All of us remember those who treated us badly or were really unfair to us. Those of us who are decent also remember the people who were especially kind to us when we were “down on our luck,”
In 1987 I found myself “down on my luck” in Houston. By the good luck of having a friend working at a particular law firm, I got a job there as a paralegal assistant.
The firm was the personal injury law firm of Stern and Hersfeld. The senior partner was Jeffrey Stern. He had grown up in Milwaukee. His family was humble. They moved to Houston and Jeffrey graduated from South Texas College of Law. Jeffrey soon established himself as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Houston. Before he was 30 he was a millionaire. Despite this new found success he was a man who could show great humility. He treated me in the kindest manner. He would give me his credit card every day before lunch. I would go down and buy nice deli sandwiches. We would sit up in his grand office and have lunch together. When I had a big date he would let me use his gold credit card. I got to know his wonderful mother and father. I came out to the house often and got to know his charming wife Yvonne. I was sad when I had to leave his firm and move to Los Angeles.
Yesterday I was looking for information on the 100 year sentence that US District Judge David Hittner had given to R, Allan Stanford. As I looked at the stories on KTRK Channel 13, I saw the name Stern. I wondered if it could be jeffrey. I went to that story and got a rude shock. Yes it was my wonderful ex-employer Jeff Stern, Sadly he was getting ready to go on trial for hiring hit men to murder his wife Yvonne. As I dug into the story a sordid tale emerged. Jeffrey had become involved with a woman named Michelle Geisler. She had actually hired the hit men to kill Yvonne and then placed the blame on Jeffrey. His wife Yvonne, the intended victim, was standing behind her husband.
I was heart broken and sad for the rest of the day How could such a great man fall to these low depths? I was sad all afternoon..