Thomas Hobbes, the author of “Leviathan,” written centuries ago, conveyed his thoughts to the world about a properly functioning and safe society. Hobbes wrote about inherent liberty, but also about our duties to one another through both good and challenging times. Hobbes advocated that we each give away to a government a small piece of our innate liberty; that we empower an executive government to protect us from each other and from our worse human characteristics: greed, power, irrationality, fear, and unkindness.
Our government today — and indeed democracies throughout the world — were modeled, in significant part, on these principals. Yet, as Hobbes recognized, government is of the people, by the people, and in principal, for the people. Being of and by the people, it is susceptible to the same human characteristics as society itself: greed, irrationality, power, fear, and unkindness. Accordingly, Hobbes logically advocated that there also be a check on government. We are those protectors. We are judges, lawyers, paralegals, clerks, assistants, administrators, executives, bailiffs, and all those who support the justice system.
This system has always been grounded in justice and the protection of the weak from the strong. Yet, the law and its deployment or restraint has always been imperfect. This is why, since time immemorial, those members of society who have been privileged enough to serve the law have also had as their charge the duty to protect it. We are the greatest threat to those who act with greed, power, irrationality, fear, and unkindness.
Sadly, when our profession is needed most, it has vanished. Trials have been postponed indefinitely. Law firms lay quiet. Judicial progress has been reduced to a crawl. William E. Gladstone is oft cited as the source of that centuries’ old truism: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
The order of society depends upon our system of justice. We are privileged to serve the third co-equal branch of government, and with great privilege comes great responsibility. We must live, speak, and act with courage and get the wheels of justice moving again.
All members of Team Zinzow Law