A few years ago, U. S. Sen. Harry Reid delivered a speech at the American Association for Justice’s Membership Awards Luncheon in Montreal.
“Nobody likes trial lawyers,” Reid said. He gave examples of several types of people who do not like trial lawyers – people who addict children to tobacco; people who put lead in paint; people who pump mercury into groundwater; people who manufacture faulty airbags; people who put asbestos in the environment; people who ignore worker safety in factories; people who pollute the earth and skies; people who mass produce everyday goods knowing they did not pass the required safety protocols. Nobody likes trial lawyers, he said, until they need one.
The transcript of the speech hangs in my office, reminding me of why I come to work every day.
A trial lawyer is not called when everything is going well. A trial lawyer is not called by a wife when her husband doing fine. A trial lawyer is not called when a family is receiving the benefits they are owed under the law. A trial lawyer is not called when a toddler is breathing clearly and doing just fine.
No. A trial lawyer is called when a wrong has been perpetrated. A trial lawyer is called when an individual believes they are not being treated fairly. When a trial lawyer gets a call, the voice on the other end of the line is not looking for money. The voice belongs to a person who is scared and looking for help. The person is hurt, confused, and has had no idea where to turn. Trial lawyers answer the call.
Trial lawyers stand up to large corporations and wrong doers and say, “No more!” Trial lawyers speak up in a courtroom for the faint voice on the other end of that initial phone call and say, “You will not hurt anyone else!”
Every voice has the right to be heard. Even when a person has been wronged, injured or killed, they have a voice. Trial lawyers amplify that voice. Trial lawyers play by the rules. We work hard, take large leaps of faith and invest countless hours, days and years to pursue justice.
Nobody likes trial lawyers until they need one. We hope that you never need us, but when you do, we will be here. We will answer the call and we will be here.