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President's Message
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Thank you to everyone who participated in Inspiration Walk/Run presented by the BAMC Community Outreach Committee in partnership with Special Olympics.    See page 4 for pictures of me with the Montgomery County Chapter of the WBA’s team and of my family mid-walk and cleaning up.  My husband said to me upon leaving “that was fun, it was easy, and I feel fortunate to have healthy children.”  I second those thoughts.  It was a great activity to do with children. My kids canvassed their grandparents for donations for their team and everyone, including the five-year-old, was able to do something to assist in cleaning up.  If I want my children to be involved in their community and to be doing good works, then I need to do it with them to show them that I value it and I think it is important.    I hope more of our membership will feel inspired to participate with their families next year.

We had a sell-out crowd for the first bar luncheon of the year.  If you tried to sign up last month and ended up on the waitlist, sign up right away for our next luncheon which will be held on November 12, 2019 at its new location, Trapezaria restaurant, in Rockville.  Our next amazing speaker is Michael Schaffer, editor of the Washingtonian magazine.   Michael is also a former editor of the Washington City Paper and editorial director for the magazine, the New Republic.  Judge Barbera is a tough act to follow, but I think Michael is up to the task.  The luncheon will start at 12:00 p.m. for people who want time to mingle beforehand or start lunch before Michael begins speaking.   The formal program will begin at 12:30 p.m. so please try to be at the restaurant by 12:25 p.m. so you have time to make your way through the buffet line and get a seat before we start.   We will then have use of the restaurant until 1:30 p.m. for those members who have time to linger after lunch and have coffee.  The restaurant can only accommodate 135 people so please email Cindy@barmont.org (or go to https://www.barmont.org/page/262 and click on the PLEASE RSVP link) to reserve a coveted spot for the luncheon so we know if we have room to accommodate everyone who would like to attend.

You didn’t make your reservation for bar luncheon early enough and you are on the wait list?  Why not take advantage of “Just Lunch”?  Who in the Bar Association have you always wanted to be able to talk to one on one?  Call Julie Petersen at the Bar Association and she will solicit the availability of your desired candidate for lunch and make the match.  I know it is disappointing that we do not have enough room at some of our most popular events for everyone who would like to participate to join in but there are so many ways to be involved in our Bar Association.  Take advantage of the opportunity to find other ways to connect with your fellow bar association members through the many programs the Bar Association sponsors each month.

Being a role model is on my mind after the Inspiration Walk/Run, not just because I’m a parent but also in light of the national news.   Every day in the newspaper, there are articles about the college admissions scandal, the US government’s dealings with Ukraine, and Boris Johnson and his talk of defiance of Great Britain’s Supreme Court.  While I hope our members, the very folks who are charged with zealous advocacy within the bounds of the law, are not breaking it, the reality is lots of people break the law in some way regularly – speeding while driving, texting while driving, drinking before driving, and inaccurate reporting of income or expenses on tax returns, to name a few commons ones.  Much of how we feel about these breaches of the law is based on the relative seriousness of the offense – did you have one drink or four?  Did you inaccurately report your income by a few thousand or a by few hundred thousand?    We see the relativity point playing out in the college admissions scandal – people who paid lesser sums to cheat the system to get their children into college are getting shorter prison sentences than people who paid larger sums.

Upon personal reflection, I am less interested in how serious the offense is.  For example, when I think about rule breaking with respect to parenting – do I think my children will believe it’s not okay to have even one drink and drive which is what I want them to believe, if then they see me do it while we are out to dinner?  But even bigger than showing deeds, not just speaking words to my children, I want to be a rule follower in what feels like a dangerous time for our country’s seemingly tenuous grip on the rule of law.  In a democracy, the rule of law protects the rights of citizens, maintains order, and limits the power of government.  All citizens are equal under the law and no one is above the law.  As lawyers, we have to be the first to defend this principle and model it.  Let us rationalize less our failures and stick to the straight and narrow.  How can we expect anyone else to follow the law if we are not doing it ourselves?  My sense is that our country needs us in the coming months and year to be our best selves more than ever.

            

Heather Hostetter

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     Montgomery County, MD

27 West Jefferson St.
Rockville, MD 20850
Ph: 301-424-3454
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