Two Riker Danzig Attorneys Contribute to “This I Believe” Project for Rutgers Eagleton Institute
Partner Stuart Lederman and the Hon. Travis Francis, Ret., who is Of Counsel to Riker Danzig, answered the call when the Dean of Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University invited them, as Visiting Associates of the Institute, to join with other faculty and staff to participate in its “This I Believe” project providing essays on lessons learned over the past year in light of the pandemic and political atmosphere.
Stuart Lederman reflected on how his heritage as a child of Holocaust survivors shaped his views and his life, igniting a passion to speak out for the truth, a belief that was fed by Watergate and other political events. In addition to speaking out, he encourages listening and experiencing. “We should experience all that is around us, whether it is food, art, nature, ideas and perhaps most importantly the richness of our world and the diversity of people and their cultures.” His piece includes a challenge for the reader: “Speaking out for justice, accountability and human dignity come with an obligation to engage and participate: to vote, to question, to protect the rule of law leads to question the concentration of power in the few and often to reject false narratives.”
Judge Francis wrote about his upbringing by his parents, who were raised in the segregated South and who “never let the constant associated indecencies compromise their self-respect and dignity nor deter them from staking their claims to what they believed to be a better future.” Both college graduates, Judge Francis’ parents capitalized on their education and experiences, requiring young Travis to go to the library every day after school and spend weekends at his father’s drycleaners “learning the business of business.” Judge Francis notes that his “core beliefs are informed by this personal history,” and that “the best predictors of human behavior are determined by identifying those stimuli that influenced their early lives.” He believes that “professional and economic success are natural byproducts of doing the work,” and that a “stimulating, nurturing and equitable environment reveals the best of humanity.”
Read all the essays in the “This I Believe” project at Eagleton Institute.