Consider making a memorial donation to the ICBF


By Webb Smith

In the over 50 years that I have been privileged to practice law, there is a common denominator I have found with lawyers I have come in contact.  They are “proud to be lawyers.”

While we engage in many activities that are highly competitive, the camaraderie and professionalism amongst us as a group shines through.  As the great sportswriter, Grantland Rice, once said, “when the great scorer comes to mark behind your name he marks not how you won or lost but how you played the game.”  For each of us who has been fortunate enough to be in the legal profession that quote is apt. Those of us who learned and played by the rules, know no greater compliment than to be referred to as a “lawyer.”

 As Ted Swift said on November 4, 1999, when accepting the Leo Farhat Award: “The 44 years that I have practiced here in Lansing has brought me in contact with many people – but I love lawyers, as a group, best of all.  More than others, they are vocal and their knowledge is broad.  They are a lot of things, are lawyers, but seldom are they boring.  In my early competitive zeal, I classified most other lawyers as enemies or opponents, but I mellowed and outgrew that parochial view and began to enjoy my colleagues and to admire their many abilities.  This is a great community with great people, and even greater lawyers — that is why I’m so proud to be honored in this fashion.  To receive approbation from colleagues who are my peers pleases me to the utmost.  I thank you – all of you — for all you have done to foster this occasion.”

I know of no greater professional memorial to a lawyer than to honor him or her for what they are most proud.  One way to honor our departed brethren is to make a memorial contribution to the Ingham County Bar Foundation in their name.  That sends a message to the legal community as well as to the decedent’s survivors that their loved one is being honored as a “lawyer” by a recognized legal foundation.

The Foundation has been in existence since 2002.  Since 2011, the following individuals have been memorialized: Bill Kritselis, Don Martin, Edgar L. Church, Jr., J. Richard Robinson, Thomas H. Skehan, Douglas Sweet, Hon. Robert Danhof, Robert Warner, Roger T. Ederer, Joe Foster, George H. Krause, William Parsley, Hon. Jules Hanslovsky, Deborah Deprez, William Stapleton, Diane Marie Ball, Ed Bladen, Hon. Robert Drake, Joseph Farhat, Hon. Kenneth Hansen, James Shonkwiler, and Quentin A. Ewert.

The next time one of our colleagues passes, I urge you to consider making a memorial contribution to ICBF to honor him/her for being a lawyer.


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