Harvey Going Beyond The Law
Finally, I’m going beyond the law. I’ve being trying to redefine myself since that morning in 2003 when I closed my law practice. The moment I locked an empty law office door behind me, I instantly felt different. I felt the weight of other people’s problems literally fall from my shoulders. They crashed and sank into the carpet outside of Suite 710 at 230 Peachtree Street. It was liberating.
I had been a fixture in the Peachtree Center complex since 1986 when I invested $1500 in a cubby hole, some office furniture and an Apple 2c computer. Five Hundred of those dollars, I received as a retainer from Mrs. Inez Lester, who had held me in her lap during Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s I have a dream speech on this date in 1963. In 1986, she was on the verge of losing her home to a state tax lien that had been placed on her property before I had finished high school. She did not discover the lien until many years later.
Mrs. Lester entrusted me to save her home. Because her home was a historical marker for where I was when Dr. King spoke on the Washington Mall, I had a vested interest in keeping it out of the hands of the State of Georgia. We won that case by intimidating a powerful Bibb County legislator who had botched her case in 1968, but promised her all those years that he had taken care of it and she had no cause to worry.
This perhaps set the tone for my legal career. I continued to take on the powerful for the average citizen who could not afford expensive and high powered lawyers. And with this aggressive approach to litigation, I gained more than my share of legal enemies. On more than one occasion, a colleague would show me internal memos they had obtained in the discovery process during a trial they were conducting, where attorneys for insurance companies assessed my legal abilities to their client.
“H. Michael Harvey is a civil rights attorney who will not give up,” said one. “Harvey is not as dumb as he looks,” said another.
I was blown away by these revelations, as I did not realize that insurance companies assessed the ability of the lawyers opposing them in their evaluation of a case.
The public posture of the insurance companies silk stocking lawyers was to trash me in court. They often told the Judge that I was ill equipped to be a lawyer. In the end, they would pay my clients dearly, because the reviewers were correct, I do not give up. I am not as dumb as I look. I fight for the last penny!
But in walking away from all of this, I walked into the Campbellton Road Partners, a partnership that was formed to buy a Kia Automobile Dealership that in the early 2000s operated on Campbellton Road in Atlanta, Georgia. My partners had over 42 years of car dealership experience under their belts. I brought legal negotiation skills and a sense of business ethics to the deal.
My partners were quick to inform me that the car business did not operate like other businesses, that sound business ethics did not apply in making money in the car business. They could not get me to adapt to the car business ethics. I could not get them to adopt ethical business practices. The partnership unraveled. We lost our business opportunity. My savings virtually gone. I hung around in the car business in various capacities for a few more years, seeking to find a way to purchase a car dealership.
Then, I got a call about a pathway to ownership. I don’t give up!
“I am a writer.”
These words flowed onto my computer screen one night early in December 2007. I’m not sure how those words found their way onto my computer screen. But they were there, presumably written by me. The car business was not my idea anyway. My partners had pulled me into their scheme. It was time for me to get back to who I was on the inside.
I’ve had two great passions in life, one was to play professional baseball, well perhaps not professional, because I would have paid a big league club for the opportunity to play a child’s game for the rest of my life. The other was to express my thoughts on paper.
The spirit was prodding me to write.
I picked up an old manuscript I had begun in 1977 and in three months time Paper Puzzle, a legal thriller was written (Cascade Publishing House, 2010). I even convinced an online publication to hire me on as a political pundit. They sent me to Charlotte, North Carolina to cover the 2012 Democratic National Convention. This year I convinced my wife to send me to Houston, Texas on behalf of Cascade Press to cover the 2016 Green Party Convention. I’m batting a thousand. When I cover a political convention, that party’s nominee wins. In between the political punditry, I wrote and published a collection of essays on the law; Justice In The Round: Essays on the American Jury System (Cascade Publishing House, 2015).
Now I am embarked on a new venue of expression, internet television. I believe that network television shoots itself in the foot daily. It will not be long before the networks lose their audience to the emerging mobile technologies. I want to remain relevant.
I think I still have much to contribute to national and international dialogue. People or governmental spies from nation-states over the globe visit this blog at haroldmichaelharvey.com every day. New countries are added daily.
In order to broaden my sphere of influence, I have partnered with the Kingdom Business Communication Network (KBCN) in my latest venture, Beyond The Law With Harold Michael Harvey. Out of the 192 countries on the planet recognized by the United Nations as nation-states, KBCN (http://kbcnetwork.net/truvision-live/) has viewers in 150 of those countries. We look forward to breaking down the American political and legal system to people in foreign lands as well as educating people in the United States.
Getting beyond the law is what I have been trying to do since 2003. I think I have finally found a space where I can use my skills as a non-practicing attorney and the journalistic skills I honed before going to law school many, many years ago.
Beyond The Law is an interview format. We will interview public policy makers and influencers to bring unbiased information to our viewers. We strive to go beyond the black letter of the law and break down what the impact really is on the people who are governed by the public policy decisions of government and corporate officials. Our motto is: “All the news you can use.”
I hope you will join me on this fascinating journey beyond the law.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.