Doing commercial litigation for big firms, corporations, and banks pay off well, and everything seems great. But when it comes down to it, they don’t really appreciate what you do. Brad Parker wanted something more out of the law, and so he left the bigger firms and started representing people, the mom and pops and the regular people that got screwed over. Brad is a plaintiff’s lawyer, which in layman’s terms means a lawyer who represents individuals who have been harmed physically or financially. He explains what it entails to be a plaintiff’s lawyer, how he gets compensated, and the implications of choosing cases to take on carefully.
Listen to the podcast here:
Understanding The Plaintiff’s Lawyer with Brad Parker
Brad Parker is from the Fort Worth area, which is a beautiful place plus I get to get up there. He’s been a good friend for about ten years. I wanted to have him on, interestingly because a couple of months ago I called him, I said, “I’ve got this crazy idea.” He said, “What?” I said, “I think I want to do a podcast. I know there are hundreds of thousands of them out there. I’m probably eight or nine years late to the game. It will be fun. We can make them informative and I’m going to do it. What do you think?” He immediately told me something like, “Do it. It will be awesome. In fact, I’m about to start one too.”
That was such a weird conversation. I thought you’re going to think I’m copycatting you. I thought it was so bizarre. We’re thinking in line with each other on that.
Since we are sharing a brain, I figured who better to have on early on to the podcast than Mr. Parker himself. Some of these episodes will be with lawyers like Brad and some will be with non-lawyers in. Ultimately our goal is, as you’ll see if you keep reading is to talk about law and where it intersects with everyday life. How we see it and how that affects us personally, how that affects people we do work for and how that affects society in general. In me thinking about starting the podcast, I looked at Brad and I said, “There are plenty of legally related podcasts out there.” Many of them I saw were like, “Here’s about this specific practice area. Here’s how you run your law office. Here’s how you do X, Y, Z. Here’s how you get more clients.” We practice in the office. We’re practice-driven. We’re lawyers but we’re not wholly defined by that fact.
It took me a long time to figure that out. I figured that out at the point in life where a lot of things were a lot little simpler. Maybe it’s where I am in my life. One day I woke up, Jason and I are going, “Running a law firm is no different than being an auto mechanic or a plumber.” You’ve got to run a business. You’ve got to put beans on the table, but you’ve got to spend time for your family and your friends to keep your mind sane. You’re working 80 hours a week and banging your head against the wall. You’re letting clients drive your blood pressure up or opposing counsel. It’s stupid. Once I got that mindset going, my life has changed.
You talked about family. I’m not going to let you come down here and not tell me a little bit about your girls. How are they doing?
They’re doing great. They are 26 and 28. I started when I was very young. I waited a little while, but my oldest has gotten married. She has got a whole other life going on and fortunately, she lives in Frisco, not too far from me. We get to see each other relatively often, once a month, six weeks or something like that. Then my youngest is living in Fort Worth and we get to see each other about the same, but we’re talking and keeping up. They’re doing good. Thanks for asking.
You talk about this perspective. It’s a hard thing for me to get it. That’s part of another reason to do this podcast. I thought this could be a fun way to stay engaged in a broader degree. We’ll have law-related issues and have a little fun other than fighting with lawyers all day or fighting more judges, fighting the calendar, fighting with my wife on the phone. What’s going on up in Fort Worth? What’s the story up there?
It’s interesting. I love Fort Worth. Fort Worth is a laid back, great place. It’s second to Austin as far as what they’ve got going on culturally. Fort Worth is what we always joke where the West begins, Dallas is where the East peters out. It is a totally different attitude in Tarrant County versus Dallas County. It’s an extremely tough place to practice law if you’re a plaintiff’s lawyer. The juries are very conservative. I don’t want to get into politics but from a political standpoint, it’s probably one of the reddest counties in Texas and for that matter probably in the country. What’s interesting to watch in this last election, Beto ran for statewide office against Cruz and the county actually voted for him, which is the first time Tarrant County has voted on a countywide basis for a Democrat in probably twenty-something years.
The only reason that’s relevant is that every judge in Tarrant County is a Republican. Many of them probably are only Republican because that’s the only way you become a judge. It’s interesting to see how that has affected the landscape from a legal standpoint. You see a little shift somewhat in some of these judges, knowing that they could run from the Democrat side, not just the primary side. It’s interesting to watch that. All in all, we’ve got a great judiciary in Tarrant County and it’s a fun place to practice. The lawyers, in general, are a great group of people. They usually get along with each other a whole lot. There are 4,000 of us and you’re going to cross paths. It’s a small-town atmosphere and Fort Worth is a great place to practice law and raise a family.Money is good, but time is even more precious. Click To Tweet
You mentioned plaintiff’s lawyer. Let’s back up a little bit. For those who don’t know you, who are you? What do you do?
I have a niche. I do nothing but personal injury, trial work and catastrophic cases. I don’t do any sprains and strains or soft tissue injury stuff, not at least on purpose. When one gets slipped through the door, they thought that was going to be a worse injury than it turned out to be, which is good for the client but not exactly the case I wanted. That’s pretty much all my caseload is. I’ve been doing it for about 33, 34 years and I’ve got my own practice. I’ve got one lawyer that works with me. We’re trying to debate whether to hire a second one or not. I go back and forth. It’s one of those lifestyle things. It would be nice to have another warm body in there that could carry more of this water for me. At the same time, as a small business person, you’re always worried about where’s the business going to come from? How do you get it next? The devil is in the details and it’s catch-22.
It would loosen me up to spend more time on marketing and networking with other attorneys. Getting out and trying to bring the cases in but at the same time that means I’ve got to let go and pay more money to have someone in there to work the cases once I bring them in. I think it all would work out. It’s taking that next step. I’m playing around with that but I love what I do. It’s been great so far. My firm is clicking too. That’s one of the things when I got this different mindset about lifestyle. I spread that throughout the firm.
I am not a picky boss on letting people take time off or have the afternoon off. If they want to go to their kid’s soccer game, go. If you need a Friday off to take the kids out of school and you want to go the fair or the park or the zoo, I don’t care, go. I know how precious those times were for my daughters and me to spend together. I want everyone in my law firm to have that opportunity and not miss because it goes by in a heartbeat brother. It does. I’m sure you’re experiencing that. I’ve also found that money’s good but time is even more precious. That’s what makes people appreciate what they do, where they do it and who they do it with. They can have the luxury of having some time, being with ones that they love and doing the things they want to do because I come to work.
