Thursday, January 29, 2009

Brad W. Foster, Irving TX


Greetings Guy~

Woo, always amazed at the sheet bulk of each new issue of
Challenger, a rare thing to arrive in the mailbox these days.

I could particularly agree this week with your editorial comment of "Critters give so much, and ask so little." I started feeling kind of "off" about two weeks ago, got progressively worse, thought it was some kind of cold/flu thing. Ended up going to the doctor a few days ago and finding out I had bronchitis, verging on pneumonia. Got the right meds in me now, and working back out of it. But that entire time both of our little furries Duffy and Sable have been almost constant companions, just being nearby while I was awake and working at my desk, or sleeping pressed up tight to me while I was in bed. Feeding me their healing purrs is how I came to feel about it.

Glad to hear of the addition of Pepper to the household!

As usual, the highlight of the issue was your own writing on your legal career. Interesting to be able to trace your path like that, and actually be aware of turning point moments.

Your comments at the end about the attorneys having blown the case in the "voir dire" also struck home for me. Had my latest jury call come up a couple of months back, and was actually part of a group to be interviewed for a case. While we were seated in the hallway waiting to go into the courtroom for the first time, a bailiff from another court walked by and joked that I should hide the book I was reading, as if any of the lawyers saw me reading, I'd be struck right off the list. We all laughed, though I had to wonder, was that old chestnut true, that if you showed any sign of "being smart" it was already one strike against you?

Once inside, attorneys for both sides made comments on the case and asked us questions. I was a bit confused on one point and asked for more info. Other people also had questions. Then we were sent out for a bit, and back in to have the eight folks selected, which didn't include me. It wasn't until I was standing waiting for the elevator to leave the building that I realized all the other people standing around me, also not selected, had made some sort of comment or asked a question during the interviews. Another scary cliché' come true: if you ask any questions, you will be struck because you "think for yourself". Tell me I'm being too paranoid Guy!

Personally, I like smart jurors – less likely to blindly follow the lead of the DA's perceived authority. I can't speak for all defense lawyers, but seems to me that the more independent and intelligent the juror, the better.

Finally, Cindy and I were lucky enough to get to attend the huge Houston International Quilt that Liz mentions in her interview. We were only there for one day, and spent almost that entire time walking up and down row after row of the most amazing pieces of artwork you'll ever see. Be prepared to toss out every idea of what you think a quilt "should" be, this was simply mind-blowing in range and skills. We're lucky that such a large show is actually in our neck of the woods, rather than out on either coast, and hoping to get back to see it again one day.

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