SIDEBAR Summer 2019 - 19

SIDEBAR FEATURE

MONTGOMERYBAR.ORG

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers
to Present CLE on August 28th

B

rian S. Quinn, Esquire, first became a
member of the Delaware County Bar
Association shortly after his admission to
the Bar in 1973, following his graduation from
Villanova Law School. On August 28, 2019,
Brian will present a compelling and riveting
CLE presentation at the MBA Building.
Register at www.montgomerybar.org.
Entitled The Impaired Lawyer - A Call
for Action, Brian will use his current role as
the Education and Outreach Coordinator
for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of
Pennsylvania (LCL) to chronicle not only the
startling increase in alcoholism, drug addiction
and mental health issues within the legal
profession, but do so through his own story
of professional success and prominence that was progressively
destroyed by the grip of alcohol and drug addiction.
He will lead his audience through a life and 35-year career that
was littered with failed marriages, arrests and incarceration, and
professional discipline that resulted in a five-year suspension of his
law license.
In equally compelling fashion, however, Brian will also speak
of the restoration of his law license, his relationship with his family
and, more importantly, his life.
"LCL saves lives," Quinn explains, "and I am not trying to be
dramatic. I know, because LCL saved my life. I finally said 'yes' in
2008, when a fellow Delaware County lawyer asked me if I was
willing to accept help and he called LCL. Until that moment I
had never heard of LCL."
The statistics that are outlined in Quinn's presentation
are equally compelling. Patrick Krill, an attorney as well as a
certified drug and alcohol counselor, was the lead researcher for
the 2016 report from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and
the American Bar Association, which analyzed the responses of
12,825 licensed, practicing attorneys across 19 states, including
Pennsylvania. The results that were uncovered were, in Krill's
words, "incompatible with a sustainable professional culture." The
findings revealed that 21% of all licensed attorneys suffer from
problematic drinking and 28% suffer from depression.
As Brian explains with his own story, when lawyers are faced
with emotional issues they tend to judge themselves harshly simply
for feeling that way. And when they fail to address stress, anxiety,
depression and other personal issues, it usually gets worse and can
lead to addiction or a breakdown and, thus, the impaired lawyer.

"The stigma attached to addiction and
mental illness in our society as a whole is
disproportionately magnified in the legal
profession. Instead of admitting that we
have a problem and asking for help, we
are often overcome with the shame and
embarrassment of being labeled an alcoholic,
drug addict, depressed, bi-polar, etc., which
is then reinforced by the fear of how public
disclosure may harm our reputations and
careers or embarrass our colleagues in the bar
and on the bench."
Since 1988, Lawyers Concerned for
Lawyers of Pennsylvania has provided free,
safe, confidential and supportive services to
Pennsylvania lawyers and judges, members
of their families, and law students in the form of a 24-hour,
confidential Helpline and peer assistance program. LCL services
include an evaluation with a health care professional, free literature
and resources, and intervention services, as well as peer support
and assistance with treatment obstacles. Most importantly, Lawyers
Assistance Programs like LCL offer encouragement and support in
a safe, nonjudgmental environment.
Although lightheartedly referring to his program as a modernday version of "the prodigal son returns", Brian Quinn's message
will be serious and to the point:
"I use my personal story to describe for my fellow lawyers what
impairment looks like. I also use my personal story to describe
for them what denial looks like, what hopelessness looks like. But
most importantly, I use my personal story to show them what
recovery looks like.
"Lawyers have a great impact on all aspects of society. Just
imagine the impact an impaired lawyer has on society as well. It is
up to us in the legal community to become aware of the warning
signs of impairment and, more importantly, what we can do to
help the suffering lawyer or judge to overcome the stigma and fear
that surrounds alcoholism, addiction and mental health disorders -
and, perhaps, to save a life."
LAWYERS CONCERNED FOR LAWYERS OF PA
24 hrs./day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year
www.lclpa.org
For CONFIDENTIAL help today, call:
1-888-999-1941 | (717)-541-4360
SUMMER 2019 19


http://montgomerybar.org http://www.montgomerybar.org http://www.lclpa.org

SIDEBAR Summer 2019

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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummerFall2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2019-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2018-19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/LRSINSIGHT
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2017-18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2017
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