We don’t have to get into the details of it. Not only are you a good friend but in a lot of ways, I admire you. Number one because you’re willing to work. I’ve seen Brad in so many different aspects, where he had the answers and he knew the answers right away. Then sometimes he didn’t know the answer but you were always willing to go work. Part of my admiration comes from raising your two girls. Primarily, your two daughters were raised by you.
They were and I never dreamt that would be the case in a million years. I got married to a beautiful woman who had some issues and we had to part our ways. She wasn’t capable of raising the girls. They were kindergarten, second grade at the time, so I raised them. It was the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. It showed me a side of life and a sense of responsibility that I didn’t even know existed. It has been just a fabulous ride. There were issues and bumps along the road. There’s no question about that, but I’ve got such a great relationship with both the girls. We are tight. I can talk to them about anything. We went through all the girl issues that arise. I had some female friends who had daughters and they were there to help guide things through a little bit. It was an exciting, fun time and ride. I know the girls loved it. We have such a wonderful relationship and I wouldn’t trade it for a million dollars.
I know they both think I’m a little crazy but it’s probably for a good reason.
You have a special place in their heart.
I’ll tell you, they’re your number one testament and that’s why I bring them up. For anybody who didn’t know you and is trying to figure out what guy you are, go look at those two girls. They’re grown women.
I still call them my girls.
They’re awesome, young women. I don’t know for the non-lawyers out there, you’ve got a litigation practice. Part of that, which you’re being humble about is your schedule’s always jumping, including travel and being in places where you don’t fully control the schedule. The ability to manage all that is a Herculean task.
It’s something you do. A lot of people travel, a lot of people have to do things. There are a lot of people that are single parents raising their kids. What I did is no more special than what a lot of people are doing. The difference is and it doesn’t make me any different is you have to look at each situation differently. You do it and you can’t make any excuses about it. That’s the way I think about life in general. You go do it and you better have fun doing it because it’s going to go by whether you’re participating or not. You might as well participate at the highest level because you don’t get a second chance. I’ve always believed that.
Necessity breeds ability. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
Let’s have fun doing it.
Brad, also in addition, he’s a very accomplished professional. Give me a brief rundown without reading your resume. Tell us a little bit about you professionally and some detail of what you’ve been doing.
I went to Texas Tech Law School. I’m originally from Lubbock. Lubbock’s a good place to be from. My dad still lives there. I got out of there and I went to UT Undergrad. When I got out of college, I had two choices, Baylor or Texas Tech. Baylor financially was out of the question. It was Texas Tech by default. I know you went to Tech too, but it turned out probably the best thing that I ever did was getting to go to Texas Tech Law School. Tech was really a unique place and without diving into that, I got out. I was running in the upper half, one-third of the pack. I wasn’t wheeling the doors off the library with my intellectual prowess. I wasn’t dragging the bottom either. I had a great opportunity back at that time. These farms were needing litigators. I wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid. The question was exactly what kind of lawyer and I don’t think anybody knows. You don’t have an idea of what law is about when you go to law school. I got flown all around Texas with different firms and interviewing. We went to Fort Worth.
I finally took a job in Fort Worth. I thought it’s a great place to live and raise a family. I went to work for a big firm and ended commercial litigation. A year or six months into it that I realized that the law was great. The people were great, the pay was great. Everything was great. The fact that when you worked for banks and big corporations, they don’t appreciate what you do. They just expect it. I wanted something more out of the law. I left and started representing people, mom and pops, heard people and people problems. They get screwed over by a car mechanic or the car mechanic couldn’t get paid by the dealership or whatever the deal was. I started doing that. Ultimately pretty quick, I fell into personal injury, trial work and loved it. The thing that I loved about it the most was it allowed me to help people who had been harmed through no fault of their own and make a difference in their life. Let them get back up somehow some way and get hugs from your clients, cards from your clients, flowers from your clients, cookies, cakes and heartfelt thank you’s. That’s what inspired me.
Along the way, I wanted to give back and I didn’t get involved in the community. I got involved in bar politics and bar functions. What I did was I got involved in the local trial lawyers bar and became President of that. I was very heavily involved in the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. They had a young lawyer’s division and I was president of that. Then I got involved in the Local Bar Association, the Tarrant County Bar and they were foolish enough to elect me President of that. Then the ultimate coup d’état, was being President of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. The reason that was so important to me is that as we all practice, we begin to understand how critically important the legislature is and what they do as far as passing laws. It’s one thing to go out there, practice and help people. If the law is all screwed up and you can’t help someone because the laws screwed up, you need to go to the legislature and help make the law a little bit better, so that people aren’t getting screwed over by the law.It doesn't matter how old you are; it's how old you feel, your outlook on life, and how you roll with the punches that define who you are. Click To Tweet
I think even a lot of lawyers don’t appreciate in the way I explain it to clients, as well as the lawyers and the judges down at the courthouse in a weird way, where the sausage being made is interpreting the laws or either are on the books, the actual statutes, the black letter things, interpreting what they mean, interpreting what years of common law practice handed down from hundreds of years and what it means. At the legislature, they’re actually making that sausage. They’re telling you what the law is going to be. There are 100,000 lawyers in the State of Texas. I bet you, less than 10,000 have ever been to a committee hearing at the Capitol.
I was going to say you’re very generous. I think it’s a lot less than that.
In general, folks lose sight of what actually happens. We’re like everybody else, we get busy in what we’re doing and we don’t see the big picture.
You were down there with me.
Explain a little bit what that means when you say, “I’m not the legislature.” What does that mean?
What it meant is that we both basically moved to Austin for six months for two different sessions and then even went back after that for more sessions. We were there day in, day out, every single day. If the legislature was there, we were there. You, I and along with many others but you and I especially, advocated on behalf of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. We attended hearings, argued for and against bills and tried to educate. Most legislators don’t even know what the bill says that they’ve got. You may have a dentist, a doctor, a farmer, a life insurance salesman or a lawyer who doesn’t do that law. They don’t understand the nuances of it. They have been given that legislation by a powerful lobbyist who spends a lot of money getting them reelected or elected and they are beholden to them. They go ahead and they go, “We’ll pass it.”
