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"Call Me R.J."

Judge Roland J. Brumbaugh ("Call me R.J.") was a novice but enthusiastic golfer when he came to Las Vegas in the mid-1980s (ostensibly to be a CLE lecturer) at the annual Arapahoe County Bar Association junket. ACBA golf tourneys frequently award a prize for the zaniest golf shot and RJ was a frequent awardee of this dubious honor.

The first award I recall was when RJ's lofty wedge shot came down near-vertical in the top of a tall Las Vegas palm tree and stayed there. A few years later the ACBA annual event was at Wellshire. A maintenance worker was fixing a sprinkler head well to the right side of the green on a par four hole. RJ's mid-iron second shot on the hole was a banana-ball slice which landed on the fly in the bed of the worker's mini-pickup golf cart. The noise made by the hit could be heard on at least three nearby tee boxes as the worker "hit the deck". After much looking, RJ's ball was found still in the bed of the cart. A spirited debate ensued within the foursome as to whether RJ was entitled to a free drop, a penalty drop, or had to play the ball ""as it lies", i.e. hit his third shot out of the cart. The worker resolved the debate by (disgustedly?) tossing the ball out of his cart and driving off. RJ chipped on and sunk the putt for par. Since then, his continued dedication to the game and break-100 scores have frequently made him the lowest-gross judge in the competition.

Jon Clarke is the sole shareholder of Jon B. Clarke, P.C. He has been listed in the National Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 1994.