On the Bright Side of the Road

"Won't you help me sing my song, from the dark end of the street, to the bright side of the road" -- Lyrics by Van Morrison.

Maybe it's the holidays, or maybe it's a coincidence, but I've noticed several positive things in life:

  • The death rate for cancer dropped for the first time ever, according to the American Cancer Society.  For the first time since such statistics were released in 1998, the number of men and women in the United States getting and dying from cancer has dropped. Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, director of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Occurrence Office, said, "There is a decrease in incidence and death rate for all cancers combined in both men and women and in almost all racial and ethnic groups."  This story should be all over the front pages.
  • Economists say the recession will end in six months.  Buried in a Wall Street Journal article was a forecasting survey of economists. "On average, economists expect June 2009 to mark the end of the recession, which began in December 2007," the article stated.  Who knows if they're right, but I'll take the good news any day.  
  • The protest of the 240 laid-off workers occupying a Chicago window and door company succeeded. The employees who were entitled under law to 60 days severance pay and vacation, but had been given only 3 days notice that the company was shutting down and stiffing them.  The employees occupied the factory for eight days when two banks lent the company money to give the workers what was owed to them.
  • An increase in corporate litigation, regulatory law, IP litigation, class actions and bet-the-company cases will lift the legal profession out of its recession in 2009, according to the BTI Premium Practices Forecast. Litigation involving corporations is by far the largest market opportunity. (More on this soon.)
  • I trained  a remarkable young lawyer, who began his education in the seminary.  New to the law, he considers himself a secular priest: a lawyer who enjoys public speaking, writing and listening empathically. He says his matrimonial practice is similar to social work and counseling. He enjoys being in court and he’s active in the church community. He wants to select one or two philanthropic organizations to become active in.  I knew in my heart that such lawyers existed.
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