I couldn’t be prouder of my mom, Joan Burger. She was a St. Louis Circuit Court Judge for many years, and last week the New Yorker wrote an article with her as the feature. She truly personifies what we at the firm call “Justice for All,” as she has spent her career protecting people against individuals, companies, and businesses who act negligently and cause them injuries.
The New Yorker article discusses a case my mother judged in which the prosecutor charged a third defendant for a crime committed by two other people; all three were found guilty in two prosecutions for the same crime. After the trial, however, my mom reviewed the post-conviction motions of her trial and found the other two defendants were already found guilty for the same crime. So she threw out the third defendant’s conviction.
As she said, “[prosecutors have] a duty to justice, for both the victim and the defendant, and we took that to heart.” My mom, a lawyer and judge, taught me that an individual’s rights are too often trampled when fighting large corporations, insurance companies, or the government in criminal prosecutions. We must always protect the powerless.
So, I’d like to thank my mom this Thanksgiving week for instilling great values within me. Her lessons make me a better lawyer every day.