Hero at Law

Frank Decker Cady Attorney at Law

I recall being somewhere between eight or nine, I had narrowly escaped taking a gun shot to the head at the hands of a man who lived in my home.  

I met a hero when I was a kid,  this left an indelible impression on me to this day.  

Later I was called on to testify about the incident, I felt helpless, fear and a certain amount of dread realizing my attacker would not like what I had to say, I just wanted to run away and hide.  That was how I met Frank Decker Cady, attorney at law.  I still have an image in my head of looking up at his fluffy hair bouncing as he led me directly into the court house.

It is a given that when you go through life you will hear those jokes that berate attorneys and sear their synonymous identity as one with ever gorging bottom feeders.  Through the years I have rebuked the sense of these jokes with the idea that a certain type of individual was unfortunately drawn to becoming an attorney. The problem was not the courses of study of the law itself.  The problem was a lacking of filters like psychological screening.   Attorneys endure an extremely high pressure work style.  They end up becoming an eventual embodiment of the cases they take on.

This is a fair disclaimer, I have a biased opinion, having said this, I would like to share below what I learned about this man since.

Frank Cady, as a child, enjoyed tinkering, as many children do.  When he was twelve to thirteen he designed and built himself a “mini-motor bike” using as a model one his friend had received from his parents, of course designing in upgrades he saw outlined in the catalogue for the “better models”.  This was a significant accomplishment, even minus the welding portion that was done by the local town welder.  Frank was not satisfied with this feat, when his friends were taking drivers education he designed himself a gyro copter.  Frank’s father was not as thrilled to guide his son to the welder shop on this one, so they made a compromise and Frank agreed he would get a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.  He was accepted to California Polytechnic. He attended one year before he realized that was a lot of work for his endearing hobby.   Instead of completing his degree in engineering he instead tossed up options between swapping to a degree in medicine, business or law.  After taking the LSAT entrance exam for Hastings University, Frank opted to go to that university and he graduated and passed the bar exam with the apparent ease most people relate to sitting down to an evening meal.    Frank D Cady first attended the University of Nevada and received a Bachelor degree cum laude, in 1978 then received his Juris Doctor from Hastings College of the Law, University of California, in 1981.  While Frank attended law school he spent his summers working with construction workers mostly in the Lake Tahoe area pounding nails.   He used the money to pay for some of his school and keep himself sane.


Frank Decker Cady, is now the age 62 years and he still works as lawyer while he calls himself a recovering attorney.  Susanville, CA is his hometown where his family lived for several generations.  Susanville is also known as “Prison Town” but previously known as “the Land of no sweats”.   Frank is also a licensed contractor, since from when he put himself through school pounding nails during the summer breaks from school as well as a licensed pilot and belongs to several organizations where he works to help others.  Cady has given generously of his time for such things as mediating for the annual Rotarian speech contests to benefit local high school students.  Doing things like this he said “is what it is all about, you give something back”.  

I turned our conversation downward and asked some questions about generalizations on attorneys and so forth.  I asked Frank about an article I read earlier this year referring to a study performed in conjunction between the Linda Albert, representing the American Bar association and  Patrick R Krill the director of the legal professionals program at the Hazleton Betty Ford Foundation.  The article found that a staggering number of legal professionals suffer from the effects of overuse of alcohol and drugs. Sadly, depression being a factor in many attorneys’ lives.  The study reported that one quarter of the nations attorneys reported they suffer from these problems.   Frank told me “it is not the activities ladened with alcohol. “It is the fact the job is stressful.  We represent who we have as clients and that leaves others to remember you represented their enemy.  I have had my friends as clients, people I grew up with, that means I have friends I grew up with and had as friends who were not my clients and when both happen at the same time it is very stressful”.

The law is not capable of providing a satisfactory resolution to everyone, every time.  Cady battled these trials of personal conflict with an open mind and with the belief he did what was best for the group based on what knowledge he had at the time.   Frank Cady almost sang the words “I do the best I can do for the situation”. Simple advise we could all benefit from.  We should all do the best we can in our situations and allow ourselves to be happy with what we have done.  

Citation: Lawyers’ alcohol-use study: Implications, next steps discussed

Citation: Lawyers’ alcohol-use study: Implications, next steps discussed
http://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2016/02/joint_study_identifi.html

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The bullet screamed past my head, I heard the wind splitting as it barely missed my head.  

I was lucky, the bullet came from a rifle owned by my mother.  The shots were fired by a soon to be stepfather.  In a small town where futures are uncertain and home lives are often unique to say the least, my life was forever changed by the meeting of the man who would serve as my first hero.  

