Fourth of July

Fourth of July

I spent fourth of July alone at home, while both my sons were out and about with friends. I could see the fireworks from my balcony so I was perfectly content. However, I thought about our country and the reasons I became an attorney, and decided to share some of those thoughts with you. I grew up in an America of de-segregation, affirmative action, unionization, and feminism. These ideas were spoken about positively in the media, by teachers and mentors, judges, President’s, and even strangers on mass transit. This was the America I believed in, where justice meant making all people equal under the law. I always rooted for the underdog, and the underdog was  rooted for by most people I knew. In other words, the balance of power was not weighted in favor of money and status, and all people were created equal. Then came the era of uniform sentencing, the war on drugs, de-unionization, right to work laws, lobbyists, and corporate money in national, state, and even school board elections. In my view, this created more power imbalances. Therefore when I was thinking about who I wanted to serve as an attorney, I decided that I wanted to serve individuals, not corporations. The individuals I am looking for are the ones who needed advice or help to even up certain imbalances in their life. Primarily, I redress the imbalance of power between corporations and their employees. These people are the ones who are injured at work and their benefits are being denied. However, there are others, who can’t afford to pay for the most common legal service in the state: people who...
My grandpa the lawyer

My grandpa the lawyer

I grew up with a maternal grandfather who was a lawyer. He practiced in the time when you had secretaries take dictation and type up your letters. He met my grandmother at a typing school, in fact. I wonder if she was his first typist? Anyway, I have some boxes of his legal files with things like triple typed briefs (legal documents to submit to court) with 2 layers of carbon paper in between so that he wouldn’t have to make copies. As an aside, carbon paper is awful to use. It is a kind of plastic paper covered with blue ink on one side which you put so that the side with the ink is facing down so that the pressure of the typewriter keys (or the pen, if you are filling out a form in triplicate) is printed onto the second and third sheets of paper. The problem for me was trying to get that stuff onto the paper but not onto my fingers (a hopeless scenario) so that I had blue fingerprints over my duplicate copies. Yes, I am old enough to have used carbon paper to make copies when I was in high school. Fortunately my teachers didn’t take away points for the blue prints. Anyway, my grandpa was also very eccentric. He was not quite as eccentric as his brother, but eccentric enough. I think that bothered my mom, but it led to many quietly humorous moments for me and my cousins at family reunions. I will tell one story here to let you know how eccentric he was, although it isn’t a family...
Why Law?

Why Law?

Law is my second profession. Before I went to law school, in 2006, I had been a classical violinist. I performed with the Utah Symphony, the Ballet West Orchestra, the Nova Chamber Music Series, the Park City Festival, and for many recording studios in the area. I also had a full studio of students whom I taught. The most frequently asked question I get from people who know all that, is why law? Why go from something so seemingly abstract, to something so concrete, so unlike music? Well, to me, the 2 professions aren’t as different as all that, or rather the differences between them aren’t as black and white as people think. For example, musicians are often perfectionists. So are attorneys. Musicians need to have focus and be on their toes when performing. So do attorneys. Musicians are nervous before performing, and so are attorneys, so the same kinds of preparations are suitable for both. I practice what I plan to say as I used to practice what I planned to play. I think about the result I want in both situations. I focus on that result and work to achieve it. In law, as in music, however, the result you want to achieve is often changed by specific circumstances. In a performance, it may be a child crying, a phone ringing, or the instrument suddenly going out of tune, causing you to have to pause and re-tune. In the courtroom, it will be the arguments of the other attorney, or pro-se litigant (the fancy legal term for someone who does not retain an attorney), or the way...