California Bar Journal
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


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Front Page - November 2001
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News / News Briefs
Applicants sought to oversee bar's diversion program
Let's have another cup of - legal advice
Foundation leads students to capital
Six honored for professional service
Warwick, six others named to California Judicial Council
Several thousand lawyers suspended for failing to pay dues, certify MCLE
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Trials Digest
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From the President - Remembering the fallen
The rule of law is our strongest weapon
Pro bono work is lawyers' duty
Letters to the Editor
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Law Practice - Success: The top eight requirements
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You Need to Know
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MCLE Self-Study
Planning for education expenses
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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Ethics Byte - Lawyers move on in usual way despite disaster
Former city councilman spent his son's settlement
Attorney Discipline
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Public Comment
Lawyers, like others, try to help
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Continued from Page 1
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lawyer and State Bar member Alan Beaven. As he flew to San Francisco on his way to try a case in Sacra-mento, Beaven's plane was hijacked; it crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

His San Francisco firm, Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo, has received calls from supportive attorneys around the world - the New Zealand native had also practiced in New York, Japan, Portugal and England. And U.S. District Judge David F. Levi, who was to hear Beaven's case in Sacramento, memorialized the fallen attorney before his fellow bar members of the Eastern District of California.

"I've talked to literally  hundreds of people . . . it's just been an incredibly positive response," said Joe Tabacco, Beaven's longtime law partner. "People all want to help, to let us know they're grieving along with us."

Call for moratorium

Three days after the Sept. 11 attacks on four commercial airliners, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America proposed a moratorium on the filing of civil lawsuits related to the terrorism. The call for compassion has received wholehearted support from the legal community.

"There will be plenty of time for other discussions, but right now we need to come together to deal with the evil that has attacked us," said Bruce Broillet of Santa Monica, president of Consumer Lawyers of California. "The ways in which attorneys can help will be more apparent as time goes by. (But) litigation - that's the subject for another day."

It may be difficult to know where to concentrate one's energy considering the scope of shock and damage the nation has suffered, but it is easy to see that the country will forever be altered by what is being called the worst terrorist attacks in American history.

Impact on kids

"I think about the  impact on the kids - it's going to toughen them up, and it's going to make them understand we don't have everything we have for nothing, there is a price we pay," said Dan Horowitz, an Oakland defense attorney in private practice who was born and raised in Manhattan. "Younger generations never understood World War II, the sacrifices we made for that, or even Vietnam, really. Now they understand."

Reuel SchillerReuel Schiller, a University of California Hastings College of the Law professor, moderated a panel of law professors at the request of students. The panel examined legal issues arising from the attacks including how Americans' civil liberties may be affected, and explained what recourse the United States has, including federal criminal statues and powers of government such as the War Powers Act.

"We're teachers here, and we hope that learning and knowledge is the antidote to fear," Schiller said. (It's) therapeutic - one of the things that terrorist attacks do is engender fear, and our hope is that (discussing) how the legal response works will help our students understand it.

"It is my belief that in talking about the issues we'll hopefully lessen that feeling of impotence people have in the wake of the attack."

Overcoming hate

One byproduct of that fear is taking shape as a backlash against Muslims, Arabs and those perceived to be Middle Eastern - southeast Asians, Sikhs and even Latinos. In response, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Chinese for Affirmative Action, large law firms and a host of other groups are seeking to pool and train attorneys to represent victims of hate crime.

Eva PatersonEva Paterson, executive director of the Lawyer's Committee, said training sessions will begin in October for interested attorneys in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

"People are being harassed, intimidated and beaten in the backlash; what we're hearing is people are afraid to leave their homes, and that's really sad," said Paterson. "This is real, this is going down, and we're going to provide pro bono representation to those who need it."

Disaster legal services

For those representing victims at the disaster sites, the State Bar of California has re-released and  distributed copies of the California Handbook for Disaster Legal Ser-vices. Written in 1997 after 17 disasters struck the state in a little more than a decade - including the Loma Prieta earthquake and East Bay firestorm - the manual is widely considered to be the country's most comprehensive.

Local bar associations are also getting involved by raising funds, posting resources for attorneys who hope to assist and holding events.

San Diego vigil

 The San Diego bar organized a candlelight vigil, teaming up with police, firefighters and city government. In a highly symbolic procession, participants began at the city's Fire Station No. 1 downtown and marched to the federal courthouse.

"It shows our support of the firefighters who gave their lives and, ultimately, the federal government," said association President Aaron Katz. "We just desperately wanted to do something that would be of some support to the victims of this terrible tragedy."

Sorrow and sadness

The State Bar, its board and all its entities, expressed through its president, Karen Nobumoto, condolences to all those affected by the September terrorist attacks. This message may be read in its entirety at