On March 12, Scott sent me a message updating me on a discussion we had been having. Because I needed to contact someone to get the ball rolling on a little intrigue we had concocted to get a former "The Bachelor" together with a well known admirer of hers, I didn't reply to him until early on March 17. I didn't know that he was in critical condition at that moment in a Houston hospital. For several days I waited to hear back from him and finally made a concerted effort to contact him. The news of his death that came in response to my search left me quite literally without words. I have lost a valued and very trusted friend.
The person so many of you have described so well through your interaction with him was so much more to many in his real life, but he was never greater than in the kindness of his interaction with so many here at FORT. It is the best of him which we should all remember.
He really was an iconic figure in the legal community. While we never faced each other in court, our firms were on opposite sides of many well known cases. He was a partner in two celebrated law firms and was managing partner of one in Houston before opening his own firm. Those who faced him in court knew him to be a great legal mind and one of the most tenacious courtroom advocates, the kind about whom Hollywood makes movies. This is the side of him I came to know best. The sharp wit and quick tongue, never shy to offer candid criticism when he believed criticism was necessary, but never offered beyond one's ability to accept and act positively on the criticism.
For fun, Scott and I would occasionally take different positions on various issues, just for the purposes of debate. As I came closer and closer to my retirement last Fall, those discussions on and off the forum became very important to me because they reminded me of how much fun my profession could be ... absent the big clients and absurdly gigantic attorney fees.
He never complained to me about his illness but was quick to be sympathetic when my brother informed him that I had broken my foot during a dance rehearsal and was having surgery in NY that would end my now full time dance career. He found me in NYC in hotel room just days after my surgery and wanted to know my future plans. He pushed me to commit to something at a moment when I was at my lowest. He knew I had turned down several offers in broader legal circles and he asked me if feeling sorry for myself was a better choice than choosing to give back to my profession while continuing as a dance instructor, if I could do both. Laughingly, he told me that with four ex wives and at age 60, I wasn't going to get the same partners as Maksim anymore and my dreams of a senior national ballroom title paled in comparison to doing a little pro bono legal work. I knew he was right. He said "Take the offer you've been given; do great things with it." Sadly, I never had the chance to tell him I've accepted that offer, and as a result would no longer be able to engage with him at FORT.
He gave me the push I needed just when I needed it most, and I'll treasure our friendship forever.
One friend who sent me a link to a Houston Chronicle article about his death also sent me this Irish prayer which seems particularly fitting to the Scott I knew.
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
May God bless you all.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there... I did not die...