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Last December, as recipient of NJ-ICLE’s Distinguished Service Award, Middlesex County Assignment Judge Travis Francis offered an important acceptance speech. His Honor spoke about the unique role of lawyers in maintaining the stability of government and the integrity of systems. “Lawyers are the gatekeepers against tyranny,” he proclaimed. He then reminded us of the butcher’s declaration in Henry VI, that, “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” That, you might know, was not a knock on lawyers; Shakespeare’s butcher was an evil conspirator whose goal was anarchy—disruption and disintegration of the kingdom—and he knew there would be challenges from the lawyers. Let us hope there always will be.

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