The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

September 1, 2020 Letters


Courage Required-Courage Inspired

Thomas Hobbes, the author of “Leviathan,” written centuries ago, conveyed his thoughts to the world about a properly functioning and safe society. Hobbes wrote about inherent liberty, but also about our duties to one another through both good and challenging times. Hobbes advocated that we each give away to a government a small piece of our innate liberty; that we empower an executive government to protect us from each other and from our worse human characteristics: greed, power, irrationality, fear, and unkindness.

Our government today — and indeed democracies throughout the world — were modeled, in significant part, on these principals. Yet, as Hobbes recognized, government is of the people, by the people, and in principal, for the people. Being of and by the people, it is susceptible to the same human characteristics as society itself: greed, irrationality, power, fear, and unkindness. Accordingly, Hobbes logically advocated that there also be a check on government. We are those protectors. We are judges, lawyers, paralegals, clerks, assistants, administrators, executives, bailiffs, and all those who support the justice system.

This system has always been grounded in justice and the protection of the weak from the strong. Yet, the law and its deployment or restraint has always been imperfect. This is why, since time immemorial, those members of society who have been privileged enough to serve the law have also had as their charge the duty to protect it. We are the greatest threat to those who act with greed, power, irrationality, fear, and unkindness.

Sadly, when our profession is needed most, it has vanished. Trials have been postponed indefinitely. Law firms lay quiet. Judicial progress has been reduced to a crawl. William E. Gladstone is oft cited as the source of that centuries’ old truism: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

The order of society depends upon our system of justice. We are privileged to serve the third co-equal branch of government, and with great privilege comes great responsibility. We must live, speak, and act with courage and get the wheels of justice moving again.



“The Mindful Lawyer: Furthering the Cause of Justice,” posted in the online version of the News on July 24, included in its first paragraph “Protesters, advocates, and lawyers have united to demand meaningful change; calling for an end to systemic racism, police brutality in communities of color; and encouraged personal and institutional reflection to further anti-racism.”

For meaningful change, there needs to be more minding of the call to end systemic “blamism.”

For meaningful change, there needs to be more minding of the call to decrease fatality in communities of color caused by members of those communities of color.

For meaningful change, there needs to be more minding of the call encouraging practical and indefatigable rejection of failed leftist paternalism to further anti-statism.

The News also posted, on August 4, a promotion of another disquisition in its years-long inquisition to disgorge explicit bias and even implicit bias, with those debarring biases and rebarring new ones collectively crowing “eliminating bias is crucial because it denies the profession access to the intellectual capital it needs to flourish.” Essentially, everyone should be treated equally.

I agree that eliminating bias is crucial because it denies the profession access to the intellectual capital it needs to flourish. Such is why the explicit and implicit bias of affirmative action-turned diversity-turned diversity and inclusion needs to end. Everyone should be treated equally.


Lawyers Making a Difference

Lawyers have been making a difference in 2020, even if the press has not reported much about the contributions lawyers have made and continue to make, just by doing their jobs.

A federal judge in Portland ordered federal agencies not to use force against clearly identified “Press” and “Legal Observers.” The uniformed federal agents continued to use force against the press and legal observers after the judge’s order.

Acting quickly, the lawyers went back to federal court five days after the judge entered the order. On behalf of their clients, the lawyers filed a motion to hold the feds in contempt and to impose sanctions for violations of the judge’s order on Tuesday, July 28.

Within hours, the feds agreed to leave. They made their announcement the next day, Wednesday, July 29, that they are leaving Portland.

All lawyers who make a difference deserve our respect. These lawyers in Portland also deserve our thanks.

Winter Springs

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