James Sample 2018 Graduation Remarks

James Sample 2018 Graduation Remarks

November 12, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Graduates the only possible explanation
for this is that you figured I would pull Socratic and cold call your parents.
Some of you relish knowing that your loved ones are here but they are shall
we say less than fully prepared. As such you figured the interrogations would be
especially ruthless and then to devolve into diatribe but sadly you
miscalculated because I would never ever do those things not in the presence of
Judge Prudenti. Substantively there is no meritorious reason for me to receive
honor still graduates as you know from Erie it all comes down to substance
v procedure, contracts, torts, property, study them for your bar exams yes, but
please they are mere parchment promises without
luck without process to make the substance real. So naturally I
manipulated it the non explanation for our shared circumstance is this. I did not
fire my sort of kind of but not really lawyer who absolutely did not create a
shell corporation the funding for which was definitely not money laundering and
the corporate purpose of said non shell was definitely not to pay Professor
Albert with whom as you know I have torrid and long-running rivalry.
Any payment that did not occur was not so that she would not be on the ballet this year and the evidence indicating that it did happen
is fake news. It’s a witch hunt. No pun intended Miriam, but don’t take my work rely on your wisdom and
experience all of us know that not even Russian oligarchs could afford what it
would cost to hush Professor Albert Still without Miriam in the picture you have superior you could have chosen from among the faculties esteemed scholar its accomplished attorneys and its dedicated teachers or you could’ve just feel the Gundlach. Graduates I believe in you and I believe you have the power to change our civic discourse. I urge you to turn up the caliber of our debate perhaps even by turning down its
volume. The judicial opinions with which it wrestle started in the species that
is fast becoming endangered, basic fact. Your professors expected you to do the
same maybe just maybe there is merit to such a method when heat rather than life
is the endgame when the goal is all about getting the choir no matter how off key
to sing more loudly when the goal is dissonance even
violence rather than civility the line between fact and opinion is blurred even
obliterated resist the temptation to characterize one as the other whether in
the crucible of the Socratic method or on your exams none of you got away with
characterizing opinion as fact I know you did it because you would not be
graduating from this institution if that had been your modus operandi so why indulge it now recognize that whatever your positions whether in law, politics
relationship not every fact is clear much less clearly in your favor we have
juries for a reason occasionally admitting the not every
fact is on your side might be not a sign of weakness but rather wisdom if all
politics are local that we must engage in civil discourse and its most granular level the national circus may be sexy but if you find yourself screaming over
presidential politics and clueless as to the issues facing your state’s cities
and communities well then Hempstead we have a problem
not just the tone but of priorities no matter your politics it is a
certainty that millions across America and around the globe will disagree with
you maybe they’re not all demonic crazies this is not to recommend a
watered-down postmodern each to their own ethic on the contrary when you
believe something strongly stand disagree fight advocate just don’t
forget to listen when it comes to tone as the difficult questions I concede my
own struggles and hypocrisy so what do I well I believe those who advocate torture and indefinite detention without
meaningful review would have us become precisely what we have beheld. I
believe religious majority to instead of prioritizing tenants like love my
neighbor asked how via the law they can diminish those different from them are
themselves a serious threat to our Republic I believe the First Amendment
is intended to empower all the people including the poor not to be an
ironclad guarantee of the best democracy that money can buy I believe
we must recognize and confront the realities of the me too moment and that
we must do so without abandoning due process. I believe courts need to remain
the last safe place. The arena where what is popular matters less than what is
principled and I believe that rights are made real only when remedies are both actual and actually accessible. There are people in this audience today who changed your diapers wash your lawn prepare your needles and indulge or
again again please and requests on playground swings they did not expect
they usually did not receive a thank you the reward is to see you walk across the
stage tonight the reward is to marvel at what you have and will become question
did the parents of Trayvon Martin and Tamir rice deserve any less I believe
that in our early response to Aurora Columbine Virginia tax and even pulse
Charleston Las Vegas Sutherland Parkland Santa Fe and where it is next is to
offer thoughts and prayers than these are not only tragedies but rivet crimes
in which we are complicit still I believe to my core that I need to listen
to your perspectives and I’d relish the opportunity to do so over the last three
years perhaps together we can all strive for society would be a flip-flopper is
less a pejorative and more an indication of the evolving open mind on which all
enlightenment is frankly I like the humor to advise that said I offer one
crude litmus test to consider or reject as you wish in the coming years
if you litigate you will win and you will lose if you do transactional work
sometimes the deal will go through sometimes it will not and as you
hopefully learn that contract sometimes the deal such then long after the deal
gets done defeat is snatched from the jaws of
victory the let this test is this does it hurt to lose if so how much I submit
that the way to measure whether you are doing the work that is right for you is
that the lawsuit then the states should really be hurt wins and success feel
good even when mistakes are triggered for that matter attorneys are the allies
of injustice but in your losses your mistakes your families don’t cause you
anguish we consider your options because starting today much more than
the mere letter grades will be at stake for your clients whether it is their
Liberty child custody property safety or reputation and state it will
not be a mere hypothetical as a lawyer I’ve been privileged to be part of some
wins and some loss and I can tell you without reservation that the hurt of the
losses exponentially exceeded the joy of the plans it still does so how do you
know you care deeply about a client and or a cause for me it’s when years and
years removed from a loss the key moments still replay frame by frame
by a painstaking frame in my mind the torment remains constant perpetual and
unyielding what if I what if we had simply been better at best
the reexamination its compartmentalize at worst consuming yet graduates as
cruel and perverse as this sounds it is precisely my operation respect for you
that leads me to hope that you’ve experienced similar torment similar
anguish and similar struggles choose to pursue not lost but the courage required
for the losses to hurt it’s often said that you don’t know what you’ve got
until it’s gone but like you’re saying the rule is very much about the
acceptance and for me the exceptions to that rule sit on this stage and in this
audience they are the class of 2018 as dearly as midway through their 1l year I
was deeply even fearfully aware that this special group of young men and
women would not grace our lost war forever
intellectually I knew that what emotionally I feel most acutely now we
have been fortunate even spoiled to have had but a temporary lease on your time graduates this award means something to me
for only one reason because it comes from you you impress you inspire and I
believe that it reflect your wings there will be titled it is a great privilege
to think of you not as former students not as graduates but it’s colleagues in
law and Frank you