My kids and I saw the Tom Hanks movie Bridge of Spies this past weekend. This is not a spoiler to say that Hanks plays an insurance defense lawyer who, court-appointed, represents an alleged Russian spy. This takes place in the heat of the cold war 1957.
The Russian word Правозащитник is used in the movie. It translates generally to “standing man” for someone who will stand up and fight without caving in, whether in defending justice, truth, a friend, or defending principles or rights, etc.
[Readers: please correct me if I am using the incorrect Russian word; To my surprise, I find no Google references to the actual Russian word from this movie.]
Tom Hanks is a standing-man lawyer. And, Bridge of Spies is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It also highlights very powerfully the question of whether a lawyer has the courage and fortitude to remain a standing man (or woman) in representing a client. That is, can the lawyer remain resolute in the face of substantial, opposing headwinds and not bow down to the demands of others, whether from other lawyers, family members, neighbors, political or religious dogma, or social pressures, etc.?
I have said often over the years that if a lawyer does not possess an adequate level of personal independence and resolve, how can that lawyer stand firmly with courage and fortitude on behalf of a client? Правозащитник