March 03, 2008

VA: "it always struck me how much he cared"

From the Virginian-Pilot:

Man who established Portsmouth's public defender's office dies at 55

John H. "Jay" Underwood III, the city's public defender for 22 years, died Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer. Underwood, 55, left private practice in 1986 to establish the Portsmouth Public Defender's office, and friends and family say it was a job he never stopped loving.

"The law was his life, " said Underwood's wife, Fran. "He didn't desire to go out and be some big corporate attorney. This is what he chose." He wanted to be in the courtroom, and there was also the teacher in him, she said. Being public defender allowed him to do both...