Lawyers have been part of the bedrock of our country since it was founded. Twenty-five of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were lawyers, and 32 of the 55 framers of the Constitution were lawyers. Participation in government, community service and advocacy for those in need of a voice are part of the very fabric of the legal profession.
Moreover, lawyers hold a special position of trust in their communities. It is that trust which gives a lawyer some measure of value. When the chips are down and we have to take a case to trial, we depend on the trust we've earned from the members of our community who are chosen to sit on a jury. As injury lawyers, when we advocate for people who have been hurt or disabled due to the negligence of others, we're fighting not only to right the particular wrongs they have suffered, but also to make our community safer and prevent others from being hurt in the future.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that for the majority of attorneys, reputation and trust are everything. When a lawyer engages in misconduct and dishonesty, it is a betrayal of trust. It is an affront to the legal profession and to our entire community.
That is why we at Bretz & Young were so saddened by the news that Wichita lawyer Bradley Pistotnik was charged in a federal indictment.
According to the Wichita Eagle, Pistotnik and a software engineer, David Dorsett, have been charged with five counts of computer fraud and two counts of conspiracy. Pistotnik has also been charged with three counts of making false statements to the FBI.
We are disheartened by the negativity that the actions of one individual have brought upon the legal community. We work every day to be worthy of our clients' trust and to obtain the compensation our clients need and deserve. We know this to be true of many of our colleagues.
And as Mr. Pistotnik's indictment has rightly drawn more attention to the issue of ethics and integrity in the legal profession, we reaffirm our commitment to be worthy of trust in the community we serve.