Rose Bird: An
inspiration who will be sorely missed
I for one shall miss Rose Bird as one of the great lights in the
midst of death with her decisions on the death penalty, the poor, the weak, the
underprivileged. Her dissents were and are an inspiration and become more brilliant with
the passage of time.
Her views on the death penalty were absolutely on target that only
the poor, the uneducated, the minorities are usually the ones put to death. (Come to Texas
where death reigns supreme and whose people have the moral sensitivity of goats.) Cardinal
Roger Mahony has much penance to do for humiliation of this great public figure.
She was right on the unconsitutionality of Proposition 12. Why else
do you think that Californias educational system has gone from one of the best to
She was right in her position that public employees have as much
right to strike as anyone else, and she continued to serve the poor and the
underprivilieged even after her public humiliation.
She suffered for many years without complaint with her cancer. She
bore it with dignity and resignation. I wept bitter tears at her death, but rejoice
greatly that God graced me in my life with the honor of knowing her as a person and as a
public servant of the very first order.
She will always be in my heart and in my prayers.
Peter J. Riga
Wake up and pursue something you enjoy
After reading Richard Zanassis review of Steven Keevas
book (December California Bar Journal) about finding balance in the practice of law, I
felt compelled to write. During my 15 years of practice, I actually achieved balance: I
rarely took work home, I took time to smell the roses, I tried to be a problem solver, not
a shark. Nonetheless, the practice of law was a constant disappointment.
Lets face it: Between ungrateful clients, arrogant judges,
impossible peers and the long hours of drudgery, the practice of law leaves much to be
desired. My decision in June to leave the profession and to do something I like
(redevelopment of historic properties) has been a pure blessing.
Lawyers of the world, wake up! The practice will only get worse. Do
you see yourself doing this for the next 20 years?
Forget trying to find a balance. If you dont like the law, get
out of the profession entirely. Only then can you experience the joy of using your
intelligence for something creative, meaningful and fun.
Of course, if you dont mind being a harassed, stressed out,
parasitic functionary, stay right at that desk.
Scott A. Burton
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