Jennifer G. Durbin
1999-2000 President
San Antonio Bar Association

 

October 1999 - You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

I remember something about “Lexis” towards the end of my third year in law school, but certainly wasn’t convinced I would need to use a computer in my practice. The notion of computer use for research in my practice was something I assumed only the “big” firms would have available for research clerks while I continued to do it the old fashioned way. The thought of having a computer at my desk for the day-to-day management of my practice was an even more outlandish concept. But, in the not too distant past, my office was fully automated. Every lawyer was provided a computer, including myself. I can remember walking down the hall to my office and seeing young lawyers tapping away at their keyboards or working at their desks with funny messages scrolling across their monitors. During the lunch hour and sometimes before, some could be seen working their way to championship solitaire or mine-sweeper. While secretaries were away from their desks, triangles and stars would be bouncing into orbit on their bright colored screens. Yes – I had a little peer pressure to catch up with the times!

So, I scrambled through the yellow stickies on my desk and found my “confidential” password located under a stack of unopened computer training material. I discreetly asked my secretary to teach me how to log on, and the rest is history. It didn’t take me long before I realized how essential that scary thing on my desk was to my daily practice. There isn’t a morning that doesn’t go by where I don’t “log on,” check my e-mails, review my carpe diem and delve into my day. It has now become as second nature as pouring my morning coffee – which by the way is also computerized now – at least in my office, if you can imagine that!

I can honestly say the SABA offices are now light years ahead of me. This past year our website was designed and established at sanantoniobar.com. Not only does our website provide valuable information such as a calendar of SABA events, our local rules, and a listing of presiding, monitoring, and visiting Judges for the month, but it also has a Pro Bono category with applications for volunteer attorneys, a library with plans to be expanded to special links, and many more useful benefits. We owe our thanks to our Computer/Technology Committee Chaired by Ronnie Hornberger at <hornberger@ plunkett-gibson.com>; and Vice-Chaired by Jason Coomer, at <jcoomer@texaslawyers.com>; and Mark Unger at <miunger@aol.com>. Please contact these computer geniuses with any ideas or suggestions you may have.

Even though I use my computer every day, all day, there are still times I find myself taking on some tasks the old fashioned way. For instance, out of curiosity, I recently asked my associate to give me a personal course on computer legal research. I needed a case for an upcoming hearing and had a very specific issue that needed to be researched. I also wanted to improve my very limited computer research skills. While he logged on the library computer, typed in the query and began scrolling the “hits,” I became impatient. I turned to the shelves, pulled down the good old blue West Digest, opened the familiar gold Southwest Reporter, and found a case directly on point. Perhaps my efficient research was just luck but he wasn’t even half way through the “hit” list when I informed him of my results. Of course, he did show me how to Key Site the case on the computer which he accomplished in only seconds flat.

So, I have learned you can teach an old dog new tricks, at least most of the time.

jdurbin@asdh.com

 

November 1999 - Continued Support for for Pro Bono Project

The 1999-2000 Annual Installation Dinner was once again a grand success primarily due to the generous contributions from some of our local law firms, individual members, and special underwriters. I wish to give a special thanks to all of those who graciously committed their time and talent to make the event a very special one. Although we do not yet have a final tally, we should have several thousand dollars to contribute towards our Pro Bono Project. The contributions are necessary to continue to fund the project and the coordinator’s position (C.J. Troilo) which is vital in assuring that the program runs smoothly and efficiently. Mr. Troilo is responsible for maintaining the volunteer attorney pool, monitoring the intake of qualifying applicants and acting as a liaison to volunteer attorneys with the regard to client placement. Due to the overwhelming response to our project, we have now found it necessary to assist the program with three volunteer interns who are responsible for assisting with the intake process.
   
The financial support for this project has been overwhelming beginning with a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation, continuing with individual contributions from our membership, and most recently with a donation from the Bexar County Women’s Bar Association which designated the pro bono project as one if its several recipients of donations from their Annual Bench Brunch. The proceeds from the upcoming 3rd Annual Bench-Bar Conference to be held at the end of March at the beautiful Lakeway Resort will also go to support this project.
   
