Source of article 2's Company - Magnus Insights.
We’ve met some wonderful and interesting people in our years working with trial lawyers. One of those was R.W. Payne, Jr., better known as Buddy. Buddy was a true southern gentleman, hailing from North Carolina, then Virginia. He took control of the room when he entered, walking with the swagger of the former Marine and former professional football player he was. Melissa and I first got to know Buddy not long after we moved to south Florida in 1991. He was a client of the trial consulting firm where we worked before starting Magnus. Buddy, and his firm, were legends in the Florida legal community, having had tremendous success as a plaintiff’s firm for many years. Buddy was a big guy; he’d have been imposing on the football field or in the Marines. He lived large, and ran with other “big dog” attorneys and south Florida movers and shakers. And he did have some stories, the type that can’t be repeated here. When Melissa and I learned that he was retiring from his practice, we asked him if he would consider helping us. We thought his connections and perspectives would be helpful to us, and we were right! I will say that I didn’t know how or in what ways he would help and I was surprised by some of them. He tried to get me to add some Miami style to my wardrobe – including using a pocket square – that was unexpected. He also related stories about how some of his success was because he realized everyone with whom he came into contact could impact his case, his client, and his life. He told how simple kindnesses to “assistants,” such as judicial assistants and secretaries of opposing counsel, had improved his trial successes. When other attorneys were rude, or even ignored, court staff, he always made an effort to acknowledge them and thank them for their help. This was a natural thing for him, not a ploy, yet as simple as it is, it helped him help his clients. (This was the main catalyst for a program we instituted to thank the paralegals and legal assistants, the unsung heroes, of the clients with whom we work; a program that continues today.) Buddy largely served as a sounding board for us. Running a small business is difficult in that one often doesn’t have anyone in whom one can confide about the business operations. One certainly can’t, or shouldn’t do so with staff, and other than Melissa and me, and then Buddy, there was no one else. Buddy and I shared March birthdays, he was a day, plus about 25 years, older than me. But, it was fun to have this connection. Buddy was a class act and we’re better for having known him!