The Texas Trial Lawyers Association through the efforts of many people over the years have become a very big lobbying force in and of themselves. Not as much on the side of money, although we raise a lot of money and they do raise a lot of money but on the side of making sense. Many of these bills, when you really read them and you understand the practical effect, they don’t make sense. They punish people, their constituents. You try to get in front of the legislator and explain that. Hope that that makes some sense or water the bill down to where it’s not as punitive as what it originally started to be. I’ve found that to be extremely rewarding. I believe it to be extremely important work because if it wasn’t for the efforts of TTLA and people, to some degree like you and me, we’ve put our hearts and soul into it for a long time. We made some changes. It would be a lot worse than what it is and it is bad to a large degree. In essence, that’s what we were doing down there.
A business owner might hear that in passing what you had to say. You’re down there to protect your ability to make big money, to get runaway juries, to get punitive damages, to get over on people because that’s what trial lawyers do. I’ve heard it. Frankly, everybody’s got a right to their opinion. What would you say to that?
First thing I would do is to buy them a CD of that documentary on The McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case and let them read it or watch it. There’s no question there. There are people who scam the system. There’s no question. What you don’t want to do is throw the baby out with the bath water. There were reasonable, intelligent fixes that can be made that don’t have to prevent everyone’s access to the court system. Believe it or not, windshields used to not shatter a million little pieces, they came off as shards of glass. You could have a relatively minor fender bender and die from the windshield that cut your throat. It was because of lawsuits that those changes were made. Lawsuits have a very healthy place in our society in imposing responsibility and accountability on businesses to not take shortcuts, to put safety over profits and to act in a responsible manner to protect life and property.
If it wasn’t for lawsuits, things could run amok. There are occasions when it’s gone wrong but for the most part, juries get it right. Juries are twelve people who are like everybody else in America. They are a cross section typically. When they see something that’s gone horribly wrong, they do the right thing most of the time. What people don’t seem to understand and you know it as well as I do is juries more often than not return zero verdicts more times than they returned verdicts with money in them. What I would say to that business owner is I’m not going to try to change your mind but have an open mind and try to hear the other side. Let’s approach it in a logical professional manner so that we can discuss what needs to be done. We may still disagree but let us at least open up the dialogue and not jump in and think, “We’ve got to get rid of all the lawsuits and kill all the lawyers.”
What’s your favorite part of doing what you do?
My favorite single part is knowing that I made a difference in someone else’s life. I settled a case where a guy had a lower leg amputation. He’s was an HVAC repairman. He more than anything in life wants to get back to work, climbing ladders and repair an HVAC system. That’s never going to happen. More likely than not given his age and the severity of his injury. We were able to get a resolution to that case, where it doesn’t put him in the easy street by any imagination, but he’s going to be okay for the rest of his life, especially when he goes out and works. This guy is not going to sit home and watch Oprah every day. He’s already chomping at the bit to get back to work. To answer your question, my favorite thing is to make a difference. I feel like I can make that difference both with clients and if I can work on a piece of legislation, change it and make a difference in that so that the law doesn’t go bad. That gives me a lot of satisfaction as well.
What’s the hardest part of what you do?
Getting ready for trial.
Why is it the hardest part?
I should back up. As far as fun, I love the lobbying part but what I love is talking to juries. I love trials but what I don’t like is getting ready for trials. There is an incredible amount of work that goes on. It is a lot of hard work. For about every day of trial that you have, you’ve probably prep three or four days. A three or four-day trial, five-day trial can take you three weeks to get ready for in all honesty, depending on the intricacies and complications of it. Once you’re in that courtroom, once you get to start talking to a jury, once you get to get in the combat of litigation and advocating, it gets my adrenaline going. It’s like drugs to me.
It is certainly a lot more fun if you’re prepared though.
If you’re not prepared, it is a miserable experience.When you get down to the courthouse, it's not about truth down there all the time. It's about what looks true. Click To Tweet
It’s even more fun if you actually have a good case.
It’s even better if you’ve got a good client. I was teasing with somebody in a mediation. I said, “We’ve all had cases that were great on the facts, but our clients weren’t as pristine as we’d like them to be.” It didn’t turn out so well. We’ve had other cases where the clients are top of the world. As someone you’d invite over for Sunday dinner, the law and the facts are so bad you are going, “What’s wrong?” We always laugh when we can never get it all right.
If you had to guess though, I’m an optimist in a lot of ways. We all have shit bird clients or people we have to deal with, but I don’t have to deal with it very often.
I don’t either. That’s what’s so nice about what we do as plaintiff’s lawyers. We get the luxury of picking our cases. That’s the thing that irritates me the most, to follow up on that line of logic. People who believe that they’re entitled or the clients that come in and think, “The little old lady got $3 million for having hot coffee spilled on her. I should be able to do it.” I don’t like those kinds of people. I don’t like working with them and I don’t. One of the things that we have at our office is called an avatar client and that is the perfect client. If we could have the perfect client, what would it look like? What would they look like? We’ve got that mapped out. Nobody ever fits that mold but we see how close we can get to it. I’m going to turn 60 and I’ve got no time for as you called it shit bird clients and people with frivolous claims that think you’re titled to the world. They’re people who don’t want to listen or take my advice. I don’t have time for them. I’ve been doing this a long time. I don’t know where you got your law degree, Mr. Client. I got mine a long time ago. I’ve been doing it and if you don’t want to listen to me then fine, I won’t work with you.
You look pretty good for 60, Brad. When we first met though, we would joke because I was always the youngest guy in the big boy room.
There’s nothing wrong with that. I was for a long time in the same way. I can’t believe time slipped up on me as it has. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s how old you feel. It’s how optimistic you are, how much fun you are, your outlook on life and the willingness to roll with the punches that define who you are, whether you’re worth hanging around, whether you want to be with and to work with. One of the things that were great about always working with you in Austin was you had a great attitude. The fact that you could roll with so many of those younger legislators. This guy, if you don’t know, speaks Spanish better than a lot of the people from South of the border speak Spanish. He is great with it. One regret I do have is I had never learned to pick up Spanish. All that said, nobody let you in the room because they were feeling sorry for you. You always earned your spot in that room, you always proved it and performed remarkably well.
I certainly appreciate your kind words, Brad. You’ve mentioned hot coffee or the old lady who got coffee spilled on her. I know you’re referring to the McDonald’s case where the lady who got millions for a hot coffee. It has been a rallying cry for the National Chamber of Commerce for years. What were you talking about when you referenced, I believe it was a documentary?
