April Fools and the Fake News
By James L. Ryan
In 1957, the President of the American Bar Association suggested setting aside a special day each year to celebrate our system of democracy. At that time, America was entrenched in the “Cold War” with the Soviet Union, and the world confronted an ideological battle between competing systems of government. In 1958, the President of the United States of America, Dwight D. Eisenhower formally established Law Day as a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law. Three years later, in 1961, Congress, by joint resolution, designated May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day.
Thankfully, the Cold War is over, the Soviet Union has fallen, and our country has shown the value of democracy throughout the world. Law Day continues to be celebrated among the legal community in part to remind ourselves of the unique role lawyers play in our democracy and to provide us with an opportunity to reach out to the public and demonstrate our commitment to democratic principles.
In this issue, we commemorate Law Day in a number of ways. On the cover, we feature Hon. Diane Wood, our Law Day speaker and Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit Court Appeals. In the news section, Timothy Klein drafted an excellent judicial profile on the Chief Judge and previewed her Law Day speech. Recent developments have made Judge Wood’s Law Day speech on equal protection particularly interesting. Judge Wood will speak to us one month to the day since she issued the landmark decision, Hively v. Ivy Tech, in which the Seventh Circuit became the first court to expressly hold that workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is actionable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. We continue to run features on the many programs offered at our area’s law schools with a piece on the pro bono opportunities available at John Marshall Law School. Next month, we expect to complete these features with a piece on the opportunities available at another one of our local law schools.
Another way we celebrate Law Day is through our scholarship on the law. Art Rummler, a former chair of our Law Day Committee, served as lead articles editor for this issue and brings us articles on a wide variety of topics. Northern Illinois Professor Jeffrey Parness and Northern Illinois law student Alex Yorko teamed up to provide an article on the agency principles in play when a plaintiff sues a principal alone for the acts of his agents. Larry LaVanway provides an excellent summary of the lawyers’ role in a residential real estate closing and offers an excellent roadmap for handling a real estate closing. Doug Blanchard provides his observations of the modern jury pool and provides his thoughts on tailoring a jury trial to the different generations comprising our jury pools. Finally, Art Rummler offers his own practical view on the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy process. Thanks to Art and all of the authors for their contributions to this issue.
Voting is perhaps the most democratic principle of them all. I find it fitting that the DCBA’s elections take place around the time when bar associations across America celebrate a lawyer’s role in our system of democracy. In this issue, we have also provided you with profiles of the fine individuals running for DCBA Third President and for Director. Please consider voting in our upcoming election.
Jim Ryan is an associate at the law firm of Roberts & Caruso in Wheaton. He focuses his practice primarily on contested probate, business litigation, and construction law. Jim serves as a member of the DuPage County Bar Association’s Civil Law & Practice Committee, Business Law Committee and Estate Planning Committee. He is also a member of the federal trial bar.