So, Luck Only Happens Once

Posted on December 22, 2008 in Arizona Trials

My dad always used to tell me that ‘luck only happens once.’ What he meant was if someone is truly successful, it is not because of luck, it is because of hard work, street smarts and good planning. Not simply luck! Well, by Madoff standards I ain’t done much, but for a boy who grew up on 40th street in Phoenix, I have been lucky blessed indeed.

Anyway, I think this advice is the only time my dad was wrong. I got lucky twice. First, I married Andra.

The next stroke of luck was working for Tom Stoops, Esq. He is and has always been a top real estate lawyer in Phoenix. He is a true gentleman lawyer and faithful Arizonan committed to our cowboy roots. He taught me to prepare cases beyond what was expected. He told me to trust my instincts, not the books that would tell me how to think. He told me to be honest and faithful to the concept of justice. He told me to stay faithful to my Christian faith and defend the poor.

He taught me how to cowboy up when the white shirt law firms and their big money attack the little guy. We put real estate con or two out of business back in those days. One crook sold bogus lots in Northern Arizona at The “Grand Canyon Estates” to European visitors. A thousand bucks down & hundred bucks a month. The problem was, the lots had no water, roads, sewer or nor could they even be found. One German who looked like Otto in Malcom in the Middle bought the same lot about 15 times. Tom taught me how to stand up to these type of cons.

I just went to Tom’s Christmas party. It was full of his long time friends and business associates. There was a ton of good cheer. I was kind of surprised that I knew some of his folks after so many years of not seeing Tom. His staff still worked with him. 

So, I now will tell my kids that luck can happen twice.

I also tell them that every successful guy I know sticks with his friends and business partners. Jerry C. who owned the Phoenix Suns still has his secretary Ruth. Bob Russell has the same accountant for 40 years. Mike Dorn still works with his accountant and lawyer after 30 plus years. The Van Arsdale brothers do not quit on their partners or contractors, nor does Bob Fraley, Skip Hancock, Howie Basuk, The Tangs, The Gongs, Andrew Cohn, Bob Alpert, Chris Peacock, Tim Louis, Mark Stein, Jim Harrison, Ezri Namvar or a whole host of multi-bill/mill-ionaires I know and work with.

Mom told me you know a person by who their friends are. I’ll amend that too mom, you know a business guy based on who still hangs around him after 25 plus years. To Lou P., Erv S., John H., Steve S., etc. thanks for sticking in there with the Law Firm of William A. Miller and God Bless you Tom.




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