Monday, May 01, 2006

Thoughts on Monday Morning.

"United 93" was second to "RV" this weekend and only barely beat "Stick-it": an ironic sandwich of substance between vacuous time- and mind-killing entertainments. I think this, finally, says something OK about "America".

I showed up for work this morning, despite ancestors coming from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, some of whom became aliens in their own homeland during Reconstruction.

I taught at the UM law school last week, each night for five nights, in the graduate program in estate planning. The course title: "Ethical and Practical Aspects of Estate Planning." It was the second year that I taught that course, and, as usual, I learned much more than the students. I am thinking about putting up a blog on the subject, seeking to build a community of former class members. It think it would help me penetrate the subject deeper and become a better lawyer and teacher. Here is a quote from one of our texts: "Virtually all difficult ethical problems arise from conflict between an interest in remaining an upright person while earning a satisfactory living". This was the basis of the course - how do we remain "upright persons" as trust and estate lawyers while making a satisfactory living. I needed no Biblical reference to this call to be righteous people, because it was right there in the Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct published by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation. We worked through a series of hypotheticals, aided by the Commentaries, court cases, and ethics opinions issued by various state bar associations and the ABA, and the question was always, how would we act "uprightly" in the given situation. Strangely, no one went to the dean to try to get this religious fanatic thrown off the campus.

Walter and Morgan are leaving for Kazakhstan today. What a strange working out of God's will, that Kazakhstan should have become prominent in Walter's life. I recall when he, soon after coming back from the "Classics Trip", first mentioned going there. I didn't like the idea at all, because I feared for him. I thought as a parent I had taken on quite enough risk when we had tolerated his roaming around the Mediterranean. And now this? As compliant as people may think Walter is, he is quite firm about what he thinks needs to be done, and so he didn't brook any timidity on my part. Good for him. We recall that our own church has been supporting a mission team in K for many years, and that Walter makes contact with them on his first trip. Later, we learn that people in Austin that Walter knows have ties to K, and, still later, that the church he and Morgan join has missionaries there. We also find that he and Morgan have some important things to say to the Christians and others in K. And so they are on their way today. Let's all keep them and all of those on their team in our prayers.

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