March 5, 2012

Atty4kids Thanks Scott McLemore for serving kids 2101-2012

On behalf of Attorneys for Special Needs Children (AFSNC), affectionately known as Atty4kids, we wish to thank Attorney Scott Hanson McLemore for two years of faithful service as Chairman of the Board. We were blessed to have such a prominent Plaintiff's lawyer lead the Non-Profit, even more so given that our adventure had only just begun. Scott has served as a very active member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA), firmly committed to shape policy to ensure that Injured Texans' rights were not slowly whittled away by tort reform. I believe his active role in TTLA was, in part, the reason he brought so much to the Non-Profit as Chairman. But, his very focused, dispassionate ability to remove the emotional component attendant to this heart-wrenching field of law, made him a natural in this position. Scott is an analytical attorney who approaches most things with a calm, collected problem solving, result-oriented vision.

Quality Corporate governance and the objectivity of not permitting emotions to overtake logic is key to a Non-Profit's success and longevity. With a close knit group of very passionate advocates and leaders who were intimately acquainted with special needs challenges, having an objective Chairman to intervene, advise, and occasionally, resolve conflict, was a gift. Scott was objective. I suppose not having a special needs child, emotions simply did not enter into the equation, but even had he walked in my shoes, I'm quite certain that he'd have approached issues with the same demeanor. As lawyers, we are most effective when we're able to step-back and be as objective as possible. For some, it seems innate. For me, it simply isn't. Here's hoping that this is a skill that can be improved with practice. Until I began representing special needs kids whose civil rights were routinely violated in unfathomable ways, my work simply never remotely brought me into situations in which I would need to do this. Sheetrock and Petrochemicals just don't stir your emotions. Special needs children do. In my case, even more so for having walked the same path.

I appreciate him telling me what I needed to hear, even if I didn't want to hear it. Scott and I did not always see eye to eye, but I look back, confident that he always provided good counsel. I usually took his advice, knowing that he was right. I'm grateful for Scott having the patience to stick with us..with me! I'm not the easiest person to manage! Ask my husband! Or my Dad! Its a double edged sword to have strong emotions! The beauty is you love deeply, care deeply, and will fight for truth, justice, children! The flip side is you also blow your lid, occasionally. I admit it..I feel every imaginable emotion...deeply!

Shortly after my eyes were opened to the horrific injustices disabled children endure routinely, I mediated a Hurricane Ike case with Judge Norma Venso. Wonderful woman whom I hold in high esteem. I concluded the day like a consummate professional. But when everyone left, I sat down with Judge Venso and cried. She was amazingly compassionate and wise! She said, "Candice, you're going to need to pace yourself with these cases or it's going to kill you. You simply care too much." I cried more, thinking what a sad World we live in. I do care deeply, but I also think the bigger issue is that others simply don't care. I still wonder how anyone could care too much? I know this wonderful woman cared, as does Scott. I guess it's best, as a lawyer, to be able to separate one's emotions from the cases they handle. I hope to acquire this some day.

I close, simply saying thank you, Scott, for having the confidence in me to join our maiden voyage and stay through two tumultuous years, of which an entire book could be written. Thank you for caring about these children enough to endure what I bet you didnt anticipate, even after knowing me since 1996 at South Texas. We were blessed by your leadership and wish you every happiness. -Candice