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These 2 Trial Warriors Tried 46 Cases Just Last Year

trial warriors

Morgan & Morgan isn’t a personal injury firm. We’re a trial lawyer firm.

What’s the difference? In an industry filled with claim-adjusters with law degrees, our attorneys are warriors who are not afraid to go to trial. Instead, they relish the opportunity to show what they’re made of.

John] has created a company ethos that dictates we are trial lawyers first and foremost for one simple reason: it’s better for our clients.

In order to celebrate our attorneys’ dedication to trial work, every year we recognize the two attorneys who tried the most cases at our annual firm breakfast.

In 2016, those attorneys were James R. Martin II for workers’ compensation and Andrew Hagenbush for personal injury.

Why We Emphasize Trials

We represent individuals against big corporations and insurance carriers. Those companies’ attorneys have one job: to save their employers money. Our job is to get justice for our clients. The best way to do that is not through closed-door negotiation, but at trial, where a person’s story can be told and all facts are laid out in front of a judge and jury.

Because of our commitment to litigating, our reputation precedes us. The insurance industry knows we’re firing with bullets, not blanks.

Although not every case is destined for trial, our attorneys have to prove to each other that every decision to settle is in their client’s best interest. The result is we go to trial more often than other firms and we obtain big verdicts that help people repair their lives. We recovered over $1 billion for our clients in 2016 alone.

Meet the 2016 Trial Warrior Award Winners

You could say James Martin lived in the courtroom last year. He took 39 workers’ compensation cases to trial with the help of his litigation staff, Rachel John and Deborah Jackson.

James works in our Lexington office. When attorney John Spies won the award last year, James vowed to keep the Trial Warrior award in Kentucky, a very employer-friendly state.

He went to both undergrad and law school in Kentucky. Since graduating in 2012, he has almost exclusively practiced in workers’ compensation law and represented injured workers. His time serving as the Staff Attorney for the Kentucky Department of Workers’ claims and representing employers prepared him for tough battles.

For James, “trials are the fun part of the job.” They’re a lot of work, but exceptional pre-trial preparation is what allows him to appear in court ready and often.

“Many plaintiffs’ attorneys would rather settle than take a case to trial,” according to James. I find that if the employers and insurance companies know we are willing to ‘go all the way,’ they respect us more and thus we achieve a better result for our clients.”

The quote James chose for his attorney profile, by Winston Churchill, is representative of his drive: “Never give in, never, never, never — in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

Personal injury cases are a different beast than workers’ compensation cases, and trials tend to take longer. Andrew Hagenbush in Atlanta, alongside litigation assistant and paralegal Erica Malloy, led our personal injury department in number of trials with a total of seven.

Andrew, who’s been a metro Atlanta resident since 1993, graduated from Georgia State University’s College of Law in 2011. His destiny as a trial warrior was sealed in law school, where he was a member of the school’s winning ABA Arbitration Competition team and earned recognition for his oratory and brief skills in Mock Trial and Moot Court.

Yet, Andrew couldn’t have done it without Erica. She was indispensable in preparing materials for court and in taking care of clients in the office while Andrew was at trial.

According to Andrew, “trial is exhilarating and, at times, frustrating. It sounds cheesy, but it really is the ultimate expression of client advocacy. A big verdict is great, but the best part of trial is your client’s appreciation for telling their story and fighting their fight.” When a juror comes up to him after trial to say he had an advocate in the jury box, Andrew knows he’s done his job.

He encourages passion amongst younger lawyers, and gives back by volunteering as a mock trial coach at Georgia State University with two of our other attorneys, Madeleine Simmons and Lisa McNary.

“The three of us really appreciated the coaches who volunteered when we were students and wanted to keep the tradition alive,” Andrew said. “Trial skills are often overlooked in law school curriculum and it helps prepare the students to be real trial attorneys. I teach them things that work (and don’t work) based on my experience, but I also tell them that they have to find their own voice.”

Both and Andrew and James have certainly found their voices as trial lawyers. Congratulations to our 2016 Trial Warriors!