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D.C. Bar, D.C. Court of Appeals Issue Statements on Justice and Equality

June 11, 2020

The D.C. Bar Board of Governors, led by Bar President Geoffrey M. Klineberg, has released the following statement: 

In this time of crisis, the Board of Governors of the D.C. Bar reaffirms its commitment to carrying out and improving the administration of justice and to fostering, in those engaged in the practice of law, the high ideals of integrity and responsibility. All members of the D.C. Bar take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, which prohibits the government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denying to any person the equal protection of the laws. Particularly during this time of sorrow and unrest, lawyers should recommit themselves to these fundamental principles of justice and equality.  

Because the D.C. Bar is an official arm of the D.C. Court of Appeals, the Board of Governors is constrained with respect to the nature and substance of the comments it can make regarding matters of public importance. But for those members who are eager to make a difference in these challenging times, the Board encourages them to volunteer with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center or with another legal services provider and change lives, one client at a time.  

Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the D.C. Court of Appeals also issued a statement, via video, on ensuring equal access to justice for all. “Our courts have played an important role throughout history in overturning discrimination and unjust laws. Our courts… continue to play an important role in ensuring access to justice and fairness for all who come before our courts,” she said. 

In addition, Judge Blackburne-Rigsby emphasized in her message that judges and court staff must continuously assess the courts’ programs and procedures to make sure they are treating the community fairly.