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To: All Skruum, Chargeum & Billum Associates From: Hugh Skruum, Managing Partner Re: Practicing Rebel Law on Leap Year Date: 25 Feb 08 The other day I heard an associate complain about leap year. Something about how this year she worked a whole extra day without a bump in pay. I hope more associates don’t share that complaint. In case they do, let me tell you why I love leap year. It is too easy for attorneys to forget why they went to law school. Too many of us remember only the second half of that clever adage our professors taught us in law school to help us feel better about the large salaries we were soon to earn: I want to do good and I want to do well. But remember that you once wanted to do good. Maybe you still want to do good. I want to tell you that you do good. Just by being here every day, just by being a lawyer, you play a vital role in society. Don’t snicker. Think back to something else you learned in law school. A mandatory class called something like “Theory of Law” or “Legal Perspectives” or “Philosophy of Law” or “Dead Guys Write About Stuff We Don’t Understand or Care About.” Some of those perspectives came from giants like Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and John Adams. They identified a concept called the rule of law. The idea that no one is above law, but all men are subject to it. The idea of having a government of laws, not of men. The idea that all are equal, from the mightiest corporation to the poorest and meanest of children. And who safeguards the rule of law? I write resoundingly that lawyers do. Remember when Enron tried to set itself above the law? Who brought it down? The lawyers. When McDonalds served coffee too hot, who put it in its place? The lawyers. When the tobacco and chemical and big pharma industries start acting like they are above the laws their politicians wrote, who slaps them down? The lawyers. And never forget that when the Plaintiffs bar starts getting self-righteously uppity, who puts them in their place? The Defense bar. We, the lawyers, of the United States of America protect the rule of law; we keep it safe. It is not an overstatement to say that without lawyers, there would be no rule of law. Without the rule of law, there would be no Constitution. I say God bless the lawyers. Remember that at the next 7th inning stretch you see. The rule of law is safe when you know you can sue someone for justice if they wrong you. No lawyer, no law suit. No law suit, no rule of law. Each you, right now, pause and take a few moments to reflect on the vital societal role we as attorneys play. Remember Pakistan? That Pervez Musharaff guy who, without respect for the billable hour, suspended the rule of law with his declaration of martial law. And how did our Pakistani colleagues respond? Did they stand idly by? Did they change professions? No! They took to the street; they protested; they demanded reinstatement of the rule of law. Did you see the recent picture? The professionally dressed Pakistani attorney flinging a tear gas canister toward Musharraff’s troops? It’s inspiring. The NYC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild calls it Rebel Law. I like the sound of that. We should all practice Rebel Law �the law in defense of the rule of law. I hope, when you had the chance, that you each did your part; I hope you stood up to be counted; I hope you signed the online petition calling for the restoration of the rule of law in Pakistan. It’s that kind of Rebel Law that makes a difference. And it is in that spirit, the spirit of Rebel Law, that I call to your attention one more opportunity to practice Rebel Law and celebrate being a lawyer. This is Leap Year. That blessed year in every four that presents a whole extra day for protecting the rule of law and billing clients. I beg you. Do not squander this day. As encouragement to productively use this extra day, I am pleased to announce Skruum, Chargeum, & Billum’s new Leap Year policy. The average associate’s yearly billable requirement is 2000 hours. Considering 365 days a year, the average associate must bill an average of 5.5 hours a day to meet his or her requirement. Because it has come to our attention that too many associates use this 366th day as an extra day, vacation day, or make-up day, Skruum, Chargeum, & Billum will no longer treat Leap Year any differently. Each Leap Year, every associate’s billable requirement will be increased by 5.5 hours, Congratulations on your participation in this important new policy that will protect the rule of law. Adam Anderson is an associate in Beus Gilbert PLLC’s Scottsdale, Ariz., Rebel Law practice group. He can be reached at [email protected].

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