Costa Mesa, California
April 15, 2021
Dear Family & Friends:
Have you ever wondered how cases are argued in the United States Supreme Court? I didn’t think so, but I’ll continue anyway with this off-topic post.
The Supreme Court has been in the news recently and that started me reminiscing about my appearance before the Court in 1979 when I was just 37. My client was Ford Motor Credit Company and the issue in the case was whether Ford Credit had made proper disclosures under a federal statute related to consumer credit contracts. Just for fun, I ran a web search and happened across an audio recording of the argument. I was shocked that the recording is still available. You can listen to the oral argument by clicking on “Oral Argument-December 4, 1979” under “Media” in this link. At the beginning of the audio, there is a 60 second delay before the Chief Justice invites me to present my argument.
The case was argued before Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Associate Justices William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, William H. Rehnquist, Harry A. Blackmun, Byron R. White, Potter Stewart, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and John Paul Stevens. Several months later, the Court ruled in favor of Ford Credit in a unanimous 9-0 Opinion authored by Mr. Justice Brennan. Two years later, I was back before the Court in another case in which I represented Ford Credit. The 8-1 decision in that case also favored my client.
I had a long and satisfying career in the law. In 2003, I turned the last page on that chapter of my life and entered uncharted territory. That’s when mountains, rivers, trekking trails and motorcycles took over my life.
Over the past 79 years, I have learned two lessons that have served me well: (i) life is an adventure that can be successfully navigated only through the Grace of God and (ii) never give up on your dreams.
Don’t worry, I promise to stay more on topic in future posts. In my next post, I will announce a major change in my adventure plan for 2021.