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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: Why softball matters

August 19, 2008

Another softball season in North Conway ended a couple of days ago. All the aches, scrapes, and tweaked muscles that come with playing two to three games a week for three months are over. But despite the aches and pains (that seem to increase with each passing year), what a great three months it was. Playing hard, joking with teammates, enjoying the summer weather, and competing against other teams.

So, how does this relate to the law? Because being involved with a group of people that depend on one another (softball team or otherwise) gives individuals an invaluable connection to our community and creates a healthier legal atmosphere. Our country over the past thirty to forty years has made substantial behavioral changes which have caused many of our social structures to deteriorate, in turn making us feel less connected to our neighbors and our community.

Conversely over the past thirty to forty years we have become an increasingly litigious society. Neighbors suing neighbors. Family members involved in heated legal disputes. Cases going to court that would never have been filed forty years ago.

Why is this? While there are probably many reasons, one major reason is that people are increasingly becoming isolated from their community rather than actively involved in it. About seven years ago, Robert Putnam wrote a book entitled “Bowling Alone.” The book concerns the weakening bonds of our society and the civic (as well as physical and mental) damage that collapsing social structures have caused. The thesis posited by Robert Putnam did not discuss in any detail the legal impact caused by the weakening bonds in our society, but it is a natural extension of his book. When people feel less connected to one another, they are more likely to become involved in legal disputes with one another. Conversely, people who have built community relationships are more likely to discuss and work out any differences that they may have.

Fortunately, here in Mount Washington Valley, there are many opportunities to become involved with the community. Certainly playing on a sports team is one way. However, there are many other possibilities. There are charitable/church/volunteer/governmental organizations which provide opportunities to not only establish community bonds, but to actively provide for the community. If you are feeling disconnected or isolated, you should seek out one of these organizations that interest you and become involved. These connections enable all individuals to become physically, mentally and, yes, legally healthier.

Softball does matter. As in other team sports, a group of individuals collectively work toward victory (or at least toward a hard fought defeat). Some of the most important plays in softball involve giving yourself up as an individual for the good of the team – the sacrifice bunt or the sacrifice fly, where the individual intentionally makes an out to put the team in a better position to win. As in years past, I will not see many of my teammates through the winter months until the league starts up again about nine months from now. However, in early June, we will pick up seamlessly where we left off – as friends and teammates working collectively toward a goal.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay