The Porsche Judge
For me, there have to be rewards for working as an attorney other than doing a great job for the client. This is especially true for one with a solo practice who receives no paid vacation, and also has an insatiable need for speed!
I have always been interested in cars; sports cars, mostly. Six years ago, I decided to finally purchase and to get involved with classic cars. My interest was specifically with older Porsches. My hope was that I would experience many facets of classic car ownership, including club events, car shows, tours, autocross, and driver’s education events. I have far exceeded my own expectations. I have had a great time (and not too expensive a time) with the cars, and the people who own them.
I chose to become involved with older Porsches for their relative reliability and modest costs of ownership compared to the British or Italian car ownership experience. I also chose the Porsche marque (or brand, for noncar types) because Porsche sponsors the largest membership of any car club in the United States. The car club is the place to meet other owners, learn about your car, and to attend events.
I purchased a 1973 Porsche 911T. It was in decent shape, but would need a thorough restoration over time. After addressing the mechanical concerns, I began to take care of cosmetic issues, including new paint and a restored interior. This car is now worth approximately 67 percent more than what I have invested. This is a tremendous success story in the classic car world.
After restoration, I showed this 911 at several concours events. I learned that I would never be able to keep my car as clean as the other entrants, so I trained to be a concours judge. Just like in law, it’s often easier to be the judge!
Besides showing the car, I began attending driver’s education events as well as touring the car with other folks from the club. These driver’s education events range from learning defensive and avoidance driving skills to becoming certified to run your car without instruction at high-speed tracks. After several years of education, I have become certified to drive at several high-speed tracks in the Northwest and in California.
My car hobby may not have increased my legal acumen, but it’s something I do outside the law that gets me out of the office and meeting new people, including other attorneys. Six years after getting serious about indulging my need for speed, I am still campaigning (or running, for noncar types) older Porsches. After taking some “hot laps” in a fellow-attorney’s Ferrari 308 GT4, I have caught the “Italian Bug.” Perhaps, I will take the plunge into an Italian marque next!
Kogut is a solo practitioner, in the Seattle area, whose practice emphasizes civil litigation. Mr. Kogut’s most recent notable case was his successful representation of the “Jimi Hendrix House,” which was to be demolished by the City of Seattle.