A Continuing Legal Education (CLE) luncheon entitled "Impact of the Presidential Election on LGBT Rights and the Economy" was held Nov. 15 at Petterino's, a Loop restaurant.
Michael J. Collins, vice president in private wealth management for Robert W. Baird & Co. and an accredited domestic partnership advisor; David Amen, Chicago Bar Association LGBT committee chair; and John Litchfield, president of Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC) co-hosted the event. Rodney Tyson, chief operating officer of investment banking at Robert W. Baird & Co., also spoke at the event as he introduced Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist of Robert W. Baird & Co.
"The focus of my practice with the LGBT community is life planning, so a lot of people want to talk about financial planning, retirement planning, education planning and we incorporate all those things in, but particularly with an LGBT couple under the current statutes, under the current law, they need to look at things in a fuller picture," said Collins.
Through PowerPoint presentations, Michael Kasper, Of Counsel for Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, spoke about the outlook for LGBT rights and the political landscape, while Bittles discussed projections for the economy and stock market. Each presentation was followed by a brief question-and-answer session. Collins, who organized the CLE, said this particular event was established specifically for attorneys, as they are required to get continuing education in order to maintain their licenses.
Litchfield, explaining that the gay community had good results in the most recent election, described the event as timely and perfect to recap all the issues. He also pointed out that the LGBT community should revel in the victories, but should not sit still and let its guard down.
He said, "The market component to this whole thing was a really interesting take on things, too, because it really shows how the election does affect the economy and the markets and all that kind of stuff. [It also shows] how, as we go forward as a gay community, we don't have the same tax benefits and rights as heterosexual couples do, and our financial planning needs to be much more prudent than our heterosexual counterparts."
Pleased with the turnout, Collins said the event was intended to reach as many people as possible in a manageable fashion with the experience being on a personal level.
He said, "We are literally building this from the ground up, and it's amazing to be part of the opportunity to be able to develop programs and content and create events such as [today's], that are going to shape the future of our firm and allow us to be able to proudly say we support the LGBT community."