Sunday, November 8, 2015

30 Years a Lawyer

Today, I have been a licensed attorney in Texas for 30 years. It is hard to get my arms around the fact I have been a lawyer more than half my life.

It has been an unusual journey. Although there are many criminal defense lawyers who never prosecuted - as is the case with me -  it has been a much more circuitous route to the place I now occupy than for most.

When I was licensed on November 8, 1985, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States. Except for those 3 years at the beginning of my licensure, the only President not named either Clinton or Bush currently occupies that office. I am not sure I how I feel about the possibility when I am 40 years a lawyer, the very same statement could be true.

On that date, Warren Burger was Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall, all now long passed, were still on the Court. Justice Brennan had been nominated by President Dwight Eisenhower. Writing that sentence makes me feel especially old.

I have lately resolved to refrain from war stories, but there are many because of the different areas of law I practiced before finding a home in criminal defense. Real estate home mortgages, sitting through hundreds of depositions with refinery workers in asbestosis civil litigation, and working for a law firm closing failing Saving and Loan Associations, just to name a few.

All those things before I took on my first criminal client.

In 30 years I have tried civil cases to juries involving disputes as different as who owned a horse to responsibility and damages in multi-party death cases. I have picked juries in places as different as Houston, Texas and Houston County, Texas.

As a criminal defense lawyer, the entire spectrum have been tried to juries - Public Intoxication to Capital Murder - Death.

I have regrets and triumphs. In short, it has been quite an adventure.

Many people have left their imprint in these 30 years. Clients, lawyers, and people who for ill or for good inspired me to try and be a better lawyer.

Thanks to all.

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