When Tragedy Strikes

Posted On April 11, 2016 by Daniel Koewler

Last week, a man shot and killed 23-year old law clerk Chase Passauer while he was sitting in his office. Many tragedies are senseless, and this was certainly no exception.

I'm not going to write about Chase; this post is about two different things. The first is the GoFundMe page set up on Chase's behalf to defray the costs of his funeral and other expenses that will arise from this senseless killing.

Please click this link, and if you feel you can donate, do so.

The second reason for this post is to share some information provided by Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL), a Minnesota organization that is dedicated to (among other things) helping lawyers, their staff, and their family get through difficult times. Below is the message LCL wants us to share with one another in the wake of this horrible event.

"We at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers have been following the news of the shooting of in St. Paul. We have reached out to the lawyers and family members from that office and know that many colleagues are offering support as well. That's what our community of lawyers does.

"If thoughts of this tragedy are affecting you, we are available to help you as well. It's normal to be angry, afraid and want to do anything we can to help. We may deny our own fears and reactions because we weren't the ones who were attacked. Post traumatic stress affects those who are impacted by tragic events as well as those who experience them directly. It's an issue in our profession as we are repeatedly exposed to the experiences of people who have faced loss and trauma in their lives. That's why they need lawyers. But this brings it much closer to home. Each of us may look at every client and wonder if they have that same potential. Each of us may wonder if there will be clients who now see personal attacks or threats as an option because that line has been crossed. Our family members may fear for our safety or their own.

"Through LCL you have access to up to 4 free counseling sessions throughout Minnesota and unlimited telephone support, 24/7. Our office numbers 651-646-5590 or 866-525-6466 and you can transfer directly to a counselor if it's after hours. You may also reach a counselor directly, at any time, at 651-430-3383 or 1-888-243-5744. Just say you were referred by Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. A good web resource is http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd. Even if it feels like you're doing okay right now, keep these phone number in mind. It's not uncommon for people to have a slightly delayed response as they process everything that happened during such an event. We encourage you to keep this message â?? you or someone you care about may benefit from it in the future.

"We also wonder how to offer support. It's different for everyone, but what may be most important is to remember that we can't change what happened and our best intentioned suggestions of what someone should do may not be helpful. A listening ear and saying I'm here for you means a lot.

"Please call if you need us. You're why we're here."

That's the message from LCL. Again, if you are so inclined, please consider donating to Chase's GoFundMe page. His family will be forever appreciative, and if you like, you can donate anonymously.