Voices of the Bar 5/7/15: Whom do you wish you could meet from the past or present – and why?

Spring at the BBA means a slew of programs featuring hot topics and influential speakers, including programs like Cutting Edge Issues in Criminal Law and Meet the Banking GCs. We’re excited to hear from these great minds of the present as they comment on pressing and relevant issues to the profession.

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out and asked:

“Whom do you wish you could meet from the past or present, either within the legal community or outside of it – and why?”

 

Ruth O’Meara-Costello — Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP
“I would love to talk with my favorite childhood author, Louisa May Alcott. In addition to writing heartfelt and insightful children’s novels about families, she was a suffragist and early feminist, and an abolitionist who worked as a nurse in a Union hospital during the Civil War. In view of my practice as an employment lawyer representing plaintiffs in gender discrimination cases (not to mention my own efforts to juggle work and kids) I think it would be fascinating to hear her thoughts on women’s roles in the workplace today.”

 

Anthony E. Fuller — Collora LLP
“Without question, Oliver Wendell Holmes. I recently re-read his famous Memorial Day speech from 1884 (“In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire…”) and was struck by how timeless that speech is. I would like to ask him to describe how his military service in combat influenced his life as a lawyer and judge. I also suspect he would have been a good guy to have a beer with.”

 

Nadiyah Humber – Northeastern University School of Law
“I wish I could meet Thurgood Marshall, so I could hear his thoughts on fighting for civil rights issues in 2015.”

 

Basilios E. Tsingos – Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp.
“If I could meet anyone from the past or present it would be the defendant of arguably the most famous trial in history: Jesus of Nazareth. I know, I know: Jesus is one of those names that, if mentioned at all in polite company or professional circles, can cause an uncomfortable silence. Still, I spent too many Sundays in Sunday School and church as a child, and since then, not to have often wondered what he must have been like in person.

Scholars argue about the ‘historical Jesus.’ As a lawyer, the ‘legal Jesus’ fascinates me. Talking of the Judeo-Christian foundation of our system of law and government can seem cliché. But, it’s amazing how much of what we believe law, justice and equity are, or ought to be, are grounded on this Jewish rabbi’s teachings from and interpretations of the Hebrew scriptures. Separation of what we call ‘church’ and ‘state’? (‘Render unto Caesar….) Speaking truth to power? (‘Let the one among you who is without sin, cast the first stone.’) The importance of procedural due process? Even as we constantly seek to improve the flaws and problems we see in our own day, the events commemorated on Good Friday powerfully inform our understanding that a system of jurisprudence that would let one guilty person go free is to be preferred to one that would permit an innocent to be wrongly convicted and sentenced to death.”

 

J.W. Carney, Jr. – Carney & Associates
“Thurgood Marshall. He was a brilliant strategist on civil rights issues, and I would like his perspective on what the President should do in this area.”

 

 

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at gguarracino@bostonbar.org.