In order to assure the continued success of this project, we, as attorneys, have a professional responsibility to devote our time and effort. The committee recently organized and presented a seminar on “Handling the Pro Bono Divorce.” The majority of the qualifying applicants through the Pro Bono Project request legal service on family law matters. The seminar was designed to provide a basic outline for handling divorce cases to those attorneys who do not handle such cases on a regular basis. With seminars such as this, we hope to encourage our membership to feel more comfortable in volunteering their time to case assignments. Those of you interested in accepting pro bono cases should contact either C.J. Troilo (227-8822) or the new chair of the Pro Bono Project, Wade Shelton (349-0515) or the vice chair, Barbara Hutzler (349-0511).
   
The success of this project is a direct reflection on the efforts of our legal community. With the continuing support of our various bar  organizations, committee leaders, and the membership as a whole, this project will grow to meet the expectations of a city our size.

 

December 1999 - We Can Still Give

When was the last time you noticed the grounds in front of the Bexar County Courthouse? I really haven’t over the years until just several months ago when I was walking along the east side of the Courthouse and noticed that the grounds leading to the entry were sadly neglected and in great need of care. In years past, had I even noticed the grounds, I would have thought to myself that surely someone “connected with the Courthouse” will do something about the appearance of the entry. Perhaps now, more than ever before, I am more sensitive to these issues and realize that our Bexar County Courthouse has tremendous history and is often considered one’s first impression of the San Antonio legal community.
   
With this thought in mind, I began to do a little research to see what we, as attorneys, could do to improve the image of our “halls of  justice.” Well, my thoughts of having an original idea were quickly shattered when I learned that someone “connected with the Courthouse” had been working on a project to improve these grounds for quite some time. I learned that our own District Clerk, Reagan E. Greer, serves as chairman of the County 2000 Committee which has established a project to landscape and beautify the entry into the Courthouse through the joint efforts of the County landscaping team, the Master Gardeners of Bexar County Extension Service and the Historic Review Board.
   
On October 12, 1999, the County 2000 Committee presented the project plan with design recommendations to Commissioner’s Court and was granted permission to seek funds from private foundations and corporate sources to support this effort.
    The project site has been designated the Bexar County Courthouse Plaza. The Plaza will include various types of foliage and stone  pathways leading to a central circular stone plaza with a granite Bexar County seal set in a Texas Star in the center. The landscape will consist of Asian jasmine groundcover, small raised perennial beds at the corners, and many other attractive additions. The historical markers will be strategically relocated to enhance and preserve their importance. (see illustration to your right)
   
Even though I learned that the project is well underway with grand ideas, I also discovered that the committee is in great need of volunteers to actually turn the soil and plant the foliage that will adorn the Plaza for years to come. The Plaza is planned to be dedicated during National County Government Week which will take place between April 9 and April 15, 2000.
   
In order to have the Plaza completed for presentation, volunteers are needed to install the landscaping during the month of March. Please take this opportunity to give a little back to the place that touches our lives as attorneys on almost a daily basis. You will be receiving a notice in the near future allowing you the opportunity to join in this effort. I cannot think of a better way for us to volunteer a few moments of our time to join in an effort that will have a lasting effect for years to come. I can assure you I will be there to join in the history of providing our Courthouse with the image it deserves.

‘TIS THE SEASON!!

 

January 2000 - MDPS’s and the 21st Century

As we enter the 21st century, we can reflect on the many rules and traditions that have shaped and modeled the core values of our legal profession as we know them today. However, one critical issue presently facing the bar that may threaten those core values is that of Multidisciplinary Practice (MDP).

The resolution of this issue has the potential of dramatically affecting the practice of law and our professional independence more than any issue studied by our profession in the past. An MDP is an entity that includes both lawyers and non-lawyers. Its purpose is to provide both legal and non-legal services and share revenues derived from those services between lawyers and non-lawyers. Think of it as a professional services department store. A consumer could have his taxes done by an accountant, go down the hall to visit a financial planner, and then pop into an attorney’s office to have a will written. Obviously, the reason MDP’s are controversial is because they offend our traditional notions (and arguably violate our ethical rules) regarding the relationship attorneys may have with other professionals.
   
