Editor's Comment: Nice to Be Needed - By Sarah Roland

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Saturday, June 11th, 2016

It’s nice to be needed. And given the overall changes in the world around us, criminal defense lawyers are needed more than ever. We provide balance to an often seemingly imbalanced system—and hope, reassurance, and when it goes best, rescue to those whom we serve. We are the ones who consistently challenge the status quo. We are the ones who are unafraid to be in the minority.

Granted, people don’t necessarily think they need us until they or a family member gets in trouble, and they may not always be appreciative or show their appreciation for us. But when they need us—whether they ever express it or not—they are glad to have us fighting in their corner. After all, we may be the only person who has ever stood in that corner with them. We are needed.

It is no coincidence then that the theme of Rusty this year is “Lawyers, Guns & Money.” If you don’t know, and you should, the same title is a song by Warren Zevon that was released in 1978 on the Excitable Boy album. The melody is instantly recognizable and catchy.

I went home with a waitress
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the Russians, too?

I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns, and money
Dad, get me out of this

 An innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between the rock and the hard place
And I’m down on my luck
Yes, I’m down on my luck
Well, I’m down on my luck

Now I’m hiding in Honduras
I’m a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns, and money
The shit has hit the fan

Maybe he really was an innocent bystander and maybe not. Regardless, Zevon is clearly not talking about prosecutors, family lawyers, civil lawyers, or any of the like. He’s talking about us. Send the criminal defense lawyers. Send the ones who can help. Send us. We are the problem-solvers. We are the rescuers. We are the ones who are needed—every day, in every state in the nation, and in every county in every state.

That should be reason enough to get involved in one of the Fourth of July Declaration of Independence readings this year in one of the 254 counties around our great state. Be proud of this country. Be proud of our history. Be proud of our system. Be proud you are a criminal defense lawyer . . . because we are needed.