Fred Steiner, Requiescat in Pace

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Fred Steiner died today.  Not a household name, but you have probably heard his music, as he composed the music for many hit TV shows, perhaps most notably for Perry Mason.  A very young Don McClarey loved the Perry Mason show.  It had no influence on my decision to become an attorney, that option didn’t occur to me until my Senior year in college when I decided that I would rather not work for a living, but it was enjoyable and memorable entertainment. 

I would love to practice law the Mason Way:

1.    Almost no paper work.

2.    No legal research except for a few volumes of Corpus Juris piled together in the closing credits.

3.    Work on one case at a time.

4.    You represent only innocent clients in criminal cases.

5.    In criminal cases guilty individuals helpfully hop up during trial to declare their guilt in open court, clearing your client.

6.    Despite the fact that you beat him like a drum countless times, District Attorney, the hapless and aptly named, Ham Burger, keeps throwing himself futilely against you in court instead of having someone else in his office have a go at you.

7.    Your smart, attractive and efficient secretary never asks you for a raise or time off.

8.     You never have to send reminder statements to clients you have gotten off the hook that they still haven’t paid you for services rendered.

9.      Apparently Mason is unconcerned about getting a retainer from clients at the beginning of  cases.

10.    No one ever attempts to cadge free legal advice from Mason at social gatherings.

Ah yes, life is sweeter for Mason than the normal legal drudge!

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  1. You enjoy the fray too much, Don, to ever opt for a cake walk.

    Those who read your commentary, certainly, are better for it.

  2. According to Wikipedia, “May the record reflect that Perry Mason did lose three cases of almost 300 — a record any lawyer would envy, especially since he got one of his losses reversed on appeal. His losses were: The Case of the Witless Witness,] The Case of the Deadly Verdict, and The Case of the Terrified Typist.

    “However, in a July 15, 2009 interview on National Public Radio’s program All Things Considered, Barbara Hale claimed that all of Mason’s lost cases were declared mistrials off the air.”

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