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Bar News - March 23, 2007

Morning Mail


Courtroom Rivalís Civility Remembered, Emulated


The sad passing recently of Boston Celtic star Dennis Johnson brought back some very fond memories for me. During that great game against the Lakers on June 5, 1985, I was reviewing my notes for a Supreme Court argument the next morning, and as all Celtics fans know, DJ hit a shot at the buzzer to win the game.


A few hours later, my younger daughter Marie was born, a few weeks early. Between getting to the hospital, and looking after my then two-year-old daughter Julie, I never did go to bed that night. And in a world prior to cell phones and e-mail, there was no way to make alternate arrangements with respect to the argument, and therefore I just showed up at 9 a.m. on June 6, as ready as I could be to go.


Upon arriving at the court, I quickly told my adversary Randy Cooper the story, and this led to the following. We had the first case, and Randy was first to argue. He began his remarks with something like this: ďI thought the highlight of last night was when DJ hit that shot at the buzzer, but it was really when Russ Hilliard had a baby daughter about three hours later.Ē The entire court, and those in the courtroom, erupted into a hearty round of applause.


When I think of professionalism and the New Hampshire Bar, that scene is never far from my mind.


Since then, I have always looked for opportunities to return the gesture.


Russell F. Hilliard



Past Act of Kindness Evokes Fond Memory


The Bar News front page article on the Maynard family legal tradition (Feb. 23, 2007) reminded me of my first encounter with Bill Maynard. As a McLane firm summer intern, I was asked by Stan Brown to help him defend a Henniker moonshiner prosecuted by US Attorney William Maynard. Any illusions I might have held about my importance were dispelled the second day of trial. When our client showed up without a jacket and Stan saw I was about the same size, he asked me to lend the client my jacket and wait outside the courtroom in case he needed anything. Noticing the exile, and upon hearing my explanation, Bill promptly produced a spare jacket he kept in his office. Although husky Bill was several sizes larger than I, my re-formalized appearance was deemed adequate for return to stickler [Judge] Ally OíConnorís courtroom, and I could admire first-hand Billís prowess as a fine common-touch lawyer (he won that jury case against one of the stateís great trial lawyers), while appreciating his kindness toward a lowly second-year law student.


Arthur W. Mudge




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