I am going to get a bit retrospective here. i have been doing this (representing injured people) for nearly a quarter of a century and would like to look back for a moment at some of the points in my career that have provided me so very much joy and, yes, so much sorrow.
Let’s start with the highs:
1) Sometimes, it’s the little things. I have a file in my desk containing some of the hand written cards and notes I have received over the years. Believe it or not, I have never thrown this stuff out. It is gold. I am not going to share the personal nature of these notes, but these little things are a constant reminder for me that what I do can (sometimes) make a difference in people’s life’s that I do not even see. A couple cards were even written by people I did not even represent. Wow. That means so very much.
2) Sometimes, it has been the big things. I sued a local businessman who molested an employee’s young daughter for many many years. This poor kid had just turned 18 and the molestation happened many years before, but she never told anyone out of fear and shame. I tried the case along with a brilliant lawyer and friend and received a multimillion dollar verdict against this sick, evil man. The greatest part of the whole thing? The local prosecutor decided after our verdict to press criminal charges and he was eventually found guilty and spent nearly a decade in jail! Tough to top that one. Sadly, my client is still in her own jail (of sorts) and always will be.
3) More of the little things. I went to a jazz show at Miller Auditorium with my wife and bumped into a former client with her husband. This lady told us that I “saved her life.” I never knew. It meant so much to hear that and it was spoken with such sincerity… Just, wow. I am blessed.
1) I remember going to the local Pain Clinic to take a deposition of a doctor there. While waiting, I bumped into a former client. It was a terrible encounter. He was treating there for chronic pain (complex regional pain syndrome, CRPS) and the medications he had been taking over the years had destroyed his kidney function. The CRPS had spread beyond his arm to most of his body. He was such a kind, deserving man, I just wished that I could have done more. Very sad.
2) The practice I am involved with is very much tied to Lansing and politics out of Lansing. There have been many, many political changes over the years (the vast majority of which limit what I can do to help my clients and earn a living). My major frustration is that the insurance industry and large corporate interests seem to get their way and the poor and working class get the shaft. Time and time again.
3) Stress. Doing my job the right way and being the best lawyer I can be is not easy. I have to admit to having many sleepless (or at least sleep deprived) nights worrying about upcoming trials and hearings. Deadlines deadlines deadlines!
Thanks for reading.