There are several areas of controversy. First, will a lawyer be able to exercise the independence and professional judgment necessary to adequately represent the client if the lawyer is taking orders from a non-lawyer? Second, how do you prevent the non-lawyer employees from violating the attorney-client privilege? Or, would the client inadvertently waive the privilege by communicating with the non-lawyer employees? Third, would an MDP be able to segregate a client’s confidential information from non-lawyers? Fourth, how will the MDP be held liable for violations of legal ethics rules of the lawyer, if an employee in his control, did not commit those violations? Finally, how do you resolve the conflicts in ethical rules that inevitably arise when disciplines are mixed? These are just some of the many legal and ethical issues raised in considering multidisciplinary practice.
   
Last year the ABA formed the Commission of Multidisciplinary Practice to study the issue and on June 8, 1999, issued a recommendation that lawyers be allowed to form MDP’s. In short, the plan is to let lawyers share fees with non-lawyers as long as the lawyers are required to obey the ethics rules. In theory, this sounds good. However, the plan fails to address many of the day to day practical concerns raised by MDP’s. In August, at the ABA annual meeting, the House of Delegates rejected the recommendation stating that additional studies need to be conducted to determine whether the model rules should be adjusted.
   
The State Bar of Texas is addressing this issue through the efforts of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Task Force which is planning to issue a report on MDP’s to the State Board of Directors at its January 2000 meeting. On December 1, 1999, I participated in a conference with the State Bar of Texas Task Force and various local bar leaders to discuss the committee members preliminary views on whether the State Bar should endorse the ABA proposal. The Task Force is presently of the opinion that the proposal is not adequately justified without further study that demonstrates that public interest will be furthered. The study is ongoing.
   
The San Antonio Bar Association intends to form a committee to study the issue as well. Issues like MDP’s that affect the future of our profession deserve attention. We have a duty to protect our clients and our professional independence. As we enter the 21st century, we must also enter the debate on MDP’s, or we will be stuck with someone else’s solution.

 

February 2000 - Keeping an Eye on Change

Now that we have entered the twenty-first century, we will be both witness and party to astounding changes. Medical technology is advancing at an astounding rate and is bound to have a profound effect on our practice. Something as esoteric as banking is changing rapidly, hopefully for the better, providing a new environment where financial management of both our personal and business affairs will provide us opportunities that were not available in the century that we have left behind. Of all the exhilarative changes ahead of us that will come at a pace that will be a constant challenge...the greatest of these will be the Internet.
   
The Internet will inescapably provide a dramatic change in our environment, touching almost every aspect of it. Measured against human growth, the Internet is barely out of the baby stage. As it develops, its effect on our legal lives will be both overwhelming as laws are adopted and modified and greatly beneficial as the technology advances.
   
Not too long ago, I wrote a commentary in this column as to what it was like to enter into the world of computers. The article ended with my new belief that the computer is indispensable in my work environment. However, this opinion did not come easily. It came after suffering the depredations of having to learn about something that was very new, very strange and somewhat awesome, and I still have a long way to go.
   
Watching the Internet develop its remarkable new capabilities is an even more awesome activity. We all lead busy lives so we don’t get very much time to pursue these developments. We leave this task to our computer experts.
   
However, I believe that this is a mistake. The computer people can adapt our hardware and modify our software and, generally speaking, keep us operational. However, with few exceptions, they cannot envision where the new technical opportunities will be that will serve to vastly enhance our ability to do our jobs. Therefore it behooves us, as lawyers, to keep something of an eye on where the technology is going.
   
For example, with the coming broad-band technology that permits the transmission of vast quantities of data (as opposed to today’s  limitations), video will become an especially useful tool. This will happen in small ways, such as the ability to communicate where we can see each other and conference with a number of people; all of this from the computer on our desktop, and none of this requiring in-depth skill or preparation.
   
There is also the opportunity for interactive, real-time collaboration on documents. No need to lose time passing documents back and forth via E-mail. All that would be needed is to dial up the contributing party, or parties, right from the desktop, bring the document up on the screen and have at it!
   
There are wonderful things ahead that will serve as important tools in our work. As technology advances, laws will surely be adopted and modified. We need to pay attention as these tools become available and changes take place. However, it is we the lawyers who need to watch and participate.

