Dick Hargis passed away September 7, 2013 after a valiant fight with esophageal cancer. Dick Hargis was the best trial attorney I ever tried a case with or against and he was the most interesting lawyer I knew. He was my senior and I looked up to him as a mentor. We frequently found ourselves on the opposite sides of cases but no matter how hard we fought, we were friends outside the ring.
Dick Hargis was as smart as any attorney I knew and he had great insights into people and their psychology. He didn't walk around on eggshells either. If he thought something was bogus, he seized on it. He once cross examined my pest control expert who disputed what the Texas Structural Pest Control Board had found. In a classic Dick Hargis moment, he questioned the witness whether he considered himself a higher authority than the Board. The witness said "yes". Dick pressed harder. "So you think you are a higher authority than the Board? Well then, the Texas Legislature created that Board. Are you a higher authority than the Texas Legislature?"
The witness said he was. So Dick pressed. "So you are a higher authority than the Texas Legislature. How about the Governor? Are you a higher authority than the Governor of the state of Texas?" The witness was getting really agitated and responded tesitly that on this issue he was. And then Dick Hargis went where few men have gone before. He asked the ultimate question but only after softening his voice and waiting with a really pregnant pause: "Well Mr. Tucker, are you a higher authority than Gawwwwd?" To which the witness jumped up and invited Dick to go outside and settle it with their fists.
Dick was the best theater in a depo or the courtroom I ever saw. He was unafraid to do things like the above and yet, he always kept his sense of humor. Later he would laugh about that question and say, "You know, he never answered whether he was a higher authority than God." Dick had fun practicing law. He liked the battle. He liked the fight and the intellectual challenge. He didn't get bogged down in ego. If you were good, he recognized it. If you weren't, he didn't attack you for it.
I will truly miss him. But I will always treasure what he taught me just being himself.
Cheers to Dick Hargis!