Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mike Aguirre Blog (Aguirre Morris & Severson)

Greetings: Today I start the "MikeAguirre Blog." I am a partner of the law firm Aguirre, Morris & Severson.   My commitment to the practice of law began in 1967 when I was a senior at Cambelback High School in Phoenix, Arizona.  My Government class undertook a project in which student teams role played as defense and prosecution lawyers in the case of Korematsu v. United States 323 U.S. 214 (1944).  I made it on to one of the defense teams.

I had a visceral reaction to the injustice of Civilian Exclusion Order 34 which required "all persons of Japanese ancestry both alien and non-alien" to be evacuated from Alameda County, California.  I spent several days in the Maricopa County law library researching legal precedent on behalf of my make-believe client Fred Korematsu.  I learned that legal research was a powerful tool to fight injustice.  The school project inspired me to become a lawyer.

Just 4 years later in 1971, as a first year law student at Boalt Hall, I attended a seminar with Chief Justice Earl Warren (ret.).  Justice Warren, as California's Attorney General had supported the Japanese relocation.  However, he admitted in his autobiography he "deeply regretted the removal" because it "was not in keeping with our American concept of freedom and the rights of citizens."  This experience taught me that the law is slow but it usually gets to justice because of lawyers like Earl Warren.

Over the last 40 years I was a student government politician, a lawyer for the California State Legislature, an Assistant United States Attorney, Assistant Counsel to the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, an anti-fraud, civil rights, and voting rights trial attorney.  I have represented Congress persons, Mayors, and civil rights leaders like Cesar Chavez.  For a brief period  I was the elected City Attorney of San Diego.

I am a graduate of Arizona State University, UC Berkeley Law School, and Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.  My legal practice has included courts from New York, to New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

I am starting this blog because I am concerned about the welfare of the law and our legal system.  I worry our next generation of lawyers will never see the Supreme Court stand up for the common people of America.  I worry that bankers and corporate interests have used the power of money to erode Congress' commitment to justice and the public welfare. 

During the life of the MikeAguirre blog it is my goal to give honest testimony to what I have seen and what I see today that needs to change in our legal system if we are to have social justice in our country.

When I worked as a lawyer in the United States Senate I can remember well the refrain we staff members would hear when we sought to interest Senators in the problems were were investigating.  They would invariably ask: "I know this sounds like a major problem, but is it a national problem?

In this blog I hope to address national problems and seek to be part of the national debate.  I will start my modest contribution to that debate in my next blog which will ask the question: AIG Bailout, Is This State Sponsored Fraud?

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