Janet Koepke HayesDear warm heart,
Marvel!
Thine love!
Celestial joy!
Rare affection!
Happy torment!
Glorious to be us!

Precious man,
it's 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.


The poem above was written to me by my wife, Janet Hayes, only a few days before she passed away under metastatic breast cancer. Janet carried a lethal cancer with four major surgeries, nine surgeries in all, through all these career years:

Janet Hayes, Executive Director
Judicial Division
American Bar Association

Executive Director
California Women Lawyers Association

Advisory Committee
Center for Justice and Judicial Studies
University of Nevada

Executive Director
Conference of Delegates
State Bar of California

Executive Director
Litigation Section
State Bar of California

During many years at the State Bar of California and several positions, Janet enjoyed being the Administrator of The Litigation Section, raising its membership well over 10,000 members to become the largest group in California's legal profession and in the California State Bar.

She helped create and manage the respected California Litigation publication and the robust yearly Litigation Review. These are ongoing, qualified publications that began under Janet's leadership. Plus, for the first time in its history, she compiled and published the California State Bar's rules for all attorneys.

She took years and years to build Champions of the Courtroom to feature the critical challenges and the best contributions of lawyers, an important work that informs democracy of its labor toward justice.

She truly enjoyed creating and co-hosting A Week in Legal London with staff of the Royal Courts of Justice and with her stalwart friend Michael McKenzie QC CB, Master of the Crown Office - one of the top legal officers of England and Wales. Janet dearly enjoyed Michael's wonderful wife Peggy, yearning the part of good living, good heart, rewarding depth, and tender loyalty.

While inviting American lawyers to the United Kingdom 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 law must evolve in their hands as it evolves in English common law. She urged those who practice law to see that they are firstly Officers of the Court, must cooperate to seek the truth, to bring truth to the bench whether they prosecute or defend. She worried about a culture of mere victory over each other. Janet was concerned that an institutional adversarial approach in the practice of law in America could too easily trump courtrooms and obscure justice.

During the O. J. Simpson murder trial, Janet quickly arranged a conference of over 600 lawyers to meet Johnny Cochran and F. Lee Bailey at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. This is the nub of a profession chartered to regulate itself. Gerry Spence, famous on TV in his western jacket and cowboy hat, gave a keynote on believing in your better abilities both as a person and a lawyer. Thomas Jefferson was 'reincarnated on stage' to recite his thoughts and remind us of the tremendous values of modern USA.

Janet managed her duties so that issues were framed in ethics and creed. Whether a luncheon or a conference of several days among peers, she organized agenda as a true reflection of the charter of the California State Bar, its critical tenets too often forgotten, and too often forgotten across the nation.

Benjamin Dreyfus
and Charles Garry (famous for defending the Chicago 8) were Janet's most favorite lawyers, her employers at Garry, Dreyfus, McTernan & Brotsky, and her warmest personal friends. These were lawyers made their career stepping up for the most despised. They insistently defended the underdog, such as the Black Panthers' Huey Newton or Eldridge Cleaver, the Pentagon Paper's Daniel Ellsberg, or Jim Jones of the People's Temple massacre. They and Janet felt that the more chastised or disadvantaged the client, the more important the role of the attorney! More than this, Janet saw these men were brave, honorable and gentle. Working with them for many years, she earned a first-hand account in helping secure America's civil rights and articulate justice.

During her short period at the ABA's Judicial Division, Janet presented to the nation's judges the evolving legal aspects of implied consent. She invited firms and scientists developing tools in the field of breath and atmosphere testing to show the American bench the newest technology affecting the American person, our crucial illustration of domain and each in the law.

Janet co-produced a national meeting of each Chief Justice of each state, the first such meeting in the history of America. They would discuss one week in Washington, among other things, whether the judiciary holds its necessary equal status as an equal branch of government, whether the judiciary fails to be equal, and where America would be if the judicial branch were accessible to most Americans.

She enjoyed her State Bar assistant Wayne Currier immensely and her longtime friend Doron Weinberg, a tough and confident civil rights attorney.

Janet had two other professional names: Janet Koepke & Janet Carver. The root of Janet's maiden name was Von der Kopke from Germany - Alsace Lorraine. Her grandfather, Johann Kopke came to San Francisco perhaps sailing the SS Cimbria in 1875. He acquired much of the early San Francisco waterfront, then lost it all, Janet thought, by losing written land titles and much cash during the 1906 earthquake and fire. He had two sons and four daughters; one her father, Edward John Koepke. Janet's father was earning honors at Harvard when he quit to volunteer during WWI to operate early warning radio -- listening for an invasion huddled alone in a shack on the cold and desolate Farallone Islands.

Janet's mother Elizabeth Lund Fuller married Varden Fuller, University of California professor pioneering the field of agricultural economics. She passed away in 2004 after almost 95 years. Living relatives should include Edward Koepke Jr., Carolyn Koepke, Karen Koepke, plus Janet's daughter Shelley Carver.