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Wouldn’t You Like to Be Remembered Like This?

by Carolyn Elefant on December 20, 2005 · 4 comments

in Celebrating Solos, MyShingle Solo, Solo Profiles

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I came across this article, Lawyer killed head-on in accident (12/9/05, NH Republic) about Massachusett criminal defense lawyer Geri Laventis tragic death in a head on car wreck.  I did now know her at all, but here is how she was described by her colleagues:

Judge William B. McDonough, who presides over Holyoke District Court where Laventis frequently served as a bar advocate, said he was saddened to hear of her death.

“She was a tireless worker for her clients. She often found very imaginative ways to view the law and the facts, quite successfully for her clients. She will be sorely missed by her clients and members of the bar,” McDonough said.

David G. Mintz, a defense lawyer in the area for the past 18 years, said Laventis was notable as “one of the most vigorous and relentless advocates for criminal defendants.”

“She was smart. She was tough. She was incredibly thick-skinned. She was just unparalleled. She went to the mat for everyone. She was shrewd and savvy and creative and always determined to see that justice was done for her clients. She had a big heart and was very generous with her time,” Mintz said.

Judge W. Michael Ryan of Northampton, who also sits in Holyoke District Court, said Laventis maintained her passion for her work for many years.

“She was very aggressive in representing people who had very little. She seemed to have boundless energy and enthusiasm and optimism. She gave great representation and a lot of hope to people who don’t have much,” Ryan said.

Sometimes, as a solo, handling small cases and small matters you wonder
where you fit and how it all matters in the greater scheme of things.
Many of us will never make new law or argue a case before the U.S.
Supreme Court or get an appointment to a federal circuit court or
devise a way around a tricky loophole to close a $50 billion dollar
merger.   So we leave our mark in different ways; on the individuals whose lives we touch and with the example of professionalism that we set for others in the profession.  Maybe that doesn’t carry the same glamour as a high profile case or a mega million dollar deal, but it’s important, nonetheless.  And in the end, it’s how we’ll be remembered.

  • http://www.LegalEaseConsulting.com Allison Shields

    Carolyn-
    What a great post. It would do us all well to remember what ‘real’ success is, and it has more to do with how we live and practice, and with being professional than it does with making money or closing billion dollar deals.
    One of my personal favorite quotes, usually attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (although I’ve read that it may not have actually come from him) is:
    To laugh often and much;
    To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
    To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
    To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
    To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
    This is to have succeeded.
    It seems to me that this lady was a real success.
    -Allison

  • http://www.LegalEaseConsulting.com Allison Shields

    Carolyn-
    What a great post. It would do us all well to remember what ‘real’ success is, and it has more to do with how we live and practice, and with being professional than it does with making money or closing billion dollar deals.
    One of my personal favorite quotes, usually attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (although I’ve read that it may not have actually come from him) is:
    To laugh often and much;
    To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
    To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
    To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
    To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
    This is to have succeeded.
    It seems to me that this lady was a real success.
    -Allison

  • http://legalease.blogs.com/legal_ease_blog/2005/12/what_kind_of_le.html Legal Ease Blog

    What Kind of Legacy Are You Leaving?

    Carolyn Elefant has a great post today on My Shingle about the recent passing of a lawyer, and the way she’s being remembered by her colleagues and the legal community. It’s definitely worth reading and reflecting on. Whether we’re solos,

  • http://legalease.blogs.com/legal_ease_blog/2005/12/what_kind_of_le.html Legal Ease Blog

    What Kind of Legacy Are You Leaving?

    Carolyn Elefant has a great post today on My Shingle about the recent passing of a lawyer, and the way she’s being remembered by her colleagues and the legal community. It’s definitely worth reading and reflecting on. Whether we’re solos,

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