Jumping the “V.”: Switching to the Plaintiff’s Side of Bar

Just recently, I joined Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner. For the last two years, I was practicing as a civil defense lawyer. I was able to represent a wide range of clients and businesses and work with some outstanding lawyers. The law firm was top notch, the people were fun and energetic, and the hours were extremely manageable. Something was missing; let’s rewind. Prior to law school, I was sure that I would be a criminal defense lawyer. Why? I truly feel that everyone deserves due process of law and representation by effective and competent counsel. That’s all very true, but there was something more. During law school, I became convinced that I wanted to be a Plaintiff’s Trial Lawyer. The common thread was that I wanted to help people, to make a real difference, and I was looking for the vehicle to get me where I wanted to go.

While it has taken me two years after graduation to reach my goal, every single billable hour spent representing defendants was worth it. In fact, I think it will help me better serve my clients in helping them get the recovery they deserve. One major distinction from practicing defense law is that on the Plaintiff’s side, the clients do not get charged for legal services or expenses unless the client’s case is successful. There certainly are a few exceptions, but this contingency arrangement is the norm. This is a distinction that is paramount. An injured victim often does not have the experience to navigate our complicated legal system and, surely, the injured victim does not have the resources to combat the insurance company’s budget and teams of defense lawyers. I know this from personal experience during my years as a defense lawyer. This is WHY I wanted to become a Plaintiff’s lawyer.

During my first weeks at the firm, I have been able to meet with several clients that have been terribly injured by the negligence or just plain recklessness of another. They are in need of real help and I am proud to be a part of a firm that has endeavored to provide it. From the moment of any accident, the insurance companies and defense lawyers are “working up the case”. They are experienced at this and they are good at what they do. As such, the average victim is working uphill before they have even thought about protecting their legal rights. It is crucial for the victim to get competent and experienced representation immediately in order to level the playing field. Again, this much I know from my experience as a defense lawyer.

Almost equally as important as securing some representation, is securing the RIGHT representation. As a defense lawyer, I learned quickly that some law firms strike fear in the hearts of the insurance companies, so to speak. This is because some firms are known for having the resources, experience and skill to take a case all the way to verdict in order to achieve the best result for the client. The competency and reputation of the Plaintiff’s law firm is always a critical factor in evaluating a case from the defense perspective. I have done this numerous times and I can say from personal experience that Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is one of the most respected and feared Plaintiff’s firms amongst defense lawyers and insurance companies. I am honored to be the New Guy and look forward to making a real difference for real people.