My hero came to me in the form of attorney Frank Decker Cady told me that it would be alright, and that I had nothing to fear, at the time I wouldn’t have believed him, but the way he said it made me trust him.

My uncertain future was forever changed because of this mere mortal man who morphed that day into a larger than life pillar of truth justice and the American way.  

Hero at Law

I met a hero when I was a kid,  this left an indelible impression on me to this day.  

I recall being somewhere between eight or nine, I had narrowly escaped taking a gun shot to the head at the hands of a man who lived in my home.  

Later I was called on to testify about the incident, I felt helpless, fear and a certain amount of dread realizing my attacker would not like what I had to say, I just wanted to run away and hide.  That was how I met Frank Decker Cady, attorney at law.  I still have an image in my head of looking up at his fluffy hair bouncing as he led me directly into the court house.

It is a given that when you go through life you will hear those jokes that berate attorneys and sear their synonymous identity as one with ever gorging bottom feeders.  Through the years I have rebuked the sense of these jokes with the idea that a certain type of individual was unfortunately drawn to becoming an attorney. The problem was not the courses of study of the law itself.  The problem was a lacking of filters like psychological screening.   Attorneys endure an extremely high pressure work style.  They end up becoming an eventual embodiment of the cases they take on.

Fight For It!

Megan McKay

 I snuck in through the front door and found my vantage point in the back of the class in the visitors area.  To the rhythmic piano music youngsters’ feet tip and thrum an ambient pitter patter. 

The music stops, there is shouting, I hear “fight for it”.  The instructor says to a young girl “fight for it, why wouldn’t you”?   This got my attention; the young girl was feeling out of sorts and glum.  Her instructor chimed in again “you got your hands your arms, why wouldn’t you fight for it and have it all”?  

This class took place in my small home town, in Northern California, a town that once “upon a time” was quaint and sustained its community with employment from the forestry industry, dozens of local business and a small prison.  Currently this town has closed it’s wood mill, most of the small businesses are gone and there are now a total of three prisons in town.

This is the one option for a non-team sport activity, locally, dance represents nearly the last option for children of this community, many kids here need support outside the home, something with structure.  The bulk of this population are families of inmates or former inmates. 

 I spoke with the girls in between sets, I asked them why show up for class, why are they here.  They told me the dance gave them “somewhere to be.”  One seventeen-year-old girl Megan McKay, who has studied dance since the age of five said “Dance it is my dream, it is what I want.”  Megan’s mother said “dance was the answer to my prayer” it has kept my daughter safe.  

I spoke with some more of the parents during the class, I asked why their children were enrolled, “to keep them safe” and “to give them something to keep them busy.”   I then asked the parents, if they did not have these classes available would their kids have stayed out of trouble.  Every parent said they were unable to keep their kids out of trouble and safe with out the classes.  

I learned to have a new respect for programs like this, for these people to participate is to not give up.  These children are being infused with pride and purpose If they don’t become professionals in dance they will have an improved sense of being in whatever path they choose.

Memory 10

Before this happened one day I walked home from school ended up in the meadow with my horse.   I jumped on him just as I saw my friend in the distance on her way over so we could hang out.  New thing I know I heard a bang and a crack.  I looked toward the sound and saw the latest boyfriend Shirley had drug home just ducking in the house.  I decided he must have been target practicing with his pistols because he happened to have them strapped to his thighs.  I began riding my horse across the meadow to meet my friend and a louder bang then the sharper cutting sound of a bullet wizzing past my head.  It seems you hear a bullet racing past your head before the crack or is it the time it takes your brain to get a clue what it is.  Another bellowing bang and a wiz crack, my friend screamed I hit the ground.  Thanks to my Guardian Angels that “man” was drunk and a bad shot with my mothers deer rifle. I went to the hospital and the Sherif started looking for the ugly man who liked bad music and was no good!

Memory 9

At some point in late Spring just before this event described in number 8. I entered an art contest just like everyone else in school.  I won that contest the prize was getting my photo in the newspaper along side a billboard of the winning poster.  My poster graced that billboard all year.   The theme was “How to Prevent Fires”.  My poster showed a collage of dangers such as overloading an electrical outlet, not properly dousing a camp fire, not properly disposing of cigarettes.  I kicked myself for nearly a year because I neglected to include, the things your “mother” brings home as being the most dangerous.

