Greg Haubrich, attorney-at-law
1. I will tell you the truth
I won’t be mean to you, but I won’t sugarcoat it either. If you don’t have a case, I’ll tell you. Every case, and I mean every case, has more than one side. I will usually be able to figure out where the defense is going to come from and let you know the problems and good points in your case, so when you have a chance to settle your case you will know what your chances are.
2. I will work for you
We have a lot of clients. Every one is important. If you are troubled enough to come and see a lawyer, your case is important to you. I don’t have big cases and small cases. I try to treat each one as if it is the only case I have, because I know it is the only case you have.
3. I will fight for you
I have been a client. I have been sued personally, and been through divorce. I know how it feels to think that your lawyer is just counting his money, or playing it by the book. I also know how it feels when my lawyer is really fighting for me. Once I take your case, I will fight for you. I fight clean, but after 27 years of doing what I do I know some inside games that a lot of lawyers have not figured out and will never figure out.
4. I will keep you informed about your case
I try to return every client call or email the same day I get it. I try. A successful personal injury case requires teamwork. You and I have to be able to communicate with each other. You have to know what is going on in your case, and I need to know how your injury is affecting your life. You will have my personal cell number and my personal email address. If we don’t talk at least every 2-3 weeks one or both of us is not doing our part.
5. I am a trial lawyer
I have tried over 80 jury cases as lead counsel for injured people. Insurance companies are not scared of lawyers who advertise for cases but don’t know how to prosecute them. If you have a lawyer, like me, who is a skillful and experienced advocate in the courtroom, you will get better settlements because the insurance company’s lawyers will advise adjusters that the plaintiff’s lawyer is willing and able to take your case to a jury if they don’t settle. I do not always win; but I always put up a fight they will remember forever.
6. I am with a very strong firm
Prosecuting a personal injury case takes money and talent. We have both at Foshee & Yaffe. Once our firm is in a case we are in it all the way. Foshee & Yaffe hates to lose. The firm has the financial and other resources to prosecute any case it chooses to accept.
We also have legal talent in many areas of the law. When I need the answer to a Social Security Disability question or bankruptcy, I go next door to David Hilbern. For criminal law, Seth Hendrick. For workers compensation, Eliot Yaffe or Alexandra Stankus. For family law or probate, Rick Powell. And on and on. Insurance law, corporate law, employment law … We have specialists in all these areas who are a) really smart and professional, and b) nice people who I like to be around and work with.
So, you can call me with a question in one of those areas that I am ignorant of, and I can either help connect you with a lawyer or just answer your question, as friends are supposed to do. Our motto at Foshee & Yaffe is that we are “Big enough to fight; small enough to care.” I think that sums up what we do perfectly.
7. We are going to get along with each other
Speaking of friends, there are certain barriers around our relationship. I care about all my clients, but I cannot love you too much or I will not be a good lawyer for you. It is very important that I maintain my objectivity. If all I can see is how great you are and how wonderful I am, you can sort of guess the outcome will not be pretty. I do not like to represent family, because I can’t be objective with them and they expect special treatment when they should actually be treated like all of our other clients: like family.
It’s sort of a dilemma, as you can see, but I think I’m pretty good at listening to and understanding your problems, while also keeping sufficient emotional separation to be able to be both advocate and adviser.
8. I think outside the box
I am a creative person. I have an artistic personality and the gift of making music. I am not shy, and I love to meet people and get to be friends with them. For instance, jurors: if you can call 18 people by name from memory (I can) and visit with them as neighbors during a case, you are a lot more likely to get a good verdict than if your lawyer goes into the courtroom and tries to prove how smart he or she is.
Lawyers are no better than anybody else. We are given the privilege of representing people. But in my experience most lawyers do not take the time or have the insight to really understand how injuries affect people. You know, the problem with wisdom is you have to suffer so much to get it.
9. I am experienced
I am experienced in life, and I am experienced in personal injury cases. I was already 34 when I graduated from law school. Before that I had grown up driving farm equipment, worked in factories, gas stations, retail audio/video sales, sold cars (really bad at that), and banking. I traveled and hitchhiked, and actually hopped a train in India in a moment of complete and utter desperation. I have kids and grandchildren and ex-wives, just like many of my clients.
But also, I am an AV-rated trial lawyer who has done virtually nothing else in his professional life except represent injured people. For over ten years I wrote a column in the Oklahoma trial lawyers’ journal, about how to try jury cases and represent injured people. When you come to me I can see the end of your case, not just the beginning, because I have represented, settled, and tried jury cases for so many injured people. I have seen the tactics, tricks, and talents of the lawyers on the other side, and can predict and counter their tactics, tricks, and talents better than most.
One of the great secrets of the legal profession is that law school does not teach people how to practice law. In any other licensed profession (barber, plumber, electrician, physician, teacher, preacher, nurse) you must prove practical skill before getting your ticket. A person can go to law school, pass the bar exam, and be licensed in any court in the country without ever having filed a case, counseled a client, presented evidence in court, or written an appeal. In a serious personal injury case you do not want to choose your lawyer based on a television ad or a big yellow page. Definitely you don’t want to hire a friend of a cousin of an uncle.
Experience is the great teacher. As Jimi Hendrix suggested, you should ask your prospective lawyer a question: “Are you experienced?”
10. I am not any better than you
Just because I am a lawyer does not mean I am higher or better. Quite the contrary: we are all brothers and sisters and we are all equals. I have met many lawyers who had brains but no smarts. I have met too many who think they are better than others because, after all, they are lawyers. I hope I never think that way. Your case is your case. It is not my case. Cases are about what happens to people. In order to understand your case I have to get to know you. That’s the way it works. That’s how good teamwork is built. We share with each other as people, and work together to get you the best compensation possible for what somebody else did to you.