Everybody probably remembers it. I can’t remember her name. I believe it was in New Mexico. She bought a cup of coffee. She was with her son-in-law who was driving the car. He gave her the coffee cup and she put it between her legs, and it spilled.
As I remember and correct me if I’m wrong, they went through the drive-through and the facts don’t lend themselves to a single headline but they were actually parked. They were not driving but parked in the lot. I think she was going to put her creamer or sugar.
Something like that opened it up and it spilled all in her lap. It cost third-degree burns to her lap area. They’ve got pictures of the burns in the documentary and they’re horrible. I remember working for my dad. My dad’s a local contractor. I always work for him growing up. We used to joke that you could buy a cup of McDonald’s coffee at 8:00 in the morning and drink it at noon because it finally cooled down. It was the hottest coffee you’ve ever had in your life. Apparently, a lot of people had been getting burned by it and when they did the testing, it was fifteen to twenty degrees hotter than any other coffee. They refused to lower the temperature of the coffee because they wanted it to last longer.
They wanted to be known as the place with the hottest coffee in town.
Instead of the coldest beer, it was the hottest coffee. I remember the numbers being large but the punitive damage aspect of it, the one that everyone gets so riled up about, they used to say it was astronomical. You’ll learn through this documentary that what that was one day of coffee sales for McDonald’s. It was a very big number but that’s how much money they were making on coffee. That got reduced down to $400,000 I think when it’s all said and done through the appellate court system.
I think it got settled actually.
I think it did. It was a reasonable number. The thing that set people off is that they couldn’t understand why someone would get so much money off a hot coffee. Of course, the Chamber of Commerce came in, the business interest came in and the insurance.
Everybody knows coffee is hot though.
That silly little old lady. She was the one that spilled it on herself. I’d love to get a $3 million for spilling hot coffee on me. That became the rallying cry for court reform and that belief permeated everything. You saw it did that from court decisions to legislation, to jurors’ feelings, walking into the courthouse and talking to jurors. It’s an eye-opening experience to go look at that documentary. It’s on Netflix. I encourage anybody to watch it. It’s a fascinating story.
You mentioned punitive damage awarded and you certainly had dozens if not over a hundred cases. How common is punitive damage?
I can count them on one hand and have some fingers left of them.Balance is something you have to force on yourself sometimes. You got to find it and work at it. Click To Tweet
Tell me about one or two of them.
One that readily comes to mind was actually not a personal injury case. It was a breach of fiduciary duty case, where a lawyer, his partners basically took in some land as part of a fee and then started the land that turned to be very productive in oil and gas. He pocketed millions of dollars and the jury didn’t think that was right and they assessed for knowingly stealing this money. Another case that comes to mind on a punitive damage case was a smaller punitive damage, but where a company knowingly refused to fix a problem they had. I’m trying to remember exactly what it was. It was a company that refuses to fix a problem that they had and one of their workers wound up getting killed as a result of that problem. The jury said, “This is wrong. We’re not going to people to knowingly not fix something they know is broken that could cause the loss of human life.”
If you look at the charge for punitive damages, it’s tough and you got to get a unanimous verdict. What you have to keep in mind is to say, “That plaintiff’s lawyer sweet talked that jury and brainwashed them.” There are very capable defense lawyers on the other side that we’re downplaying that the entire time and they were unable to do so. The reason they were unable to do so because of the facts. The facts dictated the outcome and that jury sat through it. They’d never heard his evidence before. They never knew anybody. They have no skin in the game. They’re neutral. They decided, “No, this is wrong.”
For those folks who may not be lawyers, generally how does a plaintiff lawyer like you get paid? We hear about billable hours. We hear about all these things.
We don’t get paid unless and until there’s a recovery. That’s why you have to be very selective on what cases you take. That’s the thing that darted in my mind and I got sidetracked. People always want to say there’s a bunch of frivolous lawsuits out there. What they don’t understand is a lawyer like me doesn’t get paid unless they’re successful. If I took a bunch of frivolous lawsuits, I would not be successful because juries don’t like frivolous lawsuits. In fact, they hate them and they will pour you out every single time. Juries are good bellwether if you could on what’s real and what’s not. They get to evaluate. They call bullshit on bullshit. Trying to do a bunch of frivolous cases doesn’t work.
The way a plaintiff’s attorney works is he evaluates the facts, he makes the determination of whether or not the law will allow the facts to prevail because so much of the law is prohibitive and preventative. Then he invests thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars on the case, sometimes a lot more. I’m not one of these guys that has multimillion-dollar practice, but I have had $100,000 plus in cases before. I would not invest that money in a case knowing I’m not going to get paid for it unless I prevail. Unless I thought there was a good chance number one, the law would allow it. Number two, that the harm was egregious enough to justify it.
I work on the contingency fee. People oftentimes think, “By the time I pay my medical bills, by the time I pay the lawyers and the expenses, there’s not going to be a thing left over from me.” That’s not true. There’s going to be or we wouldn’t take the case, to begin with. We don’t get paid. It’s not just the tens of thousands of dollars we put in the case. It’s the hundreds if not thousands of hours we put into the case all on the belief that we have a good case and we can make a wrong a little bit better. We help somebody that’s been horribly injured or harmed as a result of the wrong with somebody else, the stupidity of someone else.
That’s what a contingency fee is. That’s how people have to pay at the end. A third, 40%, it may seem high but we’re taking all the risk and it allows access to the court system. If people had to pay $250, $500 an hour, there are firms that charge $750, $1,000 an hour for a time. Even if it was just $200 an hour, people can’t afford that. Most people in this country, in this state, live paycheck to paycheck. They’re trying to save for their kid’s college, make the mortgage payment, pay the insurance and have a little bit of retirement set aside. It allows them access to the courts and therefore when they go into the courtroom, they’re on equal footing. It’s David and Goliath.
We talk about going into the courthouse and I’ve been asking you about the cases you tried and whatnot. I don’t know the most statistics but not that many of these cases get tried. It’s somewhere or anywhere around 4%.
In my practice, that’s the case.
