My first job as an attorney was representing the United States of America as member of the Air Force JAG Corps. My first duty station was Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.
I tried my first case 3 weeks after graduating Officer Training. It was not a “You can’t handle the truth!” A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise kind of performance…far from it. Though it was a relatively low-level, simple case, I was nervous, anxious, and determined to achieve all I could for my client.
Soon thereafter, I deployed to Iraq and was assigned to the Command Section over Detainee Operations. Our mission was the Care, Custody, and Control of all detainees. My job as the Commander’s lawyer was to ensure all detainees were treated with dignity and respect, a job both my Commander and myself took very seriously.
I returned from Iraq to start my last active-duty assignment as a military defense lawyer. My clients were usually young Airman who had joined the military with the best of intentions, but for one reason or another, found themselves in my office charged with a crime. Though I had always taken every trial, every assignment, every case seriously, it was only when I had that young person’s life and livelihood in my hands that I began to understand what it meant to be a lawyer.
My service as a military defense lawyer solidified my commitment and dedication to both my client and their case. This commitment and dedication is what governs my personal injury practice today. There is a direct correlation between the amount of work I put into my client’s case and the eventual outcome. In the military, it meant my client’s military career was saved.In my personal injury practice, it means my client receives maximum compensation for their injuries.