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Law \ Legal

A Gift from Our Daughter and a Story I Told Her


We leave our home at Diamanté  for the last time today. We likely will go on record as being owners of a home there for the shortest time in Diamanté  history. Yesterday the golf pro took our photo with our favorite caddies. As you can see our photo was taken just as the sun was coming up. We have loved our time here and will be forever grateful for each minute.

Now on to the the gift and story.

Do you remember the first thing you did as a lawyer? Did it go well, or was it a learning experience. In my case it was a learning experience.

Our daughter Jill came up with this idea that she wanted me to write what would essentially become a memoir. She had found a website called Story Worth. and she signed me up. Then I had to start telling her stories.

The site prompts you to write about topics they suggest, permits the person you are writing for, in my case Jill, to suggest a topic, or it allows you the writer to pick a topic. I recommend the site both for you Jill’s age who have parents who are still alive or for those of you with grown up or near grown up kids.

One topic Jill suggested was to write about my first experience as a lawyer. I bet I have told this story sometime in the many years I posted here, but since it is somewhat humorous I will tell it again.

I was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in September of 1971. my bar number was 12227, meaning 12226 had been admitted before me. I had received my orders to report to Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, CA on December 6th. Because I had about three months, a lawyer suggested that I try to get on court appointed lists. I did that and also went to the top men’s store in Richmond, Virginia. Sadly I cannot remember the name of the store.

The salesman convinced me to buy one of their most expensive suits. When I told him I could not afford the $295.00 price tag, he set up an account for me allowing me to pay it by the month.

A few weeks later I received my first court appointment. It was to represent a juvenile who, along with a man in his 30s,  had been accused of stealing a television. The evidence was pretty overwhelming. The police had caught them in the act before they got the television in their car. I wanted to thoroughly prepare so I interviewed the boy’s parents and met with him at the Richmond City Jail. I had worked at the Virginia State Penitentiary on Spring Street during law school. The jail was far more unpleasant than the prison.

Finally the day came for me to make my first court appearance and I believe it was my last in the Richmond Juvenile Court and likely any other juvenile court. I remember the prosecution’s case took about five minutes with the police officer testifying to what he saw, details on who owned the television, and the arrest he had made. I don’t remember cross examining the police officer. My juvenile client told me he didn’t want to testify so it was time for final argument.

After the prosecutor once again made it simple, I stood to give my final argument. What could I say? I decided to play on the fact he was a juvenile and the man with him was in his thirties. My juvenile client was led astray by the older man. When I finished the judge called us to the bench.

One of the side effects of chemo, being on a ventilator for five days and other medical issues I have faced this year is a loss of memory. So, when I wrote what the judge said, it is possible I embellished the story I told Jill.

Here is what I claimed he said: “Mr. Parvin, your client has far more experience in court than you do. I’ve gotten to know him well. While I appreciate what you suggested, it is far more likely that your juvenile client led his accomplice astray rather than the third year of man led him astray.”

With that, I packed my briefcase and left the juvenile court and never represented another juvenile in my lcareer.


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