under the direction of our colleague and my good friend, Linda Epes. I am proud of Jonathan’s choice of bride and look forward to their wonderful future. Second, I was presented with the opportunity to serve our great Berks County Bar Association as President. My term has created an exciting and fulfilling year for me so far. The Bench Bar Conference was better than could be imagined. Although the 2016 Bench Bar Retreat did not generate the interest that it deserves, I know that we will have a wonderful time in Aruba, and those of you that thought about going and didn’t will be sorry! I have thoroughly enjoyed the two Naturalization ceremonies in which I participated as your representative and find it very moving to have these immigrants become citizens in our community. Everything that I’ve done as your public representative has been inspiring and enjoyable. I could do this for another year, but I don’t think Kurt Althouse will let me! Finally, I have been gifted with another prestigious opportunity to serve the people of Berks County with my appointment to fill the vacant seat on the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. What a whirlwind June and July were with that process! So many people supported this appointment and did all they could to make it happen. I thank you all. Transitioning clients to my new firm affiliation of Georgeadis Setley and getting ready for my transition from lawyer to judge was a huge undertaking. I am glad that the process is complete, and I now view the practice of law from the other side of the bench, the one with the robe. It is an interesting adjustment to be the neutral fact finder as opposed to the vigilant advocate, but the law is the law after all and must be applied to every situation, taking into account the facts presented. It is surreal to achieve this long-time goal of becoming a judge in this very unexpected Continued on page 6 Summer 2016 | 5

The Berks Barrister | Summer 2016  

The Berks Barrister is the official publication of the Berks County Bar Association. www.berksbar.org. The Berks Barrister is published by H...

The Berks Barrister | Summer 2016  

The Berks Barrister is the official publication of the Berks County Bar Association. www.berksbar.org. The Berks Barrister is published by H...