It took eons for wind-borne grit to form the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona into greatness. It took barely 16 years for Richard Braman’s grit to form The Sedona Conference and guide it to greatness. I’m saddened to report that Richard Braman has died after a long battle with cancer. Richard was just 60; but, in his too-brief life, he moved something more intractable than mountains; he moved the law forward in a reasoned and just way.
Richard Braman led all of us in the “Sedona Bubble” to lay down swords and use an advocate’s more powerful weapon, dialogue. Richard carved out room for cooperation in an adversarial system of justice. Some thought Richard’s Cooperation Proclamation naïve; but, Richard Braman was no naïf. He was an accomplished trial lawyer who knew the trenches yet understood how much more could be won on level ground.
Perhaps it was Richard’s keen appreciation for jazz—he’d owned a jazz club in Minneapolis—that allowed him to see how discord and harmony could co-exist. I don’t know his inspiration; but, I know he was right.
I’m also certain that we have lost an extraordinary lawyer—a gentleman, a gentle leader and a true visionary. The next time an opponent is a bit more reasonable, a bit more straightforward in an e-discovery conference, take a moment to thank Richard Braman. My sympathies to Richard’s family, his co-workers at The Sedona Conference, his partners at Gray Plant Mooty and the many friends, foes and colleagues fortunate to have known him.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM in the chapel of Greer’s Mortuary of Sedona, followed by interment at Sedona Community Cemetery. Rest in peace, Richard.