 

March 2000 - Strange Shoes

We oftentimes find ourselves walking in strange shoes that take us down paths not familiar to us in our everyday business. One of the most valuable experiences I have gained as President of the San Antonio Bar Association is experiencing new aspects of our profession not familiar to me through my own practice. As a civil litigation attorney, one of the things I enjoy most in my practice is learning the professions of other people in order to prepare my case and work towards resolving a dispute. For example, when I defended a pharmaceutical company, I learned more about dispensing controlled substances than I would otherwise have had the opportunity to do. In defending a management company in litigation involving a dispute over the operation of an elevator, I learned about the mechanical details of the  operation and maintenance of elevators that was completely unfamiliar and, frankly, unimportant to me before. I didn’t realize that sort of broadening of experience could spill over into my experience as President of the Bar Association. In this position, I have learned about the jobs of other attorneys in our profession that makes me realize my job as a civil litigator in Bexar County is but a single layer of a multi-layered profession.
   
My role with SABA led me to “try on,” of all  things, combat boots recently. I had the honor of attending oral arguments before the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals in the case of U.S. v. Bridges at the invitation of Major General William A. Moorman, the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force. The oral arguments took place in the theater of the historic “Taj Mahal” on Randolph Air Force Base. It is interesting to know that the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals is an independent appellate judicial body authorized by Congress and established by the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force pursuant to his exclusive authority under 10 U.S.C. § 866(a)(1994). The Court hears and decides appeals of Air Force Court-Martial convictions and appeals pendente lite. Its appellate judges are assigned to the Court by the Judge Advocate General. Congress established the Courts of Criminal Appeals pursuant to its authority to promulgate rules for the government and regulation of the armed forces under Article I of the Constitution. The military Court of Criminal Appeals are unique in that they have worldwide jurisdiction and the power to review cases for both legal and factual sufficiency. This was an experience that provided me with a new insight into our judicial system that was nothing more than a hazy concept before that time.
   
The oral argument which I attended was part of a “traveling show,” if you will, presented by the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals as a project outreach program to the young Judge Advocate General attorneys. Although the oral argument was presented as a program for training of military attorneys, it was an actual oral argument involving the appellant who had been charged with committing batteries upon his wife and children in violation of Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The appellant had been tried by the General Court-Martial at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. During the underlying investigation of the charge, the appellant had provided investigators with a sworn written statement admitting to slapping his daughter and putting his hands over the mouth of his son and daughter. During the trial, the appellant’s wife was called to testify by the prosecution but refused to do so even after being informed that she could be held in contempt of court. The military Judge ultimately determined that the wife was unavailable pursuant to the rules of evidence and in lieu of her testimony admitted her sworn written statement into evidence. The appellant was found guilt for battery upon his children. During the sentencing phase of the trial, the trial defense counsel offered a letter from the appellant’s wife which supported the appellant and asked for leniency. However, the military Judge refused to admit the letter unless the wife agreed to testify during the sentencing phase. On appeal, the appellant asserted his sixth amendment right to confront witnesses was violated when the military Judge allowed the sworn, written statement made by his wife to be entered into evidence.

 

April 2000 - It is an Honorable Profession

As President of the Bar Association, I have become increasingly aware of the public’s perception of lawyers. We all know the legal profession has taken a beating over the past decade in the form of “lawyer bashing” from a public image standpoint. We have made great strides over the past several years at restoring our public image and protecting our profession as an honorable one. We as lawyers are guided by rules of professional conduct which were promulgated and are enforced for the purpose of requiring us to maintain respect for the legal system and for the Judges and lawyers who serve it. We are also governed by a mandate for professionalism, the Texas Lawyer’s Creed. The Creed mandates professional conduct between a lawyer and his or her client, a lawyer and an opposing lawyer and a lawyer and Judge.
   
We have all been faced with tense situations in our practice where we find ourselves referring to the rules, applying them to our situation and assuring ourselves we are well within the bounds of “professional conduct.” We do this because we are members of an honorable profession, because we respect our legal system, and because we believe in the core values that have shaped and molded our profession as we know it today.
   
At some point in our careers, many of us may have experienced a situation that has forced us to test our convictions to abide by these rules of professional conduct. Hopefully, we find ourselves exercising restraint in representing our clients zealously yet professionally, especially when issues are hotly disputed and opposing lawyers are passionate about their positions. This is not always easy. I can recall a couple of incidents in my own practice and one just recently where I had to deal with a lawyer I believed was acting in an unprofessional manner. I was tempted to respond in kind and let people know about the questionable conduct of those lawyers. Before I took that action I realized to do so would be to spotlight unprofessionalism among our own and only bring us into further disrepute.
   
