Nov 26, 2012 Deeply thanking and bowing to Steve Swander, who departed his body November 24.
Some of the greatest lawyers are also very open to helping others rise as they rise. Steven Swander of Fort Worth, Texas, was one of those lawyers.
I first met Steve in 2000 at my first meeting of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, of which he is the immediate past president. This tall, unassuming man was among the many FALA members who made me feel welcome to this group that includes many great First Amendment lawyers, defending adult entertainment, political activists and more.
Steve never bragged (I can learn further from him there). He did not need to either, because his accomplishments spoke for themselves.
In August 2001, I went for a great trail hike with Steve and fellow FALA members Gary Edinger and Allen Lichtenstein on a partly rainy day across the river from downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, and dinner thereafter.
I last saw Steve at the February 2011 FALA meeting in Washington, D.C. He looked the same as always. I estimate that he was born around 1950.
Then the news on November 24 came that Steve died after a serious illness. Steve is so deeply loved that the FALA listserv filled up with praises to him — and on no other topic — thereafter.
Steve clearly did not seek out the praise of his colleagues. The praise came for who he was.
Deeply thanking and bowing to Steve Swander, a kind, selfless, totally real and highly accomplished human.