I tried to go straight.
Here you will get (as this page emulates Topsy) information and short anecdotes about my on again and off again legal career. It chanced to occur that, each time I absconded to another, perhaps more adventurous endeavor, the legal siren would give me a holler - or, maybe, it was just the hunger pains caused by my being, for the time being, busted - and back I would come.
When someone would ask what I was up to, I would sometimes reply: "I'm practicing law again. I tried to go straight, but I got busted". Notice that I said "busted". Just being broke wouldn't have caused it.
A legal disclaimer: (29 Jan 2000) Many home pages have a legal disclaimer of liability for the contents of that web site. Well, since I have a linked page devoted to law, I'll put (in small print, of course) my partial disclaimer here where it more properly belongs:
In no way, in any of these pages, have I intended to break any copyright laws or to plagiarize, or otherwise use (without permission, express or implied) or give a link to, any written material or sound of music not already in the public domain. But, I realize that some of my words may sound vaguely familiar, that being because the same or similar words were used by another before me and I liked those words a lot; and, if anyone, for any reason whatever, fairly objects to anything herein, it will be removed forthwith with an abject apology. Meanwhile, it's only fair to warn you that I, being broke for the nonce, am pretty much judgment proof.
Here is my most suspect entry: (07 Feb 2000)
Staying in school for a living: (25 Jan 2000) When I got out of the Army in January of 1953, the easiest way to make a living was to finish law school (the second 1-1/2 years) at the University of Houston while I lived off my mother, collected $110.00 per month from my Uncle Sam, got serious about misspending my youth at a bridge table, and found my first soul-mate, Julia ("Big Julie") Dolby, Carroll, Key, etc., nee Garrett, to whom I may try to do justice in the Discoball page where I will tell you about the great present she gave me, in 1957, my first-born child. That having been done (too much listening to TV Talking Heads), I passed the bar in June of 1954 and soon thereafter joined a group (that's the right word) of lawyers with names like Hill, Lowry, Mulvihill, Cannon, and Lee, and was allowed to earn a minimum (the usual total, of course) stipend of $300.00 per month.
Legal name dropping: (03 Sep 2002) After a long hiatus from this page while doing my duties on the Imjin Buddy Bunker pages, I have returned to drop some names and tell some tales about them - enough years have passed since those eminences have passed on that I no longer worry about the likelihood of a law suit. While I was still in law school, either the man in charge, Dean A. A. White, my "criminal" law teacher, Sears McGee, with whom I had many pleasant "meetings" out of class, or my favorite teacher, Sam Minter, who was one helluva criminal trial lawyer and very much admired by me for giving me his very rare "A" in the evidence course, sent me to see a well known civil trial lawyer by the well known name of J. Edwin ("Ed") Smith, through whom I met and became sort of "associated" with the then (and even more so later) famous, or if you prefer, infamous Percy Foreman from whom I leaned many things, not mostly of a legal nature. If the gods are willing and the creek don't rise, then, as the mood strikes me, "I shall return" to tell you more about the proclivities of those five eminences and also about my dealings with them.
The McGee mutiny:
Sam he am:
Ed gets ahead:
Sir Percy and the flagon:
Trying my best in Centerville, Texas: (22 Feb 2000) The County Courthouse of Leon County, Texas, was built in 1886. It remains active until now, but it's one of the endangered historic courthouses of Texas. It is only a half block off Highway 75 and about half way between Houston and Dallas, but is now bypassed by Interstate 45; and, it's where, in 1957, I tried my first jury case. The case itself was quite unusual in its facts (I like to summarize it by saying, "I got a guy married about a year after he was dead.") and the quaint (best word I can think of - "odd" is too harsh) customs of that small town in central Texas gave the experience a kind of "To Kill a Mockingbird" flavor, except that I was not a Gregory Peck (a/k/a Atticus Finch) caliber lawyer.
Just the just facts: (15 Nov 2000) The case of Griffin v. Griffin entailed an attempt to set aside a divorce -or, if you prefer, to get an unhappy couple remarried- after one of parties had been dispatched with a fatal shot to the head. I'll give you an adequate opportunity to mull that over and come back here later on.
Number 1 escape from law in 1958:
The Great Greene: (3 Feb 2003) There will be more here later (when I am up to it) about my longest, dearest, and most loyal buddy, drinking and otherwise. Meanwhile, visit George H. Greene, Jr., and read a sad note about the most principled man (right or wrong) I ever knew.
Busted, and divorced, in 1962, so back to law:
A hero and a belly gunner:
Approaching the bench with a flare:
The good part of 1967, a very bad year: (25 Jan 2000) I had the good fortune to land and marry my second (not a ranking, just a chronological designation) soul-mate, Susan Margaret (no umlaut) Kuenstler, the great mother of my children who were the result of what would be called in Mississippi, laying on a second crop. Those great two gals and one more guy, along with their older (by 13-18 years) brother, will be spoken of, with much love, in the Discoball page, where I may also try to do justice to Susan.
Number 2 escape from law: (26 Jan 2000) In the Cabana page, I'll carefully chronicle how I skulked away from law in 1967; and, in the Bestbird pages, I'll admit how desperation led me back in 1987. That twenty year hiatus was filled by two adventures - first, speculative homebuilding in gringoland (Cabana page) - second, surviving by my wits, then not so dull, in the tropics (Bestbird pages).
A friendlier bar: (28 Jan 2000) As the old lyrics, "At the bar, at the bar, where I smoked my first cigar ..." to an even older psalm with the lyrics, "At the cross, at the cross ...", remind me, an apt and alternative subtitle for the Bestbird page, in its description of that part of my escape from the (legal) bar, might be, "Or, finding a friendlier bar."
Last law, 1987-1998, or, goodbye to the life that late I led:
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