Memorial Contributions

In the over 50 years that I have been privileged to practice law, there is a common denominator that I have found with all lawyers that I have come in contact. They are "proud to be lawyers." While we engage in many activities that are highly competitive, the comradery and professionalism amongst us as a group shines through. As the great sportswriter, Grantland Rice, once said "when the great scorer comes to mark behind your name he marks not how you won or lost but how you played the game." For each of us who has been fortunate enough to be in the legal profession that quote is apt. Those of us who learned and played by the rules, know no greater compliment than to be referred to as a "lawyer."

As Ted Swift said on November 4, 1999, when accepting the Leo Farhat Award:

    "The 44 years that I have practiced here in Lansing has brought me in contact with many people – but I love lawyers, as a group, best of all. More than others, they are vocal and their knowledge is broad. They are a lot of things, are lawyers, but seldom are they boring. In my early competitive zeal, I classified most other lawyers as enemies or opponents, but I mellowed and outgrew that parochial view and began to enjoy my colleagues and to admire their many abilities. This is a great community with great people, and even greater lawyers – that is why I'm so proud to be honored in this fashion. To receive approbation from colleagues who are my peers pleases me to the utmost. I thank you – all of you – for all you have done to foster this occasion."

I know of no greater professional memorial to a lawyer than to honor him or her for what they are most proud. One way to honor our departed brethren, is to make a memorial contribution to the Ingham County Bar Foundation in their name. That sends a message to the legal community as well as to the decedent's survivors that their loved one is being honored as a "lawyer" by a recognized legal foundation.

The Foundation has been in existence since 2002. Since 2011, the following individuals have been memorialized:

    Bill Kritselis
    Don Martin
    Edgar L. Church, Jr.
    J. Richard Robinson
    Thomas H. Skehan
    Douglas Sweet
    Hon. Robert Danhof
    Robert Warner
    Roger T. Ederer
    Joe Foster
    George H. Krause
    William Parsley
    Hon. Jules Hanslovsky
    Deborah Deprez
    William Stapleton
    Diane Marie Ball
    Ed Bladen
    Hon. Robert Drake
    Joseph Farhat
    Hon. Kenneth Hansen
    James Shonkwiler
    Quentin A. Ewert
    Hon. Hudson Deming

The next time one or our colleagues passes, I urge you to consider making a memorial contribution to ICBF to honor him/her for being a lawyer.

Webb A. (Tony) Smith
September 15, 2015