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Community News

May 5, 2010

By Lisa Kestenbaum Daily Journal Staff Writer For Richard Hamar, equilibrium is everything. The Los Angeles litigator, who handles complex commercial and criminal matters with his wife and partner Maria Hamar, is an avid golfer, skier and surfer. Now he wants to elevate the practice of law through yoga principles. “We’re a very conflicted profession,” Hamar said. “Yoga, if used in the right way, could help a great deal.” He says he decided to “create a yogic connection to the law,” to bring law to a higher place. That place was Yogalaw. According to its website, the group offers legal services to the yoga industry, yogis and like-minded clients; seminars to members of the legal profession; and a yoga law attorneys worldwide referral service. The site espouses a “Yogic-Law Code,” where Hamar explains how yoga principles can be applied to the practice of law. “There’s a conflict between yoga and being the very best lawyer you can be,” he explained. “It’s proclaimed in the ethics of law that you have to be a devil’s advocate. But spiritual people operate on a totally different system of thought.” Hamar, who practices yoga daily, wears a set of beads to court that have been blessed by a Tibetan lama, or high priest. He said the beads help remind him to maintain a sense of peace while advocating on behalf of his client. Hamar says he found a perfect balance in his life in 2002, when he helped to found the Association of Surfing Lawyers. The organization has grown to more than 250 members and offers Minimum Continuing Legal Education programs. Hamar produced and ran one of the programs in Baja Norte, Mexico, for five years. For Hamar, the experience was more than riding the world’s best waves and listening to lectures on the law. Surfing provided Hamar with inspiration and a chance to mediate. Yoga offers a similar experience, he said, an experience he wants to share with other lawyers. “Yoga taught me to focus on being in the moment and to not take things personally,” said Hamar. “I thought, 'Why not apply this to my law practice?’” Hamar says, for him, the measure of success is more than getting a good result in the courtroom — it’s encouraging the client to move on gracefully. One teaching in the Yogic-Law Code states, “Drama belongs in the courtroom, if effective and appropriate, not the in relationships with client, the adversary or the court.” Says another, “The result of any legal matter is processed without anger or arrogance, allowing the lawyer and client to let go and move forward, celebrating the journey.”

By Lisa Kestenbaum

Daily Journal Staff Writer

For Richard Hamar, equilibrium is everything.
The Los Angeles litigator, who handles complex commercial and criminal matters with his wife and partner Maria Hamar, is an avid golfer, skier and surfer.
Now he wants to elevate the practice of law through yoga principles.
?We?re a very conflicted profession,? Hamar said. ?Yoga, if used in the right way, could help a great deal.?
He says h...

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