Ups and Downs

Some thoughts on the ups and downs of being a personal injury trial lawyer. First the ups:

Satisfaction of Getting Justice. For a personal injury lawyer justice is getting our client fair compensation; this means our client’s net compensation is more then what she would have received without our representation. Thus, we know we have justified our existence through our representation.

Satisfaction of Making the World a Safer Place. When we right a wrong it is less likely the same conduct will happen again. This is because people change their conduct and act in a safer way when they know they are held responsible for negligently harming another.

Making a Decent Living. With any job there is satisfaction in receiving compensation for a job well done. Our compensation is fair when it follows our fee agreement, it is less then the compensation received by our client, and it bears a relationship between the time, effort and risk involved in the case.

Working with Cool People. It is always a pleasure when we get to work with cool people. Cool people can and do include our client, witnesses, opposition lawyers and insurance adjusters. Just because we are adversaries does not mean dislike, distrust and difficult relations. When we work together to coordinate fair compensation we turn potential war into peace. This translates to less stress on our client and less stress to all involved.

Now the Downs:

Losing a Trial. It is always bummer to lose a trial. We like our client, we believe in our case, we have done our best at trial, yet we lose.  All good lawyers lose cases. We reflect on why we lost, and we learn from the loss. On being bummed,  the rule is no more then 24 hours remorse, then get back on the horse, and ride into the next case.

Work, Work and More Work. Although a personal injury lawyer can make a decent living the reality is personal injury trial work is a lot of work. Here we need to remember the Tom Hanks line to Dotty in A League of Our Own: It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.

Difficult People. In some cases we must deal with difficult people. It is always a downer to have to deal with a difficult person in a case. The best solution is kill him with kindness. When this does not work kill him with the rules. Never resort to becoming an asshole. Recognize all things must end, and our relationship with the difficult person will come to an end.

The Reality:

Being a career personal injury trial lawyer is a marathon. Stay in mental and physical shape, recognize life is about relationships and enjoy relationships, prepare for our case,  give our best effort, and never, never quit on ourself. Remember the world is a better place when justice is accomplished.

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3 Responses to “Ups and Downs”

  1. Jude Dee Tox says:

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  2. Fantastic article! How long have you been working your website?

  3. I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to reach my goals. I definitely enjoy reading all that is posted on your blog. Keep the posts coming. I like it!

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