Meet an Attorney - Nicole Ruth
What do you like most about being a lawyer, and least?
I still learn something new, or run into a new issue, almost every day. It definitely keeps things interesting!
What I like least about being a lawyer is having to deal with opposing counsel who are combative from the moment you first speak to them. I don’t run into this as much working in pre-litigation as I did when I was doing litigation. I am the kind of person who knows what my job is and what needs to get done and I really try to get along with opposing counsel until I have a reason not to, but not all lawyers have that attitude. A fair amount of them have egos and feel like they need to come out swinging all the time.
What question do you hear most frequently from clients?
How long will this process take? My response is that in general, it is guided by the length of the medical treatment received. We generally don’t want to try to settle your case until you are finished with treatment so we can capture and present everything.
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?
I really just try to be there and listen and be supportive. People often need to vent and get their frustrations off their chest, and just need someone to listen. And of course, I let them know that we are here to help in any way possible.
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?
I really look at the whole picture. While the offers tend to be very focused on the bills, we need to make sure the insurance companies really are taking into account everything, for example, wage loss, mileage, out of pocket expenses, and scarring.
What motivated you to become a lawyer?
My dad motivated me to go to law school. He was also a lawyer. I was an English major in college and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do career-wise. He advised me that a law degree can open all kinds of doors to career choices and the knowledge can help you in many different aspects of your life, from buying a house to business contracts to family issues.
How is being a lawyer different than what you expected before joining the profession?
I have been doing this for so long now (22 years) I don’t remember what my expectations were, if any!
What is an interesting fact about you that someone would not learn from looking at your resume?
I am a native Floridian, born and raised, and proud! But I have lived in Colorado for over 17 years and am very happy here.
Who do you most admire and why?
I admired my dad the most. He passed away in 2016. He was brilliant, and as much as it pained me to admit it when he was alive, he generally was right about everything!
You work hard as a lawyer during the week. What is your favorite thing to do to relax on the weekends?
I work full time and have 3 children ages 12, 9 and 1 so there is very little time to relax! I do enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, watching the Broncos play, playing Candy Crush on my I-pad and having fun with my kids.
Who was your favorite lawyer on television and why?
I honestly don’t have one.
Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.