I found out today that an attorney I once worked for and happily remained friends with, suddenly died last night.
Jim was a good person. He was also a great litigator. These things don’t always go hand in hand, but in his case, he balanced the two well.
When he left my old firm last winter, I was sad, and left some time after, myself. His glowing recommendation of me helped me clinch my new position, and it is one I cherish, coming from a person I utterly respect: “I’d have hired her myself if I could afford to pay for her benefits.”
In stunned sadness this afternoon I recalled his many legal war stories, told often and well; his disdain for the writings of Isabel Allende, his fondness for limericks, vodka, his wife, his family. I remember sitting through trial with him, having to work the PowerPoint slideshows because he was tech-illiterate. And finally cajoling him into the 21st century by forcing technology on him. I remember him waving his paper calendar around triumphantly when the servers went down and no one had access to their electronic ones.
He wanted to be a writer, to drink wine, smoke and live in Paris. Instead he worked hard at being the best lawyer he knew how to be, and supported his family.
Jim, sorry about the Allende novel, glad you liked Winter of Our Discontent, The Rum Diary, and The Art of Racing in the Rain. Thank you for your leadership, friendship, and for salvaging my interest in the law, by taking the time to mentor me.
“He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave.”
― Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain