Cal. Litig. 2020, Volume 33, Number 3


By Terrance Evans

Terrance Evans

It is an honor and a privilege to be the Chair of the Litigation Section of the California Lawyers Association during one of the most consequential moments in American history. There are three major challenges facing the legal community and, more broadly, our society. First, we are living through the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the worst global pandemic in the past 100 years. Second, we are facing the most devastating economic crisis to hit the United States since the Great Depression. Third, we are living in a critical moment in the struggle for racial justice, civil rights, diversity, and inclusion. The way that we respond to these challenges could result in life or death consequences that could last for generations.

The unlawful killings of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Terence Crutcher, Sandra Bland, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbery, and Elijah McClain have galvanized people throughout the United States and across the globe in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Notably, the video of George Floyd being suffocated under the knee of a police officer for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while begging for his life, and frantically stating that he could not breathe at least 28 times inspired calls for racial justice and protests throughout the United States and around the world. Yet, notwithstanding all of the public statements of condemnation, and the proliferation of #BlackLivesMatter hashtags and t-shirts, not much has changed. Numerous unarmed Black people have been executed by law enforcement since George Floyd’s death, and, most recently, none of the police officers responsible for Breonna Taylor’s death were charged with her murder following a historic $12 million wrongful death settlement.

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