Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mujeres y profesiones jurídicas/ Donne e Professioni Legali/ Women and Legal Profession



Francesca Tacchi
Eva Togata. Donne e professioni giuridiche in Italia dall'Unità a oggiUTET, Torino, 2009, XXX+ 225 pp.
ISBN-13: 9788802081380


Di una massiccia e qualificata presenza delle donne italiane nel mondo delle professioni giuridiche si può parlare negli ultimi quindici anni, con una decisa femminilizzazione dell'avvocatura e della magistratura, per quanto non ai loro vertici. Molte opportunità di lavoro oggi considerate quasi "naturali" sono il frutto di un lungo e faticoso percorso, fatto di esclusioni, inclusioni, nuove esclusioni e re-inclusioni, andate di pari passo con la progressiva e incerta definizione della capacità giuridica della donna, alla quale è stato a lungo negato il "diritto" di accedere a professioni e carriere congrue con il titolo di studio. Seguendo un arco cronologico che dall'Unità arriva ai giorni nostri, sono qui ripercorse le varie tappe di questo processo, segnato dall'ammissione all'avvocatura nel 1919 e alla magistratura nel 1963, che ha visto in gioco vari attori: dalle donne agli operatori del diritto, dal mondo accademico a quello politico. L'andamento diacronico della narrazione cerca di far emergere le "luci" e le "ombre", gli "alti" e i "bassi" di questa storia, che coincidono in gran parte con le diverse fasi politiche della storia d'Italia: l'età liberale; il primo dopoguerra; il ventennio fascista; i primi vent'annni dell'Italia repubblicana; dalla fine degli anni Sessanta a oggi.

Francesca Tacchi, Ricercatore. Dipartimento di Studi Storici e Geografici Facoltà. Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, insegna Storia del Giornalismo e Storia Contemporanea presso l’Università degli Studi di Firenze.

La recensione de L'Indice, da Maddalena Carli (Università di Teramo)
Mancava, nella pur articolata produzione di storia delle donne, uno studio specificamente dedicato alle "Eve togate"; eppure, molto più che in ambiti lavorativi meno segnati dall'oscillazione tra "pubblico ufficio" e "libera professione", il cammino delle donne nel mondo del diritto si è legato a doppio filo alle battaglie per la conquista e per il pieno esercizio dei diritti politici e civili. Il volume di Francesca Tacchi colma dunque, e innanzitutto, una lacuna, restituendo al contesto e al lungo periodo le ragioni del tardivo ingresso e della problematica presenza femminile nella sfera delle professioni giuridiche.
La narrazione incomincia nel tardo Ottocento. Più precisamente, nel giugno del 1881. Lidia Poët fu tra le prime donne del Regno d'Italia a laurearsi in giurisprudenza, con il massimo dei voti e una tesi sul diritto di voto femminile. Dopo il biennio di pratica, diede inizio all'iter per intraprendere la carriera legale; per potersi iscrivere all'Albo degli avvocati di Torino avrebbe tuttavia dovuto attendere fino al 1920, quando il regolamento della legge n. 1176 del 17 luglio 1919 disciplinò le modalità di ammissione delle donne all'avvocatura. Il "caso" Poët, insieme a quelli di Teresa Labriola e di laureate meno note a cui venne negata la possibilità di esercitare la professione in vista della quale avevano studiato, racconta la politica di "esclusione" sistematicamente praticata in età liberale: il peso dell'autorizzazione maritale e una concezione oltremodo statica dell'organizzazione della famiglia e del suo ruolo nella società impedirono qualunque correzione allo stato di marginalizzazione professionale della donna.
Un atteggiamento di disponibilità alla "parziale inclusione" caratterizzò invece il primo dopoguerra. I compiti e le responsabilità pubbliche assunti nel corso del conflitto contribuirono all'approvazione della legge del luglio 1919 sulla capacità giuridica della donna; si aprirono le porte delle aule di tribunale anche se non quelle della magistratura, che le furono precluse sino al 1963 (legge n. 66 del 9 febbraio 1963). Nel mezzo, le "nuove esclusioni" del regime fascista e la complicata "inclusione" del primo quindicennio repubblicano, segnato dai tentativi di tradurre in pratica l'uguaglianza sancita dalla Costituzione. Non è possibile, in questa sede, seguire nel dettaglio il dibattito che animò i lavori della Costituente, sapientemente ricostruito dall'autrice ben oltre gli spazi delle discussioni assembleari; né il fermento che ha attraversato il decennio dell'associazionismo (gli anni sessanta), quello dell'incontro con il femminismo (settanta) e gli anni ottanta e novanta del secolo scorso, profondamente marcati dalla politica delle pari opportunità. In conclusione, è comunque utile ricordare il principale paradosso del processo di femminilizzazione che ha investito, nel nuovo millennio, anche gli ambienti del diritto: se il numero delle donne è decisamente aumentato alla base e nei settori intermedi, non altrettanto si può dire per il vertice e per gli organismi decisionali dell'apparato giudiziario, ancora saldamente in mano agli uomini. Un lascito del faticoso processo di approdo alle professioni giuridiche e un monito per il futuro delle donne.




