The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

Lawrence Taylor  passed October 4, 2023, at age 81. You may not know who he was because few lawyers are famous. He should be.  


The best “Drunk Driving”/DUI/DWI lawyers in the United States since the 1990s absolutely know who he was and virtually revere him.  His impact was and continues to be immense.


Anyone I’ve helped with a DWI since about 1997 should be grateful, too. If you or a loved one ever had a DWI lawyer help with a case, there’s a great chance Larry had a hand in disseminating information which helped wound up training that lawyer.


He graciously traveled from California to speak at a seminar I orchestrated in the late 1990s. He even refused to be reimbursed for his travel because he just wanted to help me and the 150 or so other lawyers who attended. His commanding presence was as impressive as anyone I have met, and it seemed effortless and calm. It fit exactly what my image of him was.


I considered Larry the “Godfather” of DWI/DUI defense.  His “California Drunk Driving Defense” was the first DWI defense tome I ever bought and devoured.  I wasn’t convinced it was useful to my practice in Texas, but I quickly understood it was.  That book made me evaluate evidence in much more thorough and analytical ways.  He is the author of many publications on the topic, including another book I have of his: Drunk Driving Defense


His influence on my career in DWI defense is hard to minimize. I haven’t thought about his influence on me in years, but it comes through in all of my cases because I’ve internalized much of what I learned from him.


His attention to detail and creativity in the face of seemingly overwhelming evidence against his clients was without peer.


A few years back, Larry endorsed me on a website called Avvo.  It was totally out of the blue, and I was humbled to  read what he wrote about me: "Phillip is a knowledgeable, skilled and respected lawyer in the DUI/DWI field, and I have no reservations in recommending him to anyone seeking quality representation." - Lawrence Taylor 


That was perhaps the single most gratifying moment I’ve ever had as an attorney outside of saving a client’s future.


I’m grateful to have met him in person and known him just a little. I hope to serve my clients in the same spirit of professionalism and excellence as Larry. His influence will last as long as I practice.


By Lawrence Taylor -, CC BY-SA 3.0