Saying “I’ll see you in court” to Pete Law
is probably not the best way to start the day
BY JERRY GRILLO
PHOTOGRAPHY BY STAN KAADY
THE COINCIDENCE OF NAME AND CAREER ARE JUST THAT,
a coincidence, and one Peter A. Law is reminded of on a routine
basis. He’s cool with that.
“Every time someone walks in, I hear what a great name I
have,” Law says. “I used to hear about it in law school, because
the professors would always say, ‘Where’s Mr. Law? I understand
we have the law in our classroom.’ Really, it doesn’t get old. It’s
like an icebreaker.”
But he didn’t become a lawyer because of his name; he became
a lawyer because of a construction worker.
In the summer following his freshman year at Florida State, Law
was once again working construction back home in Haworth, New
Jersey; and one day, as Law remembers it, he and his longtime boss
Richard Hubschman were driving across the George Washington
Bridge when Hubschman asked him what he was studying in college:
Law: Hotel and restaurant management.
Hubschman: Nah, don’t do that. You should be a lawyer.
Law [after a long pause]: Do you think I’d be a good lawyer?
Hubschman: I know so.
“And that was it,” Law says, adding, “Then I had to find out what
According to most people, he nailed that last one.
Since he founded Law & Moran, a plaintiff’s personal injury
firm, in 1995, approximately 150 of his cases have resulted in a
settlement or jury verdict of at least $1 million. His cases combined
have brought in more than $500 million in compensation.
“His track record alone, with all those verdicts and settlements,
According to colleagues, Law projects a sense of confidence
places him among the top personal injury lawyers in the U.S., so
let’s not limit this to Georgia,” says Paul Weathington, a medical
malpractice defense attorney whose streak of 50 consecutive
victories ended in 2012, against Law. Law got punitive damages for
his client—“more than anyone predicted,” Weathington says. “His
record is extraordinary, and there are probably tons of confidential
settlements I have no knowledge of.”
“He’s got more million-dollar verdicts than I do,” says Tommy
Malone, a longtime plaintiff’s med-mal attorney who has been
called The King of Torts. “I don’t count them, but I know that I read
about Pete’s verdicts more than I do mine. The thing about Pete
is, he’s always been credible, and if you maintain credibility, you
should win most of your cases.”
Law is behind some of Georgia’s largest jury awards, including
a $54 million verdict in a 2008 tractor-trailer negligence case that
resulted in the death of a 50-year-old nursing assistant; and a $73
million verdict in a 2015 premises liability case for injuries suffered
by a 53-year-old former teacher when his apartment exploded.
without arrogance, toughness without intimidation, empathy
without artifice. Law’s early blue-collar experience hasn’t hurt his
ability to connect with juries, either.
“There is a sometimes unfair image of plaintiff’s attorneys, and
a jury may have preconceived notions,” Weathington says. “Pete
embraces and dispels that potential negative perception from the
first ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury’ he utters. He does it with a
touch of class and some self-deprecation. It’s very effective.”
“I think there’s an aspect to Pete, that sense of self-reliance
and pulling himself up by his own bootstraps, that is a big
part of who he is and what makes him an effective attorney,”
adds Mike Moran, who joined Law’s firm in 2004 and became a
partner in 2010. “He truly is real people. That works well for a
trial lawyer. A jury is supposed to be a cross-section of society,
and Pete can relate to that. He understands how a jury of our
peers is going to see a case.”