It was 20 years ago this month (February 3, 1995, to be precise) that I left the firm with which I had practiced since graduating from law school and set off on a journey. On that fateful day, I had only a few coins in my pockets, less than a handful of clients, and no secretary (to mention just a few of the obstacles in my way).
My goal seemed rather simple and straightforward — start my own office and do the best job I could, each and every time, representing anyone who would entrust me with the responsibility of assisting them.
My first office was located on the third floor of an old building at the intersection of Clinton Avenue and Jefferson Street in downtown Huntsville. I shared the space with Don Howard, a local attorney and friend. Soon there would be four attorneys cramped into this rather small office. With time came growth and the need for additional office space.
The location has changed over the years, as have the attorneys with whom I have been fortunate enough to practice law. However, my goal has not changed – results, without compromising principles.
In the past 20 years we have assisted clients in relation to a variety of legal matters. Some were relatively small and simple; others were quite complex. During that period of time, I estimate that I have represented more than 1,000 people and tried at least 100 cases. Some of these trials lasted less than a day. Others took up to two weeks. The amount in dispute may have been less than $1,000.00, or well in excess of $1,000,000.00.
It has been quite rewarding and fulfilling. It has also been exhausting. At the end of the day, it is about helping people resolve their problems. Maybe someday (not too soon) that will be a suitable epitaph — “He Helped People When They Needed It Most.”
A lot has changed in the practice of law since I graduated from law school in 1992. Not so long ago, an attorney’s reputation was built in the courtroom. There was no greater honor in our profession than to be considered a “trial lawyer.” Nowadays, that term seems almost archaic. Yet, to be a true advocate for my clients and to zealously protect their rights in a court of law remains my passion. I would like to think that, although the practice of law has changed, I have not. Thank you, my friends, for allowing me to be your attorney.