The etymology of the word remorse is from the Late-Latin for "bite again." according to Merriam-Webster. The Oxford English Dictionary defines remorse as deep regret of guilt for wrongs committed. But I like the
Merriam-Webster definition, "a gnawing distress from a sense of guilt for past wrongs."
I am living a "gnawing distress" arising out of my guilt for past wrongs.
A dear friend told me that he read my disciplinary case concluding that I did not demonstrate remorse for my deviations from the rules of ehtics before the Supreme Court. I genuinely believe my friend Charlie, thinks that this must be so, and maybe the Supreme Court of my state believes that I am not remorseful. Charlie thinks that this view of my mindset animated the Court's decision to lengthen my suspension by a year and make my readmission contingent on active steps to demonstrate my appreciation for the rules relating to running my law office. Charlie may be right, but as I told Charlie I have always been remorseful, but sometimes disciplinary counsel suggests that you had darker motives. In my case disciplinary counsel suggested I had a "scheme" to defraud creditors of my law practice when my scheme was to keep the lights on, and enable clients to call a working telephone number, and so forth. But was the disciplinary counsel wrong? Did I exhibit for the panel of disciplinary judges an uncaring disposition as it related to the claims of my creditors? Apparently I did.
Actually, I am in "gnawing distress," as I embrace my utter failure on this and in regards to my tax liabilities arising out of trying to run a solo law practice. I am bleeding from the inside out. I wonder how it is I've not sufffered a complete physical collapse, a heart attack occasioned by "ganwing distress." For me the worst of it is fear for my children if the consequences of my acts and inactions occasion my absence from them. Secondly encountering old friends, judges, former colleagues--and, I can't begin to tell you how kind and compassionate so many have been; and, yet there are those who I encounter that are horrified, aftaid, and who see themselves in me and I imagine quickly try to rationalize how they are not me. I assume most have not done what I did, I assume most of my former colleagues did what they were supposed to do--and timely. I remember how I felt when the shoes were reversed.
Still, Charlie if you are reading this, it would be a mistake to think that I am not remorseful, in fact everyday I have a little more insight and a lot more pain. My memories race through my mind at night and all day, everyday. I did what I did and it was not just ethically wrong, but in actuality morally wrong. Get this straight, I say what I did was law office management and client fund dispersement problems. While every client received their money, my law office practices, my failure to file and pay taxes screwed everyone else including you.
I am sorry.