Monday Profile.....John Whitman

 By Jo Mathis

Legal News
 
John Whitman was born and raised in Detroit until he was 13. He graduated from Farmington Harrison High School in 1978, the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1982, and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1985. He married his wife, Pat, in 1990, and moved to Brighton in 1993. The couple have four children—three in Brighton and one in Chicago—and two grandchildren
Whitman has practiced in the Ann Arbor office of Garan, Lucow Miller since 1993, and is the managing partner there.
 
Currently reading ... I am on the third volume of a biography of Winston Churchill by William Manchester.
 
What is your most treasured material possession?  I really don’t have any treasured possessions. I think that my parents’ wedding rings are important to me.
 
What advice do you have for someone considering law school? I think the process is closer to a marathon than a sprint. Anyone can do well in the first hundred yards. Let’s see who can finish.
 
Favorite local hangouts: I like The Crazy Wisdom Tea Room and Gratzi.
 
Favorite websites: I like news ... CNN, Fox, Drudge or Al Jazeera. 
 
What is your happiest childhood memory? I have a lot of them. Christmas time at our house will always bring a happy memory. 
 
Which things do you not like to do? I hate sitting still. I have restless human syndrome. 
 
What would surprise people about your job? I think most non-lawyers would be surprised to see how well lawyers get along and generally work towards a solution.
 
What do you wish someone would invent? I think a time machine would come in handy.
 
What has been your favorite year so far? I really liked 2010. We had two grandchildren that year. There are two more coming this year, so...
 
Does your job ever make you pessimistic? No, however, what people do to each other to give rise to my job sometimes amazes me.
 
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? I think I would like to be an emergency room doctor.
 
What’s the most awe-inspiring place you have visited? Denali National Park in Alaska was remarkable. I’m told that I need to see the Grand Canyon. However, the most awe-inspiring place I have visited is the labor and delivery room.
 
If you could have one super power, what would it be? I think reading minds would be great but confusing.
 
What would you say to your 16-year-old self? “Put your guitar away and turn down the Led Zeppelin. Years from now, you will have a hard time hearing in old courtrooms and depositions.”
 
What one thing do you wish people knew about your work? I wish they knew how much I enjoy it. I really do enjoy the social interaction with other lawyers.
 
What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? That was the day I was sworn in.  My parents did a lot to make that happen and I was proud of their sense of accomplishment as well.
 
What is guaranteed to make you laugh? I can watch the old Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers over and over. 
 
Must-see TV: I watch “Game of Thrones” and “Walking Dead.” 
 
What’s your biggest regret? Holy cow! I’m not going to print that one! 
 
Favorite joke:
Cop to old man he pulled over: Do you know why I pulled you over? 
Old man: No.
Old woman in car with old man: Harry, don’t lie. Tell him you were speeding! 
Old man to old woman:  Margaret, shut your big mouth!
Cop to old woman: Ma’am, does he always talk to you like this? 
Old woman: Only when he’s been drinking.
 
What word do you overuse? Holy cow.
 
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? I wish I could speak French  or Arabic fluently.
 
What is something most people don’t know about you? I tell good children’s stories. My kids still remember some of them.
 
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? I would have dinner with Christ, Mohammad and Buddha. I have some questions.
 
Can’t-live-without technology: Clearly that would be the cell phone/ music box/ calendar. 
 
What was the greatest compliment someone ever paid you? I had a witness tell me I had a quick mind and a black heart. He was right. 
 
Are you concerned about diet and exercise? I run 25 miles per week divided into three days. I eat ice cream and drink beer. Yes, diet and exercise concern me.
 
What’s the best advice you ever received? “Follow your heart.”
 
If you can help it, where will you never return? I will never return to that place of my greatest regret that I’m not telling you about. 
 
What do you drive? 2010 Expedition.
 
What would you drive if money were no object? I would ride a Vespa in Rome.
 
Favorite place to spend money: I would spend it all in Cabela’s 
 
What is your motto?
“Be Still and Know that I am.”
 
Where would you like to be when you’re 90? Riding my Vespa in Rome, with my wife on the back.
 
What would you like carved onto your tombstone? “If you are looking for John, he’s not here.”
 

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