Since I joined Virginia Lawyers Weekly in 1988, we have published more than 1,200 issues. I figure during that time (and counting my work at the Lawyer Weekly papers in Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina), I have written more than 2,500 bylined articles.
Some stories are memorable, some aren’t. More than once, I’ve gone on our website, looking for an old article. I stumble across something else, read it and said, “Hey, that’s pretty good. Who wrote it?” My byline will appear at the end. I’ve also found a story and said, “Ooh, this is just terrible. Who wrote it?” And my byline will appear at the end.
Readers who remember vinyl records will recall that back in the day, an artist would issue a “Best of…” or “Greatest Hits” album that would have about 12 or 13 tracks. When CDs became popular, the number of songs included ballooned to 18 or 20.
Here is the CD version, with 20 of my favorite stories I’ve written. I hope you enjoy them.
- “Rooster cold-cocked by tardy employee” (1995). The ghost of Ernest Hemingway grabbed my keyboard.
- “Divorce law and the lost art of … Red Skelton?” (1997). Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann shows up in three Virginia Court of Appeals opinions.
- “Elizabeth Disco was ahead of her time” (2005). An item from our popular “Hearsay” column.
- “The Case of the Two Blonde Mrs. Kings” (2006). Perry Mason would be proud.
- “A Veterans Day story” (2010). I won a first-place feature-writing award from the Virginia Press Association for this one.
- “Snakes on a plate” (2010). The perennial effort to create new vanity license tags. Samuel L. Jackson could not be reached for comment.
- “Meet John Doe” (2011). Turns out lawyers have been suing “John Doe” for a long time.
- “The other Paul Fletcher” (2011). When you share a name with a guy who’s not that good a guy.
- “The make-up man” (2011). A tribute to my grandfather, who was a lifelong newspaperman at The Daily News in Middlesboro, Kentucky.
- “Breakfast with the Devil” (2012). A great tall tale from the General Assembly. If it sounds too good to be true, it often is.
- “Dare to be stupid” (2012). A defense of free speech. “Weird Al” Yankovic would be proud.
- “The Rules of the Game” (2013). A comparison of baseball’s rulebook and the law. I actually won a sportswriting award for this column.
- “All that and a bag of chips” (MiLW, 2014). The tasty tale of a dispute over craft potato chips in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area.
- “A chance to say goodbye” (2015). A tribute to Bentley, our deceased cat. I got more fan mail for this column than any legal story I ever wrote.
- “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right” (2016). The creepy clowns made their way from SC, then to NC, and then to Richmond.
- “Whisky Business” (2019). Over in Scotland, A bigfoot whisky association (there’s no “e” in “whisky,” lads) tried to bully a distillery in Lovingston.
- “No blue light special” (2019). A love letter to Southwest Virginia, where I practiced law for three years.
- “More than a feline” (2019). Cats get no respect, especially from the General Assembly.
- “Cornhole in the pawpaw patch” (2020). Virginia has a lot of “official state this or that.” I am still disgustipated that “The Waltons” is not Virginia’s “official TV show.”
- “Holiday Style” (2020). The Associated Press Stylebook mavens at work.
- “Dog Tales” (2021). One of journalism’s mantras: Always get the name of the dog. Words to live by.