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August 13, 2015

John Ralston Pate (1944-2015)

American expat lawyer John Pate was a friend of mine. I met him in 1998, in Vancouver, Canada, and saw him last in 2009, in Florence, Italy. He was suddenly widowed in 2008. During the 2009 Florence trip, I was able to meet his new girlfriend, Sally Evans. Like me, John was a member of a small, expert and enduring invitation-based group of corporate lawyers from business and government centers all over the world. Our consortium, an early global experiment in unbundling legal services, worked. We all met frequently, did business, worked for clients and, in countless instances, became lifelong friends. Together, we sampled the great cities of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. One of the group's leaders, John was a gentleman, soft-spoken, subtly patrician, smart but reserved. He was, too, an international lawyer--and a great one--before that was cool. John Pate died Sunday in his beloved Caracas, Venezuela. There are scores of articles on his killing from papers all over the world. This New York Times brief from an Associated Press article is the shortest:

Venezuela: U.S. Lawyer Is Killed

A prominent American expatriate lawyer was killed and his girlfriend wounded in an attack at their home in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, the authorities and relatives said Monday.

The lawyer, John Ralston Pate, 70, was found dead on Sunday in an apartment in an affluent neighborhood of eastern Caracas, the country’s public prosecutor said.

Prosecutors identified the woman who was wounded as Sally Elizabeth Evans, 67.

Venezuela has the second-highest murder rate in the world after Honduras, according to the United Nations.

Mr. Pate had lived in Venezuela since the 1970s and helped build up a once-thriving expatriate community.

He moved to Caracas after studying at Brown and Boston Universities, helping found the locally based law firm De Sola Pate & Brown.

“He never wanted to leave,” said his son Thomas Pate, a lawyer in Miami. He added: “His family, we were always nervous. He told us that he couldn’t stop living, but he was being careful.”

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Posted by JD Hull at August 13, 2015 01:32 AM

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