Friday, October 5, 2012

Jim Lindeman

The attorneys of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center were absolutely stunned and devastated to learn of the sudden and unexpected loss of our friend, Jim Lindeman.  Jim apparently had a heart attack this morning.

Quite frankly, Jim's death is so shocking that I don't even know where to begin in writing about him.

He was one of the very best defense attorneys that Harris County had to offer and he headed a very successful and highly respected law firm with Gilbert Alvarado.   I was explaining to my wife today that I thought there were (generally) two types of criminal defense attorneys -- those who are good litigators and those who are well-versed in all the case law.  Jim was one of a handful of attorneys I know who possessed both qualities.

I went to trial against Jim and Gilbert when I was a Felony Two in the 185th.  To this day, it was the most mentally taxing trial I ever participated in.  Jim redefined "tenacious" and he didn't let even the smallest of details slip past him.  I remember at one point, in a moment of frustration, telling him:
Damn, Jim.  I'm surprised that you didn't object when I said "Good morning" during voir dire since I hadn't proven up that it was morning or that there was anything good about it yet.
The trial was a battle that seemed to last forever.  I think that it was the longest trial I ever had that didn't involve a fatality.

And Jim infuriated me throughout it all.

Because he was just so freaking good.  I mean, he was really good.  He bombarded me with case law.  He broke up the flow of my questioning.  His cross-examinations were as methodical as they were lengthy.

I went home at the end of trial every day both physically and mentally exhausted.

Because Jim Lindeman was one hell of a good attorney.  That's what good attorneys are supposed to.

After the trial, as professional adversaries always should do, we were friends again.  Whenever another prosecutor was getting ready for trial against him, however, I made sure to let them know they would need to get a good night's sleep before trial.  Jim was going to wear them out.

Jim was the consumate gentlemen and although we fought against each other relentlessly in trial, we left any and all animosity in the courtroom.  I never hung out with him in a social setting, but he was always so friendly and kind around the courthouse.  He was a lawyer and a mentor to many of those younger attorneys who came after him, and he was always willing to help those who needed him.

He embodied the knowledge, the advocacy and the grace that I think all lawyers should aspire to.

Our community lost a true gentleman today.  And one of the best trial lawyers I ever had the honor to do battle with.


Eileen Bogar said...

I had a similar experience with him and had the same thoughts. He was truly a gentleman and I will miss him.

Anonymous said...

I knew Jim for nearly 30 years. When I was a young Deputy, he talked to me about cases in intake. When he became a defense attorney, we handled several cases together, all resulting in pleas, but thoroughly enjoyable experiences.

No detail, legal or factual, slipped past him.

After not seeing him for the last seven years or so, I ran into him the other day, and had a nice long talk with him. I was able to tell him how my late father defense attorney really admired him, and my dad had told me so on numerous occasion. My dad had two others in the office that he thought were the most ethical, honest and had great trial abilities, but Lindeman was a favorite.

He looked great two days ago. I am so stunned, and my families prayers go out to his family and friends.

Greg Gilleland

Anonymous said...

Please keep us posted with funeral and memorial information.

Anonymous said...

You fail to mention, but of course it was before your time at the D.A.'s office, Jim had the same tenaciousness as a prosecutor. While in the Special Crimes Division, he actually began what was to become the Public Integrity Unit, the largest of cases was the rouge Southeast Response team of the Houston PD. After that case JBH saw a need for a unit to work only such cases and Jim was at the forefront.

Tim McCarthy said...

I went to law school with Jim. I was just gob-smacked when I heard the news. I was fortunate enough to have seen him just last year at a law school reunion. He was still the unfailing polite and gentlemanly person I remember from 30 years ago. He used to come to my Halloween parties as a silent clown. I tried and tried but could never get him to break character; he remained completely silent but still able to communicate.

Tim McCarthy
Chicago, Illinois

Anonymous said...

Larry Standley:

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”

― Helen Keller

Jim, Jim, - My former supervisor in Major fraud, prosecutorial, colleague and My FRIEND!

