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July President's Message

Hon. Linda S. Jamieson


Summer Greetings!

The below normal temperatures and the rains of this past Spring have diminished, and plans for the construction of an ark have been shelved for now, and so we can begin to enjoy the high days of summer and all they offer.

June at the WCBA
June presents us every year with the very moving WCBA Memorial Service for deceased members held on June 20. We all enjoyed the 10th Annual Goin Cajun Barbeque & Blues Networking Event at the Bayou Restaurant in Mt. Vernon on June 18, presented by the Westchester County Bar Association’s  Diversity Committee in conjunction with the Westchester Black Bar Association, the Westchester Women’s Bar Association and the American Hispanic Business and Professional Association of Westchester.

Looking Forward
Many of us are also anxiously polishing our golf games as we look forward to our Golf Outing to be held on July 22 at the lovely Whippoorwill Club in Armonk. I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible (I’m hoping that my ankle will behave). It is a beautiful and challenging course in a wonderful setting, providing us with a day to relax, renew friendships, make new friendships and gather around for the post golf tennis tales of greatness or woe!

Please know that we will not be having our “Lunch with the Judges” during the months of July and August, but our lunches will resume September 11, 2019 featuring Family Court Judge Nilda Morales Horowitz.

The words of Judge Colleen McMahon, presented to us so eloquently at our Banquet at Brae Burn Country Club on May 1st, still resonate for me as she reminded us of the role we attorneys have now in times of significant legal struggles, when seemingly both sides of any political or even legal issue is often presented with wildly contrary and contradicting facts. It is up to our profession to meet the challenge of preserving the record, so to speak, of our personal and professional lives with the real facts, not altered or alternative facts. 

Some facts in our past have been self-evident. 243 Julys ago, a significant number of attorneys gathered together with others to help deal with a set of facts that had become unacceptable to them. A significant number of those attorneys were quite young, and a significant number of them have remained somewhat anonymous. Samuel Chase of Somerset County, Maryland was 35; Thomas Heyward Jr. of St. Helena Parish, South Carolina was 30; William Hooper of Boston, Massachusetts was 34; Thomas Lynch, Jr. of Prince George’s Parish, South Carolina was 26; William Paca of Abington, Maryland was 35; John Penn of Carolina County, Virginia was 36; George Walton of Cumberland County, Virginia was 35, and James Wilson of Pennsylvania was 33.

That cadre of young attorneys felt the call of duty to our Country in perilous social and legal times and partnered with more senior individuals, many of whom were also attorneys, to advance the cause of freedom. These referenced young men were the less well-known signers of a certain document that found certain things “to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Our Association’s purposes are to promote the ends of justice, to cultivate jurisprudence, to afford access to the Courts to all who seek redress, to facilitate the administration of justice, to elevate the standard of integrity, honor, confidence and courtesy in the legal profession, and to participate with all members of society in seeking and perfecting the common good —not quite as lyrical as the Declaration of Independence, but compelling words nonetheless.

The pressures on young attorneys today are great. Student debt, responsibility for producing billable hours, the pressures of raising a family, are all reasons why they may not want to be heavily involved in promoting the furtherance of our profession, as set forth in our Mission Statement, as committed members of our Association. Already many young and new attorneys have become leaders in our Association, and I call on anyone reading this article, especially those newer attorneys, to take the same risks that young attorneys did in 1776. Take the risk to further the causes of our profession and support our Association in an even more committed fashion as we move deeper into the 21st Century, when the need for the clear-eyed evaluation of facts under the Rule of Law becomes more self-evident. 
Please enjoy your summer months and take the time to relax with friends and loved ones.

How to Contact Me
Remember that I want to hear from you—ideas, needs, suggestions. I can always be reached at president@wcbany.org and/or by mail or appointment at WCBA Headquarters, 4 Westchester Park Drive, Suite 155, White Plains, NY 10604.