I tried to explain it. Tell me what you think about this but I explained it to people. There are only two kinds of cases that get tried and I’ll talk from a plaintiff’s perspective, it’s ones that are bad or the ones that are good. Sometimes there are anomalies to that but for the most part, that’s what I see in my practice, which is a little different than yours. Mine is more commercial and consumer with some personal injury but very selectively. That’s what I see in my practice because I see the ones that are as the facts come out, it’s not good for the plaintiff and the defendants think they can steamroll them or they can show other types of similar plaintiffs. “We’ll beat you up if we go down the courthouse.” Similarly, I see sometimes and much less in the cases that as the facts get fully developed that are good for our plaintiff and the defendant can’t quite catch up.
I don’t tend to disagree with you too much there. We may be saying the exact same thing. It’s been my experience when defense counsel and I, one of us is misevaluating the case. I think the case is worth a lot more than they do and we’re going to have a jury figure it out. In most cases, especially when you’ve been doing this 20, 30 years, we’ve been around the block. We know what a case is worth, what the value is and therefore you can evaluate it. It’s when you want somebody who’s not reading something right that you go to trial. Somebody is going to be proved wrong and somebody is going to be proved right.
I don’t mean to segue to something, but something that I don’t think a lot of people understand is that the value of a case is not determined by the harm that results. The value of a case is not only the harm. That’s huge. It’s whether or not the laws are going to support the liability issue on the harm. I’ll go back to a case I resolved. My guy had to have his leg amputated but the liability issue was extremely difficult. Meaning what the landowner did, could we hold them liable for that happening regardless of what the damages are? People often sometimes make the mistake of thinking, “I got hurt, therefore, someone should pay.” That’s not wrong thought to have necessarily but it’s not the way the law works. You’ve got to prove that somebody is legally liable for it.
That’s something I tell clients quite often, and it mixes into with what you said and something you said when we were talking about the likability of people and how they come across. I’ve told clients this and they look at me like I’m crazy. I said, “If we can’t get it resolved, otherwise, we’re heading down to the courthouse. When you get down to the courthouse, it’s not what you see on TV. It’s not always the lady justice standing there. Unfortunately, it’s not about the truth down there all the time. It’s not about what’s true, it’s about what looks true.” Those are two very different things.
The way the truth is framed is through the law because it may look one way but if you look through the legal prison, it looks a completely different angle and it’s the questions of the jurors is going to be asked to answer at the end of the trial. I talked all the stuff I’ve done, when you asked about bar involvement, the legislature and stuff. In so many years of my career, I have done nothing but be around other lawyers. The epiphany that came to me was I was tired of hanging out with lawyers. I love lawyers, don’t get me wrong, but I’m tired of hanging with them. I wanted to change gears completely. One of the things that were missing in my life and career was community involvement. I’ve gone out and tried to insert myself full blast in the community where I live. It has been an eye-opening and a unique experience. Being around non-lawyers is extremely eye-opening.
It’s funny you say that because that’s an opposite approach that I’ve had. When I started my own firm, when I’m on practice, I kept the attitude that I’d always had. It’s me, I can rely on me, to hell with everybody else. Work hard and treat people right. I never ran with a bunch of lawyers. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got plenty of lawyer friends but some of them, like you, Steve and others have gotten me to be better about that. On any weekly basis, if I’m going to be with friends, it’s going to be my best friend who’s a diesel mechanic, the insulation salesman or the folks that I’m friends with and comfortable with.
I don’t see it as much in the smaller towns but Fort Worth is big enough. I would think it’s someone like this. I know Houston and Dallas definitely are. You get out, go have a cocktail with the lawyer, they want to talk about their cases and talk about this. We’re all lawyers. We all have cases. Unless you want to bounce something off, “Give me some ideas,” I don’t want to hear about your case. If you legitimately want to talk about, “What do you think?” I do that. I’ve called you on that, “Brad, what do you think? What do you think about this shit? What do you think about that?” I’ll take advice but not if you’re just going to yap along.
There’s got to be something else in your life. There’s got to be a balance. I heard someone say, “You can’t be an entrepreneur and have balance in your life.” I disagree with that statement. I think it’s hard. You have to work at it to have that balance. You have to force it on yourself sometimes but you’ve got to find it. I’m the same way. One of my best buddies sells car batteries for a living. He does very well. He sells to dealerships, car houses and everything. The fact of the matter is we have so much more to talk about, life, raising, kids, music, what’s going on and day-to-day stuff that we all go through.We're all small business people. We share the same dreams, hopes, and problems no matter what we do for a living. Click To Tweet
It’s refreshing. I’ve gotten more involved in the community, you mentioned the chamber and you want to talk about a stink in a room. It’s me because the chamber is not trial lawyer-friendly. It’s been eye-opening to those I get to know that I don’t bite. I’m a down to earth human being like them. It’s been the same with me. They’ve got misconceptions. I’ve got misconceptions and we’re all small business people and we share the same dreams, hopes and problems, no matter what we do for a living.
I represented a company whose CEO is the leader and founder of a pretty large court reform organization. Plaintiff lawyers, their clients hurt people. He’s got that message and hired me for the company to sue another much smaller company on a contingency fee basis over some alleged wrongdoing. I was happy to have the work, happy to work for him and do a good job more than anything to maybe show him. I tell clients, “Sometimes bad things happen to good people.” No one’s running to accept responsibility, particularly when the consequences are significant. If we get out in the truck and I bump into you, make a little dent and cost us $500 in damage, that’s no big deal. I’ll accept that responsibility. What if I kill you or even worse, what if I make you a vegetable? It gets a lot harder to accept that responsibility.
I’ll give you a great example of that I had. I’m in the mediation of a very difficult liability and medical causation case. The wife of the man that got seriously injured, she thinks that it’s given. This is what’s going to happen. Anybody can see that there’s responsibility here. As the day goes on, I explained to them blue in the face the issues that we face, which were significant. She came up with a deal and she goes, “Did you see that thing in the paper this morning?” I said, “No, what was it?” She goes, “There are these friends of ours, the case was in the paper that this kid got hurt on a swing set in their backyard and messed up their ankle bad. They are blaming the homeowners because of the swing set.” I said, “What do you think about that?” She goes, “I cannot believe that somebody would sue their next-door neighbor over an injury on a swing set, when the swing set’s together properly and all that.” I said, “Let’s dissect this.”
