What do you like most about being a lawyer, and least?
I love it when we are able to make a positive difference in the lives of our clients; whether that means getting them the compensation for their injuries that they deserve, or changing the conditions under which they work and live.
I hate it when the court system delays the resolution of cases or things drag out for longer than I think is reasonable.
What question do you hear most frequently from clients?
“Why does it take that much time?”
Many people who need the help of a personal injury lawyer are going through extremely difficult periods of their lives. What words of support do you offer to people in this situation?
We can’t turn back the clock to make it like this never happened, but we can work with you and help make this something you can get through with a result that hopefully will make you think that you’ve gotten justice and feel that the system works.
Many clients do not have a sense of the value of their case. What advice do you have to help a client decide whether a settlement offer is a reasonable offer?’
It’s usually very helpful to talk about the range of results in cases that have raised similar issues in the past. That serves as a grounding for people going through such loses.
What motivated you to become a lawyer?
I was drawn into litigation by my interest in constitutional law and theory. And while for decades I had the lucky and unusual opportunity of practicing in that area, as I’ve matured I’ve come to see that helping people at the very practical level of getting them fair compensation for their loses makes me much more connected to my community and gives me great joy in helping our clients make their way through their challenges and legal needs.
How is being a lawyer different than what you expected before joining the profession?
I used to be interested in grand principles and legal analysis. While those issues are still of significant importance to me intellectually, I now thrive on representing real people with real problems that need to be solved. That’s a far step from writing the law review articles or teaching the legal classes I used to spend time on.
What is an interesting fact about you that someone would not learn from looking at your resume?
I’m one of the few political liberals I know who loves to hunt and fish
Who do you most admire and why?
It’s easy to pick famous people who have obtained or accomplished something that seems admirable, but to me I most admire the regular people I meet and the friends that I have who are kind, who love and support their family and friends, and who work quietly but steadily to make the world a little bit better than they found it.
You work hard as a lawyer during the week. What is your favorite thing to do to relax on the weekends?
When I’m not hunting or fishing, my wife and I head to the mountains for hiking in the summer, snow shoeing in the winter and working on our family ranch.
Who was your favorite lawyer on television and why?
I hate to admit it because I think the guy’s as batty as can be . . . but it’s Tom Cruise. In both “The Firm” and in “A Few Good Men” he nailed it when he showed the transition from a being a light weight self-impressed new lawyer into becoming someone who grew and struggled to use the law to make something that was very wrong very right.