July 7, 2016 – 2:09pm
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
— Declaration of Independence
Sweltering heat and a long holiday weekend waiting in the wings didn’t stop more than two dozen Southeast Texas defense lawyers from gathering on the front steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse just before Independence Day to participate in a reading of the proclamation that gave America its genesis.
“I think a lot of times we forget the purposes of a holiday,” Beaumont defense attorney Dustin Galmor said of the reading of the Declaration of Independence event. “The true meaning behind it is to remind everyone what the Fourth of July is all about.”
Galmor said that the passages written and adopted in 1776 still hold relevance in 2016.
“The passages talk about the grievances against the king,” Galmor suggested. “As far as TCDLA (Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association), we represent people against the government, and so it’s our job to make sure every person is afforded due process.”
According to the local attorney, the courthouse steps reading was the brainchild of a fellow TCDLA attorney, whose mission it was to get every county in Texas to participate. Galmor has led the charge in Jefferson County for the last three years. This year marks the first time every county has been involved.
“This year, we probably had about 20 lawyers involved,” Galmor said of the Jefferson County turnout. “It’s grown a little bit every year.”
Galmor was joined in the reading this year by local attorneys including Donald Boudreaux, Mitch Templeton, Laurie Perozzo, Janson Bailey, Dane Dennison, Travis Evans, Ian Justice, Terrence Holmes, Bryan Laine, Richard Hughes, John Macy, Brent Turk, Chris Sachitano, Jared Gilthorpe, Bruce Smith, and Bailey Wingate.