We went through it and she still has the same mindset. I looked at her and I said, “Every juror that comes into the courtroom on your case if we go to trial, is going to have the exact same mindset about your husband’s case as you got about that swing set.” A light went off. It’s like, “No, this is so different.” I’m going, “No, it’s not.” People really think that way and it’s a difficult burden and hurdle that I have to overcome every single day that we try a lawsuit. The defense counsel knows that. Businesses know that, insurance companies know that. Insurance companies have gotten very good at brainwashing us. They spend tons of money, millions and millions of dollars on that message. The message is that we are the good people, insurance companies, we’re here for you. We’re the good neighbor. You’re in good hands. They got a pretty little reptilian walking around the place.
They try to humanize and personalize themselves. They pay a lot of money to legislators to get them elected. Then, therefore, the legislators feel beholden to them. It’s a fact of life. People get brainwashed thinking that way. They’re immediately thinking, “This must be a scam lawsuit. This must be the hot coffee. This must be the lottery ticket.” I had a case against the minister who liked to literally lay his hands on the flock. We spent six weeks in trial and the jury came back with a punitive damage verdict on him too. The defense argument was all of these women are on the lawsuit lottery bus. They are looking for the payday. For most people when I walk into a jury, that’s exactly what they think.
Do you think that?
I don’t, but they do. I think they do. I know they do. I sit there and talk to them. Tell me about that. The majority of people where I live in Tarrant County absolutely believe that way.
Probably the best jury experience I’ve ever had was a case I lost.
If you can’t learn from a case you lost, you’re not learning.
It was funny that four people and a couple of other jurors caught me. Granted, we were young. I was in my twenties. I don’t want to talk to anybody but I did and I’m glad I did. It was the proverbial story. I was sitting in my office. My law partner, his dad, we all practiced together and he was a pacer. He always paces around the office. I didn’t pay him any attention and he kept stopping outside of my office. I’d be working on something and I’d look up and then he’d walk off. This happened three or four times. Finally, I said, “What’s going on?” He goes, “I’ve gotten older. I can’t hear well. I can’t do it. You’ve all got to take this case.” I said, “Whatever. I’ll take the case. I’m bringing you a case.”
He then immediately brought in three boxes, dropped it and said, “Thank you. The trial is on Monday.” I started from the beginning and the filings. I started laughing because the case had filed before I started law school. It got evaded for a couple of years because one of the key witnesses was in the federal penitentiary who happened to be partners with my client. It wasn’t a small case. It was several hundred of thousand dollars in dispute. We went down there and tried it. It was me and my law partner and we had started at the same big law firm together. One of the partners of that law firm represented the defendant. It’s against your old boss. We made him nervous, I could tell. He was trying to get his client to settle with this during the trial because we had them scared. It was refreshing from the standpoint.
I didn’t do any of the work, the lead up and I have a whole lot of control. It was going down and doing the best we could. We didn’t have a lot invested and nothing to lose at that point. We got poured out. The jury people who came up to me said, “We want you all to know you boys are great.” I think they said it that way too. It was here in Jefferson County, “You boys were great. We all decided if we ever need lawyers, we’re calling you guys. You all are awesome. Don’t take this personal because we want you all to know that you all were the best lawyers in this room.” I was still pissed off. Why did you do what you do? He said, “Your client’s a liar.” He was and he had this whole dog ate my homework story. The right result happened. I learned more without getting into every little detail of it from that experience then than anything else, the cases where we’d won.
I’ve absolutely had the same experience where a juror came out and asked me for my business card after they poured me out. I was the same way and got the same response. What I took away from it and I’m sure you did too is you’ve got to be careful about what cases you take. You didn’t have that luxury, you didn’t get to pick that case. You don’t want everyone to have that happen to you again. I don’t like losing at all.
You can’t afford it. If you lose at any reasonable rate, you’re done.
I don’t like to lose. We are litigators because we’re competitive. I always call it Nancy Reagan’s syndrome, “Just say no.” The most important decision that you will ever make about any case you have is the decision whether to take it or not.
If you have that gut feeling that’s telling you something’s off, don’t take it if you don’t have time to deal with it.
Here’s the other thing. It will make you throw up when you find out that the guy down the street took the case and actually got money on it. That’s okay, good for him. Don’t even think about it twice. You’ve got to go on down the road. Let them bask in that glory or whatever. You made the right decision.
How many times do you think you say no to a case as opposed to how many you say yes and you do take?If you can't learn from a case you lost, you're not learning. Click To Tweet
I say no a lot more than I say yes.
I’d say in my practice, probably seven to one.
At least maybe ten to one and part of it is because I don’t want the case. There are a lot of people out there who think that they’ve been in that fender bender you’re talking about with $500 property damage, who never seek medical treatment but think that they’re deserving of a whole lot of money. I don’t want to touch that case with a hundred-foot pole. There are other people out there who have been legitimately hurt but the law is against them. There’s nothing I can do for you. You tried to screen those people to where they’re not even coming in the office. You don’t even set appointments with those people if you screen them. They are the people that get into the office and this is where my weakness is, I’ve got a big heart and I start believing that I can help and do something.
You start feeling sorry for someone, don’t you?
I do. What I started doing is I bring my whole staff in, not the entire staff but I’ve got six people. I’ve got six people that work with me and only one other lawyer. I bring the non-lawyers in, “What do you think about this case?” Their gut feel means a lot to me. I listen to them. I listen to what they have to say, how they feel about the case. If they red light the case, it’s not necessarily that I’m going to red light the case, but there’s a 90% chance that I will. That’s probably the most important lesson, one of the hardest that I ever had to learn was like be Nancy Reagan and just say no. It’s a real learning experience. Even still after 35 years of practicing or 34, whatever it is, I have that struggle. They look at me when we sit down and I tell someone, “I’m sorry,” even when they come into the conference room, talk to them and I’d say, “There’s nothing I can do to help you. This isn’t the right case for me. I’m not the right lawyer for you.”
I get out of my conference room and my staff goes, “Thank you.” They saw it and they know what a soft spot I sometimes have. It goes back to that deal that I think is so important about any business, being an entrepreneur, being a business owner, you’ve got to listen to your staff. If you want to have a good business, you must have a buy-in from all the people that work with you. I have an open book policy. My staff knows everything basically. Listen to them and let them be involved in the decision-making process, then you’ve got a great loyal staff and they will do anything for you.
You’ve seen that. You’ve dealt with Christy, we’ve been together for almost fifteen years.
That says a lot about you that you’ve got a staff member that’s been with you for several years.
She knows that that’s rare too.