Barbara Babcock
Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz
Stanford University Press, 2011, 392 pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0804743587



Woman Lawyer tells the story of Clara Shortridge Foltz, an undereducated farmer’s wife, and the abandoned single mother of five children, who managed to become the first woman admitted to the California Barthe first woman admitted to the California Bar. Famous in her time as a public intellectual, leader of the women's movement, and legal reformer, Foltz faced terrific prejudice and well-organized opposition to women lawyers as she tried cases in front of all-male juries, raised five children as a single mother, and stumped for political candidates. She was the first to propose the creation of a public defender to balance the public prosecutor. Woman Lawyer uncovers the legal reforms and societal contributions of a woman celebrated in her day, but lost to history until now. It casts new light on the turbulent history and politics of California in a period of phenomenal growth and highlights the interconnection of the suffragists and other movements for civil rights and legal reforms.
This book is an unsentimental treatment of both a character and a period in time that couldn’t be more riveting--a moment in which American women were both powerless and empowered at the same time. If you are interested in legal history, in women and the law, or in women and the media, Woman Lawyer will prove hard to put down--unspooling an unforgettable tale of a woman who probably should have inspired her own Disney movie, yet somehow has been all but lost to history.

Barbara Babcock is Judge John Crown Professor of Law, Emerita at Stanford University School of Law

