Year in Review

Relax with our favorite long reads of 2022

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2022 with glasses

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Feel like curling up next to the fireplace with a good read? ABA Journal Managing Editor Kevin Davis has curated a selection of our favorite feature stories that ran in the magazine and online in 2022.

“Pen Pals: The animal rights attorney and the mysterious SeaWorld postcards”


“Matthew Strugar received the first mysterious postcard in August 2018. On one side, two black-and-white patterned orcas leapt into the air from their large tank of turquoise water at SeaWorld. The handwritten plea on the back of the postcard was signed, ‘Sincerely, Your imprisoned orca clients.’ Most lawyers would have found the note odd, but for Strugar, it struck a familiar chord.”

“Ukrainian bar leaders share experience on the ground amid Russian invasion”


“As Russia began its attack on Ukraine in late February, the Ukrainian Bar Association also leaped into action, issuing statements condemning the violence, calling on international leaders to impose sanctions on the Russian government, and mobilizing its members to assist refugees fleeing to nearby countries.”

“Prosecutors are cracking down on online romance scams”


“In 2020 and 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice website posted at least 10 news releases about separate indictments involving romance scams. In 2021, people reported losing a total of $547 million to the crimes, and that was an 80% increase over 2020. The numbers could be greater than that because many romance scams go unreported. Trying to avoid judgment from peers is one reason, and blackmail from scammers is another.”

“Tulsa Reckoning: An ongoing lawsuit seeks justice for massacre victims”


“With the clock ticking, the stakes are high. This case could be the ‘last best hope’ for the survivors to see some form of justice before they die. ‘This massacre impacted Black people around this nation. This is a win that we need as a people.’”

“America’s Lost Children: Reckoning with the abusive legacy of Indian boarding schools”


“When researchers began the painstaking work of identifying Indigenous children who died at the Genoa U.S. Indian Industrial School in Nebraska, they kept making chilling discoveries.”

“Examining the Bar: Should law grads need to pass the bar to practice? Some say there is a better way”


“The profession often has a hard time with change, and some have said there’s a sense that keeping a bar exam will likely assure people in power that wealthy clients won’t be harmed by admissions alternatives. Nevertheless, lawyers interviewed by the ABA Journal say it’s important that states are even considering changes at all.”

“Growth Strategy: Lawyers are lighting up the budding cannabis industry”


“Justice Cannabis Co. is one of the biggest of the little guys in the rough-and-tumble, fast-paced and legally treacherous world of marijuana growing and selling.”

“Runaway Sentences: Truck driver’s 110-year sentence sparks new focus on mandatory minimums”


“Standing in front of a judge, tears in his eyes, Rogel Aguilera-Mederos wanted to say something before being sentenced for killing four people and injuring six others after he lost control of his runaway truck on a Colorado highway. At 26 years old, he was facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.”

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