Both Chan Muller and Kirk Kirkconnell passed away within this past month from battling recurrent cancers. I extend my sympathies to both their families. I worked with both of them during my court reporting career here in Orlando. I can honestly say there are not many lawyers out there today of their caliber. Whenever I’d see their names on the court docket, I knew I’d have to hone my court reporting skills as my work would be cut out for me, but their arguments were something to look forward to.
And while they were both great lawyers, their personalities stood them apart. Kirk was more on the formal side, sometimes even asking me to sit in specific places during depositions; while Chan had an infectious smile and the more laid back personality — the better to disarm his opponents with! I recall many occasions laughing out loud at his stories.
Kirk would proudly fill me with the latest news of his children or reminisce about some of the older cases he handled. I remember an admiralty case in federal court in Orlando in front of Judge Anne Conway a few years back. At the end of the government’s case and motion hearing, he argued and won on a technicality. I can still see the look on the government’s face when the judge granted his motion. I don’t think she saw it coming.
And while both of them engaged in heated banter with their opponents and sometimes witnesses, I can’t recall an instance of them being rude or disrespectful. Their egos didn’t get the best of them like so many others in their profession. Because of their professionalism, they made my job as a court reporter that much easier. On the rare occasion I would ask for clarification, they were happy to oblige.
God speed to both Kirk and Chan on your journey home. It was a privilege and an honor for having known you.