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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Remembering Richard Essen

An obituary I am not going to write.
I will leave that to my friend Ellie Brecher, who did a yeoman's piece on Richard in Friday's Herald.

I just wanted to say goodbye to a larger than life personable gentleman who made my radio show, and Steve Kane's, so much more entertaining with his presence.

As Richard's wife says, in some respects, defending DUI clients was more reprehensible then defending drug dealers. But Mr. Essen did so with dignity, class, and the willingness to challenge and defy the establishment, with its litany of supposed perfect intoxilysers, untainted blood draws, and esteemed regulatory standards. By being a good lawyer, Richard found flaws anywhere and everywhere. He found reasonable doubt where others did not. And today we all prosper from his work. But though I have been to his office, and discussed countless cases with him, I really did not know Richard as a lawyer.

I pretty much met him after his days in court were over, and he would come on to my radio show as a guest, or host his own hour with Steve Kane on Fridays. Effervescent, energetic, and eclectic, with a mind that was wandering and filled with wonder, he was an enchanting person to chat with, break bread with. Proud to have been a lawyer, a dad, an author, and a philanthropist, he was also a salesman, marketeer for lawyers, and a pioneer in challenging the establishment.

He died too young, a week ago at only 70 years of age. And I add in passing, you have to watch yourself. No matter how good a mind you have, and Richard was in Mensa, you have to maintain your body. Goodbye, my friend.

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