Hannah best exemplifies the sense of justice, Geeorge’s intellect and tenacity and above all his belief that trial lawyers were the only force that stood in the way of manifest injustice. George was a tiger.
Noah rented this particular farm l and ranch to Delbert Hannah and eventually had him run the operation for $300.00 a month plus use of the farmhouse.
Under such circumstance with a wife and kids it is no wonder that Hannah was forced to sell what littlee he had accumulated.
Noah waited until the auctioneer started the sale and then had the Sheriff serve an agister’s lien on the auctioneer and Hannah.
The sale came to a stop and many who had come to bid left, before arrangements could be made for the sale to proceed. When the sales finally started Hannah’s meager farm accumulation only brought about $6200.00.
George, semsing the unfairness sued Noah for real and punitive damages.
Now this case was small potatoes for everyone except Hannah and George. Most attorney’s would have told Hannah to take his loss and get sown the road. Not George.
The trial was to be in Winner and George asked me to help. Herman and Werneke represented Noah so the scene was set for a real battle.
During the trial George sensed that our legal footing began to fail. While the trial was in process George whispered to me, “ John take charges of the corss examination, I’m gouing in the Law Library to see if I can find a way to improve our legal position.” George did just that and tweaked out pleadings so that we were able to stay in court. In lieu of the Supreme court’s 3-2 decision in our favor, George had been right. The Jury found in our favor and gave Hannnah about 2,500.00 actual and $2,000.00 punitive o damages. Herman and Werneke appleaed,ad the matter was set for oral argument in Pierre before the Supreme court.
George picked me up to drive to Pierre for the argument. We left Winner heading west, when George made a u-turn and started back. to Winner. He pulled into O’Malley’s drive in liquor store and got a “paper bagged wrapped bottle” and a small baottle of selzer water. ( this was before the esent bottled ater craze) .
Proceeding toPierre George hander me the seltzer saying,” John take the top ioff and drink half of it.” George took the “paper bag warpped bottle’ and in two swift swallows swamped the bottle; grabbed the half full seltzer chaser and we proceeded on out happy way to argue Hannah v Noah in Pierre, SD
We would fight other battles with and against each other, but George always knew what trial lawyering was all about.
(More to come.)
Notes on Binegar v Day argument.
On the day that Binegar v. V-Day was argued in the Supreme Court, Dudley had sent me to argue that case and two others that were scheduled for argument on that particular day.
It should be noted that the Supreme Court upon hearing of Dudley is many shenanigans in the old 11th circuit were waiting anxiously for him to appear when Herman and Simpson had scheduled three arguments on that day. It first should be noted that at the time it was the rule of the day that all cases that were appealed could be set for hearing and argument as opposed the present Supreme Court procedure which sweeps many appeals under a legal rug of unreported ( and perhaps reads only by a clerk ) slip opinions.
While awaiting my turn for argument I looked through the edge of the entrance door glass of the Supreme Court just to note where they were in the terms of my schedule. I heard a whisper in my ear. It said “John when you go in there don’t argue and face the court and argue but turnaround and talk to those young kids with their fancy suits who are sitting in the front row. They write all the opinions nowadays.” I glanced up and noticed that it was retired justice Alex Rentto who had whispered in my ear. We had always been friends when I worked for the Attorney General and I knew that he was speaking from the heart.
When it was my turn the five justices looked down at me and turned their attention to Justice Charles Hanson who asked me “and where is he?”
I knew they thought that I was making things up but in fact Dudley was on his way to Rochester for a cancer checkup and that’s what I told Justice Hanson. Needless to say I was never bothered by any further questioning about Dudley R Herman during the course of my three arguments.
You may note that this is a work in progress. Please feel free to send any corrections or comments or critiques to me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks