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March President's Message
Conference travel brings worthy dialogue with other ambassadors
By President Randy Snyder
Lewis & Clark Journals
(The Corps had just come down off Lolo Pass on their way to the Pacific Ocean, coming into their second winter. They were cold, tired, hungry and looking to rest and regroup before taking the next river down to the ocean. They encounter the Nez Pierce and learn that, hungry as they are, changing from dried buffalo to Salmon and Camas root is not so fun . . . .)
Wednesday 20th Septr 1805
proceeded on through a butifull Countrey for three miles to a Small Plain in which I found maney Indian lodges, at the distance of 1 mile from the lodges I met 3 boys, when they Saw me ran and hid themselves searched found gave them Small pieces of ribin & Sent them forward to the village a man Came out to meet me with ;great Caution & Conducted us to a large Spacious Lodge which he told me (by Signs) was the Lodge of his great Chief. . . .
Saturday 23rd Septr 1805.
We assembled the principal Men as well as the Chiefs and by Signs informed them where we came from where bound our wish to inculcate peace and good understanding between all the red people &c. which appeared to Satisfy them much, we then gave 2 other Medals to other Chefs of bands, a flag to the twisted hare, left a flag & Handkerchief to the grand Chief gave, a Shirt to the Twisted hare & a knife & Handkerchif with a Small pece of Tobacco to each.
Thursday 28th Septr. 1805
Our men nearly all Complaining of ther bowels, a heaviness at the Stomach & Lax, Some of those taken first getting better, a number of Indians about us gazeing &c. &c. This day proved verry worm and Sultery, nothing killed men complaining of their diat of fish & roots. all that is able working at the Canoes, Several Indians leave us to day, the raft continue on down the river, one old man informed us that he had been to the White peoples fort at the falls & got white beeds &c his Story was not beleved as he Could explain nothing.
This is bar conference season. Trips to the big city – hotels that could hire most of Bigfork. Meetings & exchanges with bar leaders. Kind of like the Corps of Discovery coming off Lolo pass, meeting the Nez Pierce. We speak a different language and the food gives you, well, cause for reflection. But as with the explorers, good to meet new folk & stretch our legs into new territory. Could even learn something useful. Lewis & Clark traded for salmon & camas root, built new canoes and got directions down river.
When I tire of taking pictures of fancy-lit buildings that I can’t see over or the cabbie’s take on Affordable Care Act, I head to the ballroom and listen to the inspired speaker. Sometimes it’s sign language, but I frequently hear something worth bringing back. There’s smaller “break-out sessions,” typically with other bar officers. The most valuable is just visiting other officers. Even the large “metro bars” struggle with pro se litigation, e-discovery & billing. There’s fancy-dressed folk from big lodges who work all day on how bar associations can improve themselves and members. In Chicago last month we learned of the ABA Task Force on Legal Education – proposing solutions to the high cost of law school & the 50 percent fall off in applications. To my surprise, they admitted excessive student loans inflated tuition. And as the ABA accredits law schools, they suggested reforms to lower the cost and make law school more practice-based.
So we’ll travel and dialogue. In April we visit D.C. and the lodge of the great chief. I’m pretty partial to Montana and our state & local bars’ fine work. We’ve got issues too – pro se problems abound and judges asking to change substitution rules. Lewis & Clark didn’t just trade for supplies & directions – they were ambassadors for a growing nation. The deputy badges and red kerchiefs I share may have similar value to ribbons and beads given to Nez Pierce. But I’m proud to represent Montana and share our unique practice, lifestyle and success.
Stay tuned -- I’ll share how it goes. Remember, when you come to my lodge the robe will be spread and the pipe lit for you.
Yer Chief Deputy
-Randy Snyder, (406) 837.4383 | firstname.lastname@example.org