Monday, August 28, 2017

ATTORNEY MENTAL HEALTH IN THE NEWS - LAW 360 - Cuban American Bar Assoc. Zeroes In On Attys' Mental Health 08-25-2017

Dear MDL Litigators,

Attorney Mental Health is a major topic of conversation this month. Following the suicide of brilliant, highly successful Cuban American attorney Ervin Gonzalez, who hung himself at his Coral Gables mansion on June 9, 2017, the Cuban American Bar Association in Miami is taking positive steps to help attorneys.

“Cuban American Bar Assoc. Zeroes In On Attys' Mental Health By Carolina Bolado Law360, Miami (August 25, 2017, 9:47 PM EDT) -- After the suicide in June of a prominent Miami attorney rocked the local legal community, the Cuban American Bar Association is making mental health a focus, starting with an annual luncheon Friday that featured attorney Brian Cuban — brother of businessman Mark Cuban — to talk about his struggle with addiction and depression. Cuban, who joked that he is “a Cuban, but not Cuban,” told the crowd of attorneys and judges how he would go into court high on cocaine and attend mediation sessions hung over..”

This following the American Bar Association’s Report on Attorney Mental Health, “The Path to Lawyer Well Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change”, August 14, 2017, shows the Cuban Bar Association in Miami is serious about Attorney Mental Health.

Our profession confronts a dwindling market share as the public turns to more accessible, affordable alternative legal service providers.  ….To maintain public confidence in the profession, to meet the need for innovation in how we deliver legal services, to increase access to justice, and to reduce the level of toxicity that has allowed mental health and substance use disorders to fester among our colleagues, we have to act now.  Bree Buchanan, Esq. James C. Coyle, Esq. Task Force Co-Chairs”

"This report’s recommendations focus on five central themes:
(1) identifying stakeholders and the role each of us can play in reducing the level of toxicity in our profession,
(2) eliminating the stigma associated with help seeking behaviors,
(3) emphasizing that well-being is an indispensable part of a lawyer’s duty of competence,
(4) educating lawyers, judges, and law students on lawyer well-being issues, and
(5) taking small, incremental steps to change how law is practiced and how lawyers are regulated to instill greater well-being in the profession."

“Lawyers, judges and law students are faced with an increasingly competitive and stressful profession. Studies show that substance use, addiction and mental disorders, including depression and thoughts of suicide—often unrecognized—are at shockingly high rates. David R Brink*, Past President, American Bar Association”

I sincerely hope this will also be featured at Mass Torts Made Perfect, October 18-20, 2017 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas by brilliant attorney Mike Papantonio of Levin Pantonio.

Lana C. Keeton
© 2005 - 2017 Lana C. Keeton All rights reserved. Peace be with You.
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