Letters to the Editor
Letters: The Stewart Model
Posted Apr 1, 2014 5:10 AM CDT
THE STEWART MODEL
"Meet Carl Stewart," February, was well worth the time investment. As an attorney practicing for almost 11 years, I find comparatively few down-to-earth, humble and unpretentious people in this profession. Stewart is a breath of fresh air because there are not nearly enough of his character practicing law. He needs to write a book about civility.
This is a rather inspiring story for anyone confronted with adversity due to their personal circumstances. Judge Stewart's story resonates profoundly with me—an immigrant who came to the U.S. as a teenager and was subjected to bullying, discrimination and humiliation. I eventually became an attorney despite my circumstances. Although my story may not be as compelling as Stewart's, I definitely see him as a role model.
Gerardo M. Delgado
Judge Stewart's parents deserve a lot of credit. They did not even have enough clout to get the house they wanted to buy because of the color of their skin. Yet they raised three black "boys"—whose background, statistics say, would more likely than not result in them becoming convicts, "baby daddies," drug dealers and worse—to become not only men of substance but decent, thoughtful, caring human beings. Stories like these confirm what I, as a black woman and an attorney of 30 years, have always believed: Where you come from does not dictate where you can go, be or do. Per ardua ad astra.
Alda A. Anderson
I wish the author of "Reciprocity Fight Comes Back," February, had acknowledged the disproportionate impact that reciprocity requirements have on military families and the efforts made by the Military Spouse JD Network to ameliorate it. The MSJDN provides advocacy, encouragement and support. Nonetheless, many military spouse-attorneys end up with dwindling or dying careers.
It's a shame that our military families must swap income and employment of one spouse for the patriotic ambitions of the other. My husband is a physician and recent veteran. His career forced me to take both the multistate and essay portions of exams in three states during the last eight years. How can military spouses gain the experience required for reciprocity when half of their careers are spent applying for, studying for and taking exams?
I was very troubled by a statement by Suffolk University professor Andrew Perlman that variations in state law are "relatively minor."
State laws differ markedly in many of the areas that have the greatest impact on their citizens' lives: community property, spousal elective share, criminal sentencing, the death penalty, firearm licensing, Medicaid eligibility, welfare, health insurance, gay marriage. For better or worse, a license to practice law is not limited to a narrow subject matter.
New York City
I shook my head when I read that the State Bar of California's Robert Hawley said: "I'm not surprised that lawyers are clamoring for reciprocity, but that's not our concern. Our concern is whether it serves the public, and I don't see the public clamoring for it." Why would the public clamor for it? Perhaps if they knew there would be more lawyers available to serve them at lower rates? That it would provide a greater pool of lawyers for legal aid? That it might provide more money for legal aid with the additions of thousands of dollars more in dues revenue?
Even so, it is unlikely the public would get charged up about it. But lawyers should because it is unjust; it is a restraint on trade; it is a violation of the Constitution; it is economic protectionism—all things we defend for others!