I still remember very well that, back around 1989, I tried a case in Van Buren to then Chancellor Harry Foltz, one of my favorite judges ever. The other lawyer in that case was a mild-mannered lawyer who sat calmly as I made way too many objections to the point of actually being somewhat unruly. At the end of the case, I was shocked when Judge Foltz ruled in favor of the other lawyer. That lawyer was Attorney Mike Medlock (now Circuit Judge Mike Medlock). After licking my wounds, I came to realize that the loudest and most unruly attorney doesn’t generally prevail.
About 20 years later, in 2009, I was representing a policeman who had been terminated in a case before the Fort Smith Civil Service Commission. Two policemen had actually been terminated and my case was the second case to be tried. I had the privilege of watching a much younger lawyer try the first case. Everybody said that the younger lawyer had no chance of winning and even I believed that he didn’t have much of a chance. But, as I watched the young lawyer, I saw the same type of smooth and precise style that I saw 20 years earlier with Attorney Mike Medlock. At the end of the case, that young lawyer won and the terminated police officer was reinstated. At that time, it was virtually unprecedented for the Civil Service Commission to reinstate a terminated officer. That young lawyer was named Jered Medlock—the son of Mike Medlock.
I walked away from that hearing telling others that Jered Medlock was the brightest young lawyer in this area. He did a great job. I also said that I would love to practice law with Jered because, even though he was much younger than me, we practiced law in the same way. That’s because the lesson that I learned some 20 years earlier by watching Jered’s dad was something that I had followed through the years. That lesson was to be myself—to be mild mannered—and not to scream and shout in trial.
In July 2014, I was presented with the opportunity to practice law with Jered Medlock and his partner, Luke Gramlich. I had been in law practice in Fort Smith with a good friend for many years but the time was right for both of us to move on in our careers. Despite the fact that I was much older than Jered and Luke, we decided that their established firm name (Medlock & Gramlich) should not be significantly changed. We decided to move our practice to a new building (at 105 North 14th and to establish a legal partnership known as Medlock, Gramlich & Sexton (“MGS”).
At MGS, you won’t see us scream and shout either in-court or out-of-court. We are guided by the same principles long held by the Medlock family and by my late father, long-time Fort Smith Lawyer Sam Sexton. Those principles compel us to practice what I call the “mild mannered” practice of law. That’s because we know that juries don’t want to see screaming and shouting. They want to see attorneys who act like people they want to be around and not like someone who is out of control. Every MGS lawyer is mild-mannered or they aren’t permitted to work with us.
At MGS, you won’t see us use gimmicks to get clients. You won’t see us making promises that mean nothing. You won’t see us posting books or articles on our website that we really didn’t write to attract clients. You won’t see us being someone that we’re not.
Come see us at MGS. We treat our clients, and try our cases, following these mild-manner principles.
© 2014 by Chip Sexton