them in easy language and to be able
to communicate their rights under the
Workers’ Compensation Act.
Q: I understand you now represent your
A: I do. My father started there in
November of ’ 46. I just spoke at their union
meeting last Thursday. The first time I
spoke to them, it was a very emotional
evening. It’s a thrill.
My father worked for 35 years, and on his
deathbed—they both died my first year of
law school—my mother would have been
a natural beneficiary for his pension, but
because she had passed, he called the
union president to Jefferson [Hospital],
where he was dying of cancer, and
designated my sister and I for his pension.
That was denied by the gas commission,
and the nature of the denial was that my
father was not alive the first day of the
month following, that being April 1, 1982.
After 35 years, the fact that he didn’t
live another nine days is why they denied
that pension. We were successful in
challenging that, and I now have a
scholarship fund in my mother’s name
that I use this money to fund.
Q: What is it about the courtroom
experience that you love?
A: I love prepping my clients before they
go into the courtroom. Representing and
allowing them to tell their story through
great direct examination. And then being
on the side of the workers’ comp system
where you’re not representing an insurance
company or an entity or the bottom line,
you’re representing a person. I just love the
whole dynamic. Being in the courtroom is
almost zen-like—you’re just in the moment.
But it still takes getting up early in the
morning and staying up late at night to
prep. It helps to deal with the pressure when
you have the obligation of professional
responsibility to be totally prepared.
The pressure is getting the result for our
client. But as far as going into court, at this
point we’re carrying a pretty heavy stick.
We’re able to go into the courtroom and
have a real presence.
click on video icon
POND ON WHAT HE LOVES
ABOUT THE COURTROOM