In the fall of my second year of law school, the law firm of Crouch, Crouch, Spangler & Douglas hired me to clerk for one of the partners. The firm had been charged with the task of figuring out what had happened in a particular bank in southeastern Missouri. To make a long story quite short, indiscretions involving Certificates of Deposit had occurred and bank examiners would be arriving.
I drove to and from Harrisonville for a few months. After getting lost in a heavy snow, I started looking for a clerkship closer to home. I got offered a job at a firm called Rea, Chamberlin & Russell which at the time owned a building on the east side of Westport not far from my apartment.
Before I could start work, though, I got run over by a car.
I got out of the hospital six weeks after the accident and spent another three months trying to save my second year of law school. By the end of the summer, I felt ready to work and approached Loren Rea, one of the partners in the firm which had offered me a clerkship on the very day of my accident. To my surprise, he had held my job despite the six-month delay.
I began work at the firm in September of 1982. I had my own office and a brass name plate on the door.
I worked for the firm until the September that I passed the bar. Loren and Judy Rea threw me a party at local bar owned by a friend/client of theirs. Loren swore me into the Missouri bar and signed my certificate.
New license in hand, I opened my first solo practice. I hung the brass name plate that I had taken with me at the end of my clerkship. I got a part-time job as a city prosecutor. Two years later, I took a full-time position as an assistant county prosecutor and put my name plate in a drawer. I carried that brass plaque from town to town and job to job but never had a place for it or a need for it. Even in the practice that I’ve had for the last twenty-two years, there has been no need for a name plate with a full-time front-office person to show clients to my office door.
This spring, my friend Pat Reynolds started trying to convince me that my Clay County clients would appreciate my having a small satellite office in Liberty. I found her arguments persuasive. Though I will always have my main base in Westport at Suite 100, on June 1st, I moved into the Liberty Law Office building at 17 W. Kansas, a block west of the Liberty square.
As one of my opening gambits to my new Northland adventure, I dusted off the brass name plate. It’s a little scratched and tarnished, but I’m not complaining.