Reviewed, by Gordon Bakken (California State University, Fullerton)
Published on H-Law (May, 2011)
Commissioned by Christopher R. Waldrep
Nineteenth-Century Woman’s Struggle: Public Lawyer, Political Orator, Suffrage Advocate, Troubled Private Life, Shadow Law Practice
Clara Foltz was California’s first woman lawyer and Barbara Babcock’s exhaustive biography chronicles all of her accomplishments and failures. She was very much a nineteenth-century woman who overcame substantial burdens including her husband’s desertion of her and five children.
Foltz started reading law when one of her boarders gave her a copy of James Kent’s Commentaries (1826-30. She lobbied the Woman Lawyer’s Bill through the legislature in 1878, passed the bar examination before a three-judge panel, and started handling minor property cases. She lobbied the 1878-79 California constitutional convention for equal civil rights for women and won a provision guaranteeing women equal employment rights.
Now a lawyer and lobbyist, Foltz gained another right for women by successfully suing the regents of the University of California to gain admission to law school. Again, this was a very public success without substantial financial reward.
Foltz was never a success in law practice. She eschewed law partnership and was a sole practitioner for fifty years. Needing cash flow, she turned to concurrent employment in politics, platform lecturing, lobbying, and journalism.
She stumped the state for James A. Garfield and made $3,000. She was very much a part of the anti-Chinese movement. In 1884 she spoke for James Gillespie Blaine of New York, the driving force behind the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
In 1886 Foltz switched to the Democratic Party and stumped California for Washington Bartlett for governor. He won and her reward was a seat on the board of trustees of the State Normal School with a stipend. In 1888 the Democrats had “the best of the Chinese issue” and supported President Cleveland’s signing of an extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (p. 70). Foltz campaigned hard, but the Democrats lost the election because the “new votes in Southern California” were mostly Republicans who “did not hate or fear the Chinese with the fervor of longtime Californians, and they also believed that the state’s new industries, such as wine and wool, could use the protection of a high tariff” (p. 73).
Foltz raised funds through three nation-wide lecture tours in the 1880s. She lectured on law and lawyers. In particular, she lectured on Edward Dickinson Baker, “the Old Gray Eagle of Mount Hood.” Speaking to large audiences of Union Army veterans, Foltz held them for hours, tracing his life in Illinois, his friendship with Abraham Lincoln, and his migration to Gold Rush San Francisco. There he defended Charles Cora for an enormous fee, hung a jury with a summation fitting of Daniel Webster, and escaped to Oregon just ahead of the vigilantes of San Francisco. Cora was not as fortunate. Before a retrial, the vigilantes whisked him from the jail and sent him to eternity. Foltz recounted Baker’s stirring speeches against slavery as a United States senator from Oregon and his Civil War service. Baker’s life ended at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff where “nine rebel bullets, the swift-winged messengers of the death which closed the life of the glorious and well-beloved hero” (p. 98). Foltz had the gift of Victorian oratory and audiences paid for the show. She also lectured for woman suffrage and drew large crowds.
In the spring 1887 Foltz moved to San Diego and opened a law practice while simultaneously engaging in journalism. On May 16, 1887 she brought out the first issue of the San Diego Bee. That precipitated a newspaper war with Tom Fitch, editor of a rival newspaper. Six months later, Foltz was out of the newspaper business, selling the enterprise at a profit. She then set up a real-estate broker business in San Diego just as the real-estate bubble burst. Her law practice declined with the economy and she became part of the Bellamy Nationalism movement advocating a socialist state that benefited women. In 1890 she won election to the presidency of the San Diego Bellamy Club. Bellamy’s support for public ownership of railroads and utilities, female suffrage, referendum and recall, and free counsel for the criminally accused was attractive to her.
In 1890 Foltz abandoned San Diego for San Francisco. The city was hard-hit by the depression and Foltz took on the added burden of her caring for her mother upon her father’s death. Mother stayed twenty years. In 1891 she lobbied the “Legislature of a Thousand Scandals” for a parole system and secured one in 1893. She also won legislation allowing women to be executors of husband’s estates and allowing women to be notary publics. Foltz then became the first woman notary public.
Politically, Foltz moved from the Democratic Party to the Bellamy Nationalists to the Populist Party. In 1892 she ran for San Francisco city attorney on the Populist Party ticket. The Democrats won and Foltz was looking for work.
In 1893 Foltz appeared at the Chicago World’s Fair and proposed the office of public defender amid the worst depression in American history. She returned to San Francisco’s Van Ness Avenue, founded the Portia Law Club to bring establishment and “movement” women together, but she was soon off to Colorado.
Foltz took on the Julia Bolles divorce case in Colorado and won a substantial settlement. Her fee was modest at best, another indication of her poor business practices. From Colorado, she moved to New York to reinvent herself yet again.
In New York she found a city legal system that was corrupt and dominated by “shysterism” (p. 193). Shut out of lucrative practice, she moved to Denver, then New York, and finally to California and the Republican Party.
In California Foltz rode the oil boom with a booster publication, Oil Fields and Furnaces. The publication produced income and she was soon attorney for the United Bank and Trust Company, running the women’s branch working with female investors. After the earthquake of 1906, she moved to Los Angeles and stayed thirty years. In 1910 she took a seat on the State Board of Charities and Corrections and won the deputy district attorney position. In 1911 the Los Angeles county charter included the office of public defender. Foltz had introduced the concept at the 1890 Woman’s Nation Liberal Union, the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and in 1897 the public defender was introduced in a dozen states after Foltz drafted a model statue and campaigned in several states for the public defender office. Also in 1911 California women gained the right to vote. Foltz’s public career found substantial success.
Traditional readers of biography will find some features of this book troubling. The final chapters do not fit the traditional chronological formula. They are topical and repeat some of the facts established in prior chapters. The index for the book is on the Women’s Legal History website, http://womenslegalhistory.stanford.edu/ . Visiting the website is an enormous treat because it contains the wealth of research on women lawyers in California. Finally, historians will note some proofreading problems such as a statement that General Benjamin Franklin Tracy “served as secretary of the navy under President William Henry Harrison from 1889 to 1893” (p. 183). William Henry Harrison died in 1841. Benjamin Harrison was William Henry Harrison’s grandson and the president under which Tracy served.
That said, this is a magnificent book establishing Clara Foltz’s foundational work for women’s employment rights, female suffrage, and the public defender’s office.
http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=33089

