A Dog Might Be a Lawyer’s Best Friend

What was thought to be the ancient adage about a dog being man’s best friend really isn’t so old an ancient. It was first recorded in a Warrenburg, Missouri court transcript in 1870, and it involved the shooting and killing killing of a dog, a famous Black and Tan hound by  the name of Old Drum. He was named Old Drum because of his distinctive bark that bellowed out above and beyond other tracking hounds. Not only did Old Drum have a distinctive bark. Old Drum was fast and had a great nose too. As the two sides lined up for the trial on whether the shooter was justified in killing Old Drum, each of them had assembled teams of lawyers of notoriety. There was passion and equally hard feelings between the opponents.

Get this Dog Trial Over With

Notwithstanding the numbers and talent of the lawyers representing the parties in this civil trial, the presiding judge became irritated with the case and said that he had spent too much time on it. He wanted a verdict rendered one way or the other. Two closing arguments were permitted for each side. In his  impassioned closing, a lawyer for Old Drum’s master said “the one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world is the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.”

Verdict in Favor of Old Drum

Old Drum’s owner prevailed in the trial, and he was awarded a nominal verdict of $50. Today on the courthouse lawn in Warrensburg, Missouri, a bronze statue stands in memory of Old Drum.

A Lawyer’s Best Friend?

A dog might be a lawyer’s best friend too. He or she will stand with you in times of wealth and poverty. They’ll sleep in inclement weather, only to be at their master’s side. A dog remains by its master in good health and in illness, even if no feed is offered. It will guard him as if he is a prince. That’s an honor for a dog. When his mater dies, you can find the dog with its head between its paws guarding its master’s grave.

Ideally, lawyers do the same thing with their clients. They’re the guardians and protectors of the client’s inalienable rights. It’s an honor for a lawyer to be in such a  position, sometimes with little or no remuneration, but we’d be at the pinnacle of our career if we could deliver only one closing argument like that for Old Drum.

There’s much to be learned from dogs and their loyalty. They might be a lawyer’s best friend.