The rights and liberties our ancestors fought and died for (civil rights, due process and equal protection) are now, for the most part, thought less about by most Americans than the big question concerning who is going to be sent home on the next “Survivor” television show? More people know the names of the “OC Housewives” or “Bachelor” contestants than the names of our U.S. Supreme Court justices. This isn’t OK and I need to get this off my chest.
My name is Mitch Jackson and I’ve been a trial lawyer for 3 decades. It’s in my blood. Being a trial lawyer is something I’m very proud of.
Trial lawyers protect those who do not have the ability or resources to protect themselves. They keep the peace and make sure everyone plays by the rules. They are an indispensable part of a society and a group of professionals who work every day to try and make sure everyone and every corporation is equal, fair and just.
In a world where “alternative facts” start to become the norm and, a complete lack of respect for our Constitution, Separation of Powers, independent judicial system, and the free press, is promoted and endorsed by our “leaders” in Washington DC, you need to know the following:
When a person or company, no matter how big or important, decides that the law doesn’t apply to what they’re doing, trial lawyers are there to hold that wrongdoer accountable.
What we do matters. I truly believe that a good trial lawyer is the custodian of the community’s legal and ethical sense. We are not the enemy of business or progress. In fact, we’re just the opposite. We protect the rights and freedom of people and business and make sure quality products and safety always come first. We are the ally of business and the American dream.
The law and function of trial lawyers have changed over time. And that’s a good thing. Since the beginning of civilization, a common element of all people and societies is change. Trial lawyers and the law are no different. We need to continue to improve and revamp ourselves based upon prior conduct and the present and future needs of society.
Revamping or renovating something special is always the preferred approach. It’s not always easy but is always necessary. In fact, some call this cycle the cycle of life. Even the Statute of liberty wore out after a hundred years. It needed to be refurbished. No big deal.
Along the same lines and over 2 centuries ago a lawyer, Thomas Jefferson, helped pen the Declaration of Independence. Today it stands strong. It continues to be a landmark- a human progress of ideas, ideals and values.
The Declaration of Independence and for that matter, our Constitution, are living, breathing and changing documents. Monuments much older than the Statute of Liberty, and erected on paper rather than a cement foundation. Documents etched indelibly in the minds and free men and women wherever they are.
Most people on this planet believe equality and justice are primary concerns. Truth be told, this isn’t the case. People living in third world countries controlled by dictatorships know this all too well. Many Americans don’t truly appreciate the rights and liberties they experience on a daily basis.
And that’s too bad.
Tragically, it seems to me that many Americans have become passive when it comes to protecting their liberty and justice. They take for granted what some “talking head” says and they go along with the flow.
Based upon what I’m seeing and hearing almost on a daily basis, the average American just doesn’t’ believe it is his or her duty to preserve the liberties that all of us enjoy. And I find that very sad.