#11 Winter 1992

     TAFOL Contributions Tax Deductible
     Bulletin Goes Quarterly
     TAFOL Presentation at Williamsburg Conference

#11 Winter 1992 Page 1


The opponents of mandatory pro bono in Texas, including TAFOL member Michael Mazzone, scored a victory when a judge dismissed the case of Gomez v. State Bar of Texas on jurisdictional grounds. (See Wall Street Journal, November 5, 1992, Page B7). However, the proponents of pro bono are not likely to rest until they have a decision on the merits.

The case was filed on March 14, 1991 by several indigents against the Texas State Bar Association. Mazzone, aided by TAFOL funds and the volunteer efforts of TAFOL members, intervened with a 38-page brief offering a spirited, principled opposition, backed by meticulous research.

"[A]ny program of forced labor of lawyers is unconstitutional," Mazzone wrote. "Any such program violates Intervenor's rights to be free from uncompensated takings; it violates Intervenor's rights to refrain from associating with persons or causes with whom or with which he disagrees; it violates Intervenor's right to equal protection of the law; and it violates Intervenor's right to be free from slavery and involuntary servitude."

As the only principled opponent of mandatory pro bono in the case, only Mazzone was able to offer opposition grounded in terms of fundamentals. "At the root of any program of forced labor of lawyers," Mazzone stated, "is the notion that an individual has no right to his own life but rather has a moral duty to live for others and sacrifice his own values to their wishes and needs. The principle that force is appropriate if the need exists--- that the ends justify the means---must be repudiated."

Mazzone's brief, besides being part of the court record in the Gomez case, is an important resource for future defense against mandatory pro bono. If Judge Joseph H. Hart, who dismissed the case denies plaintiffs' request to reconsider his ruling, the plaintiffs will likely appeal. At issue is which court should decide on mandatory pro bono, the Texas trial courts or the Texas Supreme Court. Judge Hart believed that the Texas Supreme Court should decide, because that court issued the rules of professional conduct upon which the plaintiffs base their argument.

Mazzone's efforts also garnered press coverage. The Texas Lawyer, a weekly publication of American Lawyer Media, covered the hearing in an October 14, 1991 article and gave several paragraphs to Mazzone's argument. "Mazzone, an associate at Dow, Cogbum & Friedman, said that requiring lawyers to do pro bono work would be imposing a moral belief; he compared it with saying all lawyers must attend a particular church," the article said. "Mazzone's brief also raises an argument he says no court has considered: that forcing lawyers to speak when they don't want to speak, and associate with those with whom they do not wish to associate, violates the First Amendment."

The article also pointed out that Mazzone quoted extensively in his brief from Ayn Rand's essay on "Man's Rights' contained in The Virtue of Selfishness. One of the article's subheads characterized the debate this way: "Ayn Rand vs. Karl Marx."

The Houston Lawyer, a local law journal, plans to publish an edited version of the Mazzone brief. And several Texas attorneys contacted Mazzone directly, asking for copies of the brief. One in particular, an in-house counsel for a real estate firm, was alarmed to hear that one of the firm's outside counsel may have been financing the plaintiffs' efforts.

Future reports will update TAFOL members on the Gomez case. Mazzone's costs to date have been funded in large part by the generosity of TAFOL members and contributors.

#11 Winter 1992 Page 2


The Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) Area School District was one of the first in the nation to implement a program of mandatory community service for public school students. The case of
Steirer, et al. v. The Bethlehem Area School District was filed by concerned parents on behalf of their children. Pennsylvania supporters of this litigation have contacted TAFOL
and are considering several possibilities, such as instituting separate litigation or attempting to file an amicus curiae brief in the pending lawsuit. Readers who would be willing to volunteer their efforts in this matter should contact any TAFOL director or officer.


The Board of Directors of TAFOL extends its congratulations
to the association's new officers:

* Steve Plafker, who has been TAFOL's vice president since its inception, was elected president.

* Tom Bowden, who practices civil litigation in Baltimore, will succeed Steve as vice president.

* Mike Conger, a tax attorney from Kansas City, Missouri, was named treasurer.

* Jeri Eagan, an attorney in the oil and gas industry in Houston, was elected secretary.

* Steve Plafker, Arline Mann, and Dee Tagliavia will continue to serve as TAFOL's Board of Directors. The Board has also been active on the committee front:

* The Board has established a committee charged with targeting potential amicus curiae projects and is pleased to announce that Michael Mazzone has agreed to chair the committee. Once appropriate cases are identified, the committee will assist in the preparation of briefs, to be filed by TAFOL members where possible, as a "friend of the court."

* TAFOL's Ayn Rand Institute pro bono committee will be chaired by Mike Conger, who will coordinate the efforts of committee members who have volunteered their services to the Institute.


TAFOL Contributions Tax Deductible

TAFOL recently received a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service granting it § 501(c)(3) public charity status. This means that membership dues and contributions to
TAFOL are deductible on your tax return as charitable contributions, not only for 1991 and future years but also retroactively to 1988.

Bulletin Goes Quarterly

Beginning with this issue of the Bulletin, it is intended that issues be published each winter, spring, summer, and fall.

TAFOL Presentation at Williamsburg Conference

TAFOL will offer an audience participation session on a legal topic at the upcoming Conceptual Conferences seminar in Williamsburg, Virginia. The evening session will take place during the first week of the two-week conference and will be open free of charge to all conferees.

Copyright © 1992 The Association for Objective Law. All rights reserved. The Association for Objective Law is a Missouri non-profit corporation whose purpose is to advance Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, as the basis of a proper legal system.