Lawyers Appreciate…

I got this e-mail from from Victoria Pynchon:

“I know everyone is busy with shopping, family and wrapping up year-end.  I’ve nevertheless taken the liberty of tagging each of you with the “Lawyer’s Appreciate” meme tag started by Stephanie West Allen of Idealawg and Julie Fleming Brown of Life at the Bar.

Here’s my post. asking each of you to join in and to each tag three other legal bloggers: 

I chose  Antoinette because I’m really ridiculously excited to see a blog emerge on “best practices” in legal education.  As an adjunct law profession, BOY DO I NEED THEM!”

This is a great honor for me and for this blog so here’s my post:

Lawyer’s appreciate the rule of law.  The idea of a rule of law is to resolve conflict and order society peacefully and non-violently.   While it is true that a society contains the potential for creating unjust laws, the theory of a legal system is that it is fair.    When I supervise students in the clinic, I am always most moved when we go to court and the case involves domestic violence, or criminal law or some other high emotion situation.  Each of the parties tells a side of the story,  the lawyers make their arguments, the judge makes a decision and we all walk away after shaking hands.  If we see a systemic problem, we talk about law reform and then we act on it.  For example, a few years ago New Mexico was one of the few states that did not list domestic violence as a factor to rebutt the legislative presumtion in favor of joint custody of children.   After seeing judges award joint custody in a few cases involving domestic violence, we went to the legislature and make the case for reform.  We were successful and now a judicial finding of domestic violence is a factor to be considered in a child custody case.  Not all attempts at reform are so successful, but as a society we need to use the rule of law appropriately.   At all levels of governement, local, national and international…our world needs the rule of law.

One Response

  1. Thanks Antoinette! And welcome to the blogosphere!

    Your post is highly pertinent to the link and the tension between the fair application of the rule of law — which best operates by stripping the messy particulars of each person’s separate ‘story’ of injustice to address a systemic and generalized one — and the shift toward the mediation of these disputes — which puts the people and their individual problems back into the mix.

    As I’m sure you’re aware, Laura Nader and others believe mediation — a one-on-one highly personal and intensely emotional process — is undermining the gains made in the justice system in the last 30 years.

    One of my wishes for 2008 is that we we re-open a high-level conversation among lawyers and scholars on this topic. I’m also hoping for a “best practices” blog for my practice — mediation.

    Thanks again for joining the blogosphere on a topic critical to the future of our justice system and, more casually, for joining in the meme tag game.

    Happy New Year!!


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