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Memorial-Scott, Thomas B.
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Thomas B. Scott
Date of Death: July 31, 1979 


JUDGE MATHIAS: I call upon Alan R. Swendiman, Esquire, to speak in memory of Thomas B. Scott. 

     MR. SWENDIMAN: Members of the Court, distinguished guests, Winifred and Arlene. 

     I was honored to be asked by Judge Klavan to speak for Thomas Barrett Scott. Honored because it’s an opportunity to honor those who have gone before us and to honor those that we know and circumstantially to also honor the father of a friend and high school classmate of mine, Arthur Feld, but in any event to honor all those who have gone before us from the bench and bar. 

     It is also an opportunity for us to pause in our busy schedules, to stop and think about the finiteness of our own existence. 

     In speaking of Thomas B. Scott, it would be easy for me to give biographical data and I don’t wish to minimize that in any way, but I won’t do so because given my age and the stage of life at which I met Tom Scott, those would be somebody else’s words and not my own and instead I prefer to concentrate or reflect upon several personal qualities that I knew. There were others than I’m sure that time doesn’t permit. Two of these are first of all Tom Scott was victorious advocate and his advocacy was thorough. Now, we hear much about legal services being rendered to those who are less fortunate. We hear less about those who fall somewhere in the middle of the economic scale. Those who don’t qualify for legal assistance but who feel the financial impact of legal representation. And Tom Scott represented a number of these people. His representation was vigorous. It was as if the case was the most important one that he had as it was to those who were to be called his clients. 

     I heard this story many times from various quarters, that when and Winifred first came to this area from New York he was asked by the attorney that he was associated with to take a case. I believe the attorney was going out of town and he told Tom Scott not to spend much time on it because it was hopeless. Well, Tom Scott spent a week in trial and won that case and after his death the most frequent comment I heard from several of those who were his clients, they remarked on how hard and how much he had gone to bat for them, and I suspect that this advocacy took a toll on his life and I might add that that advocacy translated also into other spheres of his life. 

     I knew him from the political world. He was on the opposite side of me in terms of the political fence. He and I were paired at the election polls come election day and I was usually the recipient of his political comments and his advocacy of his political beliefs. 

     In being a vigorous advocate he was also very thorough. Whatever he did, he did for his clients and he did it right. And this was a character trait which he shared with his partner, Winifred, and all of us know that in the process of law whether it be spouse, family, friends or those upon whome we have some influence, that the practice of law is a partnership and this thoroughness characterized both he and Winifred’s actions in all aspects of their lives. And I can attest to this because I was the small beneficiary of their largesse. 

     Finally, Tom Scott was mindful of those who followed behind him, of where he had come from. One quality that is less noticed when we talk about qualities that we look for in a good attorney is that in helping a young attorney entering the practice of law. In the last year or years of his life he was concerned about giving the younger attorney something upon which to start, both school-wise and financial-wise. 

     Several cases which he referred were not the ones upon which an attorney could become financially well off and he admitted this to me. They were convoluted in nature, involving great expenditures of time, involving personalities that would have tried the patience of Job, but he hoped that they would be the basis upon which to build a practice and upon which to provide a learning experience, and I can attest to the fact and can appreciate this financial concern and I did learn a great deal. I might add that this concern not only extended to the younger attorneys but also to other young professionals who were trying to get started. 

     When it comes down to it, what more can a man or woman say at the end of his or her life that in the case of Tom Scott that he did his best in the endeavor that he chose and that he attempted in that endeavor to leave some legacy, however small, or make some contribution to those who were to follow in that endeavor. 

     Your Honors, I would move that my remarks on behalf of Thomas Barrett Scott be entered and recorded among the permanent records of this court. 

     JUDGE MATHIAS:      Thank you, Mr. Swendiman.


     Judge Cahoon would you kindly respond for the bench? 

     JUDGE CAHOON: Judge Mathias, here is another unique advocate in our system. Tom Scott was a person with an irascible personality and an apparent cantankerousness which masked a compassion and a concern for his fellow human beings. 

     As we noted in the presentation he was a vigorous advocate for his clients. He was dedicated to the cause of others, in both litigation and public affairs and he was unstinting. He was magnificent in his support of his partner, Winifred, in her efforts in the political sphere and he made significant contributions to the welfare and interest of that political move.

     Behind this mass and his energy was found a solid understanding and a comprehension of the law and the issues and it bordered upon the scholarly. 

     For these reasons we have asked that the clerk spread upon the Minutes the comments for Mr. Swendiman in memory of Thomas Scott. 

     JUDGE MATHIAS: Thank you, Judge Cahoon.