The Trial Lawyer Fall 2017 - Page 16

Teaching at a university in Croatia Baptizing his two youngest Visiting SANA and meeting with Guatemalan VP Rafael Espada (and helping out one of our kids with a Flat Stanley project) Why did you choose this particular hobby? At an early age, I loved books. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the floor of a Walden’s Bookstore in Memphis, Tennessee, reading book after book. As I aged, my love for reading continued. In college, I obtained an undergraduate degree in ancient Hebrew and Greek, which introduced me to a set of ancient languages. I also took a degree in preaching, thinking I might decide to preach for a living. The confluence of these interests culminated in the library, a 20,000 square-foot place where I can read and research to my heart’s content, and a place that encourages the surrounding community to do so. How much of your time are you able to devote to your hobby? On good weeks, I get to spend 10 to 20 hours. Those weeks are few and far between. Even when I can’t be in the 14 x The Trial Lawyer library, however, it is not unusual to find an ancient Greek book in my briefcase for spare reading. Does your hobby have an impact on your legal career, and if so, how? I would like to think it does, but that may be wishful thinking. I think all of our hobbies that engage our minds make us better lawyers. I also think that the more we explore areas outside the law, the greater pool of experiences and knowledge we can draw upon for illustrations, points of commonality, and general understanding of life and the world around us. The library also opens up doors for lecturers, resulting in a broader set of contacts for legal work. So, for example, in 2014, Justice Scalia came and gave a riveting public lecture at the library. We have also had notable politicians and others on site for various events. — NTL MEMBERSHIP NEWS & NOTES — Posing at church in Texarkana before preaching How does your hobby affect your work/life balance? My family is a part of my hobby. We formed a foundation around the library, and several of our children serve on the board with me. They get to decide how to best use the facilities and opportunities present at the library. They are also lovers of books and studying, so when they were in high school, college, and graduate studies, it was not uncommon for our children and their friends to show up at the library for a study-fest. Would you be willing to give up your legal career to pursue your passion project? Ummm… no! The legal career funds the passion project! I affectionately call the library, “the house that Merck built,” in memory of the Vioxx litigation.