found that he identified more with the plaintiffs than
the insurance companies he was generally representing. Also, he says, “I didn’t like the pressure to
generate billable hours. I was working so many hours
… and I remember thinking, ‘This is not me, I want a
life.’” He left the firm, tried partnering at a firm with a
few other lawyers, then struck out on his own.
His first case was against that very firm. Kamitomo
won a $7.5 million verdict, and never looked back.
“We represent a lot of children who’ve been hurt,”
he says. “The settlements we get make their lives
easier, or allow their parents to provide care for them.”
An example is a Brownsville, Texas, family whose
son he represented more than 20 years ago. He had
suffered devastating brain trauma while on his high
school football team. “He was the one child in the
PERSONAL ACCOUNT CONTINUED
says. “His mom was Hispanic and spoke no English.
They had built a little room in their house to take care
of him.” Kamitomo won a $16 million verdict against
the football helmet maker, Riddell.
“They were able to build a new house,” Kamitomo
says. “They were told that Jose [their son] would only
live a year or so, but he’s still alive. I go down and visit
them from time to time.”
The outcome made a huge difference for the fam-
ily and had an even broader impact. “As part of the
trial in Texas, we had to come up with an alternative
helmet design,” he says. “It performed much better,
even though Riddell said it would never work.” How-
ever, Kamitomo believes Riddell’s next generation of
helmets was very similar to the firm’s trial prototype.
“He is impressive as a lawyer and a person,” says
Guy. “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like him.”