Chief justice’s legacy to be honored with volunteer efforts

Today is Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service

Fairly and correctly administering the law was a form of public service that Mark Cady turned into his life’s work.

Cady, the Fort Dodge man who was the chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court when he died in November 2019, was a steady presence in courtrooms for nearly 40 years. He began his judicial career as a Webster County district associate court judge. He steadily moved up the ranks of the state’s judiciary, becoming a district court judge, judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals and justice of the Iowa Supreme Court. He became chief justice in 2010.

During that time, he heard thousands of cases and wrote just as many decisions and opinions.

Seeking a way to honor that legacy of service, the Drake University Law School and the Iowa State Bar Association have designated today as the second Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service.

As might be expected, attorneys are being encouraged to spend the day volunteering their time to work on various legal projects. But you do not need a law degree to take part in the Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service. A desire and ability to help others is all that is needed.

To mark the day here in Fort Dodge, First Presbyterian Church is organizing a cleanup project at Loomis Park. The effort is set to begin at noon and conclude at 1 p.m., so it will only take an hour of someone’s time to make a difference in one of the city’s biggest parks. To join the effort, meet in the parking lot by the boat house and playground.

Fort Dodge is far from the only place where projects will be done to honor the example set by Cady. On its web site, the Drake University Law School has listed events in Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Iowa City, Marshalltown and Washington, Iowa. They include lots of attorney-driven projects that will bring legal advice to people who would not otherwise be able to get it. But the list of projects also includes park cleanups, blood drives, food drives and meal-packing sessions.

All of these community-minded activities are a fine tribute to Cady’s legacy. We encourage everyone to participate in the Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service.


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