I’ve got Angela who has worked with me for 21 or 22 years. I always tease her. I said, “Other than my daughters, there’s been no woman in my life as long as you have been.” It goes back to that field. She is so vitally important to me. I find it’s not about money. It’s about culture and belief systems. It’s about respect and decency. You’d walk into these law firms where the staff is scared of their own shadow and you’re thinking, “Are you kidding?” The only reason they work there is that they get paid a decent salary.
I’ll give you an example of that. This is something I learned as a young lawyer and I’m glad I did. For instance, if my staff makes a mistake, I take the heat for it. A lot of people don’t. I take the heat with outside folks, with judges but not everybody does. I’ve been down at the courthouse where my assistant didn’t do this or we failed to do that. Nothing angers me more because at the end of the day there’s a reason that there’s a signature block on every document for an attorney when you’re representing somebody. My paralegal of several years is not the one signing that, it’s me. Sometimes things happen fast and I may not have a full grasp about what went out the door. Usually I do, but I recognize that sometimes things happen and if there’s a mistake, I have to own it. Whether I made it or not, it’s my responsibility. If nothing else, it’s my responsibility to my staff.
I couldn’t agree with you more. What I have determined over time is that usually, it’s my mistake to begin with because I get busy or something happened. Angela looks at me and she goes, “Are you sure?” I’ve learned over the years, any time she says, “Are you sure?” Slow down. It’s incredible. In my firm, Angela especially is more important to me than any lawyer I could ever hire. She knows what time the train is supposed to leave and what time the train is supposed to embark, get back and how it’s being run. That is more important than hiring a lawyer that can push a case, quite frankly.
I recognize that or I hope I recognize that to the full extent and give them what they need, not just a good salary but the time off, the culture, knowing that I’m not going to throw a hissy fit, scream, yell and cuss at them. I treat them with respect and dignity. They’re professionals. They love what they do. When I walk in and see a group of attorneys that don’t treat their staff right or like what you were saying, blame it on the staff. I think there’s a failure and it speaks to the person a little bit, quite frankly. Who does that? Let’s own our mistakes.
Let’s talk about your dad. How’s he doing?
He’s doing great. He’s 84, I believe, and he’s in great shape. He lives in Lubbock. He is scared to death to fly. My brother and I always go down there every year to take him somewhere for his birthday.
When’s his birthday?
April 10th. We’ve been down to Big Bend. We’ve been to New Mexico. We got him to fly one year to Montana.
Was he a nervous wreck?If you want to have a good business, you must have a buy-in from all the people that work with you. Click To Tweet
He’s a total nervous wreck.
He was only willing to do it because he was going to Montana.
You have to know him. He’s a real hoot. He goes, “We’re landing in Denver.” I go, “Yeah.” He goes, “Your brother’s from California. Do you think they could sneak in that marijuana on the plane to let me calm down a little bit? I’m not sure whiskey’s going to take care of this problem.” I thought it was funny as heck. Anyway, we went down a Big Bend. My dad lived his entire life here and he never went to Big Bend and we took him down there. I think we’re going to take him back. He just loves it. It’s either there or Palo Duro Canyon.
Palo Duro Canyon is awesome. It’s a lot easier trip from Lubbock. It is much easier to go to. That might be the trip.
I will encourage you to get on my Facebook and dig around a little bit. You will see the trip to Big Bend. He’s lived his entire life here and he never went to Big Bend. We took him down there. One of the things that he enjoyed the most about it is that we went down to Presidio and then went up the Big Bend road there, I would pull over and we would stop. He’s a little more conservative in his political thinking than I am and so is my brother. I would point out this beautiful landscape, the scenery and I’m going, “Where do you think we should build that wall through here?” We had the best time. Let’s not dive into politics. That was a joke for our trip drink driving around.
Please explain a little bit, without going into the minutia. What does the imminent domain mean?
Eminent domain means the government can come in and seize your land. They have to pay you fair value for it. They want to build the wall, which probably is unnecessary to do based on the topography of the area. They’re going to cut people off from hundreds of acres of their own property because they’re going to build it on this side of the Rio Grande. Therefore, there are a lot of ranchers down there that have bunkhouses, houses, homes, churches. There’s a church down there that’s going to have a wall built. While they’re technically in Texas, they’re walled off from Texas. They’re going to be in Mexico in effect because they took all your land. It’s an interesting issue, one that we could go on forever but we probably shouldn’t in this show.
I was trying to remember the first time I ever met you. I knew I met you before I got to know you.
I’m trying to remember the first place that we did meet because it was through TTLA.
That was what I was transitioning to. It was a little bit about I was showing you a little plaque I put up in honor of Steve but thank God for him. He can be a hot button issue. Steve Mostyn was a dear friend of both of us and frankly introduced us together.
Do you know how I first met Steve? I was going through my divorce. We were in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he walked into this bar. He was young and I was younger, he ordered a bottle of Don Pérignon. We drank it and he wanted another one. It was the first time I ever met Steve. He says, “Are you game?” I said, “Yeah, I’m game. Let’s get it.” He ordered it and they wouldn’t serve it to him. They said, “No, sir, you’ve had enough.” I said, “I want that bottle.” They said, “No, Sir, you’ve had enough as well.” They both very politely asked us to leave and we did. As we walked out the door, it was like that scene from Casa Blanca where we looked at each other and thought this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. It was nothing but just a wonderful relationship after that. You’re right. Steve was a lightning rod. He was a force to be reckoned with. I miss him dearly.
I actually met Steve when I was in law school at Tech. He was young.
He was trying that case with Tommy Turner.
He had a case. He had a slip and fall case at the Koko Inn.
In the Koko corner at 50th and Avenue Q.
I was a law clerk for Judge Medina and it was pending in the court, and they were out there trying this case down. Interestingly, the case was liability-driven because the damages were pretty big and his client was pretty hurt. It affected his job performance. He was this traveling worker. He was this English guy who did rigging, all the lights and rigging work for these class A shows tour like Cher, Justine Bieber, some big show went on the road.
Cher was popular at the time. Justin Bieber was probably not even thought about.
