month's monstrous acts of terrorism ripped thousands of lives from
us - innocent people just beginning their workdays as well as heroes
who rushed to their aid. As a nation, we mourn the dead and condemn
these cowardly and criminal acts. As attorneys, we mourn our
colleagues and remember them for their service and dedication to
Many attorneys worked in the 40 law firms and
legal departments housed at the World Trade Center. Some were
passengers on the four hijacked California-bound planes. And at least
one was a member of our State Bar. Our hearts go out to their
families; we share their grief.
Alan Beaven of San Francisco was aboard American
Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed near Pittsbugh. Authorities believe
some of the passengers staged a counterattack on the hijackers,
causing the plane to miss its intended target. Joe Tabacco, Beaven's
law partner at Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Purcillo,
believes the athletic 48-year-old attorney was likely one of the
heroes who helped thwart the terrorists' plan.
New Zealand native, Emeryville resident and father of three was flying
to attend a settlement conference in Sacramento before heading to
Bombay, India, where he was to volunteer for a year as general counsel
of the SYDA Foundation, a humanitarian nonprofit based on the practice
of Siddha yoga. Beaven worked in California as an environmental
lawyer, but he previously was a prosecutor for Scotland Yard, private
practitioner in Portugal, financial advisor in Hong Kong and trial
attorney in New York. He was admitted to our State Bar in 1992.
News reports tell us that several attorneys also
were aboard the three other hijacked flights that crashed into the
Pentagon and the twin trade towers in New York. Among them were James
M. Roux, who was preparing to move from Portland, Me., to Northern
California to work for his brother David, the co-founder of a Silicon
Valley investment firm; Mari-Rae Sopper, a Washington, D.C., lawyer
who was just named the women's gymnastics coach at UC Santa Barbara;
and Daniel Brandhorst, a lawyer, father and accountant who worked for
PricewaterhouseCoopers and lived in the Hollywood hills.
We are saddened by this terrible loss and our
hearts go out to the families and friends of the many thousands who
lost their lives in this tragic episode of our country's history. We
know members of our State Bar will be among those who proudly step
forward to aid in pro bono efforts and tackle the tough legal issues
sure to surface from these tragic events. We will do this in tribute
to our dedicated colleagues.
Your views sought
In the coming year, your board members want to
hear from you. I intend to turn this monthly president's column in
the Bar Journal into a forum where there is true dialogue with not
just me, but your entire board of governors. I invite members to write
to me about issues of concern and to give constructive suggestions on
how they feel the board should be addressing them. I will personally
respond and/or turn to my fellow members on the board and ask them to
respond in their areas of expertise. We will make this a truly
collaborative effort. Send your comments to email@example.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For the complete text of Karen Nobumoto's
swearing-in speech, go to http://www.calbar.org/2bar/3exd/speeches/01/1.htm.