On the 6th floor of our firm, an artifact steeped in history and countless stories stands as a testament to our successes. The resonating sound of the bell has reverberated through our office for decades, symbolizing victorious moments and sharing tales of legal victories.
The bell’s tale begins in the 1980s when renowned attorney David King purchased and installed it outside his office. Initially, it served as a commemoration of successful jury trials. However, over time, its significance expanded to encompass other achievements, such as bench trial victories, dispositive motions, and triumphs on appeal including at the Maine Supreme Court. Over the decades, it was rung by countless attorneys who spent their careers with Rudman Winchell and since retired, or have moved on to be judges or government officials.
David King, a legendary and exemplary litigation lawyer, embodied humility and grace. Despite being hailed as one of Maine’s finest civil lawyers, he rarely sought the spotlight. Colleagues, such as Tony Trask, eagerly shared stories of David’s courtroom successes, while David himself modestly retreated from self-praise. John McCarthy, who also rang the bell countless times, was a skilled trial lawyer, whose advice to his colleagues in the firm was “when in doubt, always do the right thing.” In addition to David and John, there countless legendary others who rang the bell over the years whose names we won’t list here, but who left a significant, positive impact on our firm and the community.
As the dynamics of litigation shifted and the number of jury trials dwindled, the bell’s purpose evolved. Its significance broadened to include milestones attained through significant motion practice, such as summary judgment, trials before a judge, and success on appeals. While some may advocate for adhering strictly to jury trial victories, the prevailing sentiment embraces inclusivity, celebrating triumphs across the evolving legal landscape.
In our reflections on the present, it is essential to acknowledge the exceptional individuals who have rung the bell, etching their names into its storied history. Current attorneys Allison Economy, Anne-Marie Storey, Brent Singer, Caitlin Smith, Ed Bearor, F. David Walker, Frank McGuire, Joshua Tardy, Jonathan Hunter, Mike Hockenbury, and Tony Trask, have left indelible marks on our firm’s legacy. Their achievements resound through the joyous ringing, unifying the office in celebration.
Once a witness to an abundance of jury trials, the bell now stands as a timeless testament to our firm’s enduring spirit. Although civil jury trials have become less frequent, the bell serves as a powerful reminder of our triumphs, the obstacles we have surmounted, and our unwavering dedication to our clients’ causes. It embodies the inspiration that drives our litigation team, fostering unity and propelling us towards excellence in every legal pursuit.
As we traverse the ever-changing legal landscape, the ringing of the bell remains a cherished tradition, celebrating our victories, and forging deeper bonds within our firm. For over four decades now, the resounding echoes of the bell serve as a constant reminder of our collective passion, skill, and unwavering commitment to justice.