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Federal Judiciary: Eastern District of Texas Federal Court Practice
In Memoriam: Scotty Baldwin
By Michael C. Smith
Another of the local legal giants is gone - last night Marshall lawyer F. Scott Baldwin, Sr. passed away. Scotty started Baldwin & Baldwin with his sons Scott Jr. and Jack in 1986, but for many years was part of Jones, Jones, Baldwin, Curry & Roth with his uncle and cousin Franklin Jones Sr. and Jr. (Senior's sister was Scotty's mother), later joined by Doyle Curry and Carl Roth. I worked for Scotty briefly while in college, but never saw him try a case, unfortunately - I think he argued his last ones in federal court in Marshall just a few months before I started clerking there in 1992. (The stories were still circulating among the law clerks when I got there). His professional honors are too numerous to mention, but include serving as president of TTLA, ATLA and other national and international trial attorney organizations, and author or coauthor of several legal treatises.
Scotty was a true legend. For years his presentations at ATLA conventions were some of the best-attended, and certainly the most enjoyed as he recounted stories of cases he'd tried. Some of the stories were even true. Scotty was also authority in my law school practice court class, where one of his articles on closing argument was required reading. I remember to this day that he counseled a low-key argument "heavily laden with logic". When I mention that to anyone who ever heard the master in a courtroom they just howl - low-key was not part of his repertoire, and they didn't notice logic was a prominent part either. We decided someone else must have written the article.
Scotty was one of the pioneers in product liability litigation in Texas in the 1960's and 1970's, and was a coauthor of The Preparation of a Product Liability Case with Brother Hare and Francis McGovern in 1992, a signed copy of which I have on my office bookshelf (it appears at the time I was the finest young lawyer Scotty knew, which was funny because my co-clerk's copy said the same thing). It sits next to my autographed copy of Making Your Case by Justice Scalia solely because I enjoy just thinking about Scotty's reaction at learning he's sitting next to Scalia.
Our condolences go out to Scotty's widow Cody and his sons Scott and Jack. He will be missed.
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