Thanks for joining us, Jayhawk3r. Before we begin lets test your legal knowledge. Lando Calrissian murdered several thousand contractors when he blew up the second death star. As a renowned expert in Galactic Law, tell us, who is liable for the damages to the families affected by the tragedy? Lando for firing the torpedoes, Han Solo who owns the Millennium Falcon, The Rebel Alliance for ordering the mission, or the Empire for providing unsafe working conditions?
First off, this is in no way creating an attorney/client relationship. The key fact is that the rebels won the war. They write the subsequent law and fill the galactic judiciary. They aren't going to declare themselves war criminals. Lando, Han, the whole Alliance, they're all in the clear. I'm sure all the Empire big wigs would get convicted of all kinds of nasty stuff.
Even if we ignore the political realities of everything being blamed on the loser, all the people you listed are innocent and the real guilty party is Lady Justice herself. You see, Lando wouldn't have blown up the death star if not for Han letting him use the ship. Han wouldn't have lent the ship if not for the Rebel Alliance attacking. The Rebels wouldn't have attacked if not for Darth Vader and co. building the death star. And Darth Vader wouldn't have existed if not for sand being so course and rough and irritating and getting everywhere. And sand, as everyone knows, comes from the Sandman, and Flint Marko wouldn't have become the Sandman if the criminal justice system didn't let him escape. ERGO, the justice system itself is responsible and should punish itself. It's simple, really.
Lets back up a bit, or forward, I suppose. What was your family like when you were growing up? What did your folks do? What were you like as a kid.
My dad's a preacher. Conservative, non-denominational. My mom does all kinds of things, but she's a published playwright, which is pretty cool. They were both involved in community theatre during my childhood, especially my mom. I think my family is pretty great, and I know I'm very fortunate to have them.
My oldest sister is adopted and had some behavioral issues at a young age, probably related to substances her birth mother was on during the pregnancy. My other older sister is completely deaf in one ear and mostly in the other. So my mom started homeschooling them, and then I came along. I was always given the option every year to do whatever I wanted, but I chose to be homeschooled because it was all I knew. My parents were worried about social development, so they made sure we were very involved in 4-H (we weren't farm kids, but we did everything else), sports, etc. Maybe I'm too socially awkward to know I'm socially awkward, but I actually think my social skills are strength. No one I meet believes I was homeschooled because I don't think I fit the stigma.
It was a pretty conservative religious upbringing, except they weren't overly strict with me, so I never felt the need to rebel. Like I never had a curfew, even though I often didn't get home until 4 am on the weekends and in the summer. They trusted me to not be an idiot, and I don't think I ever betrayed that trust. I mean I did dumb things, but never illegal dumb things.
How did you become a KU fan?
I loved playing basketball. My dad and I mixed the concrete, dug a hole, and set a pole when I was, I dunno, 8. I watched the Bulls play on WGN, and one day my mom suggested I watch a Kansas game. That was 1997. Paul Pierce. Jacques Vaughn. Raef. I loved that team. I watched every game I could from then on. I still hate Arizona.
Being in 4-H, I took a lot of teasing from all the K-State fans, but that just cemented my love of KU further.
I believe you have said on the site you went to law school at Vanderbilt, or you lived by Vanderbilt, or something to that effect. How did you end up there?
Yeah, I'm a Commodore. My in-laws are from Nashville, it's a good school, and they offered me a scholarship. So it just kinda worked out. I sometimes regret the decision, because I could have gone to some good state schools with a full scholarship. Even with a decent scholarship to Vanderbilt, I'm still in a lot of debt right now. And I didn't end up doing Big Law (and frankly I don't want to), so my income isn't really any higher than if I had gone to any random directional school. But I loved my experience, and I'm employed, so it's hard to complain. There's a lot of recent law grads out there still looking for work.
How and when did you find RCT?
I don't visit espn.com much anymore, but I used to read their recaps pretty regularly. They used to have a list of blogs, including this one. I think I tried to read for awhile without an account, but the nested nature of the comments makes that almost impossible, so I signed up. I really don't have a great recollection of my early days on the site. I liked the community, but I don't know that I really joined it so much as I made random comments every once in a while and then disappeared or lurked. I learned the bigger names/personalities like Owen and Bensa, but I didn't comment enough for any of them to know me. I think I started commenting more in late law school, and especially once I graduated in 2013.
