Dick Segal when a student at North Phoenix High School

Dick Segal when a student at North Phoenix High School

Recalling attorneys who have done great things for the community is always a pleasure, and that is what took me to an event back on September 10. In the old Phoenix courthouse, fellow leaders from the Phoenix Community Alliance gathered to remember the achievements of Richard Segal.

He had died suddenly on April 18. (I noted his passing here. And read his obituary here.)

Among other things, Segal was the longtime managing partner of Gust Rosenfeld and former State Bar President. In a historic conference room, though, in an event deftly led by PCA President Don Keuth, folks mainly recalled Dick as a founding officer of the PCA.

Marty Shultz recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Marty Shultz recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Marty Shultz reminded listeners of Segal’s calm in the face of chaos. He would routinely “pipe in with a soft voice with the most useful solutions to problems.”

Terry Goddard praised the organization and the man.

Terry Goddard recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Terry Goddard recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

“PCA’s formation as a triumph of hope over reality,” he said. “Quietly, competently, he kept PCA on track, on mission.”

Hon. Glenn Davis (ret.)  recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Hon. Glenn Davis (ret.) recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Retired Judge Glenn Davis praised Segal’s support for the Maricopa County Justice Museum & Learning Center, which shared a floor with the conference room. He urged attendees to view the Legal Hall of Fame display next door, which included Segal, “a lawyer’s lawyer.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton recalls Dick Segal, Sept. 10, 2014.

The current Phoenix Mayor, Greg Stanton, estimated that Dick Segal had worked with 13 mayors, “always prodding them toward excellence.”

Dick Segal

Dick Segal

“Dick knew that positive change wasn’t a spectator sport,” Stanton continued. “He was present, always there.”

Mayor Stanton told those assembled that the accumulated value of the legal time given pro bono by Dick and his firm “must run into the 10s of millions of dollars.”

The Mayor also noted that Dick was instrumental in launching the Downtown Phoenix Partnership and in bringing an office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to Arizona. He also helped in creating the Human Services Campus near downtown.

“Our city needs more Dick Segals,” the Mayor concluded.

For more information on the gathering and the man, read the Downtown Devil article.

And if you have not visited the Museum, head over there soon. Here are a few images (click to enlarge).

Dick Segal when a student at North Phoenix High School

Dick Segal when a student at North Phoenix High School

This past month saw the passing of two terrific Arizona lawyers—both of whom had served as President of the State Bar of Arizona.

John Favour died on March 16. Richard Segal died on April 18. John served as President in 1964-1965, Dick in 1973-1974.

You should read the well-written obituaries of John (here) and Dick (here).

John Favour

John Favour

Dick Segal

Dick Segal

 

In addition, reporter Connie Cone Sexton wrote a great piece on Dick Segal for this week’s Arizona Republic.

As Connie said, Dick enjoyed words and writing. In that vein, I thought you’d enjoy reading his insights as a former Bar President. Back in 2003, I asked past Bar leaders to identify an important element from their presidency. Here is an excerpt of what Dick wrote for us in the September 2003 issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine:

“Certain Board of Governors members wanted to increase our public relations program and hire a PR consultant to improve our image. I had little faith in these efforts. After all, what kind of image did PR consultants have?”

“My approach was to encourage lawyers to do good work and return clients’ calls. I declined the formation of a PR committee and it died on the vine. If it was ever revived, I did not hear of it.”

“Progress must be made in small steps. My contribution was to kill the Public Relations Committee. (I was also out to get the Long-Range Planning Committee, but it was more than I could overcome.)”

“As strange as it may seem now, another major concern of Bar leadership in 1973–74 was the “explosion” in the number of practicing attorneys in Arizona. We recognized that law schools do not teach how to practice law and that a de facto apprenticeship was essential to the development of competent practitioners. The concern was that there were not enough old lawyers to break in the new ones.”

“One of my themes was to encourage established lawyers to help the newer ones—even if they were not associates and even if they were adversaries. How was that for a quaint idea?”

You can read his (and others’) complete remarks here (and part of it in the image below).

An excerpt from Arizona Attorney Magazine, Sept. 2003.

An excerpt from Arizona Attorney Magazine, Sept. 2003.

Rest in peace, gentlemen.