There is a saying that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. This saying is especially true in our own profession. It is truly demeaning to our profession when one of our own steps over this fine line, fails to exercise restraint, and by failing to do so, cheapens our profession. None of us are perfect and we may find ourselves walking close to the line on occasion. Rather than acting or reacting with equal misjudgment, we must remind ourselves that we are a unique and independent profession governed by rules of professional conduct, and when we adhere and abide by our rules of ethics we can continue to be proud of this honorable profession.

 

May 2000 - Bench-Bar Success

The Third Annual Bench-Bar Conference was a grand success! The newly renovated Lakeway Resort in the beautiful hill country of Austin allowed all who participated an opportunity to relax and enjoy the outstanding CLE program and the many fun events that followed. Lawyers and Judges enjoyed the exciting golf tournament, sailing and more. We even discovered some truly talented card sharks that walked away with exciting prizes generously donated by many of our devoted sponsors.
   
The CLE program was excellent, comprised of many fine speakers on a variety of interesting topics. The program started off with a question and answer panel discussion presented by our own Texas Supreme Court and moderated by Luke Soules. Each of the Justices responded to questions submitted by our audience and provided us with meaningful input and practical tips for appellate practice. We are honored to have had the Supreme Court present on that Friday afternoon, especially considering their schedule earlier in the week which included two days in San Antonio. Not only did they hear oral arguments scheduled at St. Mary’s Law School but, among other things, they joined members of our Pro Bono Committee who introduced them to the SABA Pro Bono Project which they commended as an outstanding and worthy program. Their visit and participation in our CLE program was especially timely considering the proceeds from the conference will go directly to support our Pro Bono Project. Although we do not yet have the final tally, the indications are that the proceeds going to provide legal services to the indigent will be significantly higher than in years past.
   
I take this opportunity to once again thank all of our sponsors and the law firms (identified in the adjacent list) for their overwhelming support in underwriting this Conference and making it an even greater success than before. I also thank our Honorary Chair, Justice Paul Green, our Conference Chair, Jo Beth Eubanks, our CLE Coordinator, Tom Newton, and all the other committee members for their commitment in organizing this program and making it the success that it was. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, thanks to the lawyers and the Judges who took time away from their jobs and families to join in this event and bring the bench and bar together in the true spirit of the Conference.

 

June 2000 - The Host City

San Antonio seems to be the perfect venue for legal conferences. Perhaps it is because we have a beautiful city now ranked as one of the top ten meeting cities in the U.S. or perhaps it is because we have an active Bar Association comprised of attorneys and Judges willing to devote volunteer hours and participate in the programs. We should be honored that our own City was selected as the venue for the 56th Judicial Conference of the Fifth Circuit which was held during the second week of May, 2000. The conference opened with Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the Fifth Circuit sharing her views on the state of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, and Justice Antonin Scalia reporting on the activities of the United States Supreme Court. Several sessions of the conference included distinguished panels of professors discussing subject matter of cases being considered by the Supreme Court including the first amendment and criminal procedure. Interestingly, the “Judicial” conference is governed by a statute (28 U.S.C. § 333) which directs that there “shall be representation and active participation at such conferences by members of the bar of such circuit”. Many members of our Bar not only attended the conference but participated in discussions and deliberations at the breakout sessions including participation in the Western District of Texas meeting which included a discussion on proposed revisions to our local court rules. The Fifth Circuit Judicial conference was a huge success not only due to the efforts of our immediate past president Wallace Jefferson, who moderated the program, but also due to those volunteer attorneys and Judges who comprised the committee that spent months organizing the program and presenting it on behalf of the Fifth Circuit.
   
On the State level, the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting will be taking place in San Antonio on June 21 through June 24, 2000. The CLE opportunities being offered at this meeting are outstanding and include the “Ultimate Trial Notebook”, for personal injury trial lawyers, a half day seminar for transactional lawyers called the “Ultimate Transaction Notebook”, and a mock trial which will include the advocacy skills of Pat Maloney, Sr., and Clem Lyons for the plaintiffs and Terry Totenham and Barbara Radnofsky for the defense. They will battle over whether Moses Rose (the man who stepped over Travis’ line in the sand) is entitled to veterans benefits. Many of our local federal and state court judges will be serving as witnesses and participating in the mock trial. Our own Judge Janet Littlejohn will act as presiding Judge. The San Antonio Bar Association’s State Bar Committee, chaired by Laurie Weiss, has devoted hundreds of volunteer hours at planning and promoting the many CLE opportunities and activities that will take place at the annual meeting. If you haven’t already registered for the annual State Bar Annual Meeting, you should do so immediately.
   