What made you want to be a lawyer? What do you like best about the profession?
When you're a PK, everybody thinks you're going to be a preacher or a drug addict. There's nothing in between. Being a preacher is a noble life, but a hard life. Your "boss" is both your congregation and your conscience. Sometimes those things don't agree, and that's no fun. I actually do preach 4-5 times a year, but it's not my source of income. I guess I just wanted a stable life. I think I have a pretty ordered, analytical mind, so law seemed like a natural fit. I'm happy with it.
I like the client time. I'm not in a 100+ attorney firm, so I've been meeting clients since the first day I was sworn in. I like that I'm not stuck in a back room somewhere researching obscure things. Instead, I'm meeting clients and interacting with people. I do lots of estate and trust administration, and also some estate planning, and then some other related things like real estate. I do most of our mineral law as well, though that has dried up recently for obvious reasons.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years, not just professionally but where would you like to be at in your life?
I've been married since my senior year of college, but we haven't started a family yet. Hopefully that will be well established by then. Other than that, I'd like to have a shirt that says 22 straight Big 12 championships.
What has been your greatest success and biggest regret?
I think my wife is tops, so I guess she's my greatest success.
Biggest regret? I don't know if this is the biggest regret, but it's at least a relevant story. Second semester my 2nd year at undergrad was 2008. I was in a serious relationship with my now-wife, and was vice president of a fairly large student organization. I was also taking 20+ hours of coursework. ESPN3 might have existed, but I wasn't very familiar and it certainly wasn't on my phone. I was really busy that year, and it's honestly the only year from 1997 to today that I haven't been able to watch a majority of KU's men's basketball games. I didn't "know" the championship team in the same way I feel like I've known every other team. I hate that. I did of course make time to watch the Big 12 championship game against Texas, and all of the dance. All, that is, until the championship game.
You see, that student organization I was VP of was in major turmoil, and the President called a mandatory business meeting that night. I only got to watch the first half of the game, and then I reluctantly went to the meeting. Today, I'd just watch on my phone, but that wasn't an option. I got score updates via text from my mom and sat through the meeting. Then came that awful text: "Down 9, 2 minutes, it's over." I was already angry that I was in a stupid meeting, and that really set me off. We were meeting to discuss whether we should disband. About 4 people (including me) were doing all the work and we were getting pretty pathetic participation. It didn't seem worth it. I lost all tact and told the group that we'd spent the last hour discussing the situation, the people doing all the work wanted to disband, a bunch of free-riders wanted to keep going, but their opinion didn't matter because they proved by their actions that they wanted to disband too, and then I moved to disband. That set some people off, so it took another 20 minutes or so for us to formally disband. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I found out we were in overtime. I rushed back to my dorm room, but it was over by then.
So I regret spending my year working for an ungrateful student organization and then missing the moment I had longed for since I was 8. And I guess I sort of regret using unrelated anger to disband an organization, but I think that was probably for the best, so whatevs.
If a RCTer came to visit you, what would you do and where would you take them
I live in a small town that's surrounded by corn fields. We'd go to my house and play basketball, and then I'd grill some hot dog sandwiches. I would hide all the paper towels in my house and force you to use paper napkins.
Anything else we might not know about you
For our secretaries' day, my associates and I made a ridiculous silent film. I'm the villain:
There's some inside joke stuff in there, but I think it might be enjoyable for general audiences. (ed note - make sure your speakers are on when watching)
Where do you live: Illinois
Facial hair: None
Any pets: Cat
What kind of car do you drive: 2000 Chevy Malibu
Corrective lenses: None
Hair style: Generic.
Favorite movie: Fellowship of the Ring.
Favorite tv show: Star Trek: DS9
Favorite beer or thing to drink: Darjeeling tea.
Favorite band: Rush
Favorite food: Cheeseburger.
Favorite non KU team: Vanderbilt.
All time favorite KU player: Nick Collison, but it varies.
First concert: Some horrible country listener appreciation KFDI concert at the Colosseum in Wichita.
First w-2 job: Dishwasher at a family diner.
Best athlete seen play live: Shae Weber.
Favorite dinosaur when you were a kid: Brontosaurus.