Written By: Michael E. Catania
Steven I. Milligram.
Throughout the past 20 years this great man served as my mentor, my boss, my law partner, my confidant, my friend, my sounding board, and a source of unwavering optimism. I first got to know Steve during my early college years when I worked summers as a file clerk and receptionist at Catania, Mahon & Rider, PLLC. From the start, his generosity shined. He would take time out of his very busy days to stop by the front desk or the file room to check on me, always asking if I needed anything. For Steve, this was not a mere platitude. He truly intended to do what ever was in his power to help you out. He was the most generous man I have ever met.
As the years passed, and I eventually joined his firm, I became one of many young associates who he mentored in the law. Steve was a phenomenal teacher. The hour-long sessions in his office, going over strategy or discussing difficult medical concepts, were both innumerable and irreplaceable. His door was always open and he was never too busy to help guide a young and anxious litigator through his first depositions, oral arguments and eventually trials.
Some 8 years ago I had the honor of joining Steve at the partner’s table. It was here that I witnessed another of Steve’s incontrovertible traits, his loyalty. No matter how much we may have disagreed on a particular topic, and regardless of how heated the conversations would get, Steve would always support the majority decision. He would then back up that decision, and his partners, to anyone. His loyalty extended to his clients as well, and he would always go the extra mile to protect them and their rights.
Steve recently retired from private practice to pursue his life long dream of becoming a Supreme Court Judge. He was elected this past November after a brutally long campaign season and took the bench in January. He had never, in all the years I have known him, been happier. He loved the law, and new that his decades worth of trial experience could be of benefit to the litigants that would appear before him. That he was taken from us now, just 4 months after he took the bench, is nothing short of a tragedy.
In closing, I am one of the many who were privileged enough to call Steve a close friend. His kindness, sagacity, and loyalty will never be forgotten. I miss him dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, a family that he loved fiercely.
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