Article by David F. Maron 2012-2013 CABA PresidentEmail: email@example.com
It has been nearly a year since we began the 2012-13 CABA year, and it has been eventful. CABA committees and members have been busy and their hard work has provided CABA members many opportunities to engage with each other, within the profession and in the community.
Staying connected allows CABA to be a resource for information, free CLE, and service opportunities. But connection requires effective and accessible communication. This past year, CABA’s communication committee, chaired by Meta Copeland and Melissa Baltz, updated the website and improved electronic communication using email, Facebook, and Twitter. The CABA Newsletter, under leadership of editor Kate Margolis, has published five issues full of excellent articles. And we have launched CABA’s new eNews for shorter articles and alerts to be sent out on short notice. We hope you’ll continue to take advantage of these resources and let us hear from you on how CABA can improve its service to the bench and bar in the metro area.
None of these events, activities or programs would have been possible without either the dedicated service of CABA members or the generous support of CABA sponsors. And there are two more events this bar year! I know you’ll want to attend and participate:
The May 16th Evening Honoring the Judiciary banquet, organized by committee chair Gretchen Kimble, will be held at the Country Club of Jackson again this year. The Honorable James Graves will be our keynote speaker. His bio is listed on our website and you’ll find more information in the article on page 8 of this newsletter. Judge Graves is no stranger to members of CABA as a distinguished Hinds County Circuit Court Judge, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, and now as United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. We are looking forward to an outstanding evening as we honor our state and federal judiciary.
On May 18th CABA Women’s Initiatives committee will hold a work day in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build. Organized by CABA Women’s Initiative chair, Rebecca Wiggs, CABA is a sponsor of this opportunity to make a new home a life-changing reality for a Jackson family. If you haven’t signed up, please contact Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout CABA’s 80 year history there have been changes in how the practice of law has developed over time — carbon paper, typewriters and fountain pens have been replaced by Microsoft Word, computers, iPads and email — but what lawyers do should not change. Just as it was 80, 100 or 200 years ago, the practice of law today still entrusts lawyers and judges with the duty to uphold the rule of law and defend the freedom, justice and equality secured under the law. Whether it is the inspiring standard set, for example, by pioneers such as Justice Reuben Anderson, Justice Fred Banks, Constance Slaughter Harvey or by Governor Bill Waller’s (then Hinds County District Attorney) historic prosecution of Byron de la Beckwith for the murder of Medgar Evers, or the legacy of others who also championed the rule of law despite controversy and in the face of political pressure, the unwavering dedication of the bench and bar has been and remains critical to preserving what most defines us as a nation.
With Memorial Day approaching I am also reminded of the need to express our gratitude for the service of those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the rights, principles and freedom our nation stands for. In a few weeks, there will be parades and ceremonies at War Memorials across our nation. But a monument remains a memorial only if its significance is passed to the next generation. That’s our job.
The rights and liberty we defend and enforce in court are not merely abstract sections in a code book; those rights are embodied in the law and represent values that men and women in the military have fought and sacrificed for. Both liberty and justice under the law and the military defense of the rights, freedoms and liberty secured under the law are inseparably linked. Core values secured under the rule of law would be hollow aspirations without courageous men and women in uniform defending them and an independent judiciary to enforce them.
We’re all beneficiaries of the sacrifices that we recognize on Memorial Day. But perhaps more than any other American, apart from soldiers and their families, judges and lawyers deeply value the sacrifices made by men and women of our armed forces. As lawyers we also have the privilege of leading by example. We should personalize and honor the sacrifices made by men and women of our armed forces. Let me offer a few ideas:
In closing, I deeply appreciate having been given the opportunity to serve as president of CABA this past year. It was a privilege to work with a team of so many dedicated men and women. I know each of you will join me in thanking our Executive Director Pat Evans and all the 2012-13 committee chairs and volunteers. As we begin the new bar year, let me congratulate CABA’s newly elected officers and directors — Treasurer Mike Malouf, and Directors Tiffany Graves and Troy Odom. We look forward to the upcoming years during Collins Wohner’s 2013–14 term, Amanda Green Alexander’s 2014–15 term and in the years to come.