JUDGE MATHIAS: I call now upon John P. Kelly, Esquire, to speak in memory of Paul Parent.
MR. KELLY: If it please the Court, ladies and gentlemen.
Paul Parent left us on March 21, 1979, at the age of 50 years old. Paul was born in Bedford, Massachusetts in 1929 and crossed over the bridge to Newport, Rhode Island where he was brought up. He went to the University of Rhode Island and then upon graduating from the University of Rhode Island he then went into the United States Air Force. Upon being discharged from the Air Force he then started his law career by going to the Georgetown University School of Law. While he went to the Georgetown University School of Law he met his wife, Grace, who is here today with their four children, Michael, Michelle, Kenneth and Paul. Upon completing his studies at Georgetown Paul went to work for the Allstate Insurance Company and his job for Allstate – he was one of their first people to be what they call house counsel and he handled cases for Allstate on the defense of automobile, personal injury cases in the old Municipal Court of the District of Columbia. After a couple of years of working for Allstate in that capacity he was promoted to be District Service Claim Manager for the Washington Metropolitan area which was a very large job at the time. I met Paul when I was a claims adjuster for Allstate and he was their house counsel.
In 1963 Paul decided to hang his shingle and he opened a small office in the Citizens Bank Building and Jim Fitzgerland was in that office and I think Judge Mathias was in that office and he met Jim Fitzgerald while he was working in that building practicing law as a sole practitioner and they went down later on to the new Union Trust Bank Building at the corner of Sligo and Fenton where Paul spent the majority of his practice there.
In 1968 Paul formed the partnership of Parent and Kelly and a couple of years later Jim Ryan and Bill Turner joined the firm. A couple of years after that Jimmy Ryan and Bill Turner spread out their wings elsewhere and John Kelly remained his partner until his death and to today.
Paul’s basic practice was in defending automobile cases, automobile accidents, and Paul was a very serious guy and Paul is the type of practitioner who was, I will call, a straightshooter. He let you know what he had. He expected you to tell him what you had and if you could work it out, fine. But if you couldn’t work it out Paul was a very dedicated advovate and he was always prepared and sometimes some of us in certain cases like, say, a boulevard case were we can just say to the judge, Your Honor, that’s a boulevard case, some of us wouldn’t take the law with us when we went down to try these cases. Paul was always prepared. He always had the proper statute, the proper rule book with him, the proper instructions at all times. He was willing ot sit down to talk to you and willing to let you know what he had but if you couldn’t settle it you’d better be prepared.
Now, Paul, while he was a very serious practitioner also had a very, very nice sense of humor. Sometimes it didn’t surface. I can only think of one story that was told to me the other day by Jim Fitzgerald. I used to once in a while to at him to settle a case that we talked about during the trial and when we came back to court and I would say what happened and he would say I settled the case and I would call him the Silver Spring Gift Shop. Well, sometimes he would just laugh at those things but one particular time he was really into a case and he settled it and he’d gone off the elevator and we were going to lunch and I said what happened and he said I settled the case and I don’t want to hear one word from you and then we went to lunch and enjoyed our afternoon.
Now, Paul was very serious about the practice of law and he was also very serious about life. He was a very dedicated family man ot his wife and his four children. He was very active with the children in the Indian Guides. He coached the basketball and softball at St. John’s Church in Silver Spring and to show you the type of guy he was, when they moved over to that Parish Paul signed up to be a coach and as is always the case there were people there who were there longer than he was so when it came turn to pick out the teams the older coach was able to pick out the good, at least, and the younger coaches, they got the kids that couldn’t pass the ball, but nevertheless Paul took that job on and it would always amaze me he would come in on Monday morning and say, boy, this little boy did this this week and it pleased him immensely when the children progressed.
He liked to play golf and he liked to bowl. Most of his activities were bowling and golf and with his family. We played golf together. Paul could hit the ball as good as Bill Turner did. The only problem was when Bill hit it it went straight and when Paul hit it he had to go in the woods for it.
But Paul was a very dedicated person and he was a very, very close friend and sometimes when I think about the why, here was a dedicated family man, and why, in my own personal feeling I would like to think that God needed some help up in heaven and he needed a lawyer to be a general counsel and he looked down to find the best man he could find and he picked Paul Parent.
JUDGE MATHIAS: Thank you, Mr. Kelly. Judge Cahoon will respond for the bench.
JUDGE CAHOON: Mr. Kelly in his remarks today has cleared up a mystery for me. I had been advised that Paul was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and as a native of Brockton, Massachusetts I couldn’t understand how anything good come out of Fall River. And New Bedford is not much better. I had assumed it was a tribute to the effectiveness of the way in which we in the Air Force and at Georgetown are able to mod individuals to overcome those misfortunes of birth.
On a more serious vein, here is another jewel in our panoply of advocates in our system. Paul was a fellow trial lawyer. He had an innate comprehension of all significant elements of any cause of action. He was a person who contributed generously of his time and his abilities to fledgling lawyers and fellow practitioners.
He had an enviable reputation with respect to his evaluations of litigation. He was relied upon by people in the insurance industry and other practitioners.
The common sense of his advocacy was an ever-persuasive force before the Court and the juries and we are going to miss his participation in the administration of our system and I ask that the clerk will spread these remarks of Mr. Kelly and mine on the permanent records.
JUDGE MATHIAS: Thank you, Judge Cahoon.