Val Wachtel Remembered

It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our colleague and friend, Val Wachtel, who passed away on October 26, 2020.

Val was a man who believed in the founding principles of our country, and backed those beliefs by completing five visits in Vietnam as a Green Beret Airborne Ranger and fighting for the constitutional right everyone has to a fair defense.

Val’s legal practice experience was varied, spanning from Kansas to California and back again. He spent the last 20 years of his career as a criminal defense attorney with our firm.

To those Val defended, he was a solid advocate who upheld the dignity and worth of people, when many around them gave none. He was non-judgmental, compassionate, calming and honest.

To those Val worked alongside, he was always ready for a legal challenge. He was a man of integrity and humility. Val freely shared his legal prowess with novice lawyers and personified the definition of respectable attorney.

To those who had the pleasure of calling Val a friend, he was an enthusiastic storyteller with a contagious smile and wicked, dry sense of humor. He was a worthy opponent on the tennis court or links. Friends could always count on Val to be a stylish accomplice – sporting his signature wild socks and colorful specs appropriate for all occasions.

Val was one of a kind. The world and especially Klenda Austerman is better because of the lessons left behind by Val Wachtel. Until we meet again.