Two years were needed by a lady lawyer to convince her law firm to let her try a case in court and it was about a multiple sclerosis victim with burns on his buttocks from a heating pad, no one wanted it. At 37 years old, she is one of the most successful female personal injury lawyers in the country and she shocked her firm by winning a verdict against the doctor who prescribed the pad even though MS patients lack heat sensitivity. With seven damage awards of more than $1 million under her slender belt, she became the first woman accepted into the Inner Circle of Advocates, an exclusive club reserved for powerful plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Liking some combat, this is a mother of three who prefers to do battle in court instead of remaining safely inside an office. You cannot compare her with stereotypical plaintiffs’ lawyers like the king of torts or the cowboy hat wearing lawyer known for their booming voices and courtroom theatrics as she is simply too quiet and reserved. What you can associate with trial lawyers is their traditional image and the image of what a successful trial lawyer should be. Here, she very well knows that she’s far from that image.
What she said was that people fail to recognize how important it is for them to be themselves in court. She gained a lot just by being herself not only with money but also with her acceptance into the Inner Circle which is limited to 100 lawyers. Here, the acceptance of a lawyer depends on him or her having at least 25 cases brought to trial not to mention winning at least one jury award of $1 million or more.
Having 38 verdicts of more than $1 million is her husband who is a prominent personal injury lawyer and a member of the same club. This is one advantageous elite group where the members can share information about various cases and get to refer lucrative businesses to each other. According to the Tucson, Arizona lawyer who founded the Inner Circle, her being a woman went through some debate at first. Since she was a tough and sharing lawyer, they accepted her eventually.
The group was founded in 1972 and it was only in the past three years that members knew of women who qualified and so technically they were not discriminant when it came to women. Such a line of work is only pursued by a very few women. In this case, you have a very tough, mean business to deal with. In this case, there is still some difficulty for women in this field even if more women are becoming personal injury trial lawyers.
What is involved here is socialization. When you are in a courtroom, you will be faced with a clear adversarial relationship, some of which will continue after the fight is over, and this is why it can be considered as a battle ground or an organized sport. The challenge for women is dealing with that on-going fight.
In this area of law, a majority of the firms are male dominated and they are often reluctant to give women opportunities in this line of work. Success is a matter of receiving cases. For a case that nobody wanted, she needed to convince her firm for two long years.
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