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
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
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."
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.
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
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
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 http://www.calbar.org/2bar/3exd/speeches/01/2.htm.