It’s Sunday Morning, I’m 14, And When We Arrive, They Are Loading My Dad Into An Ambulance.
He was delivering newspapers to help make ends meet when a car driven by an older woman plowed into my father’s.
Dad hired a lawyer when he was out of the hospital. But he hired one who advertised in the Penny Saver.
The guy was a volume shop who never litigated cases, so he passed my dad’s case to another lawyer with a litigation firm.The minute this lawyer came to our house, I, a 14-year-old boy, could see his lack of confidence. I thought to myself, ‘If this guy graduated law school, anybody can.’
The amount of money they got for my father was a joke.
I felt awful when I saw my father’s deep disappointment and the measly amount, and a thought raced through my mind, ‘One day, I’m going to be a lawyer.’
It was a big dream considering my upbringing.
I’m from New York. I’m a latchkey kid. Mom did clerical work. Dad did odd jobs and started training me to box when I was six years old. Money was tight, but we had “three hots and a cot.”
Growing up, I had a giant chip on my shoulder. I inherited my father’s Napoleonic complex. Kids picked on me because I was small, and my dad taught me to respond like an idiot; he expected me to beat up bullies. In college, I learned what trauma behavior is; there are many moments I wish I could redo.
After college, I did a brief stint in Los Angeles as a production assistant. I worked on the Donnie & Marie Show and the movie, Suicide Kings. But quickly, my desire to be a lawyer won out.
After law school, my first job was a baptism by fire. I was an associate for a prominent trial lawyer, and it put me in front of judges regularly, litigating, doing depositions, and trying cases. And in my first three years, I did five jury trials. (Unheard of).
AND THEN I SPOTTED MY MISSION AND MY NICHE…
Now that I was a legal professional, I could see what my dad didn’t know when he hired a lawyer. A lot of personal injury law firms are huge advertisers. They’re “settlement mills” that get their clients pennies on the dollar. They’re not going to take their client’s case to trial if necessary. They stick to their path of least resistance. And, they rarely let you speak with your lawyer. They force you to talk to legal assistants. It’s poor client treatment.
The same awful treatment my dad received.
I also learned insurance companies are bullies. And from my childhood, I know all about bullies.
So, in 2004, I started my own practice, tailored to take on the insurance bullies and maximize my clients’ compensation.
Today, 17 years later, insurance companies know who we are. They don’t mess with us. We have a reputation for keeping insurance carriers honest. They know our firm will aggressively litigate our cases and take them to trial if it benefits our client.
(Just like the bullies I faced on the playgrounds, insurance bullies pick on all the lawyers, except the ones that are willing to go to trial.)
That’s my story.
And I have a mantra. (It’s personal).
“We will be the firm I would personally choose if one of my loved ones or I were in a serious car accident.”
On my watch, you will not be treated the awful way they treated my father.