Why did I choose to become an attorney?
When I was seven years old, my father, Kenneth Townsley, was seriously injured in a traffic accident with an 18-wheeler. The other driver had been drinking and had mud covering the side reflectors on his box trailer. My father, a salesman for Tasty Bread Company, was going to work in his bread truck. As he approached an intersection between two highways, he had a green traffic light; however, the driver of the 18-wheeler ran the light and was blocking my father’s path.
Upon impact, all the bread racks came crashing forward, smashing him into the dashboard, and flying through the windshield. He lost five units of blood (two pints) and almost bled to death. He also herniated a disc in his lower back (requiring surgery), fractured his kneecap, broke his right leg in eight places below his knee and injured his left ankle. The emergency personnel had to use the Jaws of Life to rescue and retrieve him from the vehicle.
I remember when my mother, Wilma, received that dreaded phone call. She was so frightened. My father was severely crippled from this accident. He was in the hospital a long time. Then, upon being released, he stayed in a hospital bed in the middle of our family’s living room for six months. My mom had stopped working as a manager for a bookstore following my birth. So, when my father became disabled, we fell on hard times trying to get by until he received Social Security Disability approximately one year following his injuries. Of course, he hired an attorney to represent him in the accident against the driver of the 18-wheeler that almost took his life.
The attorney hired by my father called him on the Friday before his Monday trial and forced him to settle his claim under the threat that if he did not resolve the claim for the offered amount, the attorney would withdraw from his case and leave my father without representation. Needless to say, our family felt betrayed by our own counsel. The lawyer was supposed to be our knight, our fighter in the struggle for justice; but he was more worried about himself—what fee and expenses he could get and closing down his file.
Right then and there, I became determined to become an attorney and a defender of injured individuals. At law school, I met many people and we discussed why we wanted to become lawyers. Many people said similar things—because their fathers were lawyers, they wanted to go into politics, to make a lot of money or because it would be prestigious. I was the only one who said that I wanted to fight for the little guy who had been wronged and make sure he got treated fairly for injuries that were not his fault. I understand firsthand the severe impact a serious accident can have on the whole family.
I take my job as an advocate for my injured clients and their families very seriously. I give it 150 percent, all the time. I will not be outworked or bullied. My clients will either be treated fairly or will be allowed to have a jury of their peers decide their fate. I will not back down from a challenge, no matter the hardships, because I truly believe that my clients deserve the very best that I can give them. My father taught me to live by the principle, “Your word is your bond and always tell the truth.”
So, I agree with the idea that when you need an attorney, CHOOSE YOUR LAWYER WISELY, as that person will be the only one you have to help you and your family get justice.
Now you know my story. Thank you for your time!