Stan Whiting,The last lawyer
Trial lawyers are advocates who cast a long shadow.
Judges and office lawyers ponder over what has been, blowing dust hither and yon.
Trial advocates while recognizing the past, have always blazed trails in the future and cast a long shadow.
Office lawyers serve a great purpose as well, but they do not cast a long shadow.
The bench however will suffer from an epidemic of “Robitis” . It usually occurs when the state suffers from one-party rule. The symptoms are an exaggerated sense of importance, dictatorial infallibility, and an elevated view that when the robe was donned, intelligence and perispiscasty all of which had been lacking when they were elevated as if it by an act of God . From being a humble uunassuming, status to a know it all martinet.sense of justice. It is, in nearly all cases, incurable. “Robitis” often seems to affect the female gender more than its male counterpart. Stanley, warrior and Marine-like chauvinist that he was, early on learned what all trial lawyers know that “Robitis”was to be avoided at all costs. Its suffering is most often borne by those politically appointed judges who are shallow minded yet deeply vindictiveto all th0se who recognize their sickness.. Fortunately most trial bar lawyers know who they are. They avoid them like the plague. Quite often members of the judiciary understand the weaknesses of vindictive judges. In my early practice one of my judges would say that those guys were not elevated to the bench “they fell on it."
Stan Whiting cast a long shadow in the trial bar and knew what judges to avoid.
In 1963 I had been elected states attorney of Tripp County. A Young Stan Whiting upon graduating from the University of South Dakota with a degree in accounting was arrested in Winner and charged with DUI. His sister worked in the clerk's office and told me that her brother planned to join the Marines but that such a charge would disqualify him. Considering the fact that many others were hiding behind a tractor or joining the guard to avoid combat (a common practice at the time) I knew what I would do. Having never known Stanley at the time I dismissed the charges and off he went to a glorious career flying fighter planes in Vietnam with over 400 combat missions.
When Stanley returned and finished law school he tried his first jury trial against me. If Stanley were here he could recount what happened better than I, suffice it to say he didn't win but he remembered all the lessons that he had learned in that trial and in the end became a very successful trial lawyer. In his last year of practice he was elected by his peers as “trial lawyer of the year”.
In fact when I was arrested for sales tax problems he and Bill day and Bill Janklow came to my rescue. They volueered to defend me,saving me from the “fires of hell”. Bill Day was the ultimate negotiator and with the help of Stanley and Bill Janklow secured for me a suspended imposition of sentence.
Bob Maule, The ultimate office lawyer at no charge straightened out all of my tax problems even after I had sued him several times during the course of my practice in Winner.
Another lawyer from Pierre, Bob Hofer argued my case before the Supreme Court and also helped save my career pro bono. These lawyers cast a very long shadow indeed and I am grateful to all of them.
Stanley and I would fight many wars winning some losing some battling like tigers in court but friends to the last.
During the past several years as I am now approaching 82 years my eyesight has failed and I can no longer drive. Without telling anyone Stanley would volunteer to drive to my home 15 miles in the country pick me up for lunch at Winners Joe's Café (where lawyers and friends would eat dinner at a “round table” and cast lots to see who paid the bill) and drive me home again. I may say he cast a long and thoughtful shadow. Save a place at the table, Stan.
John J SimpsonBiography In celebration of a warrior, patriot, loving father and husband, Stanley Everett Whiting, an adventurer to the end. Stanley Everett Whiting, 69, of Winner South Dakota, passed away on January 30th. Stanley was born in Valentine, NE on November 20th 1943. He graduated from Winner High School and continued on to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of South Dakota. After college he joined the Marine Corps and achieved the rank of Captain. As an F-4 Phantom fighter pilot, he accumulated 407 combat missions in Vietnam. He was once shot down, parachuted into a tree and was subsequently recovered—only to resume his role as a Marine Corps Aviator and continue flying. He received over 20 awards and medals, including the First Air Medal, National Defense Medal, RVN Cross of Gallantry, and Combat Air Ribbon. Throughout his life he remained very loyal to the Marine Corps and spoke highly of the time he spent in this storied organization. After his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 1971, he returned to South Dakota where he met the love of his life, Alyson Kocer. They were married in 1974 and enjoyed nearly 39 years together. He also received his Juris Doctorate in 1974 and returned home to Winner. He initially practiced law with the firm Day, Grossenburg, and Whiting for several years before venturing out on his own. Over the course of his 38-year legal career he tried well over 300 jury trials, bringing his warrior mentality from the battlefield into the courtroom. Opposing counsel often described him as “maddening” and a “bulldog” due to his zealous courtroom conduct. Yet no matter how bitterly he battled with opposing counsel and even judges, many of them hired Stanley to represent themselves or their families. In addition, he readily accepted court appointments to represent clients who were often charged with heinous crimes, cases that were so unpopular or difficult that other lawyers shied away. Regardless of the case, he always represented his clients with diligence and heart. Throughout his legal career he remained a true student of the law, reading and re-reading Supreme Court opinions just in case there was a client who needed him to be ready. In 2012 he was recognized for his efforts by being named the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association “Trial Lawyer of the Year.” Upon hearing his name called at the presentation, he was brought to tears. In his spare time Stanley enjoyed riding motorcycles and would take various motorcycle trips throughout the country with friends. He also regularly attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. He remained interested in aviation as well, having built several airplanes over the years. He is survived by his wife Alyson, brother Gary, sister Eileen, sons Quentin and Curtis, numerous nieces and nephews, and other family and friends. His father, Stanley and his mother, Pearl, precede Stanley in death. Funeral Funeral:Monday February 4, 2013, 2:00pm at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Burial: Monday February 4, 2013 at Winner Cemetery Stan Whiting Obituary--Mason Funeral Home, Winner, SD