Thanks for the Honor
On Dec. 1, OSB President Nena Cook presented me with the President’s Public Service Award. I deeply appreciate this award and the bar’s recognition.
I am not sure why I received this honor. It may be because I am the longest continuously serving legal aid lawyer in Oregon, since September 1977, as my friend and fellow legal services attorney Micky Ryan pointed out that evening. Or it may be, as my friend Linda Love noted, that I am simply the oldest legal services attorney in Oregon.
I want to thank a couple of people, all OSB members, and all who deserve this award more than I do:
- My dear friend, Board of Governors member and fellow Eugene public affairs conspirator, Gerry Gaydos, whom I suspect is responsible for my recognition.
- My dear friend and until recently fellow legal services attorney, David Nebel, on whom I relied for everything when we both lobbied the legislature for legal services clients and issues, whom I suspect helped Gaydos do this.
- And my wife Martha Walters, who was in Baltimore that night as president-elect of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, chosen to be the first woman president in its more than 115-year history, whose support, financially and emotionally, encouraged me to do the things I do.
It is my sense that this award recognizes me for serving as a legal services attorney, as a public service. I accept it, then, on behalf of all of us, past and present, who have served in that role in Oregon.
Kudos to Mr. Kester
Congratulations to Randall Kester.
As another senior, ex-judge, still busily practicing law full time, I was delighted by your article on Judge Kester ("A Mentor, and a Model," January 2006).
Though some of us may have a few years on him, Judge Kester is obviously clear proof that chronological age has little to do with working effectively in our ever interesting, always changing profession.
In the down-state small town that I work in, which is developing frantically every day with incoming Californians, etc., the grey hair is really a distinct advantage.
Good luck, Randall — and many happy returns.
Eldon F. Caley
Oregon State Bar President 1977-78
A Powerful Message
During my 20 years of active practice and eight years of public service, I have always been very proud to be a lawyer. However, the campaign to initiate a rule change on the elimination of racial bias credit enforcement does not make me proud. Despite serving on the Urban League Board for 10 years, serving on the House of Umoja Board for six years and founding a youth employment program for gang members, this program helped me understand that I still have some racist attitudes. The fact that lawyers are required to consider the issue of race and racial bias sends a powerful message to our broader community that we must all take specific actions to eliminate racial bias in our hearts, in our minds and in our society. If we are to truly fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, lawyers should continue to lead the way.
James L. Francesconi
No Reason for Glee
I have lived with my partner, a physician, for 25 years. Many years ago she was briefly recruited by the Air Force Reserves, until she asked if she could bring me along.
A friend and co-worker is a JAG, a major in the Oregon National Guard.
The foolish military exclusionary policy, prohibiting gay and lesbian people from serving, the policy that would not let me or my partner enlist, which has discharged Arabic translators who worked in California, divides us. Whether the Oregon State Bar Bulletin allows military advertising or not, one of us will be excluded and hurt.
I don’t see any reason for righteous anger or competitive glee in this situation, no matter what the bar’s policy. The present policy weakens the legitimate defense of our country and makes our profession weaker, not stronger. The only response I can find in myself is a great sadness that our fine country is so petty.
Gretchen L. Miller