From the President, 1021 WYBJ, Vol. 44 No. 5. 8

AuthorJ. Kenneth Barbe, Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C. Casper, Wyoming
PositionVol. 44 5 Pg. 8

From the President

Vol. 44 No. 5 Pg. 8

Wyoming Bar Journal

October, 2021

Home Isn't So Bad After All

J. Kenneth Barbe, Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C. Casper, Wyoming

In August 1976, I packed up my car and drove away from what, up to that point, I had called “my home” and thereafter would call “mom and dad’s home.” I was leaving Casper headed to Laramie and the University of Wyoming and then points beyond. My parents had suggested that I could get a perfectly fine education for two years at Casper College and then transfer to Laramie. I’m sure that was true, but I could not wait to leave Casper. In fact, I could not wait to leave Wyoming. I had grown up in Casper and the map I had drawn for my future did not include making my career here. Perhaps describing my plan for the future as a “map” is an overstatement. I did not have a map in the Rand McNally sense of the word. My map was more of the Christopher Columbus ilk. I did not know exactly where I was headed, but it was somewhere other than where I was.

As I neared the end of my undergraduate studies, I still had only a vague idea of where I was headed— as in I had no idea. Two of my best friends were in law school and that seemed like a good way to delay the inevitable plunge into real life. Not that I planned to practice law. I was about to graduate with a degree in finance and I thought having a legal education could not hurt. As I neared graduation from law school, one of my best friends was back in Casper and had joined a firm called Brown Drew Apostolos Massey and Sullivan. He encouraged me to apply for a job and to my surprise they hired me. “Okay, I’ll work here a couple of years, get some experience, and then head off to bigger and better things.” Tat was 1983. I have spent over 38 years practicing law in Casper, Wyoming, and I have often thought how fortunate I am. Te truth is, I cannot imagine a place that would be better to practice law than Wyoming.

About ten years out of law school I was involved in a civil case representing one of three defendants. Each defendant had a different attorney. Two of us were from Casper and one was from Pine-dale. We had managed to obtain a summary judgment and the case was appealed. As we prepared our briefs for the Wyoming Supreme Court, I and the other Casper lawyer wrote a joint brief and the Pinedale lawyer wrote a separate brief. In Casper, we spent a great deal of time...

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