From Pete Strom, Mary Reames' attorney:
There is a very important lesson in this case for attorneys. You see, I committed legal malpractice during the first 5 minutes of my representation of Mary.
That morning, when I met Mary in an orange jail jumpsuit before her bond hearing, all I could make out from her crying was, "I am sorry, I am so sorry for what I have done". She and her parents wanted to apologize to Pastor Randall's family and ask for forgiveness. Well, we are taught in law school not to admit to anything and not to let your client or his family make any comments until you review all of the evidence, anything less is malpractice.
My first words in court were something like, on behalf of Mary and her family, I cannot tell you how profoundly sorry we are that this child made a decision to drink too much and drive. As a result of her decision, she took the life of someone very special to all of you, Pastor Randall. We confessed and apologized.
As we exited the courtroom, Mary's dad, Gill, asked permission to speak with pastor Randall's family, he broke down crying and apologizing. Everyone on both sides including me had tears in their eyes. Pastor Williamson took Gill in his arms. The rest of this amazing story is history.
I thank the lord for giving me the wisdom on that first day to do what I was taught in Sunday School to ask forgiveness and not what I was taught in law school. If I would have taken the other tact, none of this may have happened. I have thought about that a lot. Everyone in my profession should do the same.