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The World's Meanest Lawyer
Not Associated with Pancho's On McKinney

© Jerry Buchmeyer, 1981

Mr. Craig Smyser
4013 Miramar
Dallas, Texas

Re: Employment Agreement with URS/Forrest & Cotton Inc.

March 27, 1979

Dear Craig:

I am indebted to you — so indebted, in fact, that a formal letter of appreciation is needed, with some explanation for my gratitude:

For years I have taken pleasure in the fact that I knew The World's Meanest Lawyer! Not just a "mean lawyer," of which there are many, but the World's Meanest. True, I did not know him personally or even by name — but, nevertheless, I felt I knew him extremely well through the resutls of his representation of a single client.

My initial awareness of him took place many years ago, when I first (and last) ate at Poncho's Mexican Buffet (Not Associated with Pancho's on McKinney). As I walked into the restaurant, went through the buffet line, and sat at a table eating, something seemed very peculiar, even bizarre. Suddenly, the realization! A "disclaimer" was pervasive, almost omnipresent — on the neon sign outside, on the wall signs inside, on the windows, on the menus, on the napkins and sugar packets, on the match covers, on everything, everything: "(Not Associated With Pancho's On McKinney)." My thoughts then, with some professional envy I admit, were simply that Pancho's on McKinney had an excellent lawyer who negotiated an extremely tough settlement in a trademark controversy between two Mexican restaurants.

Several years later, whem my daughter Pamela was in elementary school (where she was, for some reason that now esca[es me, also known as "Pam the Pickle"), she was selected to be The Princess for a little league baseball team. On a Saturday, we drove to Kiest Park in Oak Cliff for the Traditional Parade & Opening Day Ceremonies. The day was cold and windy — as is required by city ordinance on such occasions — so the team and Pam did not take off their jackets until it was time for pictures to be made. When they did, on the back of each uniform of each 10 or 11-year-old baseball player — I had not known the team sponsor until then — was the name: "Poncho's Mexican Buffet (Not Associated With Pancho's On McKinney)."

A mean lawyer, I realized. A mean lawyer, indeed. Without doubt, the World's Meanest Lawyer!! [How fortunate we were that he was not there in Kiest Park that day: since it was Picture Day, some of the boys actually had their shirttails tucked neatly inside their pants, so the disclaimers on their uniforms merely read "Not Associated With."]

Now, to the reason for my gratitude. Fortunately, (for me), you asked me to review the "Employment Agreement" which you intend to enter with URS/Forrest & Cotton, Inc. It is well-drafted contract, and it appears to accomplish the desired purposes. Under paragraph 5(a), you will continue to act as a "consultant" after your employment ends, with the stipulated compensation to be paid to you during your life and to your wife (Gan or otherwise) for 19 months after your death. Under paragraph 7, the "covenant not to compete" (which we discussed in the Y.M.C.A. shower), continues for as long as the compensation payments under paragraph 5(a).

I find nothing else of consequence to comment upon, except this: the "covenant not to competeI," as provided in paragraphs 5(a) and 7, will prevent you from competing with URS/Forest & Cotton for a period of 19 months after you are dead.

Another mean lawyer. Another mean S.O.B., indeed. One who will not replace, but who is certainly equal in stature to the "Not Associated With Pancho's On McKinney" World's Meanest Lawyer.(1)

Although I am already indebted to you, I do have one favor to request: please don't tell me the attorney's name; that might spoil everything.(2)

With deepest gratitude.

Yours very truly,
Jerry Buchmeyer



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