As I approach 60, it is clear I have turned into many of my deceased relatives.  I have my grandfather’s exacting cleanliness and order, along with his long-windedness.  I have my father’s skepticism, coupled with a general crankiness and impatience, but I’m a generally social and happy human.  And my love of cooking and food came from both of my parents.  Heck, we named our dog Skye, after the Scottish Island where one of my favorite whiskies comes from (Tallisker).  And our first dog was Islay.  There seems to be a recurring theme here.

Lawyers are not generally seen as a lot of fun.  They are often the butt of many jokes.  Believe it or not, many of us have varied interests and are actually a ton of fun.

 I write letters to the editor of my newspaper, the Chicago Tribune.  Recently, I wrote one, and got it published, by the Wine Spectator.  And my lawyer friend created a collaborative cookbook, and I just couldn’t help myself and contributed my mom’s adaptation of a risotto recipe.

This lawyer has a wide range of hobbies and interests, the more obscure and quirky the better.  It makes me human.  Maybe a bit of an odd duck, but that should not be news to anyone who knows me.  Embracing my interests makes me a better lawyer and a more interesting person.

Ride Shares

I began tilting at windmills back in about 2018, when the rideshare industry was just getting up and running—or rolling, as the case may be.  As a lawyer, I saw an unregulated mess that put fares and others at a risk safety-wise.  There were sexual assaults, fatal collisions, insurance gaps, and even the Kalamazoo shootings by the Uber driver, highlighting how the background checks the company claimed to perform were not close to as effective as those of the taxicab industry, having missed multiple felony convictions.

Sure, I was the only urban human being who was on the “anti” side of rideshares.  Who doesn’t like convenient, easy-to-use, phone app-friendly, and cheap?  Okay, I was skeptical.  As it turned out, more and more cities around the world started to question the employment status, the insurance gaps, and the safety regulation of this “technology” industry.

Minneapolis recently tossed ride shares out, as is mentioned in my recent letter to the Tribune

Maybe I was actually right about this all along.

In any event, I enjoyed the application of my legal background to the real world of the industry.  In a way, I “told ya so.”  

Wine, Cycling, but No Mary Jane

Regular readers know a little bit about me personally.  First off, you can’t read my blogs without realizing I ride my bike often.  Let’s face it, every ride gives me some horror to write about—driver aggression and inattention, rushed turns, bike lane abuse, you name it.

Despite being a very serious athlete who competes in cycling time trials (races against the clock, often on distant country roads), I enjoy wine.  I’m not a wine collector snob, and I rarely pay more than $20 for a bottle, but wine enhances nearly every meal and, I joke (sort of), makes me much more tolerable to my wife. 

One thing I do not handle well is marijuana.  My college fraternity was essentially a budtender’s delight, with a lot of guys who lit up their bongs regularly.  I would imbibe once in a while, but usually it just made me paranoid and dried out my eyes so that my contact lenses hurt.  I also hated losing control. 

My letter in Wine Spectator addressed how marijuana is being marketed as the “new” “it” product and that the wine industry should probably take notes (while conceding that wine goes better with my wife’s excellent cooking).  Honestly, I did not spend much time penning it and only realized it was published when I was reading the letters and started thinking “this guy’s letter sounds a lot like stuff I believe.”  Then I saw the name and it was mine.  Yeah, my memory isn’t great either, and it’s not because I’m stoned.

I am also a huge fan of eating well.  My mother was a superb cook.  My wife, Beth, is a superb cook. She can cook anything and loves the relaxation of cooking.  Ironically, this Jew makes a really great pork tenderloin but isn’t a huge fan of Jewish deli food while Beth, the non-Jew, loves it. 

When my friend Lindsey asked for contributions to her cookbook, I jumped at the chance.  It was a way to honor my mother.  She found a risotto recipe back in the mid-1970s when the “Northern Italian” cuisine was getting popular.  The Italian icon, Marcella Hazan’s, cookbooks were the bibles of my mom’s kitchen.  I adapted from her adaptation, and now I make a darn good dried mushroom version, if I (and Beth) say so myself.

What Do Wine, Biking, and Letter Writing Have to Do With Law? 

Nothing.  That’s the point.  One of the things that I believe makes me a good, empathetic, detailed, and hardworking lawyer is my ability to work hard at law and then forget about it in my other pursuits.  I promise you when I am grinding it out at the gym or in the midst of four sets of six minutes at FTP (don’t ask) on the bike, I’m not thinking about my law practice.

Then, when I’m back in the office, I can focus fully on working.  

We all need ways to reset, restore, and refresh ourselves.

My ways involve hard physical exercise and competition, great food and wine (I’ll take a Piedmont Nebbiolo or a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir), an occasional Scotch whisky (maybe after a race day), and mundane pursuits like following my hometown sports teams, and writing letters to editors.  They are my release.

Find your own release. 


  • Lawyers aren’t often seen as fun, but many of us have a wide variety of interests
  • My interests involve wine, food, bicycling, and writing letters to editors.  Find what works for you.
  • Work hard, but get away from work and do things that bring you release and joy. 
  • Eat and drink well.  Listen to music.  Do yoga.  Find what works for you.  

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