Lawyer Monthly - September 2023

and in my community. I want to have a positive influence on as many people as I can, whether those people are my clients, employees, or members of my community. That is the macro level, but the means to that end is more granular. You can be the best lawyer in the world, but if you do not have any clients, you are not making much of an impact. So, you have to not only be a good lawyer, but you have to be good at attracting clients. You need to be both a good lawyer and a good businessman. As with any business, you need to set clear and specific goals, both short-term and longterm. I measure my professional success against those goals. unit. There are three types of smoke detectors: ionisation, photoelectric and combination units. You really need a combination unit if you want to be fully protected. Ionisation and photoelectric detectors have different sensing techniques, which means they perform differently to various types of fires. Scientific testing has shown that ionisation detectors can fail to provide a timely warning of slow-developing or smouldering fires, even if smoke levels are extremely high. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and several other agencies recommend installing both types of smoke detectors or combination units, but sometimes landlords sacrifice safety to save a few bucks. What led you to focus on personal injury and wrongful death as areas of specialisation? Early in my career, I took whatever walked through the door. Family law, criminal defence – just about anything. It didn’t take me long to realise that if I was going to be a jack of all trades, I would be a master of none. I knew I had to focus on a particular area if I was going to get where I wanted to be. I hated divorce and child custody cases. Personal injury was by far the most rewarding area of practice for me. I still have a picture on my desk of a little girl I represented in a scald burn case. She had really bad facial scarring and she needed laser resurfacing treatments, but Medicaid would not cover it. They said it was ‘cosmetic’. I knew how badly she needed those treatments, and fortunately, we were able to convince the burn centre to take an assignment on the proceeds of our civil case, so she could get the treatment she needed immediately. We ultimately obtained a really good recovery for that little girl, and we had to get the settlement court approved since she was a minor. When I saw the little girl at the settlement hearing, I could not believe my eyes. You could not even tell she had been burned. It is amazing what those treatments did for her. She gave me one of her recent school pictures where she was smiling from ear to ear, and she signed the back of it. I have had that picture on my desk for the last eight years. When you see things like that, it really makes you feel good about what you do. How do you measure your success? Professionally, I measure success by the impact I make through my law firm FEATURE OF THE MONTH 17

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