By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
The causes of the hatred are rooted in the rules of a game that has gone on for decades. When the R.U.C. arrests someone suspected of belonging to the IRA, police beat him unmercifully. When the IRA gets a chance, it shoots policemen down--an average of a dozen per year.
"The authorities in the courthouse provided us seats in a box they reserved for observers," Doncaster says. "There was a similar box across the room from us that was filled with Northern Irish cops in plain clothes who sat staring daggers at us the whole time. If only looks could kill . . ."
Doncaster watched as the three young men, now 21, were released on bail, which was considered tantamount to being acquitted. All three said confessions had been beaten out of them, and police admitted they had "misplaced" the evidence. The judge said he had serious "concerns" about the charges.
In the same issue of the Belfast newspaper that trumpeted the release of the three suspected IRA men, there were separate short articles reporting that two retired policemen had been gunned down. One was hit while he was sitting in a hotel bar sipping a drink. The other was shot as he stepped out of his car in front of his home.
Doncaster arrived home in Phoenix feeling satisfied that he and his colleagues had acquitted themselves in the true spirit of lawyers. They had worked to further justice without violence.
So Doncaster was surprised when he received notification requesting that he and his group appear before the Arizona Bar to answer questions about what they had done in Northern Ireland. Upon inquiry, Doncaster learned that at least one member of the bar's board of directors was wary about the group's references to "World Peace Through Law." He feared it sounded communistic.
The imputation of all this was that the Arizona Bar was considering disbanding Doncaster's group, as if it were a sort of pernicious political influence. So he wrote a carefully worded reply to be read at his group's appearance before the board of directors last Friday.
"While murder, rape and even environmental pillage are employed by extremists as political tools to achieve ideological ends, it is a misnomer to allow such gross human behavior to miscast the term 'peace' as political. It is not.
"To mischaracterize peace as in the context of American jurisprudence is to simply overlook what we [lawyers] do for a living and how the legal community can best serve the American community.
"At a time when 'lawyer bashing' has become commonplace, along with ethnic, gender, religious and other forms of hate-spirited slurs, our profession needs to calmly clarify its definition of self. Lawyers are ethically bound to resolve disputes civilly and nonviolently. That means peacefully. At its most fundamental, peace is our profession."
Doncaster's rhetoric carried the day. The "World Peace Through Law" section of the Arizona Bar will live to see another day.
It is interesting that the Arizona Bar has plenty of time to harass lawyers willing to spend their own time and money while maintaining the highest ethical standards.
It's more than a little maddening, however, that the Bar Association's stuffed shirts do not choose to see the overwhelming everyday corruption of greedy, ethically handicapped lawyers in this state.
Is it impertinent to ask why bar officials don't spend some time policing them?
How can they be found?
They are everywhere, in every courtroom in the state. Anyone interested in finding them could not miss them as they crawl over each other, battling to devour everything in their paths.
But they are safe from the Bar Association, because they fight only over fees. You never hear one of them talking about peace or protecting the underdog. In short, they are what the Bar Association considers to be ideal members of the bar.
No wonder we all hate lawyers.