I read with appreciation the Transcript Bulletin article last week announcing the retirement of my friend and colleague, Frank Mohlman, from the practice of law. In an age when lawyers are viewed with distrust or even disdain, Frank’s legal career provides a full measure of redemption for us all. Abraham Lincoln refuted the vague perception “that lawyers are necessarily dishonest,” urging those who would become lawyers “to resolve to be honest at all events,” or to choose some other occupation. Frank certainly epitomized Lincoln’s view of “an honest lawyer.”
As a young lawyer fresh out of school, I looked up to Frank as a mentor and role model. Through the years, we consulted on various matters, and I had no reservation referring cases to him, trusting they would be handled with fairness and professionalism. For many years, Frank organized and led the Tooele County Bar Association, with the aim of better serving the legal needs of this county. (I must admit, though, that the highlight of the meetings were Lucille’s homemade cinnamon rolls.)
Frank’s skills and experience as a lawyer were also manifested in his many years of service to his community and church. Whether on the school board, the education foundation board, or in other settings, Frank demonstrated his ability to evaluate a problem calmly and fairly and to reach a wise solution through conciliation and collaboration. His manner is marked by humility, patience, and respect in dealing with others.
In reflecting on his life, Lincoln wanted it said of him, “that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower when I thought a flower would grow.” The same can be said of Frank Mohlman. Throughout his legal career, he plucked the “thistles” of contention and planted the “flowers” of peaceful and lasting solutions, whether in the courtroom, the boardroom, the community, or his personal life. Frank is certainly one of the “good guys” who finished first. Best wishes and thanks to Frank and Lucille as they transition to other fields of service.
Rep. Merrill Nelson is a resident of Grantsville and represents District 68.