Last month I was asked to respond to a set of questions to be included for publication in a regional magazine. I agreed to do so. Since I thought this might be of interest to our readers, I am enclosing the questions and my answers in this issue.
• On what type of Plaintiff cases do you prefer to focus?
I really enjoy trying all sorts of cases but over the last 15 years have worked primarily in product liability and corporate fraud cases.
• Outside the office, what do you do for fun and relaxation?
I like to watch Boston Red Sox baseball on television when I can. I also try to attend as many Auburn University sporting events as possible during the year. The most fun I have, however, is spending time with my grandchildren.
• Who have been some of the mentors in your life?
My mother, Florence Camp Beasley, and my wife, Sara, have had the most influence in my life and I would consider each of them a mentor.
• Where did you grow up? What was your first job and a favorite memory from this experience?
I grew up in Clayton, Alabama, which is located in Barbour County. My first job was helping my mother in a small grocery store when I was about ten years old. I guess my favorite memory would be when I made my first big sale on credit, which turned out to be not such a good thing. Nevertheless, I learned from that experience and also gained a great deal of insight into human nature during my time in that little store over the next few years.
• Tell us about your family and a favorite vacation you have taken with them.
Sara and I have three grown children and six grandchildren, all girls. Our favorite vacation is an annual trip to the beach around July 4th.
• What advice would you have for a new associate in your field?
Make sure any person who joins a law firm like ours really wants to be a trial lawyer.
• What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever gotten came from my mother who told me at an early age to follow the Golden Rule in my dealings with folks.
• What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I get great satisfaction out of helping folks who have a real need to be helped.
• What has been one of the most meaningful cases you have worked on throughout your career?
I really have a difficult time mentioning just one meaningful case. I consider each case that I have handled to have been important for that particular client. But if I had to single one case out, I would consider the one we handled for Dixie Spivey and her family several years ago involving the death of her husband against Kubota Tractor Company to be one case that had a lasting and good effect on an industry. After a week of trial, Mrs. Spivey refused to accept a $10 Million settlement that had the condition of confidentiality attached to the offer. This courageous woman wanted the world to know what she had learned about the tractor industry. Eventually, she won that battle.
• If you weren’t practicing law, what would you like to be doing?
I would enjoy coaching football at some level.
• You have enjoyed much success throughout your career – what motivates and inspires you in life?
I finally learned several years back to set my priorities and to try hard to follow them daily. I have told each new associate who comes into the firm that a lawyer practicing here should put God first, his or her family second, and the law firm third. I have found that set of rules works for me and it will work for anybody in any line of work in my opinion.
I must say that I am proud to be a trial lawyer and when I lose that feeling it will be time for me to take down my shingle and retire to the farm. But I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon. I really enjoy what I do for a living and I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping folks who have been victims of corporate abuse and wrongdoing.
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