LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Russ Anderson was an amazing man


Russ Anderson’s greatest accomplishment was himself; a man of intelligence, kindness and mirth. He was always dignified and reserved in behavior, but beneath bubbled an impish sense of humor, a love of music, and a sunny warmth.

Russ and I practiced law together as young associates of Romaine Powell, one of northern Minnesota’s most brilliant and respected lawyers. Russ had been in the Judge Advocates Corps practicing military law before he came to join the practice, and had more experience than me, more maturity, too. I looked up to him. Still do.

Russ loved to tell this story: A lawyer received a letter from another attorney that was very insulting, criticizing the lawyer's legal abilities and judgement. At first the lawyer was angry and drafted several possible rude replies. Finally, however, the lawyer sent this response: “Dear Attorney X, I have enclosed for your immediate attention a letter I received on your letterhead. Obviously, some fool has stolen your stationary and sent me an unprofessional correspondence. I knew how concerned you would be. If I can be of assistance as this matter is investigated and prosecuted, please do not hesitate to ask.” Beneath the robe there lived an amiable, decent man who we should try to emulate every day of our lives.

Carl Baer is a former Bemidji attorney and BSU Administrator, he is now retired and living in Eden Prairie, Minn.

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