Paul Zumbakis   Ukrainian Weekly   08Aug93   Dobrowolskyj was a shining example

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Dobrowolskyj was a shining example

Dear Editor:

Lawyer bashing has reached a fashionable stage in this politically correct age.  Some of it is deserved, no doubt, but most of it is misleading.  There are lawyers in the United States who have dedicated their lives to the rule of law and the protection of our inalienable rights and privileges.

Too often, these dedicated men and women of the bar are forgotten and defamed by a minority of practitioners who smear the profession.

One such dedicated lawyer passed away recently.  His passing is a great loss, not only to his loving family and the Ukrainian community, but to the American Bar and our finest traditions of lawyer-citizens.  The man was Jaroslaw Dobrowolskyj.

Mr. Dobrowolskyj volunteered his time and resources to the John Demjanjuk defense.  He traveled to Ukraine, Russia and Israel, seeking evidence to establish Mr. Demjanjuk's plea that he was not "Ivan the Terrible," the notorious murderer of Treblinka.

When Mr. Dobrowolskyj agreed to assist the defense team and Congressman James Trafficant's efforts to establish the truth, it was a very unpopular and professionally unattractive engagement.  Very few lawyers were to be found willing to donate their time and effort to such an unpopular case.

Not only did Mr. Dobrowolskyj's efforts produce positive results, his work exposed the Office of Special Investigations "hardball" ... "gamesmanship" practices described by Judge Thomas Wiseman in his lengthy report.  (Perhaps a more apt description is "sleazy.")

Mr. Dobrowolskyj had a habit of traveling everywhere with copies of the American Constitution, which he distributed to people whenever he was asked why he is involved with a "known" war criminal matter.  To him, the Constitution was not just an ancient law, it was a living document, which protects Americans, no matter who they are or how unpopular the charges are against them.  To him, "due process" was a right, not a political promise.

Mr. Dobrowolskyj's life as a lawyer is a shining example of the very best of our profession.  He has done his job well.  May he rest in peace.

S. Paul Zumbakis