I have been a plaintiff’s trial lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky, for over 30 years. My family has a long history in this community, as well as in the State of Kentucky. I grew up in Louisville’s south end, a more or less blue collar part of town, and in fact, my father retired from the International Harvester Company after 32 years as an electrician. I spent the year before I started law school working in the International Harvester foundry in order to get the money to pay my first year’s tuition. After my first year of law school, I was lucky enough to get a job as a law clerk with the City of Louisville Law Department where I met many very interesting people throughout not only the court system, but local government. I was fortunate enough to have the City of Louisville pay for my tuition the last two years of law school through their scholarship program. After passing the Bar Examination in 1977, the City Law Department hired me as Assistant Director of Law, and immediately, I was cast in the role of a trial lawyer. In fact, I tried my first case within one week of passing the Bar Examination. I have been trying cases ever since, and you know what, I love it.
One of the best things about being a trial lawyer and practicing law in this community is getting to know the people from this area and from all over Kentucky and other states. My clients have very diverse backgrounds some are lifelong residents, some relocated to my favorite city, Louisville, and even some are simply visitors. That is what makes this profession so exciting. Many people find themselves in serious conditions due to injuries caused by the negligence of others.
Away from the office and the courtroom, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially at our place at the lake where my son and I like to hunt and fish, and my wife and daughter enjoy boating and having a good time with our neighbors, who are mostly comprised of people from the country who provide a different perspective on the issues facing a litigator these days. I always enjoy engaging my neighbors in discussions about subjects such as tort reform and the necessity of our jury trial system which is the greatest system in the world, even though flaws do exist. I think it is important for a good trial lawyer to put his life experiences to work for him when understanding certain types of cases and presenting them to a jury. For instance, for years, my wife and I had a boat on the Ohio River. Because of this, I became interested in maritime law and admiralty cases and have practiced these types of cases, as well as cases, all over the state. I also have close family members that are involved in the trucking industry, and by discussing their occupations in depth, it has given me great insight when handling serious cases, all over the state. I also have close family members that are involved in the trucking industry, and by discussing their occupations in depth, it has given me great insight when handling serious as well as many other serious and even catastrophic injury cases.
While litigation is a huge part of my practice, I also pride myself in the ability to negotiate and to explain the position of my clients and myself and why my clients deserve what I have demanded from insurance adjusters and other lawyers in the process of settlements such as mediation. In today’s litigation arena, the skills of a negotiator have become as important as the skills of a courtroom lawyer. I feel that I have mastered many of these skills just through my study of human nature and the fact that I pride myself in having friends in all aspects of our society. To be quite frank, I feel that my practice has been successful because I try to help people. I have been fortunate enough to have earned some recognition from my work. I have been invited to join some of the most prestigious legal associations around. If you will scroll down, you will see a number of examples. Experience is probably the most important factor in the decision clients make regarding an attorney, so please allow me to highlight a few points about which I am most proud:
- I was nominated and made a member of the Outstanding Lawyers of America.
- I have been made a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum (less than one percent of all attorneys are members).
Both of these organizations require that the attorney being proposed for membership be nominated by another member and have, for the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, attained a verdict or settlement of one million dollars and have, for the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, attained a verdict or settlement in excess of at least two million dollars.
- I have been inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), which is a select group of attorneys who must have tried a minimum number of civil jury trials to verdicts. As of June 2007, I believe Kentucky only has approximately 25 such members in its roster.
- I belong to the International Society of Barristers and am a senior counsel in the International Society of Master Litigators and Barristers.
These are just a few of the many ways I have been recognized by the peers in my profession since I began practicing personal injury law. However, I think one of the most important ones is that my Martindale-Hubbell rating is an AV, the highest rating possible to attain by a lawyer. This is a rating that is given by the lawyers in your local community that affects your legal ability as well as your ethical standards. I was an AV-rated lawyer before I was 40 years old, which is a fair accomplishment in itself.
Again, I would encourage you to please read more about my background below. But at the end of the day, I am still an attorney who has been able to help many people in Louisville and throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as well as other states. Many of my cases come from other lawyers around the country who have had clients injured in and around the State of Kentucky and who refer those cases to me and my office.
In short, I believe in hard work and working hard for my clients. I try to instill that in all the members of my law firm as managing partner. I relish the fact that I still feel passionate about my profession and what is at stake for the families of my clients and my clients themselves. I guess that is what I figured out early in my career. Maybe that is the reason I fight so hard for my clients. Either way, it is what they deserve.