Cal. Litig. 2021, Volume 34, Number 2


By Terrance J. Evans

During my tenure as Chair, our Litigation Section not only persevered but thrived during one of the most challenging periods in recorded human history. We navigated—and continue to navigate—the COVID-19 pandemic, which so far has claimed the lives of more than 4 million people worldwide and more than 600,000 Americans, including members of my own family. We joined the global call for racial justice through the establishment and important work of our Racial Justice Committee, which has unified lawyers, judges, students, and members of the community around efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, civil rights, and racial justice for all. We also invested in our future by diversifying our Executive Committee, and creating the first ever Litigation Section need-based scholarship for law students, detailed below.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded all of us just how precious and finite life is. I lost several friends and family members, and I came very close to losing my father when he was hospitalized and in a coma for an extended period of time at the height of the pandemic. Thankfully, my father recovered, but my beloved godmother, Pastor Velma A. Hamilton—who I affectionately called "Mom"—did not survive. I still find it hard to accept that she is gone. Sometimes, I pick up my phone to text her or call her before realizing that she is no longer here. Mom was a dedicated, loving, hardworking woman of God who was always there for me, and did everything that she could to help others including caring for the sick, cooking for and feeding the homeless, and raising numerous foster children as her own flesh and blood.

I know that many of you have experienced grief and loss during the pandemic or at other times in your life, and I want you to be encouraged. These experiences, although painful, make us stronger and more appreciative of every moment that we have to spend with those we love. Life is short and precious. Leave a legacy that empowers others to be the best that they can be. Maya Angelou said it best: "I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I invite you to take a moment out of your busy schedule and make someone feel loved and appreciated while you still can.

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