JULY 2018 LOPEZ LAW
On July 2, 2018, the Marc Lopez Law Firm will officially celebrate its ninth year of existence, and it’s been a great run so far. I started my practice with a single office and a dream. I answered my own phone, and my conference room was a timeshare. These days I employ three associate attorneys and a number of support staff. I don’t share my conference room with anyone I don’t want to, and I even have my own green screen. I think it’s fitting that my law firm’s birthday falls so close to America’s, because both anniversaries put me in mind of liberty and unbounded possibility. Starting my own practice allowed me the freedom to be my own boss and to help people on an individual level. It may sound like a patriotic piety, but I’m grateful every single day that I live in a free country — a country whose people are granted wide latitude in their pursuit of individual happiness. Freedom is generally preferable to constraints, and everybody likes to have options. America isn’t perfect, but I believe it’s the best we’ve got. I’ll be pulling double-duty in early July, celebrating my own professional independence and the nation’s, so don’t blame me if I seem a little more tired than usual. I hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July. Please know that wherever Americans FROM THE DESK OF Marc Lopez
WE HOLDTHESE TRUTHS TOBE SELF-EVIDENT T he S tory of the D eclaration of I ndependence
Every American knows that the Fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 — it’s also called Independence Day, after all. The story behind the document, however, gets less attention than it deserves. It’s a fascinating tale, culminating with the birth of the United States of America as we know it.
THE ROAD TO DECLARATION
Even after the early battles of the American Revolution, which began in earnest during April of 1775, it was unclear what shape the rebellion would take. At that point, independence was still far from certain. As the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in May of that year, two groups formed around polar opinions. “The fundamental issue between them was were they fighting for their rights as Englishmen within the British Empire, or were they going to fight for independence?” says historian Richard Slotkin. It was not an easy choice, and both sides held passionate opinions. As the calendar changed to 1776, those in favor of breaking from King George III began to gain momentum. The growth of the revolutionary movement had a number of causes, but two in particular stand out. In late 1775, King George III spoke to Parliament with the goal of enlarging the Royal Army and Navy to quash the rebellion. He went so far as to solicit help from foreign mercenaries. Word of this decision reached the colonies in January 1776, making reconciliation seem less likely than ever before. During the same month, Thomas Paine published his famous pamphlet “Common Sense,” which advocated for outright independence. “The custom of all Courts is against us, and will be so, until by an independence we take rank with other nations,” Paine wrote. “Common
are celebrating with hot dogs and fireworks, I am there in spirit.
Do well. Be well. Always plead the 5th.
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