Partner Michael Reedy has been a member of the Honorable William A. Ingram American Inn of Court for nearly two decades. The Inn’s values of ethics, civility, and professionalism are what drew him to it in the first place, and it is those values that have helped sustain our community in this stressful time.
Reedy has served as President of the Inn for the last two years. It is traditional for the outgoing president to host a final celebration dinner in May. Due to SIP orders, a dinner was not possible this year. Under Michael’s leadership however, the Inn created another forum for coming together. Individuals from every part of the legal community were invited to share their insights and experiences in the time of COVID-19, and opine on what changes they expect to see in the next six months.
The response and results were overwhelmingly positive, with 25 speakers and over 80 people tuning in via Zoom. The forum featured nine (9) different Santa Clara County area judges, including two from the civil division, one from criminal, two from the bankruptcy courts, two from the appellate court, one from federal court, and one from mediation/arbitration. Zoom participants learned how the courts are preparing to re-open, to hold video hearings, to process a backlog of criminal cases, and to prepare for many bankruptcy filings. In addition, the community heard from nine (9) lawyers, including a prosecutor, criminal defense attorneys, bankruptcy attorneys, civil attorneys, and County Counsel. The shared experiences included how attorneys and judges worked together to reduce the prison population, how clients in Asia are handling the pandemic, how a new law in the Bankruptcy Code will help small businesses, and how everyone is facing new challenges on a daily basis. Law professors and deans from each of our area law schools spoke about how quickly they had to adapt after shelter in place orders were issued, and how they are preparing for the next academic year. Several law students spoke about how their world changed after spring break this year, and how difficult it is not to graduate in person, to take the Bar Exam as scheduled, or to have a job lined up.
It was truly a powerful event for the Santa Clara legal community. Attending the meeting via Zoom, and hearing from so many representatives of the legal community, created a sense of camaraderie among all who attended. It is an important reminder that we are in this crisis together, that we can learn from each other, and that we must support each other.