The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”) lost a giant on August 21, 2017 when Southern California Chapter Fellow, Jim Hennenhoefer, unexpectedly passed away. Jim’s offices were in Northern San Diego County, but his presence extended throughout the state, the country and even internationally, through his involvement in the International Academy of Family Lawyers (“IAFL”). Jim was a former naval officer, and his proud stature was a hallmark. That, combined with his brilliant mind and kind and generous spirit, made him a great leader, mentor and friend.
Friend and AAML Fellow, Gordon Cruse, made the following tribute: “…[O]ne of Jim’s greatest talents [was] the ability to bring the greatness out in others. … If you would listen to him, he had a very soft touch, and he would encourage that greatness in you to shine. You’d find yourself taking on a project you didn’t think you could do and then you’d find yourself succeeding. Jim helped me to be a far better lawyer, person and friend then I thought possible.”
“There was nothing about Jim I did not like or admire. He was a true gentleman – kind, smart, talented, caring, considerate and generous. I am a better man because of my friend, and I miss him terribly. My life goal is to be more Jim-like. It’s a goal that all who knew Jim will understand. His energy will never end as he shared it with all of us and we will share it with others.”
We completely agree. We will miss Jim’s “scary” presentations, warning all the inexperienced lawyers at our Trial Basics Seminar about the complexities and attendant professional obligations concerning Electronically Stored Information and E-discovery in our practices. We will miss the wild stories of his adventures in the Navy. We will miss his kind, generous and commanding-but-gentle manner. Our thoughts are with his wife, Lea, who is a beautiful person and friend.