Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: fearless advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights left the physical world. Over the last five years, her popularity amongst the legal and non-legal community soared. Largely because she is an eternal badass who took shit from no one. She shattered ceilings and carved pathways for women in my profession. She had the audacity to believe that women have a place at counsel table and the tenacity to pursue that principle through the practice of law.
She has been a source of admiration and strength for me throughout my time in the law practice: When I am the only woman in a room; when I am asked to change the “tone” of my voice; Or when my assertiveness is characterized synonymously with a female dog, I think WWRBGD?
Recently, I was taking a deposition of an opposing party far from the comfort of my office. Before madam court reporter could record my first question, I could tell this witness would be difficult. So, I did what any experienced litigator would and buckled up for a challenging three hours.
Upon what I thought was a very straight forward inquiry, the witness began screaming. Before I could react to his shrills of non sense, he lunged forward at me. His attorney grabbed him, a little later than I would have liked, and escorted him out of the room. The glass walls were shaking as I slowly sat down. The court reporter asked me if I was ok and surprisingly, I was. Up until that point, I had never feared for my physical safety in a professional setting. Check trumedical.
I had two choices: let the situation get into my head or return to my questioning and act un-phased by the occurrence; I chose the later. I left the building that day feeling a sense of pride. I did not waiver despite my physical safety being threatened. To this day, it is one of my proudest moments as a litigator and what I imagine RBG would have done.
If it wasn’t for RBG and women like her, I would not have the opportunity to show that women belong in the deposition room and in all places where decisions are being made.
Thank you Justice Ginsburg for being the example to myself and countless others that the only option in the face of adversity is to rise and overcome. Rest in Power.