Smiley Law - July 2018

July 2018

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130 • 504-894-9653 •


Well, summer is here, and the firm’s air conditioning is running full blast. As much as the sweltering heat can be a downer for those of us who wear a suit and tie, my kids are more than happy to take advantage of the season. Both Jude and Luke are at that age now where they get excited for a break from school. But come September, they’ll be excited to go back and see all their friends. Both boys are also getting into sports programs this summer, so they’ll be kept pretty busy. Luke is picking up T-ball for the first time, while Jude is playing in a coach-pitch baseball league and attending a basketball camp at the University of New Orleans. With all this on top of swimming and multiflavored snowballs, the kids don’t mind the heat and humidity one bit. While I struggle against the weather myself, one event will get me out in the sunshine no matter what. I am, of course, talking about the Fourth of July. It is a credit to the patriotic spirit of New Orleans, and to Louisiana as a whole that so many brave the often-sweltering temperatures to celebrate our nation. “While the Crescent City is full of patriotic crowds and fireworks shows that the kids love, sometimes I get nostalgic for the Independence Days of my childhood.” While the Crescent City is full of patriotic crowds and fireworks shows that the kids love, sometimes I get nostalgic for the Independence Days of my childhood. Growing up in the backwoods near Baton Rouge, celebrations were smaller but no less jubilant. We’d shoot off our own fireworks with our neighbors and grill up plenty of hot

dogs and hamburgers. Some folks even brought a Cajun twist to the festivities by holding very late-season crawfish boils. But when it comes down to it, it’s not how you celebrate the Fourth that matters; it’s why . In these divisive times, it’s important to honor and cherish those ideals that unify us as Americans. On that hot summer’s day in 1776, the Founding Fathers declared that all men are created equal — that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of

happiness. From that point on, generations of brave Americans have stood in defense of these founding principles at home and abroad.

That’s why it’s important to take a day to not just honor but celebrate those freedoms we too easily take for granted. We live in a truly great country where liberty and equality aren’t just buzzwords. They are tangible, defended rights enshrined in our Constitution and upheld by legal due process. As a lawyer, I get to see the Constitution in action every day. Without the right to a fair trial and representation, our clients would have no recourse when harmed by others. It’s a small but constant reminder of how fortunate we are to call the United States home. Sometimes there’s no better way of honoring our freedoms than taking some time to relax and enjoy them. So whether you are out celebrating on Bourbon Street, barbecuing in the back yard, or trying to squeeze in one last crawfish boil with your relatives, I hope you have a great Independence Day. I know I will.

–Seth Smiley

God Bless America,

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