From the Editor
Is This Our Last Dance? Not a Chance
By Dexter J. Evans
If you know me really well, then you know I will take any chance to make a Chicago Bulls or Rocky movie reference. The topic does not matter, nor does the situation. I thought it appropriate for my first column because I truly believe this is not our last dance. We have faced unbelievable challenges over the past six months. As a world, as a country, as a state, as a county and as a bar association.
We are facing a global pandemic which I of course welcomed for my year as Editor-in-Chief of the Brief. All kidding aside, with this pandemic, we have seen a horrible death toll and the pain and suffering of loved ones who have said goodbye to friends and family without being able to be by their side. As I write this, it appears tens of thousands of more people will tragically pass away by the time this issue is published. People who are fortunate enough to survive the virus often deal with significant post-virus symptoms and it is unknown whether they will go away or be part of them the rest of their lives.
We have also seen the greatness and compassion that most of us possess. We have seen the selfless frontline workers who risk their lives and health because they are truly essential and believe in what they do. The nurses, CNAs, doctors, factory workers, grocery workers, food industry workers, etc. have been the epitome of heroes during the pandemic. My wife, a nurse, spent several weeks on the COVID-19 ICU floor at her hospital. I have never seen her more exhausted and upset than when I would see her come home each and every day during that time. I imagine that this is true for a lot of people that have been exposed to the tragedy of seeing someone die without their friends and family by their side. The psychological toll on people who have sacrificed their health and safety when they had no choice but to confront this virus head-on will probably live on for several years to come.
A massive civil rights movement has swept across the nation. It is bringing long overdue attention to problems and injustices that have been ignored for too long. I’ve often asked my mom what it was like growing up in the sixties during one of the greatest (if not the greatest) civil rights movements we have ever had. Today, I look at this as our civil rights movement. We are in this together and we need to do whatever we can to show compassion and love to people because, at the end of the day, we are all the same people. We all have our goodness, our idiosyncrasies, our not so great qualities. But we are the same. “We the People” means all of us even if it did not mean that back in 1778.
I am proud of this bar association and the courthouse/judges for the tremendous amount of work that they have put into implementing ways in which we can get access to court. I haven’t seen anyone else do it better. There was no playbook for how to run a courthouse or bar association during a pandemic, but oh did the DCBA do an amazing job on the fly. The zoom meetings conducted by judges and the bar association were extremely helpful. I have done several zoom depositions with ease. I participated in my first zoom status hearing in DuPage and it went fantastic. Thank you to all who have devoted so much time and effort to return us back to some sense of normalcy, even if that normal is quite a bit different than what we were used to.
When we came back to the office full-time in May, I told my paralegal that I anticipated that we would run out of work to do within two weeks. She told me I was wrong and, as usual, she was right. I have been extremely busy each and every day. The legal system has not stopped. Sure, we probably will not be able to do a jury trial anytime soon, but the work and the effort forges on. I handle personal injury cases and I have found that every defense attorney has been incredibly easy to deal with during these challenging times. Whether it has been working on an agreed order or setting up a zoom deposition, I have not encountered a single problem.
I recently watched a documentary entitled “1968”. What an unbelievable and tragic year. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Robert Kennedy was assassinated two months later. The Vietnam War was in full effect. A massive and long overdue civil rights movement was sweeping the country. Protests, riots, turmoil. I thought, “I wonder if people then thought they were looking at the end of our country as we knew it?” Obviously, we did not end. The war eventually ended. The country returned to a sense of calmness. We came out of 1968 stronger on the other side. Were we perfect? No. Are we now? Definitely not. But the greatest testament to the ability to grow and prosper as a country (and as a person) is the ability to adapt and persevere when confronted with new challenges, however difficult they may be. We will come out of this stronger on the other side. We will adapt to whatever new normal we find ourselves left with. We will be stronger and better.
Thank you to Joseph Vosicky, Rachel Legorreta and Marie Sarantakis for their article submissions in this issue. Also, thank you to Rachel Legorreta for her hard work as Articles Editor as well as Brian Dougherty for his work as Case Law editor. Last but certainly not least, thank you to Jacki Hamler for making the lives of everyone (especially me) so much easier with all of the hard work she puts into making the Brief the best law publication out there. However, next time, maybe mention I would be Editor-in-Chief during a pandemic before you reel me into the job…
Be safe and be well everyone! Peace.
Dexter J. Evans is an equity partner at Woodruff Johnson & Evans where he focuses his practice on personal injury litigation. Dexter is the Editor-in-Chief of the DCBA Brief and an active member of the DuPage County Bar Association. He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He earned his J.D. from Northern Illinois College of Law where he graduated magna cum laude in 2005.
Dexter J. Evans, Editor-in-Chief
Jordan M. Sartell, Associate Editor
Brian M. Dougherty
Anne C. Fung
Raleigh D. Kalbfleisch
Rachel E. Legorreta
Christopher J. Maurer
Jane E. Nagle
Joseph K. Nichele
John J. Pcolinski, Jr.
Jay M. Reese
Arthur W. Rummler
James L. Ryan
David N. Schaffer
Leah D. Setzen
Edward R. Sherman
Hilary E. Wild
Ross Creative Works