Being ‘a good person’ may be the ultimate compliment

In the 40 years my wife and I ran our marketing communications business, we had only one situation that required legal action. A highly ranked executive of a relatively large client decided she didn’t like the direction her director of marketing had taken on a major brochure design project he had hired us to produce.

Although the work was more than 80 percent complete, she aborted the project and informed us we would not be paid for the many hours we had put into it. Her decision was completely arbitrary, and she had no legitimate basis for not paying for the work we had done. So, we approached our law firm at the time, Barnes & Thornburg, for some counsel on the matter.

A relatively young but very skilled attorney was assigned to our case. His name was Mark Adey and he was extremely helpful in talking us through the pros and cons of filing a suit against this client. This was very important because we were babes in the woods when it came to such legal issues.

Mark understood our anxieties and that this potential loss of revenue was a significant problem for a relatively small agency like ours. He went above and beyond to make sure we were aware of every step to be taken and how the case progressed over the months it was pending.  

Mark’s advocacy ultimately resulted in a settlement that was, for all practical purposes, in our favor. We didn’t get 100 percent of what we were owed but we got most of it. But in our minds, it was a significant David vs. Goliath win. And it wouldn’t have been possible without Mark’s wise and empathetic counsel.

I was reminded of our dealings with Mark very recently when I looked at the obituaries and saw that he had passed away, another victim of pancreatic cancer. Although modern medicine continues to make great strides in the fight against cancer, virtually every one of us has lost friends or relatives to this terrible disease. Our hearts go out to all – and on this day especially they go out to Mark’s wife, family and friends.

As we get older, it is not unusual to wonder what our legacy will be. To me, for someone to be remembered simply as “a good person” is, in many ways, the ultimate compliment.

 Professionally and personally, Mark Adey was truly “a good man.” He will be missed by all who knew him.