Robert Benson 54
Although he works out of Dallas, Texas, and deals frequently with international matters, Robert Benson 54 nevertheless thinks of himself as a small-town lawyer. Beginning with his first hitch in the army, he says, he has for the last 35 years studied Southern ways and used his knowledge to his advantage in rural courtrooms across Texas and the South.
Well-funded court systems in New York City, for instance, where Benson spent time on Wall Street early in his careermaintain uniformity in legal procedures, he says. But big-city lawyers better beware of the procedural minefields of small-town judges, who, he claims, are less encumbered by regulations and unenthusiastic about outsiders.
"Judge, your honor," Benson said to one such judge in West Texas who informed him he would have to "stick around" for four days to argue a motion for summary judgment. "That is the best news short of a favorable ruling that I could get from this honorable court, and Ill tell you why," he continued, angling for a reprieve. "I promised my army buddy Billy Badger, who has a lil ol spread out near Hereford, that if I could get out of Dallas, I would stop in and help him fix pumps and ride fence." Delivered with an unimpeachable accent, Bensons comments prompted the judge to hear and grant his motion and send him on his way.