I was trying to get a lot of diverse examples. Top line deals and he charged thousands of dollars a day for his time and was good at it. He got to where he couldn’t do 90% of what he was supposed to. One of the big issues was this whole subsequent remedial measure, an issue on control and without getting into all the little law details of it. I was a law clerk to the judge. Every time I’d get the elevator, be it the hall, on a recess or something, here would be Steve. I said, “You’re right in your stuff. Stop politicking me.” At the time it ended up being and probably the biggest slip and fall related verdict. It was several million dollars after the interest because the case had been pending. In fact, it was a case Steven inherited right when he got into law school. He went to work for a law firm. It was a plaintiff’s firm and he was there briefly a year or two. He left and they made him take it. They didn’t want it. He was there when he had gotten there. Arthur Mayo was his name and with interest, it was $2.8 million, something like that.Whether you fail or not, the fact that you get out there and try is very interesting. Click To Tweet
Interestingly that case got appealed and that case got appealed up to the Texas Supreme Court. He was a young lawyer trying to do anything he could. He wasn’t inappropriate. It was over and I liked him. It was fun and I moved on. A year and a half later, I came to the law firm I was at, we got about 50 or 60 cases from another law firm. They were all pinned down here in Beaumont. We can handle them, so me and two other lawyers took them all. The two of the lawyers were my supervisory lawyers but they weren’t even partners then. We started defending these and about 80% of them were cases he had filed. I started dealing with them and it’s a small world. I don’t know there were 100,000 lawyers in Texas then but there was 70 or 80. I left that job and started doing a similar type of work. We’ve been friends for a long time. I don’t know that he introduced us but that’s who brought us together.
It is what brought us together because the first time that you and I worked together was during that 2011 session. We were in the trenches. That was a loser pay deal.
That was in 2013. Steve was a lightning rod. He was loud and a lot to handle but brilliant, hardworking, come from nothing and was willing to fight Goliath on the right calls at any time. He died, but it’s hard not to mention him whenever we get together.
We’ve got a lot of fun times ahead of us too. People ask me, “Are you getting tired? Are you going to retire?” Are you kidding me? I’m having the most fun of my entire life.
I’ll tell you and this is not just because you’re my friend, but I always say, “American men from 55 to 65 is where you see them age.” I’m going to tell you, you look great. You look the same you did ten years ago. You were prematurely gray then.
That’s because I had to deal with people like you. Do you ever see yourself retiring? You must be too young even to contemplate that. I don’t think I will ever retire from the practice of law. I have two reasons. Number one, I get a sincere satisfaction from what I do. I love what I do. I don’t want to do it as much as I’ve done it in the past. I’d like to slow down a little bit. The second reason is I don’t know what I’d do with myself. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my practice and things to do. I want to do more hanging with you, talking to other people and doing things. I always want to practice law and help people. I know that sounds cheesy but that’s exactly what I want to do. It gives me fulfillment in my life. It truly does. If I quit practicing law, it’s going to be because I died. I don’t see it any other way. One of my mentors that I’m thinking of is Broadus Spivey. He and I had the opportunity to try a case against that preacher that I mentioned back in the mid-‘90s. He was an inspiration to me. He’s still practicing law. Broadus has got to be 75, pushing 80.
He was 75 when I met him ten years ago.
You talk about a guy that is an inspiration. Broadus can never slow down. He’s an inspiration to all trial lawyers. He keeps pushing, he keeps doing it at the pace he likes. He’s helping people. He gets such satisfaction out of helping people. I do too. I can’t ever imagine retiring.
Tell me a little bit about this podcast. You’re doing a podcast.
My podcast is not too much unlike yours. I call it Bar Talk. I do a lot of videos and I have a newsletter. The Bar is the bar courthouse. I call it Bar Talk and my newsletter, my videos are all Bar Talk. I try to do some FAQs, 90 seconds, 120 seconds of raising the question and giving you a quick answer because people don’t want to spend a lot of time on the video or anything. I wanted to have the opportunity with a podcast to branch out a little bit even further. It’s Bar Talk, the musings of lawyers, entrepreneurs and other interesting people. To follow through with what I was saying, I want to talk to entrepreneurs and people who have been successful in business, tried business, whether they fail or not. The fact that you get out there and try is very interesting. I think everybody’s got a story and that’s what we are, we’re storytellers.
When we get in the courtroom, we tell a story. We want people to get to know our clients, understand where they came from, how they got to where they are and what happened to them. Much of that is so true about everybody. The next podcast that I got to do is with a neighbor of mine who has nothing to do with the law. He was one of the primary maintenance facilities, head mechanic guys at Delta Airlines for many years. He was in Vietnam or Laos even before there was a Vietnam. He has an incredible story to tell. It’s interesting and fascinating to hear the stories of how you get to where you are, what brought you here? That’s the goal that I have and it’s not as much law as it is life. Everybody’s got a story to tell, the story behind the story. Tell me how you got here.
Maybe a little bit. His politics are a little different mine but I listened to him every day. I worked for my dad as an electrician and every day we would listen to Paul Harvey.
Brad Parker, I love you. I’m proud of you, admire you and I want to thank you for being here and being one of my earliest guests. I couldn’t think of a better person to have. I hope everybody’s enjoyed this. The last thing is where do they find your podcast? What’s it called? Where do we find it?
It’s called Bar Talk and it’s going to be on YouTube. I’m going to have it on iTunes Podcast, Google Play.
Do you have a Twitter or Instagram?
Look at Bar Talk, Brad Parker, Parker Law Firm. You’ll find it, it will be pushed. It will be out there. Thank you for that plug. It’s in the infancy, it will be pushed and it’s going to be Bar Talk.
If I can ever help you on in any way, I am happy to be part of it.
The second thing, thank you so much for allowing me to be here. I traveled from Fort Worth to be in Beaumont. It’s not easy to get in the Beaumont. I had put this on my calendar and come hell or high water I was going to be here. Nothing was getting in my way. I’m so honored that you allowed me to visit with you. This is a great deal that you’re doing. I love you. I think that your drive, ambition, your family life, the kids you’ve got, the beautiful wife you’ve got, they are an inspiration to me. You may be twenty years younger than me but I’m inspired by you. You’re on the right track.
I love you. Let’s do it again.
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About Brad Parker
Known as the region’s fiercest Bedford personal injury attorney, Brad Parker’s sense of duty and unique ambition to defend those that cannot adequately defend themselves merit his well-deserved reputation for zealous representation of his clients. His uncompromising will to rise every morning readied with his figurative stone and sling for whatever overly opportunistic “Goliath” he finds is what makes him that good.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It was these words by the late Martin Luther King Jr. that resonated in a rebellious youth in search of his cause and explain the values of the accomplished man that enters the courtroom today.