Dear warm heart, marvel! thine love!
Celestial joy! Rare affection!
Happy torment! Glorious to be us!
‘Tis pleasure to care through fortune
Where laughter and wealth reverberate,
But it is still treasure and delight,
‘Though life possess tempest and melancholy.
Stay pure. Then from oneself soar.
Janet Koepke Hayes
Written to me for me, the poem above was on the table a few days before she passed away in 2006 from metastatic breast cancer. Janet carried a lethal cancer for several years with radiation and chemo, and four major surgeries, nine surgeries in all. Below are the milestones in her career:
Janet Hayes, Executive Director, Judicial Division, American Bar Association
Executive Director, California Women Lawyers Association
Advisory Committee, Center for Justice, University of Nevada
Executive Director, Conference of Delegates, State Bar of California
Executive Director, Litigation Section, State Bar of California
During many years and several positions at the State Bar of California, Janet enjoyed her role as Administrator of The Litigation Section, raising its membership well over 10,000 members to become the largest organization of lawyers in the California State Bar.
She helped create and manage the respected ‘California Litigation‘ publication and the robust yearly ‘Litigation Review,’ both ongoing and respected publications that began and remained strong under Janet’s leadership. She created ‘Champions of the Courtroom‘ in order to reveal the critical contributions of lawyers and the important work that informs democracy of its labor toward justice. For the first time in its history, she compiled and published the rules of the California State Bar. She enjoyed her longtime friend Doron Weinberg, a tough and confident civil rights attorney.
She truly enjoyed creating and co-hosting ‘A Week in Legal London‘ with staff of London’s Royal Courts of Justice and with her friend Michael McKenzie QC, one of the top legal professionals of England and Wale—Master of the Crown Office, Royal Courts of England and Wales, Queen’s Coroner, Queen’s Attorney, SA(!), and dearly enjoyed Michael’s wonderful wife Peggy. While inviting lawyers to explore the roots of law, including commencing the California Bar’s Oxford University Summer Program, Janet wanted attorneys to see that the practice of American law will evolve in their hands as it evolves in English common law.
Janet urged those who practice law to see that they are firstly Officers of the Court. They must learn to cooperate in order to bring truth to the bench whether they prosecute or defend. She worried that victory is a fashion while justice is the greater task. Janet was concerned that an institutional adversarial approach in the practice of law could too easily obscure justice and trump the courtroom.
To join peers of the profession during the O. J. Simpson murder trial, Janet quickly arranged a conference of over 600 lawyers to meet Johnny Cochran and F. Lee Bailey in person at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Gerry Spence, famous on TV in his western jacket and cowboy hat, gave his keynote on trusting the highest virtues both as a person and a lawyer. Thomas Jefferson was ‘reincarnated on stage’ to recite his thoughts and remind us that our tremendous values are always required in modern USA.
Janet kept every issue framed in creed and ethics. Her agenda reflected the purpose and charter of the Bar and its critical tenets too often forgotten across the nation.
Benjamin Dreyfus and Charles Garry, famous for defending the Chicago 8, were Janet’s favorite lawyers, her warmest personal friends and her employers at Garry, Dreyfus, McTernan & Brotsky. These lawyers made their career stepping forward for the most despised. They insistently defended the underdog such as the Black Panthers‘ Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg, and the Jim Jones People’s Temple massacre. They and Janet felt that the more chastised or poor or disadvantaged the client, the more important the role of the attorney!