The Jim Lindeman I knew never stopped to catch his breath. He prepared for trial like a man on fire. He gave - whatever was in front of him - his ALL. To be involved with preparing for trial with Jim, however, was more than a little nerve wracking. His office was a mess, his desk was made of loose papers, yellow sticky notes, and brown and white file boxes littered every inch of floor and wall space – inside and outside his office. But ALL things had their own place THERE in those spaces, and inside Jim’s mind - that only HE knew made perfect sense. In trial he truly had a REAL, Beautiful Mind!

I always told him to his face: "Jim, TOMORROW is the trial, how are we going to___________________? Jim: "Oh it will work out". Me: After Trial: Man, you are like the master chief, your kitchen looks like hell before during and after you do whatever it is you do, but that verdict says it all: "A superb Masterpiece". Me: “Jim? Jim? Where did you go damn it, don’t you want to talk to the jury?” He’s gone - gone to get ready on another trial. Or gone to catch that late night flight to St. Louis where his family lived for a while as he commuted back and forth. Jim was also a father and husband.

He was private but always had time for others - Yet - always on the move. A human hummingbird - with heart and head always on the move in search of another battle to be fought for someone else. Always, in search of more time to do what was right, or help someone, or be missed. He always seemed to disappear until the last call, yet never late for the most important of matters.

Jim? Where are you? Does anyone know where Jim is? When did you get here…I never saw you walk in – the jury is just about to be called out.

I'm sorry friend, for US. It is not for me to question anyone's - as they say - untimely death - but I most humbly state: Yours was........Untimely, to me anyway - in human standards I guess. You were the 19th Century gentleman in the 21st Century human vessel. Always, always, a man of your word, and your handshake was your bond. In short you were a very, very LOYAL friend.

There is not enough space here to write more - even though there is - more. I just wish for your family, friends, and your clients, WE, all had more time with you NOW. God Bless You Jim. Jim...? He’s gone again. Will someone please go find Jim? Where are you friend?

Oh... there you are………almost didn’t see you come back in.

Your friend Always - Larry

J. MacIntosh said...

Jim's passing is shocking. I had the pleasure of knowing Jim professionally and as a good neighbor. I am a police officer and fortunately, hadn't had to face Jim in trial. Although I knew his reputation as a great lawyer, and it was obivious because he always seemed to be at the court house. Im a regular at intake and was amazed how often I ran into Jim there. Whether it was in the lobby on Franklin Street, or Cedar Village Drive, Jim always greeted me with a smile and kind words. A total gentleman. My family and I, will dearly miss him.

May God bless Linda and family,

Jimmy MacIntosh

Anonymous said...

To add to my previous post, Jim was the kind of guy that would've been a great elected District Attorney.


Anonymous said...

I am so shocked and saddened by this news. I first met Jim when we were assigned as prosecutors in the 174th District Court in the summer of 1982 (I was #2 and Jim was #3). During that period Jim sat second chair on a delivery of marijuana case that was Johnny Holmes' first jury trial as the elected DA. Jim has always been a good friend and colleague ever since. He was the epitome of the "nice guy".
Sid Crowley

Charles B. "Brad" Frye said...

Murray, you captured an important part of Jim and, as you know, there was so much more. At his service, a true "celebration" of his life, I was gratified, and not at all surprised, to see the church packed to the gills with folks who loved and respected him. You were there, so you know. I only had the privilege of knowing Jim since 1996, but, it was enough time to know how lucky I was to get to know him, work with him, fuss with him, and realize that my life would be better if only I could emulate him more. Your comments are so kind, and on the mark. There are few like Jim Lindeman, and his passing is our deep, deep loss.
Brad Frye

Bastrop Bad Hair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Max Meindl said...


When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts. Oh, may you feel this touch, — it is not the clasping of hands, nor a loved person present; it is more than this: it is a spiritual idea that lights your path! The Psalmist saith: "He shall give His angels charge over thee." God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the "Peace, be still" to all human fears, to suffering of every sort.

Excerpted from Miscellaneous Writings
by Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 306-307