“It is at the courthouse that we have the opportunity to turn the wrong to right. We must never cower or surrender in the fight to achieve justice.” - Bryan Pope
At a very young age, I knew I wanted to help people.
Growing up as the son of a Southern preacher, I remember going to church every Sunday and watching my father preach from the pulpit and teach the congregation how important it was to help those of us who were not as fortunate or needed a helping hand. I also remember him going to the hospital or people’s homes to help them deal with personal loss such as a death in the family or an unexpected illness.
I also have an uncle who was a Trial Lawyer. I spent hours of my youth watching him and talking to him about how he was able to help people put their lives back together after tragedies or personal setbacks,
Those experiences as a youth helped me realize that the law was my calling.
As a young lawyer, I did not fully appreciate the similarities between a Trial Lawyer and a preacher. Through the years, I have come to truly understand why we are called “Counselor” because we provide counsel to our clients in their time of need, especially when we help them get through tough times following the death of a loved one or a devastating injury.
As a young lawyer, the political environment shifted and became extremely hostile towards the Trial Lawyers and the people we represent. The US Congress and State Legislatures are constantly trying to limit the right to trial by jury by passing legislation that places caps on damages, grants immunities for corporations that make dangerous drugs and products, etc.
After 20+ years of practice, I feel stronger than ever that my calling in life is to help those who have no voice and whose lives have been shattered by the careless actions of individuals or the consequences of corporate misconduct or neglect.
The founding fathers of our country made sure the 7th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteed the right to trial by jury for those who have been aggrieved by others and it It has been the Trial Lawyers who have fought for decades to keep it that way. Trial Lawyers helped get asbestos out of the workplace, ensure that our cars are safe to operate and that our pajamas don’t catch on fire.
The Chamber(s) of Commerce and other corporate and insurance based groups have been trying to take away trial lawyers’ ability to fight for our clients for years now. Their efforts against our profession and our clients has only hardened my resolve to keep fighting and never give up.
A great trial lawyer who was one of the first lawyers in the country to take on the asbestos industry recently referred to a poem he saw posted on a courthouse wall when he was a young lawyer that provided inspiration for him over the years. Those words ring as true now for me as they did to him then:
“You have no enemies, you say? Alas, my friend, the boast is poor;He who has mingled in the fray of duty, that the brave endure,Must have made foes! If you have none, small is the work that you have done. You’ve hit no traitor on the hip, you’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip, you’ve never turned the wrong to right, you’ve been a coward in the fight.” – Charles MacKay (1814-1889)
The courthouse is the great equalizer in America; individuals who have been aggrieved or harmed can bring powerful corporations before a jury on a level playing field. It is at the courthouse that we have the opportunity to “turn the wrong to right.”
I am passionate in my belief that we must never, never, never, cower or surrender in the fight to achieve justice for our clients.
That is why I am a Trial Lawyer.