Monday, January 19, 2015

On the late Patrick Mannix

Over a period of almost twenty years, I had a number of dealings with Patrick Mannix, now deceased. Mr. Mannix was a self-appointed government watchdog, focused on Washington County, Virginia, and the City of Bristol. Some people hated him, including some of my clients. Others thought he was great, including one of my lawyer friends. I saw him at a few government meetings and court hearings where his comments were quite offensive and unjustified, in my opinion. The last two cases I had in court with him, however, he was in good humor. In the next-to-last case, I showed up just before the time for the hearing and sat down next to him and explained that I would be his opposing counsel for the day. He laughed and said, "I'm glad you're here, I was feeling kind of lonely." In the last case he sued two parties, my client and another, the case was dismissed as to my client and a default judgment in his favor entered as to the other party. Later on the other party was trying to get out of the default and I was there complaining that the case could not be reopened, which was sort of Mannix's position as well. He grinned and told the judge, "whom am I to disagree with Mr. Minor's legal expertise? I agree with everything he said," which was the first and only time he ever said anything like that.

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