A. Isn’t it beautiful? Congratulations to the Bar News team for putting together a creative representation of what I am hoping we can accomplish together in the coming year.
Historically, the October cover of Bar News includes a photograph of the incoming president standing in front of a courthouse or other location of importance. I wanted to try something different.
As outlined in the President’s Corner column, I am hoping this year will be focused on building the public’s trust and confidence in our legal system. Toward that end, I have adopted the theme “For the People” for the coming year. During World War II, Norman Rockwell painted a series of covers for The Saturday Evening Post entitled “Four Freedoms.” They were designed to remind the public why we were fighting. Perhaps most famous is “Freedom of Speech” (original seen below). As you can see, this painting depicts a local town hall meeting where a lone dissenter speaks in opposition to a proposal. The audience, comprising a mixture of professional backgrounds, listens with courtesy and attention. It is a beautiful representation of a priceless freedom.
The cover for this month’s edition of Bar News comprises prior clients of mine (and one family member) in a loose re-creation of Rockwell’s painting.
It is a modern take on the classic work of art, showing real people with real legal issues. Taken together, it is a visual representation of our modern society engaged in navigating our legal system and vindicating constitutional rights.
I hope this cover reminds our WSBA membership of what we are fighting for. Moreover, I hope it will encourage us to interact with the public in a way that builds confidence in the ability of legal professionals to help vindicate fundamental rights.
Each of these people has a unique story. I am honored to share (with permission) these stories now with Bar News readers.
A. Great question. I’ll speak briefly about each:
Person A is Sharon Frelinger, the former vice chairwoman of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe. I was honored to represent Sharon in a matter that, I think, was important for good governance of all tribes. In doing so, I was struck by her personal courage and devotion to her people. This picture of Sharon standing tall is spot on—she is a courageous person, and I was honored to represent her.
Person B is Admiral Kyle Cozad, USN (Ret.). I had the pleasure of serving under Admiral Cozad at Joint Task Force Guantanamo a number of years ago. Admiral Cozad is an extraordinary leader, and his inclusion on the cover is designed to honor our members who serve either in the military or in government service. Admiral Cozad’s story of service is remarkable and was chronicled by the Navy Times.11 Mark D. Faram, “Meet the Admiral Who Leads from a Wheelchair,” Navy Times, April 12, 2019, www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/04/12/meet-the-admiral-who-leads-from-a-wheelchair/. Upon retirement, Admiral Cozad became CEO of the National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Fly Navy!
Person C is me. The original “Person C” in Rockwell’s painting is an older gentleman in a suit. To me, he always looked like he could be an attorney. Perhaps because he looks serious.
Person D is one of my daughters. Please forgive a father’s pride! The original “Person D” in Rockwell’s painting appears to be a young lady. In our re-creation, I included one of my two wonderful daughters, and I love the fact that she is sitting next to me. My family is a tremendous source of inspiration and strength in my legal practice, and she is on the cover as a symbol of all family members who support legal professionals in their practice.
Person E is Kari Carter. She and her husband lead the Kennewick Baptist Church where I had the pleasure of worshipping. During that time, the church faced a tax issue, and I was pleased to assist. Kari and her husband are people of deep faith, and her inclusion on the cover reminds me to have faith in something greater than my own modest legal abilities.
Person F is Khoa Pham. I represented Khoa and his family in a number of business matters. In doing so, I was struck by Khoa’s devotion to his family and dedication to the family business. I still believe that Seattle’s best pho is found at Khoa’s family restaurant: Phở Bắc Sup Shop, located at 1240 S. Jackson St. in Seattle. Khoa’s inclusion on the cover honors the business owners who go out every day determined to serve their customers. Sadly, Khoa died unexpectedly two years ago, and Seattle recognized April 21, 2021, as Khoa Pham Day. Khoa’s full story is inspirational and may be found here.22 Chetanya Robinson, “Remembering Khoa Pham, Little Saigon Business Owner and Community Champion,” South Seattle Emerald, June 6, 2021, https://southseattleemerald.com/2021/06/06/remembering-khoa-pham-little-saigon-business-owner-and-community-champion/.
Person G is Terri Thomas. Terri and her husband were clients in a matter that impressed upon me the importance of personal courage for civil litigants. I was so impressed by her and her husband’s integrity, and her inclusion on this cover is a reminder to me of the vital importance of the client in the case’s ultimate outcome.
Person H is Brian Garlinghouse. Brian and his wife Jackie work tirelessly for their small business, Trenchman Shoring. Trenchman Shoring specializes in safety equipment for underground contractors who install utilities underground like water, sewer, and power. Brian is on the cover as a reminder to me that clients always know their own cases better than the attorney or the judge. He reminds me to listen carefully to my clients.
Person I is Charlie Stanton. Charlie struggled with drugs for years and, as a result, he had various encounters with the law. I was pleased when my law firm let me represent Charlie pro bono on a criminal matter in Snohomish County. We secured a good result that balanced accountability with allowing Charlie to move on with his life. Today, Charlie is off drugs and a happy, thriving member of society. Charlie is a reminder to me that, if we can give our clients a helping hand through difficult circumstances, they can sometimes go on to do great things. Charlie’s story should be an encouragement to everyone with a family member, loved one, friend, or acquaintance struggling with drugs.
Person J desires to remain anonymous. For years, Williams Kastner has taken part in Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and I had the honor to meet this client through his asylum application. His appearance on the cover represents the unfinished work we have as attorneys and is a visual illustration of the brokenness of our country’s immigration and asylum system.
Together, these individuals are a visual reminder of the crucial work that our members do in serving and advocating “For the People.”
1. Mark D. Faram, “Meet the Admiral Who Leads from a Wheelchair,” Navy Times, April 12, 2019, www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/04/12/meet-the-admiral-who-leads-from-a-wheelchair/.
2. Chetanya Robinson, “Remembering Khoa Pham, Little Saigon Business Owner and Community Champion,” South Seattle Emerald, June 6, 2021, https://southseattleemerald.com/2021/06/06/remembering-khoa-pham-little-saigon-business-owner-and-community-champion/.