Thoughts on “Givers” and “Takers”

I attended and spoke at the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association’s Mid-Winter Convention yesterday. Gary Gober of Nashville was the Program Chair and put together a fine program, as usual.

Gary is but one example of many plaintiffs’ lawyers who are “givers” rather than “takers.” Gary was President of TTLA over 20 years ago, but still gives of his time and money to support the work of our Association. There are many others who fall into this category, men and women, some past officers and some future officers, who step up to the plate time and time again to help advance the cause of civil justice in this state. Some give knowledge, some give time, some give money, and some give all of the above – and each of us is indebted to every single one of them.

On the other hand there are “takers.” There are lawyers who spend thousands of dollars advertising for clients but refuse to give money to support legislative efforts designed to support the rights of those clients. There are lawyers who make a good living representing plaintiffs but refuse to give time or money to support the association. There are lawyers who seek the help of the association or its members when they are need, but turn away when asked to help. These men and women thrive off the efforts of others, giving nothing, taking whatever they can, and smile all the way to the bank.

If you are a “giver,” please keep giving. You already know that a rising tide lifts all boats and that our willingness to share advances the cause that we believe in with our heart and soul.

If you have been a “taker,” through neglect or by design, it is time to step up and do your fair share. Join TTLA. Join the Circle of Advocates. Contribute to LIFT. Support those legislators who believe that justice should not be a hollow promise. Do your fair share to advance the cause for your past, present and future clients.

And to those of you who consider this question and decide to remain a “taker” I leave you with this thought:

Damn the mule that won’t pull.

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