TEX-ABOTA Newsletter July 2020

Dear TEX-ABOTA member:

I’m sending this email today on a singularly important issue, and I hope that you will take the time to read this entire email. At its recent national board meeting, ABOTA adopted the following resolution regarding racism:

ABOTA opposes racial profiling and the excessive use of force by law enforcement officers

WHEREAS, the American Board of Trial Advocates is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the right to trial by jury provided by the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, and recognizes that inherent in the Seventh Amendment is the right to participate meaningfully and equally in society and government; and

WHEREAS, the American Board of Trial Advocates wholeheartedly endorses the principle, immortalized in the Declaration of Independence, that all persons are created equal, and condemns racism and bigotry in all its forms; and

WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, guarantees the rights of the people to freedom of expression and peaceable assembly; and

WHEREAS, the recent series of race-motivated events that have disturbed our nation have brought to the forefront the problem of racial prejudice that has existed in our country since its inception; and

WHEREAS, a disciplined and well-trained police force free of racial bias is essential to enforcement of the law and maintenance of public order; and

WHEREAS, racial profiling and excessive use of force are detrimental to the fair and impartial administration of justice.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Board of Trial Advocates supports the adoption and funding of law enforcement policies and training at all levels of government aimed at reducing and eliminating racial profiling and the excessive use of force.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Board of Trial Advocates supports the right of the people to assemble without unnecessary interference; and peacefully protest and express opposition to racial profiling, the excessive use of force by law enforcement officers, and racism in any form.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Board of Trial Advocates supports laws and policies that promote a more just society for people of all races. (June 20, 2020)

I hope there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that TEX-ABOTA wholeheartedly endorses this resolution of our parent organization.  Many of you heard Dr. Kevin Cokley explain during TEX-ABOTA’s recent webinar how racism and implicit bias still plagues the practice of law more than 150 years after the Civil War, and more than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act. We understand that there is much work left to be done to eradicate the scourge of racism in this country and in our profession. After the webinar, Dr. Cokley shared some resources that will help us in this endeavor. Click here for resource list.

If ABOTA as an organization is to be the standard bearer we believe it is for our profession, as individual leaders of our profession we must all do our part at every opportunity to stand up for the fundamental truth that Martin Luther King preached about so many years ago, prompted by viewing the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, and quoting Jefferson’s words from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Whether you’ve read or listened to King’s sermon or not, I commend it to you today:  https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/publications/knock-midnight-inspiration-great-sermons-reverend-martin-luther-king-jr-4

Stay safe and stay well. 
Robby Alden, President, TEX-ABOTA