Chuck Harvey's funeral was last Friday, and deservely the turnout was a who's who of the Maine legal and politica community.
Chuck was a very good all around litigator (and mediator), and as even a quick review of his resume reflects, participated generously on committees and was just an all-around pillar of the legal community (his long-awaited update of the Maine Civil Practice will be coming out this spring).
And aside being good at the many things he did, he was an overall nice guy. Gracious is probably an adjective that came to a lot of people’s minds when they thought about Chuck in these past few weeks. He was one of these people that just always appeared comfortable in his own skin and never seemed to think that to win he needed to cut someone else down.
Because this is a blog about Maine appellate law, I’ve been musing on Chuck’s contribution in that area, and it’s these general nice guy character traits that strike me. Heaven knows there are a lot of lawyers with less than stellar personalities who seem to succeed professionally, but I think it’s in spite of, not because of their character flaws. Appeals are all about telling stories. The more comfortable you are with yourself and the more you understand the world around you because you participate positively, the better story teller you are. Bob Frank, Chuck’s law partner, explained at the service that Chuck always thought that, whatever the audience, jury or court, you need to keep the story simple, to three items or less. He was right. And if you are a good guy, telling a simple story, you are more likely to be heard.
I will miss hearing Chuck’s stories. He was one of the best.