XDM 3.8 Compact, 9mm pistol.
XDM 3.8 Compact, 9mm pistol. (Aaron Hayes)

To the Editor:

I feel that it is unfortunate that certain members of the Connecticut Bar Association are now seeking to override the House of Delegates vote to take a position on Shew v. Malloy via referendum. I strongly support the Human Rights and Responsibilities Section’s request to the CBA to file an amicus brief in the pending case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and believe that the Business Law Section, to which I belong, as well as the general CBA membership should support this action.

I have heard that some members of other CBA sections, as well as our own, do not think it is our place to get involved in this issue since it does not affect their respective sections. I may be a boring business lawyer, but I could not disagree more strongly with this position on so many levels.

First, when I chose to become a lawyer, I chose this profession to make a difference and to be an advocate. It is true that I am a business lawyer, and my business clients are affected by the gun control law proposed by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

It was not just individuals who were affected and made contributions to the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. It was our business clients and other clients as well. My major pro bono project over the past year has been working with the Catherine Hubbard Foundation, named for one of the 6-year-olds killed at Sandy Hook. The foundation is a 501(c)(3), a type of business entity that the Business Section covers. It promotes compassion and counseling through children working with rescue animals and agricultural endeavors in the hopes that another Sandy Hook can be prevented.

Second, the Business Section in the last two legislative sessions worked for the passage of the Benefit Corporation Act. As our section is aware, this new corporate entity is for socially responsible entrepreneurs who want to make a difference. All other CBA sections take similar actions on issues that support their constituencies.

Third, as I told my fellow section members, as business lawyers, we advise our business clients to embrace corporate social responsibility. Shouldn’t we practice what we preach? I would think that other CBA members would feel the same way.

Finally, as attorneys, do we leave our social consciousness at the door? If we do, it reminds me of the witnesses who watched as Kitty Genovese was brutally stabbed to death in New York City as 36 witnesses watched and no one attempted to intervene or call the police because someone else must be doing it. This is not a political issue since gun violence does not affect only Democrats or Republicans.

As the outgoing American Bar Association President James C. Silkenat said recently at an ABA showcase program on gun violence: “Gun violence is a difficult and emotionally charged topic, but we’ve got to take steps to reduce it.”

Just the thoughts of this simple country business lawyer.

Hillel Goldman
Attorney
Danbury