Incidentally, you may recall a previous article of mine touching on the controversial issue of Multidisciplinary Practice. There is presently a strong movement being made to amend our model rules of professional conduct to allow lawyers to form MDP’s. In my opinion, such an amendment has the potential of threatening our independence and the core values of our legal profession. Many state bars, including Texas, have developed task forces to study the issue and have made recommendations either for or against MDP’s. The State Bar of Texas, through a specially appointed task force, is presently studying the issue before submitting a final report. It behooves us as attorneys to stay on top of this issue and participate in any recommendations made on behalf of the State Bar of Texas. At the upcoming Annual State Bar Meeting you can attend the Corporate Counsel Section meeting on Friday, June 23, from noon to 4:00 p.m. to hear the topic of “MDP and ADR: Business Solutions in an Evolving Market.”
   
The Military Law Section will also sponsor a luncheon on June 23 from noon to 1:30 p.m. where General Huffman will give an update on the status of MDPs. On behalf of the San Antonio Bar Association, I urge you to take time to participate.

 

July 2000 - Give Yourself a Hand

This is my last article as your President and I want to take this opportunity to give the Bar Association Membership a hand. Before I became the Bar President, I was really exposed to what I now know to be just a handful of lawyers–trial lawyers specifically. After becoming the Bar President, I have had the opportunity to get to know and appreciate the incredible talent of lawyers within our association involved in a diversity of practices, some of which rarely, if ever, involve trial practice. Getting to know and truly admire so many of you has been a genuine pleasure. Together, and through the Bar Association, we have helped the financially disadvantaged, we have helped ourselves and we have helped improve the public perception and confidence in the judicial system and its officers.
   
One of the primary goals I have had during my presidency was to assure that the SABA Pro Bono Project continued to serve its purpose of helping the financially disadvantaged and expand to become a useful program for a city of our size and with our needs. The proceeds from many of the fundraising efforts this year went directly to the funding of this project. These efforts raised approximately $34,000.00 for 1999-2000. Just since January 2000, 329 cases have qualified for pro bono assistance. Of this amount, 67 cases are being handled by our volunteer attorneys, 75 cases have been closed and 187 cases await placement. We have come a long way in developing this program for which you deserve a hand. With our continuing effort, the program will only grow in meeting its purpose of helping those in need.
   
Another aspect of our practice I have learned to respect is the need we have, as lawyers, to help each other. In my 16 years of practice, I realize I have had the luxury of practicing with some of the finest lawyers I know. This advantage has allowed me to often turn to these lawyers for advice and counsel on many issues we face daily in our practice. As SABA President, and recognizing the change in the legal market, I have come to realize that not every practicing lawyer has the luxury of a “firm” atmosphere or desires to have one. However, often times a lawyer needs a fellow lawyer, and perhaps a more seasoned lawyer, to simply confer with on a crucial issue. For these reasons, and with the assistance of the Board, SABA has established a peer mentoring program - “Lawyers Helping Lawyers”. I am hopeful this program will develop into an invaluable resource where we can help each other with the sharing of advice and ultimately become the fine lawyers we strive to be.
   
Finally, as I leave office, I want to continue the effort of the bar at protecting our image as lawyers. Lawyers do not always have the best image and unfortunately that is sometimes warranted. However, most of the time it is not. I am sensitive to what I sometimes consider the media’s unfair attack on judges and lawyers. Obviously, these attacks affect the public’s perception of our legal system. For these reasons, and with the help of our membership, we are in the process of establishing a media response committee to help make the public aware that there are often “two sides to the story” and there are many good things so many of our lawyers and judges do to perfect our system.
   
None of these goals could be accomplished without the support of our membership - and for these reasons, you all deserve a hand. Thank you for letting me leave this office with a renewed esteem for my colleagues and a reinvigorated pride in my profession.

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