LEGACY

(Tom speaks only for himself in this blog and not for the Court.)

A health report is at the bottom but first, some exciting news.

On July 26, 2013, the first Washington State Association of Justice (WSAJ) Tom Chambers Trial Lawyer of the Year bust was awarded to Rick Friedman.  Judy and I were there.  I had tears in my eyes.

Rick Friedman, 2013 Tom Chambers Trial Lawyer of the Year

Rick Friedman, 2013 WSAJ’s Tom Chambers Trial Lawyer of the Year

After receiving the award, Rick said “Receiving the Trial Lawyer of the Year award was a great honor.  Receiving it in the year the award was renamed after Tom was an even greater honor.  No one I know better embodies all that is good about being a trial lawyer.  I hope I can do justice to the example Tom has set.

 

Tom Chambers holding the Tom Chambers Award

Me with a tear in my eye

It is only natural for a person whose time is limited to think about their legacy.  Most people are quite content; in fact many say they wouldn’t change a thing.  I guess they didn’t make as many mistakes as I did.  But I am more than quite content, I am proud and I was never more proud than when I saw that bust.

The Trial Lawyer of the Year goes to the best of the best and goes to someone who has used the law and the courtroom to level the playing field and who shares and teaches others.  Rick Friedman has time and time again used the law and the courtroom to bring big corporations to their knees, acknowledge they have been cheating the little guy, and agree to stop.  His accomplishments and his character bring honor to all trial lawyers.  Like me, he is not a table banger but a mild mannered regular guy who is driven to see justice done.

I have a big ego.  The mere fact I thought I was qualified to serve on my State’s highest court tells me I have a big ego.  But even I am humbled by the thought that for decades to come my name and image will be part of the prestigious WSAJ Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.  There is no greater honor that WSAJ could have bestowed upon me. I fully realize that if I were not so ill, this would not be happening or at least not happening now.  But that does not diminish the pride I take in this new award.   I am so pleased.

Now to what has become the monthly health report.  Judy’s condition appears to be stable (see last month’s report).  She feels that she is slowly improving and is down to 10 minutes of chemotherapy every three weeks.  Her red blood count continues to be low.

It has been 5 weeks since I have had chemo and the tumors are returning and perhaps in new places.  I can feel increased pain and difficulty swallowing but I will start another 3 to 5 weeks on chemo the first week of August and am hopeful the chemo will again shrink the tumors.  I just attended a family reunion that given what the doctors told me last January, I did not expect to attend so I continue to have good things happen to me and am thankful for the extra time.