Memory 8

I recall one week end being driven to pizza after a horse show by some people Shirley knew.  This was abnormal Shirley usually drove.  Pizza was at the local bar so maybe she was going to get drunk and maybe I would not need to drive her home or call one of her friends to get her.  The pizza arrived I was on my second piece and playing PAC MAN when a man came in the bar “hey Shirley your house is on fire”.  She freaked and took off, apparently someone drover her home.  Another person drove me home, approaching I saw the blaze.  It was true rather than walk where the commotion and the fire trucks were I walked out in the pasture and urged my horse to put his head down.  I laid on his neck and then he put his head up so I could slide on with out effort.  I sat there on my horse bare back in the dark watching my home burn.   The flames were dark the smoke was black and the heat was intense.  My dog was inside but she bolted out and was saved when the fire men arrived they axed the door the same one Glade had kicked in before.

I recall one week end being driven to pizza after a horse show by some people Shirley knew.  This was abnormal Shirley usually drove.  Pizza was at the local bar so maybe she was going to get drunk and maybe I would not need to drive her home or call one of her friends to get her.  The pizza arrived I was on my second piece and playing PAC MAN when a man came in the bar “hey Shirley your house is on fire”.  She freaked and took off, apparently someone drover her home.  Another person drove me home, approaching I saw the blaze.  It was true rather than walk where the commotion and the fire trucks were I walked out in the pasture and urged my horse to put his head down.  I laid on his neck and then he put his head up so I could slide on with out effort.  I sat there on my horse bare back in the dark watching my home burn.   The flames were dark the smoke was black and the heat was intense.  My dog was inside but she bolted out and was saved when the fire men arrived they axed the door the same one Glade had kicked in before.  

I was puzzled by my dog, she was outside when I went to pizza.  It turns out the blaze was caused by a match tossed on kerosene that had been poured down the hallway of the home.  It was that ultra hot hallway the fire chief  braved to make it to the dining room where he knew I had kept my horse trophies and ribbons.  He risked his body to save my bits of achievements he kept his hose trained on the cabinet that held them, he kept them safe.  I found out later he said he did this because he wanted me to have them to buffer the pain of the house being taken.  I knew the fire chief because he had fixed the tire on my bike about ten times I had no one else.


Memory 7

 I loved SNL I remember watching the musician that night, it was October second 1982 George Thorogood and the Destroyers singing “Bad to the Bone”  I fell asleep in front of the TV truth be told in the living room and what seems like miles from my bed room.  My bedroom was near the front door and near my house mates that were supposed to be my siblings but they were gone that school night.  I was in and out of sleep really then woke up when my dog Sandy barked like she was ready to do battle with a fabled werwolf. I herd a loud slam at the front door and grunting inhuman snarling and that staggering animal thing is in my room.   It is angry now oh there Shirley’s latest “husband”, nice what else is new.  He has a knife can no longer speak english well he is a police officer so maybe he will snap out of it NOPE not snapping out of it he had snapped.  I was standing when he approached me with his knife up and poised to plunge.  Shirley came out from he bedroom groggy.   I darted past Shirley and tried the phone it was dead I grabbed her purse I knew she kept the keys to the car in the side o the strap and it was a weapon itself.  This thing and Shirley were taking up the space in between the door jam but I somehow slid between them.  In hind sight I think I knocked them out of the door way.  I saw they were in a tussle but to this day I am not sure how this ended up where Shirley came outside and joined me in the car a few minutes later with out their making some arrangement.  Shortly after Shirley arrived in the car this man thing named Glade approached the car and began beating on the windshield.  He yelled half heartedly and banged.  Shirley showed a painful lack of skill managing her massive key ring.  Glade went for the hood of the car and within the first crease of the hood was where he had his fingers stationed as we drove away.  

Memory 6

Within three months of this number union mentioned in (5) I was home by myself from school, I recall feeling some urgency fear no panic when I saw this new husband rolling his car back in the driveway.  I raced outside the back door and under the house, I hid for some reason I knew I had to hide.  I was so quiet.  I Stayed hidden and staring at the spiders and dead rodents disgusted but those things were a comfort compared to the thing now just off the back porch growling pacing back and forth looking for me.  His behavior was that of an enraged predator.  I heard the words in my head “never approach a caged bear” So I hid and slowed my breath down made sure I used my nose only and pretended I was something rigid non living solid and stern but most of all quiet

Memory 5

 I recall a thanksgiving one year was different, Shirley was going to cook…  What was the occasion I wonder it could not be the holiday I have seen them before but had no seen her cook.  The preparation all of which I do not recall seemed to take forever and I could not wait for a special dinner I wanted to see what i twas like.  Shirley ducked out she said she c would be right back but I supposed this made me all the more excited for the special dinner.  I heard the car arrive back in our circular drive and in walks Shirley along with her new friend.  That was husband number, well I don’t know to this day I done know how many times sh has been married.  The wedding I last attended I took the liberty of requesting records on the sly so I might know something about Shirley and the record stated 55 prior unions.