DICTA.November 2017

Page 6

LAWYERS ALMANAC By: Chris McCarty Chris McCarty, Lewis Thomason

GIVING BELATED THANKS Pilgrims. Pumpkins. Turkeys. That’s what I think of in November. Let me be clear: I love Thanksgiving. Mainly because I love food, and partially because I am thankful. But how much of that Thanksgiving picture from my 3rd grade textbook is rooted in reality? Truth be told, we know very little about the first Thanksgiving celebration. We know there was no cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie. We also know “it’s possible that they did eat turkey, though it’s just as likely that venison and fish were on the menu as well.”1 (I suddenly imagine Charlie Tuna starring in Thanksgiving-themed cartoons, and it’s a chilling thought.) Though the menu might be off, it seems we have largely gotten the harmonious nature of that first Thanksgiving right. In fact, “the majority of its participants were Natives – not Pilgrims.” Imagine it, dozens of Native Americans and Pilgrims celebrating the harvest and their shared prosperity.

That was 1621. So, why is it that we did not pass the Indian Citizenship Act (a/k/a the Snyder Act) until 1924? It took us over 300 years to grant Native Americans full citizenship rights. Over 300 years to consider them legal equals. I imagine those people sharing a meal in 1621 would find that timeline hard to believe. They could not have foreseen the Trail of Tears or Little Bighorn. They could not have imagined us moving … backward. It does happen though. When we don’t pay attention. When we forget. So, this Thanksgiving, please join me in being thankful for this great country, for its many types of citizens, for its rich (yet imperfect) history, and for all that amazing food.

1 Channel.nationalgeographic.com/saints-and-strangers/articles/the-true-storyof-thanksgiving/.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE (Continued from page 5)

33 and Tenn. Code Ann. § 23-4-101, and it never initiates complaints or reports a self-referral to any disciplinary agency. You should call TLAP to refer members of the legal profession (attorneys, judges, law students) who you believe may be experiencing substance abuse or mental health issues. You can contact TLAP representatives to talk about your own problems, confidentially. If there is a friend, co-worker, family member, etc. who is impacting your life due to his or her own issues, you can consult with TLAP and get advice on how to handle such a situation. During regular business hours, TLAP may be reached at (615)741-3238 or toll free at (877)424-TLAP. If you need to reach TLAP outside of business hours, call (877)424-TLAP and press “1”, leave a detailed message, and someone will return your call as soon as possible. One of the most alarming statistics is the rate of suicide in the legal profession. TLAP reports that lawyers are six times more likely to commit suicide than the average population. If someone is considering suicide, it is important to get help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The KBA also has a wonderful local resource that works very closely with TLAP to assist those in our local bar struggling with many of these issues. The KBA’s Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Program (LCFL) is a confidential program to assist lawyers, law firms and families of lawyers suffering from alcoholism, addiction or other mental or emotional problems that impair the lawyers’ ability to practice law. All communication with the LCFL committee is confidential. Get assistance in identifying, treating and recovering from these illnesses. It’s a free, confidential membership service of the Knoxville Bar Association. For more information, please contact Committee Chairs Jim Cornelius at 292-2515 or John Butler at 244-3925. Together, we have the ability to make a difference in our legal community. We must continue dialogue about these important issues and take positive steps towards making that difference.



November 2017

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.