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A Letter of Congratulations to a New Attorney

Late November and early December are traditionally the time when law school graduates will find out whether all their sweat, tears, and hard work have paid off - did they pass the bar exam? While the bar exam isn't always a mark of excellence (highly intelligent people have been known to fail it while lawyers you wouldn't want to represent you seemingly skate by), it nonetheless does attest to perseverance, hard work and an in-depth knowledge of the law. That's why I'm proud to congratulate a new attorney who happens to be a member of my family, my son-in-law Brian Geremia.

Sworn in today at University of Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, Brian has proven himself to be a fine student of the law, and I have no doubt he'll also become a tremendous lawyer - an attorney who represents client interests first and approaches every case with integrity and the highest ethical standards. Brian's achievements are not just limited to scholarship, as he is truly a well-rounded individual who is devoted to serving family and community - a genuine "man for others," as upheld in the ideal of his alma mater Jesuit High School.

California's Business and Professions Code 6068 lays out the duties and responsibilities of all attorneys. These include:

(a) To support the Constitution and laws of the United States and
of this state.
(b) To maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and
judicial officers.
(c) To counsel or maintain those actions, proceedings, or defenses
only as appear to him or her legal or just, except the defense of a
person charged with a public offense.
(d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided
to him or her those means only as are consistent with truth, and
never to seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an
artifice or false statement of fact or law.
(e) (1) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril
to himself or herself to preserve the secrets, of his or her client.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), an attorney may, but is not
required to, reveal confidential information relating to the
representation of a client to the extent that the attorney reasonably
believes the disclosure is necessary to prevent a criminal act that
the attorney reasonably believes is likely to result in death of, or
substantial bodily harm to, an individual.
(f) To advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a
party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with
which he or she is charged.
(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of
an action or proceeding from any corrupt motive of passion or
(h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself or
herself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.

Brian embodies the ideals of a just, ethical attorney who works to protect clients and "the cause of the defenseless and the oppressed." I am immensely proud of him and every new lawyer who instead of personal gain seeks justice, and operates with faith, hope and charity foremost in mind. Congratulations to Brian and all new attorneys, and may your future endeavors bring you success and happiness.

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