July 7, 2014

Richards, longtime London attorney dies

Richards remembered for humor, dedication to community


It was a somber message as word of the death of long-time London attorney, Hugh Richards, spread through the community Tuesday morning.

Richards, who had practiced law in London for approximately 30 years, suffered a severe stroke in February and, according to his wife Beverly, “never got over it.” Richards died Tuesday morning from complications from pneumonia.

For his law school friend, James Carnahan, the news of Richards’ death was devastating.

“Beverly (Richards’ wife) called me that morning to tell me that Hugh’s condition had deteriorated,” Carnahan said. “I had a trial that day and when I saw the clerk hand Judge (Durenda) Lawson a note, I knew what it was.”

Carnahan’s voice choked with emotion as he remembered his friend and adjusted to the news of his passing.

“ I just couldn’t go on after that,” he said sadly.

The friendship between Carnahan and Richards extended to other London attorneys - Laurel Circuit Judge Tom Jensen and Warren “Skip” Little - who were the first class of Covington’s Chase College of Law daytime classes in 1975. Prior to that time, the law college only offered night classes. Carnahan said being in law school “in the trenches” was comparable to the Army’s “Band of Brothers.”

“You become more like a family,” he explained.

Carnahan said Richards had the personality that made people glad to see him coming. He related how he and Richards went to the University of Kentucky mens’ basketball games and that Richards obtained tickets three rows from the floor. In fact, the two sat just a few seats away from legendary UK coach Joe B. Hall.

“He (Richards) went over and talked to Coach Hall, then he went down to talk to Mike Pratt who was broadcasting the game,” Carnahan said. “That’s the type of person he was - he knew everyone. He affected a lot of people in a positive way. He was a good ambassador for lawyers.”

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