Dec 162011

I am very concerned about losing Alvin Collins as a participating member on the two town committees on which he has served with wisdom and dedication for decades. I sympathize with his loyalty to his attorney brother but I believe every lawyers’ loyalty is first to the law itself and second to help his client to steer a course of self interest through the legal system actually testing the laws to make a “best case” for the client.

I believe that is the role of a public defender, making the best legal argument for the defendant within our legal system. Public Defenders are not appointed to “agree” with their clients. Their duty is to present their client’s interest in its best logic in compliance with the law.

Alvin’s brother may or may not agree with his clients’ goal. His agreement is almost irrelevant. When Alvin opposes his brother’s arguments for that client he is not opposing his brother per se he is opposing that client’s legal arguments. The conflict is between legal arguments NOT BETWEEN BLOOD BROTHERS.

Years ago my father tutored a pair of twins one summer. One went on to Harvard the other to Yale. When the big H-Y game in the fall came due both boys were on their respective opposing teams. Their parents sat half the game in Yale seats, the other half in Harvard seats.

In order to keep Alvin’s contribution which is so valuable to us and to him and to keep the perspective built from decades of his service I urge both Alvin and Bob to find a way to preserve their filial respect and affection and continue their professional expertise wherever that takes them.

Very truly yours,

Arthur Blackman