Big-hearted attorney made his mark with loud ties, compassion
By Virginia Culver
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 04/19/2008
Lawyer Earl Hauck, who often defended the people no one else would
defend, died of congestive heart failure March 29. He was 74.
Dedicated to the First Amendment, Hauck always was willing to take on
cases for "unpopular clients," said friend Scott Atwell, a Greenwood
Village lawyer. Hauck's clientele ranged from artists to hippies to
In a speech before the City Club in 1969, Hauck warned that Denver
police were overextending their authority and said the U.S.
Constitution "isn't just a literary composition, but the only
effective remedy against an overzealous constabulary."
"He was charming and smarter than hell," said Rebecca Bradley, a
"He was willing to listen to people in a kind of
'I've-got-all-the-time-in- the-world' way," she said. He never took a
case based on whether "he would make any bucks."
Another friend, Dr. Barbara Reed, called him "a pearl who just
gleamed" but not someone who attempted "to be glitzy or showy. He was
affable, upbeat, trustworthy. He seemed to have a glow about him."
"He lived his cases day and night," said John Sadwith, executive
director of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. "He wasn't the
kind of guy who won super-big cases or got his name in the paper, he
just did his job competently and excellently."
A personal-injury lawyer, Hauck took many cases of artists and
galleries, said his longtime companion, Ford McClave.
She said that Hauck had an "insatiable curiosity," reading everything
from books about other cultures to "the migratory patterns of the
Earl August Hauck was born in Alton, Ill., on Nov. 30, 1933. As a
young boy he was fascinated with "Mark Twain heroes" who built rafts
and floated down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. He built a
raft, according to an obituary he wrote about himself, but only
"traveled in the areas of my hometown."
He never lost his wanderlust, he wrote, and in his career he
conducted business in London, Paris, Brussels and China, and took
many personal trips as well.
He graduated from St. Louis University and earned his law degree at
the University of Denver.
He spent time "on the streets" with civil rights activists and
"hippies," said longtime friend Peter Ney, senior judge of the
Colorado Court of Appeals.
"He made life more interesting" for those who knew him, said Ney, of
"He had a big heart and a huge soul," said another attorney friend,
Friends also remember his sometimes "outlandish neckties" and socks.
Always silk and always bright colors, McClave said.
"He was an imposing person," Sadwith said, because of his
"temperament and sense of calm."
He also made a big mark, literally, signing papers "with 2-inch-high
signatures," Sadwith said.
"He was avant garde in his thinking and his dress," Atwell said.
Several men planned to wear Hauck's neckties at the gathering to
honor him Friday at the University Club.
Hauck's two marriages ended in divorce. In addition to McClave, he is
survived by a son, Mark Hauck, and a daughter, Cate Priestman.
Virginia Culver: 303-954-1223 or firstname.lastname@example.org