By LawReader Senior Editor Stan Billingsley Sept. 29, 2012

We note that Thomas Glover is a Viet Nam veteran. He has earned our respect, and while some may read his l994 article as critical of only female lawyers, then we disagree
LawReader had this story for some time, and our review of the article and supporting letters from Fayette Bar Members and Glover’s subsequent explanation of the meaning of his article caused LawReader to decide not to publish the story.

The Glover article was written in 1994 (eighteen years ago) and was published in the Fayette County Bar news while he was president of the Fayette County Bar Association.

The letter was followed by a letter from bar members who were critical of Glover’s article. He allowed this critical response to be published. Further we read a letter from Glover to the Fayette Bar apologizing for his comments and with an explanation of his real meaning.

We were advised that the Executive Committee of the KBA reviewed Glover’s article and discussed it with him, and they decided to ignore a statement he made l8 years ago and hired him as Bar Counsel.
We passed the original Glover letter around the LawReader office and asked all the women in our office to comment on the letter. All the women in our office agreed that the intent of the letter, as they read it, was not an attack on female lawyers any more than it was upon male lawyers.

We decided that this old letter was not news, was not an attack on female lawyers, and should not be used against him. We have been very critical of the KBA and the Bar Counsel’s office, for many issues, but we believe that Glover is right for this job, and the KBA handled this issue correctly.

We interpret Glover’s letter as saying that in general the hostility that many lawyers have for one another has increased over the years. In 1971 when I was admitted to the Bar we had only 3,700 lawyers in Kentucky, today we have over 17,000. In l971 almost any lawyer could graduate from law school, hang up a shingle and from day one could make a decent living.

Older lawyers took care of younger lawyers. I was helped many times by lawyers from other firms when I went to them with a question. We did have a brotherhood and we tried to take care of each other. Today that attitude of comradeship has diminished. Glover’s observations that the practice of law has changed over the years is accurate.

We don’t blame the increase in the number of female lawyers for this change in attitude. We have seen many examples of male lawyers who never give the benefit of the doubt to other lawyers, and too easily attack their opponents character whenever they have any complaint real or imagined.

Glover did comment that lawyers should treat one another with respect. If he brings that mature attitude to his new job as Chief Prosecutor of the Bar Counsel’s office, then it will be a vast improvement over what we have seen in that office in the last eight years.

The KBA has just suffered a major embarrassing defeat in the John M. Berry Jr./ACLU loss in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. This attack by the KBA Bar Counsel against an attorney who merely expressed political thought, has cost the KBA $400,000 in attorney fees and court costs. This original complaint should have been dismissed, and the Bar should have apologized for trying to sanction Berry for this thoughts.

We are hopeful that Glover’s mature analysis of problems within the Bar regarding tolerance of other lawyers, will prevent the “excessive prosecution” attitude which was expressed by a person close to the KBA when Linda Gosnell was fired.

In my 41 years in the practice of law I have seen many prosecutors, who were male, and who had a hostile attitude against other lawyers. This had nothing to do with his gender.
We conclude that after reading Glover’s l994 article he did not limit his comments only to female lawyers. We support his right to freely express his opinions, and we respect the rights of those who interpret his article differently than we do, but we chose not to run this story, as it has been misinterpreted, and the overall message was merely a call for more civility in the practice of law.
I have never met Mr. Glover, and have had no dealings with his office. But from what others have told us about him, he is a respected and fair attorney. He is entitled to the benefit of doubt about his attitude about the growing hostility in the practice of law. If in the future he is found to be biased against anyone, we will report it.

We look forward to his stewardship of the Bar Counsel’s office, and we hope that he will examine the conduct of the ethics prosecutors he will be supervising. We hope that he will work to make prosecutorial decisions that are based on adult reasoning, and that the fair play he called for in his article will be the hallmark of his tenure.

The Courier-Journal article mentioned that three of the eight lawyers that will be under his management, are females. We expect they will be managed in the same manner as the male lawyers in the Bar Counsel’s office. We would expect that if one of his prosecutors goes “postal” on a case, that they will receive equal review regardless of their gender.

So LawReader didn’t run this story. We wrote Mr. Glover and expressed our thoughts of support to him. He risked his life in an unpopular war and that is something that most of the lawyers in the KBA never did (male or female!).

He was respected enough by his fellow lawyers to be elected President of the Fayette County Bar Association, and he has earned our respect. He has the right to express his opinions.
We applaud the actions of KBA President Myers and the Executive Committee in their decision to hire Glover. They made the right call in hiring Glover.

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