In my last e-bulletin I wanted to thank all the people who have made this year so successful. Thanks to Rob Rice and his committee for the yeoman’s work they have done on the pro bono commission. Thanks to Rob Jeffs for his inspiration and John Lund and Judge Su Chon for all the hours of work devoted to getting the Modest Means/Lawyer Referral program underway and working. Thanks to the Bar staff who have worked in extraordinary conditions while the HVAC system is being replaced and to Steve Burt, commission member and architect, for managing the contracts and bids for the work. Thanks to Angelina Tsu and Benson Hathaway for getting 174 lawyers and judges into classrooms on Constitution Day teaching on the constitution. Thanks to Rob Jeffs for heading up the new member benefits project to improve what the Bar can deliver to our members.
I would encourage those of you who have not had the opportunity for Bar service to volunteer. The benefits and camaraderie are priceless.
As part of the ongoing effort to shine a light on the public service provided by Utah’s legal professionals, the Utah State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners has created a set of radio public service announcements that will be running this month. The script and explanation, prepared by Sean Toomey, the Bar’s communication director, is on the web page at http://www.utahbar.org/utah-state-bar-news-and-announcements/in-the-news/utah-state-bar-on-the-air/.
The radio campaign begins with what some might consider an unlikely call to action: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” These infamous words of Shakespeare were spoken by Dick the Butcher – a very bad guy. He, along with his companions wanted to take over, ending civilization as we know it and they knew the best was to start was to kill those working for justice – lawyers.
This all started when the Clerk of Chatham was charged with the heinous crimes of reading and writing. There was an impromptu and very quick trial at which the accused was able to speak only 18 words with no right to an advocate. The Clerk was convicted on the damning evidence of being able to write his name. The verdict: “Hang him with his pen and ink-horn about his neck.”
As lawyers, we would be ideal targets for Dick the Butcher and Jack Cade, who the bad guys were trying to set up as King. As lawyers, we represent the accused, provide free and discounted legal services, and work to keep people out of court. We also build strong partnerships, businesses, products, and projects; help people mediate and negotiate; and seek solutions for everyday problems and opportunities. Beyond this, we volunteer in the community, bringing our special skills to non-profit boards and government committees, as well as donating their time to help those needing a meal or a helping hand.
The message we are trying to get out to the public is that no matter what the issue: an arrest, creating a business, buying real estate, refinancing your mortgage, getting a divorce – hire a lawyer.