Monthly Archives: January 2011

In Honor of the Day: Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1950’s America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. People of color — blacks, Hispanics, Asians — were discriminated against in many ways, both overt and covert. The 1950’s were a turbulent time in America, when racial barriers began to come down due to Supreme Court decisions, like Brown v. Board of Education; and due to an increase in the activism of blacks, fighting for equal rights.

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Dark days . . .

. .  .  and long nights.

This is the season in the Pacific Northwest.

The year began with a lot of busy-ness and I haven’t had much of a chance for calmness and reflection.

I finally cleared my desk, only active to-dos there now. A must do within the next couple of days is finalizing the next module for my advanced class. As is appropriate for the season, we’ll be looking inward, doing internal reflection work. Getting to know ourselves better.

On one of my lists there is an interesting discussion going on about ethics and being a lawyer who can do magic. The question was posed “If you knew your client was guilty, how would you proceed with the case?” I’ve been thinking about that in its various permutations (some of which made it into the conversation). First (and these are in no particular order, nor am I lawyer): the role of a lawyer is to make sure the client is treated the same no matter his/her ethnic background, income, education etc.  Second, the role of the lawyer is to provide a check against the system — to point out inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and offer counter-arguments/facts relevant to the case. Third, the role of the lawyer is not to judge. We are all innocent until proven guilty (by a jury of our peers).

That said, and this was eloquently said in the group, a magic-wielding lawyer could lose sleep over ‘knowing’ that his/her client was in fact guilty. How to service such a client the same, as well as, an innocent client? (Because, ethically, you must.) By keeping your magic the level of at this statement:

“I hope the jury’s decision is a fair and equitable.”

With that, your energy is directed in a manner that does not harm, or help, your client.