Reform is a radical act. So those doing it are bound to be controversial or, more kindly put, considered ahead of their times. Well, in these these times of E-Coli epidemics, it's finally become Bill Marler's time. This former enemy of the people has become a designated hero, twice over. He is receiving two kinds of recognition for his pioneering work in food-borne diseases.
Number one, the King County Bar Association selected him for its 2008 Outstanding Lawyer Award. Dating back to 1886, KCBA is the largest voluntary bar association in the state of Washington. Marler receives his award at the organization's annual dinner June 28th.
Number two, there's the Public Justice Award for an individual or organization whose efforts, courage, litigation, or innovative work results in the creation of a more just society." It will be given to Marler tomorrow at the Law Day Dinner by the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. WSTLA champions "redress for injury to person, property, or civil rights."
It used to be what Marler did best was educate the public, government and industry about food contamination through his blogs. In addition, he could be a pretty formidable advocate for victims of food-borne diseases in the court room.
Lately, though, he's spending an increasing amount of time in Washington D.C. testifying on Capitol Hill and brainstorming with our nation's leaders about how to stop the E-Coli epidemic and prevent any new ones. He learned his trade in the trenches of the Jack-in-the-Box E-coli outbreak during the early 1990s. Next January whoever winds up in the White House would also become a reformer of their times if she or he appointed Bill Marler Food-Safety Czar. In 18 months, I have a hunch, it will be the end of E-Coli in the nation's food chain.
Full Disclosure: I met Marler when I defended his digital aggressiveness to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL et al. That was two years ago. Since then I've been assisting now and then with his blogs.