f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 29, 2008

50th anniversary of Law Day

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,lawyer news or ethics — David Giacalone @ 4:15 pm

. . . . . . . 1958 to 2008. . . May 1st is Law Day . .

We’ve pretty much said all we need say about Law Day in prior years — see, e.g., “Law Day, Not Lawyers Day” (2004); “towards a better Law Day” (2005); “lawdy, lawdy another Law Day” (2006); and “Law Day with Chief Judge Kaye” (2007). This year, I’d like to point out that this is the 50th Anniversary of Law Day, which was started with a proclamation by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958.

In other years, President George W. Bush issued Law Day proclamations a few days before May 1st. In 2005, he did not mention lawyers in his Law Day proclamation, in Law Day, U.S.A., 2006 he did. Although President Bush has recently recognized Malaria Awareness Day, and Older American Month, along with Loyalty Day (which is also on May 1st) and Education and Sharing Day, there is no Law Day proclamation up at the White House Proclamation Page, as of 4 PM Eastern Time today, April 29, 2008. Some wags might conclude that he likes loyalty and lot more than the rule of law. update (April 30 May 1, 2008, 8 AM): Still no Law Day Proclamation from the White House, but National Physical Fitness and Sports Month did get honored overnight.

Better Late (May 1, 2008, 9:30 AM):  The White House has finally issued its proclamation for Law Day 2008.  It starts: “The right of ordinary men and women to determine their own future, protected by the rule of law, lies at the heart of America’s founding principles.  As our country celebrates the 50th anniversary of Law Day, we renew our commitment to the ideals on which this great Nation was established and to a robust system of ordered liberty.”  And continues, “We pay tribute to the men and women in America’s legal community.”  President Bush also looks toward “a hopeful future as we work to secure the liberty that is the natural right of every man, woman, and child.”

Prof Yabut, having recently watched both Frontline’s “Sick Around the World” and Michael Moore’s Sicko,, and having just read Pres. Bush’s proclamations for Loyalty Day, Older American Month, Education and Sharing Day, Malaria Day, and National Volunteers Week, wonders yet again: How can all those other nations pay for everyone’s health-care and education (and assure month-long vacations to workers) when our rich and caring country fails to do so?

The 2008 Law Day theme at the American Bar Association is The Rule of Law: Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity. The ABA’s Law Day materials explain

Why Is This Theme Important?

Advancing the rule of law helps achieve an
array of public benefits. We all have a stake in
the rule of law, and we all can do our part to
strengthen it.

The rule of law refers to a system of self-
government with a strong and accessible legal
process. It features a system based on fair,
publicized, broadly understood, and stable
laws, and diverse, competent, and independent
lawyers and judges. This foundation is essen-
tial to foster sustainable communities of
opportunity and equity.

Frankly, I’m not too sure what that means, but there are a lot of materials at the ABA Law Day 2008 website to help understand the topic and even teach it to others. If you want to see whether there are Law Day activities in your area, check out their Law Day Events Calendar.

LawDayBalloons If you like tacky, don’t forget the ABA Law Day Store. (scroll down our 2006 Law Day post for thoughts on the Law Day Store) update (April 30, 2008): Anne at Court-o-rama says: “Not to be outdone by Hallmark, the ABA has a Law Day Store selling Rule of Law yo-yos, mugs, backpacks, balloons, postcards (send one to a despot!), and carabiners: the keychains of the future!!!.”

If you long for the days when Law Day was still celebrated by the Bar as if it really were Lawyers Day, go to the Resources Page of The Billable Hour Company and check out their Legal Holidays and Events Calendar. The calendar is meant:

To help raise the morale of legal professionals by spreading information about all of the federal, state and local holidays that celebrate lawyers and legal professionals.

Since the rest of the world is “not quite ready for Love Lawyers Day,” lawyers may just have to be satisfied with loving themselves.

afterthought (7 PM): KipEsquire at a Stitch in Haste is not happy with Pres. Bush’s proclamation making May 1st a National Day of Prayer, saying “Bush again insults and marginalizes atheists” (hat tip to Ed at BlawgReview)

If you’ve read down this far and are saying to yourself, “hey, where’s the haiku?,” here are a few from the brand new edition of Acorn (a journal of contemporary haiku, that is edited by Carolyn Hall). We’ll share more from Acorn No. 20, Spring 2008, very soon.

a cold cup
from a cold cupboard —
morning moon

… by Peggy Lyles –

pale moon the thinning of days into winter

… by Billie Wilson

here
for now
first snow

…… by John Stevenson

century oak —
waiting it out
inside the drip line

country road
the Nam vet
revs his Harley

…….. by Tom Painting

p.s. Tom’s second poem reminded me of articles I’ve been seeing lately like this one: “older riders adding to motorcycle fatalities” and “rusty baby boomers on bikes.” Be careful out there, Boomers. Don’t forget the rules of law nor the laws of nature (and physics).

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