Gathering of the Clan

A Gathering of Fly Fishermen
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 Post subject: A reunion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:03 pm 
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Went to my 50th law school reunion Friday and Saturday. All of us are old but it was kind of cool to be greeted as "Squire." Jerry Robertson stuck me with that in law school. Bux revived it. Must be something about me. Anyhow, here's the column I wrote about it:

Fiftieth high school reunions are bad. Fiftieth college reunions are worse. Other than maybe medical school which takes longer, fiftieth law school reunions are the worst. I went to mine last weekend.

Fiftieth law school reunions are the worst because you've got to be really old to go to one.

At mine, down at William and Mary, most of the fellows didn't seem all that decrepit, but we sure weren't the bright eyed and bushy tailed bunch we were 50 years ago. If there's a profession that makes hard eyed cynics out of folks, it's the law, particularly trial law. Trial layers apparently pick up some mannerisms that others can spot. Friday evening, I was standing in front of the law school talking to a young woman who was studying law. At one point, I put my thumbs under my belt on either side hitching my pants up. My jacket was flipped back and my elbows jutting out. “You were a litigator,” the student said. “That's a litigator move.” Well, she was right. The move makes you look bigger and more imposing and a lot of trial advocacy is body language. I was glad to see some students were learning that.

While there, I met another student you gave me some hope for the profession. You see, I have not been much impressed with lawyers I've been around the past few years. They seem t spend all their time on paperwork and are money grubbing with clients. Honestly, I'm glad I'm out of it. I would never have the patience for such stuff. When I was active quarter of a century ago, paper rarely flew and the lawyers here in the Northern Neck knew how to address a jury. Another kid I met seemed to have an instinct for it.

The kid, a shortish red head from California, had lost a moot court medical malpractice case earlier Friday. “That'll teach you to stay away from that stuff,” I said. “What,“ he responded. “Trials?” “No,” I said. “Medical mal.”

The kid seemed eager to hear from an old horse and I asked if he'd read or seen “Anatomy of a Murder.” He'd never heard of it. “It's the best handbook on trying a case ever written,” I told him. “The lesson in horseshedding is classic.” He'd never heard of horseshedding, when old time lawyers used to take their clients out to the horse shed on court day and tell them the most advantageous way to testify. That the law school had never mentioned “Anatomy of a Murder” or horseshedding appalled me. Then again, I didn't learn all that from from law school, either. I learned it by watching masters such as Ammon Dunton, Sr., absolutely the greatest horseshedder I ever knew.

(Just to be clear, proper horseshedding doesn't involve telling a client what to say. It involves telling him what will happen if certain things are said and then letting him decide what happened.)

The kid impressed me because when I saw him again Saturday, he'd gone home and watched “Anatomy of a Murder.”

I was a tad worried at the brunch they had for the Class of 69 Saturday morning because my old friend Gerald Decatur Robertson was going to deliver remembrances from our class. There several imbroglios he and I were involved in, me worse than him, while we were in law school and I was afraid he'd bring them up. For instance, I wouldn't have minded him telling how scared John Sours was when he realized he was seated with a bunch of KKK members at a George Wallace speech in Richmond,.but I didn't want him telling how I urged George on. I didn't want him telling how a classmate, Gil Bartlett, bailed me out of the Williamsburg jail one time, either. He didn't. He told a great story about how Henry Howell helped keep the law school funded.

What surprised me was how well my classmates remembered me. I don't recall being all that mouthy in law school.

By the way, I was acquitted of the charge Gil bailed me out on, drunk in public. My lawyer, the incomparable Russ Carneal, showed I had outrun a cop car on foot proving I didn't reach the standard for drunkenness in Virginia which was “ambulatory stupefaction,.”

I couldn't outrun one cold sober today.


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 Post subject: Re: A reunion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:14 pm
Posts: 1636
SQUIRE NEWTON,
You have convinced me that the law and it's translations, implications and applications are different in the Commonwealth of Virginia than anywhere in the civilized world....where men wear laced shoes. There is no reason that I can figure that you should not be a certified member of the bar anywhere in the US of A. Carry on laddie.
Bux


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 Post subject: Re: A reunion
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:47 am
Posts: 1762
Buxtehude wrote:
SQUIRE NEWTON,
You have convinced me that the law and it's translations, implications and applications are different in the Commonwealth of Virginia than anywhere in the civilized world. Bux


Used to be. The practice of law has gone to hell. Old pleas like that of "Ancient and Noble Lineage" and "My Nigger, Judge" don't float anymore.


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