"EVERY poor devil I defend in Court, came before the bar of justice because of the uneveness, unfairness or down–right stupidity of society."
Thus spoke the brilliant Ehrlich, when asked: "How do you account for the slipping from the paths of rectitude of normally right-minded fellows?"
Pressed for more of an answer to our query, he answered: "I have my own idea of tolerance and charity. I believe the latter is the greatest of all possible human qualities, but, it must take the form of charity of thought toward your fellow-man, and it must be charity that wells from the heart at sight of brain distraught misery.
"I do not want to send people to jail. I do not want it on my conscience. I can't give you any other answer. I have battled the world fairly and squarely and worship the Almighty in my own way. My Quaker wife feels as I do. She has a love for all that is quiet, serene and beautiful. Our daughter and our son are–thank the lord–quietly and positively following in the footsteps of their Quaker mother.
"If not but for the grace of God, I might stand in the place of some unfortunate in the dock of justice, through error of through the strange moods of society.
"My heart bleeds for the fellow in trouble. It's useless to unravel the skein of his life to arrive at the starting point. His entrance into this vale of tears might have been accompanied by the presence of the muses of success. The trouble invariably lies on the ditches and clumps of disaster lying in the path of the parade of life, and these are unknown to the average mortal, and, if lady luck is not squarely perching on his shoulder, anything might happen. And so I know the great majority of the unfortunate flotsam and jetsam of life were simply unlucky when they ran afoul of the law.
"The law is a good thing. But don't forget, the fundamental of all good laws is justice. And that quantity must be dispensed by Judges whose hearts are attuned to the deeper things of life."
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And so in summing up the career of Jake Ehrlich, attorney in fact, gentleman, scholar and purveyor of the milk of human kindness, it comes to us that the biblical score, "Thou Shalt Not Kill," preeminently sums up the workings of the brain of this brilliant young attorney–for he battles that the vagaries of the law shall not kill the hopes, ambitions and bodies of those who fell or stumbled in the race of life.
Jake Ehrlich stands today in the same position as the illustrious Henry E. Highton of other days; the Henry Highton who fathered the career of that astute legal luminary, Theodore Roche, now basking in the sun of legal success.
The ethics of the legal profession are an open and revered book of Ehrlich and followed by him to the nth degree.
Napoleonic in head and general stature, he is the acme of Chesterfieldean splendor in action. The attorneys for the prosecution are, as a rule, to him, misguided bad boys, who love to flog, and to whom flagellation of the victim is justified because, the law, blah, blah, blah....
Jake sleeps well, eats well, and thiks well, due to his continued fight for the underdog. He can look at his lovely wife and children with clear eyes; his crusading for the old-clothes victims of life continually renews the love of those near and dear to him; he hates no man and sees with the eyes of knowledge of the weakness of human-kind.
As a Past-Master of his lodge of Masons, he dwells on the simple grandeur of the Doric column as symbolic of the lack of gaudiness of things worth while.
As a veteran of the World War, he stands as a model of Americanism. For, with him, it's my country, right or wrong, at all stages.
In reverie and sought surcease of a tired brain, he gently draws the bow of his violin, simulating nocturnes of the masters of gentle melody, for be it known this fencer for justice is an accomplished violinist
The depths of history; fiction from Bocaccio to de Maupassant; the vagaries of a Nietzsche; and the intricacies of the problems suggested by Blackstone, call for him to burn the midnight oil–if it is a good book, it becomes a part of his daily curriculum.
The art of self defense intrigues him as the defense of a worthy Court case thrills him; so in consequence his mind, attuned to the beauties of the music of the violin, can turn abruptly to enthuse over the master boxer.
An almost obsessional love for babies envelopes him; he sees the beginning of life; the great adventure unfolding for a little tot, and with murmured prayer he covers the wee one with wished-for sanctuary from the drabness of life.
Jake Ehrlich is rated a master criminal and civil lawyer; he finds time to specialize in the problems of the motion picture actor, actress of company. His success in this line often takes him to the land of cinema, where in association with Jerry Geisler, noted Southern California attorney, he jousts with those who might attempt to cause difficulties for the temperamental and consequently improvident "stars".
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During the year 1928 a Democrat had about as much chance as the proverbial snowball in Hades to earn the election of Attorney General, but still Jake Ehrlich, Democrat, ran for this exalted position and made such a creditable showing he was rated a power in Democratic circles
J. W. Ehrlich is not only a worthy and ethical disciple of Blackstone but also–a friend in need; an attest of which can be made by strangers to the paying teller's windows.
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And so should hang over the door of Ehrlich–Thou shalt not kill the chances of as much as one single human derelict.