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Pronto dará comienzo el Año Académico 2011-2012, que será para muchas de las alumnas que este año cursen la disciplina de Filosofía del Derecho (Grupos A y B) en la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Málaga, el último de su formación jurídica. Buena parte de ellas emprenderán luego la preparación de oposiciones a Judicatura o de los preceptivos masters de acceso al Colegio de Abogados.
Quiero dedicarles esta entrada, con dos obras que me parece pueden brindarles una referencia en su horizonte profesional.
El ensayo de Francesca Tacchi conincide en el título –pero apenas sólo en eso– con el libro que el año 1939 publicó Piero Addeo (Eva Togata, Editrice Rispoli Anonima, Napoli, 1939). Tacchi y el suyo recibieron este año Premio "Gisa Giani" (decima edizione), concedido en ocasión de la Festa della Donna 2011 y celebraciones del 150° Aniversario de la Unità d’Italia. El Premio “Gisa Giani” está organizado por el ICSIM (Istituto per la Cultura e la Storia d'Impresa “Franco Momigliano”) Archivio di Stato di Terni (http://www.icsim.it/nuovo%20sito/area%20convegni_prentazionelibri_premi/premio_giani/premio_gg2011/premio_ggiani2011.htm )
Las postenciales lectoras pueden acudir asimismo, también lengua italiana, al trabajo de la Avv. Michelina Grillo, Presidente del Organismo Unitario dell’Avvocatura Italiana, que lleva por título “La professione di avvocata nella prospettiva europea”, disponible en: http://www.csm.it/PariOpportunita/pages/grillo.pdf

Relacionado con el estudio de Barbara Babcock [vid también videos colgados en Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_P2bnSi4cA ] y el contexto de la presencia de la mujer en la Administración de Justicia en EEUU remito al artículo de Mae C. Quinn (Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law), 'Feminizing' Courts: Lay Volunteers and the Integration of Social Work in Progressive Reform” (June 2011). FEMINIST LEGAL HISTORY: ESSAYS ON WOMEN AND LAW, Tracy A. Thomas & T.J. Boisseau, eds., NYU Press, 2011; Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-06-08. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1875007 [Abstract: This essay, appearing as a chapter in FEMINIST LEGAL HISTORY: ESSAYS ON WOMEN (N.Y.U. PRESS 2011), uncovers groundbreaking court innovations employed by Judge Anna Moscowitz Kross. To date, Kross's work has gone largely unexamined by legal historians and court reformers. This essay describes how Kross, one of the nation's first women judges, sought to rethink the role and goals of criminal courts in order to meet and address social realities. Beginning in the 1930's she expanded the boundaries of criminal courts to permit female volunteer caseworkers and lay probation officers, as representatives of the larger community, to play a role in court operations. Her lay volunteer armies, which were seen as controversial and at times came under official scrutiny, continued their efforts over the course of several decades. What is more, many courts across the country replicated Kross's experiment without crediting her for her ideas. While this essay celebrates this largely forgotten historical figure and her work as an early judicial innovator, it also warns that social engineering efforts in criminal courts at the hands of lay counselors, both then and now, raise important questions that are worthy of further exploration. This essay, therefore, concludes by suggesting that today's criminal justice reformers might learn important lessons from Kross's attempts at judicial creativity that relied on private funding and private citizen participation in criminal court proceedings].

Por ultimo, las tres postales que a continuación inserto –y que no creo que realmente hallan envejecido tanto como pudiera parecer– proceden del blog TheLegalAntiquarian [http://thelegalantiquarian.blogspot.com/2008/05/la-femme-avocat.html], a cargo de Mike Hoeflich, professor at the University of Kansas School of Law and teach contracts, legal ethics and legal history

J.C.G.





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