Frank McManus

An Interview with Frank McManus

H: Attorney Frank McManus, hello. Welcome to the show.

FM: Thank you. My pleasure. I’m not too accustomed to being interviewed.

H: Mr. McManus, as many Angelinos know, you have been involved in quite a few large accident cases in the Southland over the last 20 years. But what they may not know is that your law office is up north in Palmdale. Why Palmdale?

FM: Why not Palmdale? I mean, we all need to find a place we feel at home. Something about Palmdale and the Antelope Valley hit a chord in me. It felt right. It felt comfortable. And anytime I feel the need for the fast lane, I just head my ‘78 Baby Blue south on Highway 14.

H: I think I know but, for our listeners, who or what is Baby Blue.

FM: Baby Blue is a 1978 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, big Detroit iron, lots of chrome, and a powder blue paint job. It’s been my transportation of choice since a dear old client left it to me in her will.

H: When did you decide to become a lawyer?

FM: In my last year in high school. My father, Tom McManus, also a lawyer, said I would make a good lawyer since I liked to argue. Looking back, I’m not sure if he was serious or not. But I believed him. Be careful what you believe.

H: You have a brother, Jack McManus. Also a lawyer, right?

FM: Yep. He’s my baby brother. He went to an Ivy League law school and works for the government in Boston and Washington, D.C. A life entirely different from mine. But he’s a cool guy. We get together once or twice a year. Usually drink some green beer.

H: What advice would you give someone in high school and thinking about going to law school?

FM: Join the Peace Corps and grow up a bit first.

H: You are a personal injury lawyer. How do you select whom you will represent?

FM: Its not very difficult. Obviously, any prospective client must have an injury and that injury must have been caused by someone else’s carelessness. No need to even talk without those two requirements. But, at least for me, I have to feel a personal connection with that person. What does that mean? It means that I have to personally believe in them. Believe that they are telling me the truth. Believe that they have the stomach to put up with the litigation process for a year or two. Believe that I can actually help them.

H: Sounds a bit altruistic.

FM: You’re right, it is. But why should anyone think that is unusual? Can a doctor or a minister be altruistic? And not a lawyer? Not infrequently the only person that can salvage a family after the bread winner is killed in an accident is a lawyer. A doctor or minister can’t raise the money so the family can keep its home and put food on the table.

H: Wow. You’re dealing with a stereotype, aren’t you?

FM: Yep. That’s right.

H: Last year you were involved in two cases that resulted in your being the lead character in a novel called Palmdale. Did you read that book?

FM: Have to say I did read it.

H: At least to me, the plot was complicated and a bit far-fetched. What did you think?

FM: It wasn’t very far off from what really came down. The names were changed, obviously, but all that other stuff really happened. Including what happened to my dear old friend Shocker. If nothing else, he deserved to have his story told. I know that he would have have loved to read about how clever and hard working he was. He was a great guy. And not long ago I hear from Mushti. He is still in Pakistan and has no interest in returning to the US. He got a part time job flying old DC3s in the mountains of north Pakistan and got remarried.

H: Tell me about Christine.

FM: Christine Pulaski. Wow. Of course, you know that we went to Cabo San Lucas, like the book says. She loves it there. And she hasn’t gotten tired of me. At least, not yet. If I had known that you would ask about her, I would have brought her along. She speaks pretty well for herself.

H: What does the future hold?

FM: Well, next week Charlie Carson and I will meet in Puerto Vallarta at the La Paloma Blanca café to drink some little Coronas and begin talking about another book.

H: What will that book be about?

FM: Ask Charlie.

H: Thanks, Frank McManus.

FM: I enjoyed it. Thank you.

Frank McManus appears in