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American Barrister® is proud to partner with Rutgers University to present a day-long program on The Law of Money Laundering at Rutgers Business School, Newark, NJ. Check this site for further details.
As a former U.S. Marine and British Barrister, this hit close to home. This week the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), awarded its highest honor to Lucca, a United States Marine Corps bomb-sniffing dog. In more than 400 combat missions over six years in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were no casualties on her watch, until March 23, 2012 when an IED took her left front leg. The medal for "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" is the highest award an animal can receive for military service, the equivalent of the United Kingdom's Victoria Cross. Lucca is the first U.S. Marine Corps dog to receive the award.
Check out the video of Lucca before and after her career ending injury, to see how she worked and how well she is doing now. I am continually humbled by the courage of my fellow Marines, in combat and in life, and proud to see them receive the internatioal recognition they so richly deserve.
(Please click this link to the CNN article by Amanda Jackson with video.)
Today is National Love Your Lawyer Day! It should more aptly be named "Thank Your Lawyer Day", as no one really loves hiring a lawyer, just as no one loves visiting a doctor or dentist. But, the truth is, we enjoy our freedoms because we have always been blessed with men and women willing to defend them from foreign attack on the battlefield, and from domestic attack in the courtroom, many doing both. The late United States Senior District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise, who landed at Normandy in the D-Day invasion of World War II, later earning the Bronze Star, then traveling to the deep south to give legal support to the civil rights movement in the 1960s, was such a man. After more than 35 years as a Federal Judge, he passed away this year, only months after his wife, Katrina. In one of the life's strange coincidences, her memorial service was held on June 6. As a soldier, lawyer and judge, he remains the gold standard.
Every freedom is ours to enjoy, not because it's in the Constitution, but because some lawyer represented some client in some courtroom, somewhere in America, and convinced some member or members of an independent judiciary that the freedom denied her client is the legal right of all people, and that without that right, there can be no real freedom. This is even more true in England, where there is no written constitution.
Putting himself in harm's way to stand up for civil rights, Judge Debevoise upheld a lawyers' tradition founded in the English Bar and continued by the American Bar. John Adams, our second President, risked not only his livelihood, but his life, when he successfully defended the British soldiers in the so-called "Boston Massacre" in 1770. The courtroom may have been in Boston, but the prosecutor represented "The Crown". Although everyone in town knew where Adams and every member of the jury lived, Adams apparently infused the jury with the courage to do the right thing. The point is, the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution may guarantee everyone accused of a crime the right to a trial by jury and to be represented by counsel, but it takes a live human being to get on his feet in a courtroom and actually defend the accused. Adams, Debevoise and countless other lawyers, whether Attorneys, Solicitors or Barristers, over hundreds of years understood that and were willing to accept the risks. Now, it is our watch.
In 1215, Magna Carta established the law as the peoples' front line of protection from their own government. I am proud to be a former U.S. Marine and an American trial lawyer. I hope my professional colleagues, including Solicitors and Barristers, will accept the attention of this day as a humbling reminder of the main reason why the legal profession has flourished on both sides of The Pond in the 800 years since Magna Carta, Freedom Under the Rule of Law..
(Please click this link to the article in today's Wall Street Journal by Jacob Gershman.)
The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation celebrated its 20th Annual Gala at Bally's in Atlantic City on June 7, 2014. Click here to view photos.
This year we celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215 at Runnymede, England. Feel free to click this link to vew a video recorded at the Library of Congress, on November 5, 2014, in which U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and the former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Igor Judge, discuss the significance of that historic document.
A recent study shows that plaintiffs in most diversity cases never asked a judge to "certify a class" of those covered in the suit.
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