Letter: He Was a Good Friend

Mike Moore, who died last week, was a Winnsboro attorney and a good friend of mine. He saved me once as a superior courtroom navigator just as an airplane pilot saved me years before.

I still practice law but I also used to fly airplanes. Sometimes I had no business making long trips at night into uncharted areas in the wilds. Once, for some miraculous reason, a fellow showed up at the airport that knew how to navigate and felt like flying with me to Florida. He later saved me that same trip in the dark of night somewhere over Georgia when I had no real idea where I was.

Like that co-pilot that miraculously showed up one morning for a long trip to Florida, Mike somehow appeared in a courtroom and helped save me through his superior navigation of the law.

The law was unsung for Mike. He didn’t get a whole lot of praise as an attorney, and he certainly didn’t seek it. But I can tell you that he was a good trial lawyer.

While I was the bedrock of the case, Mike was the lightning strike. While I plodded and sometimes clumsily mastered a case, Mike was different. He was a professional at seeing the basic weakness in an opponent’s facts and arguments. When the door opened he attacked, and he was generally spot on in his assessment.

On the particular case mentioned, he held back and didn’t worry. And when the time came he navigated the entire proceeding into a hole the prosecution could not escape from, and our client was exonerated. Thanks to Mike Moore, I didn’t get lost, crash and burn. And for that I’m forever grateful.

Mike was a graduate of Old Miss Law School. I always envied him for that, while I was stuck down in Jackson. To me Old Miss was a romantic place of Faulkner and airplanes. Mike got to do a lot of good things.

Mike was a good father to his son, but, my goodness, if I had to hear about chess matches and Wylie one more time, I’m sure I would fall asleep.

He died too young. He was a friend and a good trial lawyer.

Robert Hartman


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