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African American, Middle Eastern,
Latino or Slavic, or disabled. It doesn’t
make any difference of whether or not
we are a mother. After I read his letter,
I went to the WSBA website and discovered how many [Washington] bar
associations are listed there. Please
note, I fall into three of the categories.
The only thing that seems to be lacking
is the white European male bar association (which I am not eligible to join as I
am a woman). And for those of you that
might find the idea of a white male bar
association offensive, stop a moment
and be logically consistent. Some may
consider the idea to be discriminatory,
however, given the list [on the website],
it obviously should not be considered
such. I think it should be open to any
lawyer without regard to creed, race,
ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual
preference or anything else. So, let’s
move forward as lawyers and act as
such without reference to ethnicity,
race, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin or status as mothers, etc.
Personally, I think it is long past time.
Kathy Rall, Seattle
All Bars Have Nice Guys
The title of Douglas Pierce’s article,
“All Bars Have Bastards,” (NOV 2014
NWLawyer) and the opening paragraph proclaiming that certain lawyers
see collegiality as a weakness, had me
expecting a satirical pronouncement
of obnoxious trial lawyers. Instead, Mr.
Pierce seems to promote the notion that
a lawyer has an obligation not to cooperate with opposing counsel. He reasons that since clients pay us hundreds
of dollars an hour, we are obligated “to
do battle for them” and our relationship
with opposing counsel should be akin
to old-school warriors. Mr. Pierce advises to maintain professionalism with
opposing counsel, but never cross the
line into cooperation.
Juxtapose this against the guest
article authored by my colleague in
Whatcom County, Rajeev Majumdar,
where he takes a more pragmatic view
of the relationship between opposing
counsel. He reminds us that, “there is a
lot of incentive to be cordial, respectful,
and professional” with opposing coun-
sel. Merriam-Webster defines cordial as
“politely pleasant and friendly.” I would
add that being cordial, respectful, and
yes, cooperative with opposing coun-
sel is the preferred behavior of most
judges. Attorneys ought to be problem
solvers, not part of the problem. In my
view, non-cooperating “warriors” tend
towards the latter.
Steve Chance, Bellingham
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