Bench & Bar

JUL 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| JULY/AUGUST 2018 4 have successfully completed the KLEO Summer Institute. Funding for the KLEO Program is a chal- lenge. In fact, sadly, this year, the KLEO Program does not have the funds to oper- ate. us, the Board of Governors will likely appoint a task force to examine the best way to resume and continue funding for this very important program to help increase diversity in our profession in Kentucky. TASK FORCE ON JUDICIAL EVAL- UATIONS. Chaired by Board Governor Amy Cubbage, with the help of many great members, the task force's goal is to develop a statewide judicial evaluation pro- cess. e task force is working to create a standardized evaluation form to be used to evaluate judges throughout the Com- monwealth. e results of the evaluations should provide useful feedback to judges to help improve performance on the bench and to assist the public in selecting judges in our judicial elections. We anticipate that the Board of Governors will establish a standing committee on judicial evalua- tions, likely consisting of representatives from each Supreme Court district, along with at least one retired judge. We also have a Long Range Plan that is being implemented and we expect to con- tinue working to implement that plan. So you can see there is a lot going on with the KBA to keep us all busy and I am delighted to be able to contribute in a small way to that effort. I always tell people that it sounds cheesy, but my work for the KBA is some of the most rewarding work I do as a lawyer. Finally, I just want to mention a couple of points that I hope we remember as lawyers and judges. It is no great insight or revelation to say that these days discussion of controversial topics or differing opinions seem to be filled with a great deal of vitriol, hostility, and personal attacks. And no, this is not going to be a political diatribe; unfortu- nately, these issues are there regardless of one's political persuasion. When I gradu- ated from law school, I was asked to deliver the commencement speech for the students. Perhaps naively, but nonetheless sincerely, the message of my talk was to be a human being first and a lawyer second when prac- ticing law. In other words, treat each other decently and with respect as human beings, while at the same time advocating for our clients. I have tried to practice with that in mind, though I will be the first to admit, not always successfully. WE AS LAWYERS ARE TAUGHT SOME TREMENDOUS SKILLS: 1. To think critically and iden- tify clearly and precisely what are the facts in a particular situation; 2. To advocate passionately and zealously for our clients; 3. But at the same time that we advocate, we are to be re- spectful of our opponents and the court. is past year's convention theme, "More than a lawyer," can tie in to this too. We should be more than a lawyer; yes, we should be lawyers, but lawyers who are human beings who advocate respectfully. is applies to judges and would-be judges too. When lawyers are in your court, treat them with respect. (is is probably the only time I am ever going to be able to tell a judge what to do.) As Kentucky lawyers, we can be carriers of the message of passion and respect throughout our profession and in our com- munities. When we attend town meetings, we can go as lawyers armed with the facts, arguments, passion and respect to show our friends and opponents that it is possible— indeed far preferable—to have passionate yet respectful discussion and disagreement on what may be very controversial issues. Is this too unrealistic? Maybe for some. However, we must guard very jealously some of the most valuable principles and teachings of our profession and use them as examples to our communities, small and large, of how to advocate with respect, including how to lose with respect. e lack of respect and the attacks that we hear of can spread in our profession and our com- munities like an insidious cancer, if we let it. Kentucky lawyers are some of the best and brightest people in the Commonwealth and beyond. Please don't let our talent, training and professionalism go to waste. Maybe if we try to be more than a lawyer, a human being who advocates with passion but with respect, others will see our example and real- ize that this is the best way to resolve issues. I believe that the legal profession is, and can continue to be, the shining example and beacon of calm, rational analysis, and well-crafted arguments, but most important today, arguments presented respectfully. PRESIDENT'S PAGE

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