by Albert D. Brault
Laurence T. Scott
(1929 – 2007)
On November 1, 1958, I began the practice of law. As I entered what was to be my office for the next several years, I met a lithe, handsome young man, a 1956 graduate of George Washington Law School, with whom I was to share space. He smiled and with the warmth he always displayed said, “Hi, I’m Larry Scott”. On November 5, 2007 at St. Bartholomew’s Church, I said “So long Larry Scott”. In the years in between we practiced law as partners for thirty-five years, raised our families (Larry’s five and my seven), became grandfathers and always remained good friends. We not only never had a disagreement, we never had a cross word, a testament to the kind of man he was.
When I began, he was my mentor. After all, he had been a lawyer for two years. Larry took me to my first trials – taught me the basics of direct and cross and then turned me loose with a stack of small case files. I lost the first eleven cases and asked Larry if I was cut out for the law. He laughed with his friendly smile and drew a cartoon that I have on my office wall to this day. (See below). Aside from his cartoon art, Larry was a model ship builder. His house is adorned with his beautiful craft.
Larry was a great trial lawyer. His style was smooth and professional. It was “kill’em with nice”. Some of the best comments I received about him came from his opponents even after they lost. The greatest compliment came from a longstanding and soon to become Chief Judge of one of the District of Columbia Court systems. He sought me out to say, “Larry Scott just tried the best case I have seen as a Judge.” Larry was a member of the District of Columbia Defense Lawyers Association and served as its president in 1979 and was named Defense Lawyer of the Year in 1988.
Larry received his college degree from Niagara University where he was in the ROTC. As a new graduate and after his marriage to Delores, he was sent to OCS at Ft. Benning, Georgia. From there, he was sent to Korea. He never told anyone, not even Delores, of his Korean experience except one story. When being flown to a combat zone, he was equipped with a parachute. He asked a soldier colleague to show him how it opened. The soldier showed him a large button at his chest and said “hit it with your fist”. Simple enough and off he went. Nothing happened. As he left the plane, he asked another soldier how to get out of the parachute. He was told, “see that button at your chest – hit it with your fist” – Larry did and the parachute fell off. Larry said, “Never be so trustful” as he laughed. That was Larry – his only war story.
He declined several times to record his service for the Veterans History Project, but finally partially relented. He filled out a brief biographical questionnaire. We were surprised to learn the level of combat he saw on Hills – 179, Easy Outpost Baldy, and Sandbag Castle. He added, I was in Korea but I was no hero, however, listed among his medals was the Bronze Star. This was typical Larry; quiet, humble, and despite his many accomplishments never was heard to brag. We were pleased that his family came to know this about the husband and father they so loved and admired.
Goodbye Larry – We can’t win’em all – but I’ll bet you win this one. Al