Its 03:13 on a Sunday morning. No way I can sleep. I have tossed and turned most of the night and now I'm in my home office at my desk reviewing files and reading case law in preparation for an important upcoming week of court hearings in Cullman County, Clay County, and Blount County. Joe, my faithful and furry best friend (my Chihuahua) is laying next to me in my office chair. My mind has been racing. I have driven my wife, Annie crazy as I rolled around in bed unable to close my eyes and fall asleep. I am thinking about my clients. My clients that are away from their families because they are in jail awaiting their day in court. I think about my clients facing jail time. Facing prison time. I review the facts of their cases in my head. I can see their faces. Hear their voices. My memories of our telephone calls at midnight, visits to their homes, visits with them in jail. I think about our trial strategy. I think out my patterns of direct and cross examination. This is chess....not checkers... I think of the 27 exceptions to the Hearsay rule of evidence in order to get a sliver of testimony admitted into court to help my client's plight. Sometimes it seems like I care more about my clients and their predicaments more than they do.
This profession is not for the faint of heart. It can be the most rewarding career on one day, and the darkest most burdensome way to make a living the next day. As a police officer for so many years, I was a witness to so much pain, death and heartache. I saw it in the Navy as well. Now as a lawyer, nothing has changed. People call upon me in the worst times of their lives. Sometimes, they ask for the impossible. My job is to try and deliver the impossible. I have chosen my path, or so I think. I have done many things with my life that have proven to be rewarding, challenging and important. Nothing I have ever been is more important than being a father to my children and a husband to my wife. But from a professional standpoint, I firmly believe that God has put me right where he wants me...I am a lawyer for the common man. The forgotten man. The misunderstood man. The misguided man. I stand with and for people who don't have a lot of financial means to pay for an attorney in their time of need, but need THE BEST attorney possible. Sometimes I actually make "poor business decisions" in order to represent the people who need me the most. This is my calling. This is how I honor God, my family and my country. We are all God's children.
Joyce Harwell Reply
Posted Oct 04, 2020 at 15:21:35
Erik,I first met you when you were an officer,and knew immediately what a great person you were.Healthwise, you have suffered alot and been triumphant.I am so happy to see that you are enjoying your profession ,and doing the best job for your clients. You are a true champion.
Donna Nestor Reply
Posted Oct 04, 2020 at 18:55:04
Erik, I had listened to your mom and dad for years. Absolutely loved them and miss them on the radio. It is an honor to read your blog. It’s so nice to read a lawyers thoughts. No all are as honorable as you are. My prayers are with you.
Dr Fine Reply
Posted Oct 04, 2020 at 20:51:05
We are proud of you. Very proud. Be Well My Son… and remember : while you’ve never laid eyes on “the Senior Member of Your Firm” He is with you every moment. Continue to call on Him. He’s very wise and has broad shoulders. Love, Dad
Max Dover Reply
Posted Oct 04, 2020 at 20:59:32
ERIK STAND BY YOUR BELIEF IN GOD and He will stand with you to the end!
Ginger Barbee Reply
Posted Oct 04, 2020 at 23:43:30
Erik…I thank God for your sacrifice as you struggle for justice for your clients….It sounds like you are certainly in the center of God’s will..Youare an excellent writer as well.I am encouraged that there are lawyers like you. I will be praying for you as you continue to give of yourself to your clients and family…..Ginger Barbee J.D.
Pat Talley Reply
Posted Oct 06, 2020 at 12:13:19
I have known your Dad since he was a little boy. Your Grandfather and Grandmother were like family to my husbands family . He was also our Dr. he was a wonderful Dr. your Grandmother Esther a lovely lady. He delivered our babies . Made house calls in the middle of the night to take care of one of our children. We were young starting out and many times they gave furniture when they got new . Gave us one of the twins cribs and high chair . We never paid one cent for all the times he took care of us. Your Dad has told me about going on house calls with as a young boy and would drive because his Dad was so tired . He would be at the hospital by 6 am in surgery part of the day
Then back at office usually around 2 pm and see patients until
After 6 then back to the hospital and probably get home for supper around 8 . My husband and his sister were at the hospital right before he passed away and Bruce asked me if I would say a prayer . Esther held his hand on one side of the bed and everyone joined hands around his bed and had his hand on the other side . I felt very honored to do that . I am not Jewish but a very firm believer in God and his son . I know Doc would have liked that I did it. His family has been at our house for Thanksgiving . He and Esther would always have a Christmas Eve party for their Christian friends . My name is Pat but he always called me Patty . When I would take one of my babies for their first check ups they would get them down to their diapers and he would get them on his shoulder and walk up and down the hall showing the, off . If you were a old lady he would hug them and they felt better . I can truly say he was one of a kind. Your Grandmother Esther and my mother-in-law law were dear friends as was my father in law and Doc . My father in law belonged to a club “ Lions “ . Our town needed a dr. So a committee went to Chicago and met with Doc and that is how Carterville was so blessed to have him . Your Dad was a small child when they came . My husband has passed away and I am 85 . We had a son and a daughter , from them we now have 5 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. I guess you can tell your family was and is very dear to me . Reading what you wrote I think God chose you for the profession you are in . I see compassion in you . Wonder where that comes from ⭐️
Erik Fine Reply
Posted Nov 02, 2020 at 11:12:36
Thank you, counselor. I know that you understand the struggle as well.
Erik Fine Reply
Posted Nov 02, 2020 at 11:14:39
Thanks for those wonderful sentiments, Pat! Living up to my family’s name is very very important to me. My grandfather and my father have some huge shoes for me to fill!
Erik Fine Reply
Posted Nov 02, 2020 at 11:15:07
I will ALWAYS stand by my belief in God!
Erik Fine Reply
Posted Nov 02, 2020 at 11:15:30
Well stated, Pop!
Erik Fine Reply
Posted Nov 02, 2020 at 11:16:05
Thank you for those kind sentiments, Donna….I appreciate them very much!
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