Mr. Redgrave’s Gravity

October 9, 2005 3:39 pm by Gene Borio

In two filings, Defense has announced 1) the departure of RJR/Jones Day lawyer Jonathan Redgrave, and 2) the transfer of his position as liaison counsel to the equally affable Tom Frederick of Philip Morris.

Mr. Redgrave was an interesting participant in the proceedings. I always thought of him as the Defense’s social director, working to organize and disentangle everyone’s schedules, to keep the wheels well-oiled and the communications free-flowing. In his forties, he was large enough to shop at least occasionally at the Big and Tall shop. He seemed slightly out of shape, but still had a full mane of dark hair.

At first, I was very impressed with his humorous ripostes at the podium. Seldom in real life do you run across someone with a true sense of wit, and this Mr. Redgrave undeniably possessed. At one point, he made Judge Kessler positively burst out laughing.

As the weeks went on, however, it was clear that Mr. Redgrave’s talent was such that he could always come up on-the-spot with a trenchant witticism. The predictability itself became a bit tiresome, a la Robin Williams–even if I did feel Mr. Redgrave wasn’t really showing off, just trying to give the proceedings a bit of levity.

Then I began to notice Mr. Redgrave’s face in repose, as it sank naturally into a kind of deep gravitas; to me, his face at these times seemed to bespeak an aching, thoughtful sorrow. In interaction with others, he brightened at once, effortlessly; alone, his face darkened–almost alarmingly. Perhaps this is all just Mr. Redgrave’s basic physiognomy; still, I began to think he might be trying to lighten the proceedings less for the Court than for himself.

Then, on Feb. 9–Ash Wednesday–I saw by his forehead that he is a practicing Catholic.

I attribute my own relatively strong sense of capital-lettered Right and Wrong in large part to my legacy of having been raised a Catholic–even if by fairly liberal ecclesiastic orders. To this day I remain shocked when I see Catholics take positions I feel are outside the Church’s most basic tenets. It was worse in childhood. I well remember seeing on TV racists in Louisiana rioting viciously against civil rights for blacks. “But–but–” I sputtered to my mom, “But they’re Catholics!”

Intellectually, I’ve lost that charming naivete; but not emotionally. As I saw the 3 Defense lawyers* with ashes on their foreheads that Wednesday morning, yes, I indeed sputtered to myself, “But–but–! But they’re Catholics!”

Anyway, since for the last year I’ve been intrigued and moved by Mr. Redgrave’s wit and (perhaps) his secret sorrow, it’s with a pang of wonder that I see him leave, moving on with his own spiritual journey–a journey which, for the thoughtful, must necessarily never be easy.

* For those keeping score, 2 of the DOJ lawyers were also ash-daubed. Considering the number of lawyers on each side, you could call it even, percentage-wise.

4 Responses to “Mr. Redgrave’s Gravity”

  1. Dan bang blogger. Says:

    Sweet Jesus, there are Catholics who are lawyers? Next thing you’re going to tell me that some of them even smoke cigarettes on their way to hell.

    Where is the news here on the Supreme Court decision?

    Does this blog only report when bad things happen to the Tobacco companies?

  2. Gene Borio Says:

    I don’t feel the need to duplicate here what the wire services do so very well; but we do link directly to their items. Direct links to their latest reports are under the “Breaking News” headline on the right of the home page. You may also check:
    http://www.tobacco.org/articles/lawsuit/doj/

    This blog is meant to give more inside, complete and complementary reports than what the news services can provide. There is very, very little information about the recent Supreme Court decision; thus, there is little I can contribute beyond the wire services’ reports.

    If anyone knows if Justice Roberts recused himself as he did for the DCCA decision, or if Justices Thomas or Scalia recused themselves because of their smoking habits, or of any other recusals or should-be recusals because of stock holdings, law firm connections or any other reason–not to mention the actual tally of votes–please let me know.

  3. tobacco observer Says:

    >>If anyone knows if Justice Roberts recused himself as he did for the DCCA decision, or if Justices Thomas or Scalia recused themselves because of their smoking habits, or of any other recusals or should-be recusals because of stock holdings, law firm connections or any other reason–not to mention the actual tally of votes–please let me know.

    I don’t think any of this information is publically available, and my guess is it won’t be. The only thing that can be said with certainty is that the DOJ didn’t get the four votes necessary for the SCOTUS to grant certiorari.

    Which justices (if any) voted for review or recused themselves isn’t clear. Likewise, recusal is purely up to the discretion of the individual justices, and the reasons for recusals are rarely discussed publically by the recusing judge. One would imagine that whatever caused Justice Roberts to recuse himself from the en-banc review earlier in the year would still apply.

    The denial of review probably shouldn’t have come as a suprise to long term observers of the SCOTUS. As was mentioned here before, the Supreme Court simply doesn’t “do” interlocutory appeals very often, and considering that no liability has yet been established in this case, this one really isn’t urgent.

    Should this case on its merits be reviewed by the DCCA, the SCOTUS could theoretically get another crack at reviewing the issue of disgorgement in civil RICO proceedings, though realistically the chance of it happening that way is probably also small.

  4. tobacco observer Says:

    >>If anyone knows if Justice Roberts recused himself as he did for the DCCA decision, or if Justices Thomas or Scalia recused themselves because of their smoking habits, or of any other recusals or should-be recusals because of stock holdings, law firm connections or any other reason–not to mention the actual tally of votes–please let me know.

    I don’t think any of this information is publically available, and my guess is it won’t be. The only thing that can be said with certainty is that the DOJ didn’t get the four votes necessary for the SCOTUS to grant certiorari.

    Which justices (if any) voted for review or recused themselves isn’t clear. Likewise, recusal is purely up to the discretion of the individual justices, and the reasons for recusals are rarely discussed publically by the recusing judge. One would imagine that whatever caused Justice Roberts to recuse himself from the en-banc review earlier in the year would still apply.

    The denial of review probably shouldn’t have come as a suprise to long term observers of the SCOTUS. As was mentioned here before, the Supreme Court simply doesn’t “do” interlocutory appeals very often, and considering that no liability has yet been established in this case, this one really isn’t urgent.

    Should this case on its merits be reviewed by the DCCA, the SCOTUS could theoretically get another crack at reviewing the issue of disgorgement in civil RICO proceedings, though realistically the chance of it happening that way is probably also small.

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