Last Sunday night I skipped Mad Men and Game of Thrones and didn’t finish reading Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop. Instead I stayed up late posting a new blog.
Another blog? It’s not like I’ve been keeping up with this one like before.
But I’ve got my hackles up. Again, you might say or it’s just a chronic condition. It is, after all, why I use so much hair gel.
This new project has one specific short-term purpose: to help elect a slate of candidates to Arizona’s Bar Board of Governors. Voting starts May 7th and runs until 5:00 pm, May 21, 2014.
The idea is that new people may finally bring about real change. You know, conceptual novelties like improved fairness, accountability, cost-consciousness and transparency. See “Transform the Bar: 2014 ARIZONA BAR BOARD OF GOVERNORS ELECTION.”
O.K., so staying up late and getting up early may not be the best thing for health. There’s another pair of studies warning against burning the candle at both ends. Insufficient sleep causes daytime drowsiness and insomnia heightens stroke and heart attack risks. Still there’s truth sometimes in the inanity that sleep is overrated.
But trying to reform and transform your friendly state bar may be worth losing some sleep — even if I’m ultimately tilting at windmills.
During the last board election three years ago, turnout was underwhelming. And lawyers didn’t even have to leave the office since it was all done online. Fewer than 25 percent voted, which means over 75 percent of Arizona’s lawyers didn’t cast a ballot.
Admittedly, most times nobody pays attention to what the bar does. Contrary to the healthy egos down there, no one much cares how the wienerschnitzels are made or who the sausage-makers are or how many times they slap each others casings. By and large, state bars are among the worst instances of bureaucratic infirmity. See “Time for real change. Groucho for State Bar Board of Governors.”
But look what happened when most of us weren’t watching, an abortive stealth vote to hike bar dues in December followed by a successful vote in February that not only increased already high annual lawyer licensing fees but also hiked a bundle of other practice fees. So much for ignoring the kielbasa makers.
This is why I’m hoping this time it’s different. Members are paying attention. And thanks to their political reawakening, perhaps this election will mean the start of a long overdue reexamination of the bar’s structure, its processes, its stale-dated thinking and “shelf life-expired status quo.”
Members are paying more attention. For instance, why did so many lawyers run for the board in Maricopa County this time? Thirty-three are competing for nine seats.
Some even think this means there’ll be more ballots cast, split votes, and a good chance to unseat the incumbents who got us choking on the sausages. We’ll see. Overrated sleep or not, at best, I’ll do my part.
Photo Credits: Figure 5 from Charles Darwin‘s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals at Wikipedia Commons, copyright expiration, public domain; Don Quixote fighting a windmill on his horse, Rocinante. By Gustave Doré, 1863, at Wikipedia commons in the public domain in the U.S. and countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.