Harvey Updyke’s attorney is going to the final rolling of the Toomer’s Oaks. Why wouldn’t he?
“Oh yeah, I’ll be there, without a doubt, “says Andrew Stanley, a 2001 Auburn graduate and Updyke’s final attorney in the Toomer’s Oaks poisoning case. “I grew up down in Eufaula and have been coming to Auburn sporting events since I was in diapers.”
So how was it defending the man who stole the oaks from future generations of Auburn fans?
“Well, it was very interesting. As an Auburn graduate and an Auburn fan, when he had previous lawyers, I never really ever bothered with the case at all. I didn’t know anything about it,” Stanley says. “But once I really got into it and was appointed to represent him, any personal feelings I had regarding the allegation against him and the trees and such, I felt I had to put my professional responsibilities over personal feelings, no matter how strong they were at the time.”
Stanley wasn’t the only person representing Updyke with strong feelings for Auburn. He says Margaret Brown, his co-counsel in the Updyke case and an Auburn native, has a “as a tiger coming out of the orange and blue wall in the bathroom in her office.” Brown graduated from Auburn in 1977 and maintains her law office in the iconic Freewheeler building on N. College Street.
Updyke didn’t seem to mind.
“No, he had no qualms (about being represented by Auburn fans),” Stanley says. “I think he understands that we represented him exactly how he needed to be represented, as advocates for him. As a lawyer, there’s not any other way to be. You have to put everything aside and the focus is your client and the best resolution for your client. That’s exactly what we did.”
Some Auburn fans, Stanley’s friends included, wish he hadn’t done it so well.
“Certainly people have their feelings about it. But I don’t think anybody would be mad at me for zealously defending my client like I should,” Stanley says. “Mrs. Brown and I have defended people accused of rape, of murder, of burglary. You just put it aside and focus on the client and what’s in their best interest. Friends of mine have said ‘I wish he would have gotten more time, but as his lawyer I think you did a great job for him.'”
Photo: Opelika-Auburn News.
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