Sunday, November 20, 2016

And Sometimes You Win

Somewhat to my surprise, my writing seems to have helped the local chapter of Veterans' Service Organization I'm with to achieve its immediate goal of getting out of suspension.
 The story is long and complicated and not over yet (...nothing is ever really over...), but basically there was a dispute among the membership, which the losers escalated to the National level, which responded by suspending the Chapter. This struck many as unfair. However, my friends in the organization are not writers; they are talented and accomplished, having done many things far beyond my abilities, but they are not writers and had difficulty putting their story into order, along with the relevant rules, and supporting the conclusion that the Chapter should come out of suspension.
That's where my legal education paid off. The relevant rules were private, not public law, but the mechanics of making an argument were the same. I wrote a couple of letters that were essentially appeals supported by briefs; the first failed, but the most recent - filed only two weeks ago - succeed. I had actually expected this month's meeting to be more of the same denial and delay over the suspension. I certainly did not expect a formal reply to the letter. Instead, we got something better: a letter read at the meeting ending the suspension as of the new Chapter as of interim elections to be held next month.
This was a better answer than we had anticipated.

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