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Message from the Chair, December 2020

Message from the Chair

The term annus horribilis, the Latin term for “a terrible year”, is the phrase being used to describe 2020 in news headlines across the globe. After all, there are few descriptions that are better. For much of 2020, we have been deeply impacted and suffered great losses– lives lost, businesses demolished, educational institutions in chaos. In quarantine, we also seemed to have lost the sense of time. For much of 2020, we begged for it to end, and are now closing in on its final moments.

While all of the above is devastatingly true, 2020 offered us many silver linings. Through the darkest of years, we were forced to adapt and innovate. We found our resilience and reached down into our core. We also found new ways to connect via virtual means and even began to take depositions, litigate and try cases, and also settle them in mediations–all virtually.

The year 2020 helped us focus and reflect on how to work to improve social justice and end racial inequality.

Worldwide, our scientists joined together and responded with unprecedented speed and common purpose to decode the virus and manufacture vaccines.

This year also taught us to appreciate the selfless dedication of healthcare workers, grocery stockers, farmers, delivery services and many others dedicated to our collective survival during the pandemic all the while re-igniting our sense of community.

Last but not least, 2020 gave us virtual connections with people who might not otherwise have been part of our daily lives.

At the BLS, we faced the challenges posed by the pandemic head on. Our COVID Task Force continues to be at the forefront for our members, providing excellent resources and training to aid us in better serving our clients affected by the pandemic. Our substantive committees and task forces have continued the work of the Section to best position our legislative efforts for the start of the upcoming legislative session.

Let’s allow our annus horribilis to be remembered for its silver linings and let us leave it behind with a glimmer of optimism that we carry into 2021 exercising our forward-thinking capacity to focus on the future.

It is the beginning of the end of the pandemic, and we look forward to in-person meetings as we continue to adapt to our new normal. Let’s urge ourselves to aim higher, focus on what can be. The BLS is well-positioned to help our members lead Florida’s business communities out of the pandemic and into our brave new normal in 2021.

If you have any questions or would like to get more involved in the BLS, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

I wish you health and prosperity in the upcoming year and hope to see you at our virtual BLS Winter Meetings from January 13th through 15th .

Leyza Blanco,
Chair, Business Law Section of the Florida Bar

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