susan estrich: the lawyer’s attorney

bert fields become, as the the big apple instances positioned it, the “legal professional to the stars” — from dustin hoffman to warren beatty to tom cruise to john travolta, not to mention industry heavyweights like jeffrey katzenberg. in hollywood, he was almost as well-known as his customers.

he became also my legal professional.

and as a lot as any legal professional i’ve recognized, he taught me what it means to be a legal professional.

each person hates lawyers until you want one, and then you definately want the pleasant; you want a tiger on your facet, someone who will fight for you tenaciously, inside the court and in the courtroom of public opinion, someone who may be for all time loyal to you, who will make you sense included. you need bert. i actually did.

i’ve my very own “bert fields letter.” a letter from the most important attorney on the town, telling those who had gotten preserve of a personal electronic mail (back in the day, when we idea such matters might be private) to go into reverse.

another time, someone threatened to sue me for writing a real tale. “which a part of it’s miles untrue?” bert requested me flippantly, and if he turned into calm, eventually so changed into i.

“the existence of the regulation,” oliver wendell holmes brilliantly recognized, “has not been logic: it’s been revel in. the felt requirements of the time, the everyday ethical and political theories, intuitions of public coverage, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges percentage with their fellow-men, have had a bargain extra to do than the syllogism in figuring out the guidelines by way of which men ought to be ruled. … to be able to recognize what (the regulation) is, we have to know what it’s been, and what it tends to come to be.”

old legal professionals and young doctors, as my mother would say. bert went to the workplace every day, even at age ninety three. he negotiated my closing deal whilst he became 91. he changed into a renaissance man, a pupil of shakespeare, of history, a novelist, a instructor, a pal.

watching bert in action changed into a issue to marvel. not like many leisure attorneys, he was also a trial attorney. and an appellate attorney. a consummate litigator, as well as a deal maker. there has been a reason that males and females who could literally lease any attorney in the world they wanted employed him.

there are some lawyers who shy away from publicly placing themselves on the road for his or her clients. “i don’t strive my instances in the press,” they’ll tell you, which might make experience until the alternative facet is trying the case in the press and winning. newspapers don’t stop publishing due to the fact you are saying “no remark.” bert understood that.

the cause a number of the most famous people inside the world got here to him for assist turned into because they knew that when bert changed into on your aspect, he became there in every arena, within the courtroom of public opinion in addition to within the courtroom of law. he become masterful at coping with the click, and he in no way shied away. i consider him defending the non secular freedom of scientologists at a time whilst few outsiders had been willing to arise for the primary amendment rights of an unpopular organization.

he lived for some years underneath the shadow of an research into unlawful wiretapping that have been completed without his information. i knew from the outset that bert could pop out smooth. integrity was the primary phrase that involves thoughts. that and dignity.

i cherished to speak approximately law with bert, approximately our instances, about how the guidelines could follow, about a way to manipulate customers, the way to deal with the other aspect. he cherished the regulation, and he shared that love with the scholars he taught and the younger legal professionals he mentored. and with customers and pals like me.

the component is, and how egocentric of me, but with bert on my aspect, i usually felt secure.

what could bert do, i shall all the time be asking. bert fields died on sunday.

rest in peace, my pal. i will simplest hope to stay up to your legacy of what our career at its finest have to be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.