DOM's blog has coverage of the untimely and tragic death of Miami Appellate Lawyer Richard Strafer.
We didn't know Mr. Strafer, so comments and memories should be directed to DOM's blog.
Mr. Strafer's death- apparently from a virus contracted on a cruise- causes us to reflect on the fragility and seemingly unpredictability of life.
Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
Hamlet, Act I, scene 2.
That we shall die we know; 'tis but the time
And drawing days out, that men stand upon.
Julius Caesar, Act III, scene 1.
For us, such talk from The Bard brings us back to a long forgotten but wonderful movie- The Lion In Winter, circa 1968.
When King Richard the Lionheart (played by a young Anthony Hopkins in his first major film role) and his brother Geoffrey, in prison, hear the footsteps of their captor King Henry coming to kill them, Richard says "He's here. But he will get no satisfaction out of me. He isn't going to see me beg."
To which Geoffrey replies: "You chivalric fool, as if the way one fell down mattered."
To which Richard replies:
"When the fall is all that is left, it matters greatly."
Life is, in a way, about confronting the fall we all inevitably face. Sometimes the fall announces its presence- cancer, heart disease or the like. Sometimes the fall strikes when we least expect it- like on a cruise in Europe.
As lawyers, our clients face the fall in court. A trial, in many ways, is a client saying like Richard the Lionheart that when all that's left is the fall, how you face it matters greatly.
In that sense, unlike those who are artists, or handle closings, or are CPAs, we as attorneys in criminal court- prosecutors and defense alike- become all too familiar with the fall.
We win, we lose, we get a new case where someone has been killed. Everywhere we look, there is the fall. And then it strikes our colleague unexpectedly.
Sometimes, you just want to have a quiet day, review some docs, sign your name and go home.
From Occupied America, where such concerns about dignity "fall" (pun intended) upon deaf ears of the president, Fight the Power, because the fall matters greatly.
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