Job Title: Attorney
Education: BA History, University of California, Berkeley JD, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Previous Experience: I began working as an attorney for the Public Defender's Office. I then went to work for the District Attorney's Office. As a prosecutor, I prosecuted both felony and misdemeanor crimes relating to domestic violence. I have had many jury trials in my career as a Public Defender and District Attorney, which lead me to a civil litigation attorney in the Denver metropolitan area.
Job Tasks: I work for a law firm that specializes in litigation. The litigation consists of Insurance Defense, Personal Injury, Auto and Trucking Litigation/Insurance Coverage, Bad Faith, Uninsured Motorist, and General Casualty.
My day will generally begin with review of a calendar of deadlines for various cases. As an attorney, my primary responsibility is to look after the best interests of the client. Often a settlement between the parties may be reached that benefits both parties.
I manage various complex and technical issues. Our firm works on defenses of permanent and soft tissue injury, and works closely both with and against medical, psychiatric, accident reconstruction, forensics, engineering, and economic experts. There is also significant research and writing involved in my daily routine. I draft disclosure and discovery pleadings as well as pretrial motions practice which involves complex discovery and evidentiary issues, including the admissibility of accident reconstruction and engineering reports, economist calculations and numerical figures, independent medical examinations, medical records, and the admissibility of expert testimony according to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.
I often take and defend depositions involving both lay and expert witnesses, including both discovery depositions and depositions designed for the preservation of testimony at trial.
The cases often vary and have also included investigation and defense of insurance fraud, coverage and contract disputes, libel, slander, property damage, the duty to defend and indemnify, and the insurance company as primary and co-primary insurer.
When a case does not reach a mutual settlement, the case will proceed to court. In this case, I must communicate closely with top representatives from the company which I represent and give detailed reports on litigation strategy, settlement discussions, potential exposure and risk assessment, and evaluation as to the settlement value of each case. I must also meet and confer with both lay and expert witnesses in preparation for trial, hearings and depositions.
Before trial multiple settlement conferences, arbitrations, and mediations are held in another attempt to reach a mutual agreement between the parties.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Over the course of my career, I have come to appreciate the need for equality of opportunity, civil liberties, and basic human rights. At the same time, my study of United States and military history has taught me that these rights must be protected. I feel I have the ability to have an impact on this very important issue.
1. Your grades are very important and your transcripts will be used many times. 2. Good study skills are imperative. 3. The legal profession places a premium on the ability to effectively communicate, foster relationships and arguing persuasively, these skills should begin early. Get involved in debate team, mock trial competitions, etc. These skills will transfer and serve you well.
Additional Thoughts: The legal profession offers experience and training in public speaking, writing persuasively, and communicating with an audience. In addition, my legal experience has afforded me the opportunity to practice law in both the public and private sector. This practical experience should serve me well in communicating with a variety of people from different socio-economical and political backgrounds.
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The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law is a regionally accredited nonprofit law school. Our school is accredited by both the Western Association of Schools & Colleges Senior College and University Commission and the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.
Hofstra University is a private institution whose primary mission is to provide a quality education to its students in an environment that encourages, nurtures and supports learning through the free and open exchange of ideas for the betterment of humankind.
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