Q&A with Laura Hamilton

I’ve been given the opportunity to ask the attorney’s at our firm professional as well as personal questions. I think it’s an excellent way for former, current, and potential clients to find out a little more about the hard-working attorney’s that have, or could be working on their case some day.

This week, one of our Partners, Laura Hamilton has the spotlight! Laura has been an attorney for 10 years, during which she has
secured tens of millions of dollars in settlements; over fifteen million in 2017 and 2018 alone. She is disciplined and dedicated to getting the best results possible.

We hope you enjoy the read!

When you were young, did the idea of becoming an attorney cross your mind? 
No! I wanted to be a journalist.

Why did you choose law, and how long have you been an attorney?
Everything I was interested in went back to the law – history, government, civil rights. Honestly, I went to law school simply to
learn and did not intend to practice. Never thought I’d end up an ambulance chasing plaintiff’s lawyer! But I needed a job and
was incredibly fortunate to find one working with people who were compassionate and creative. It continues to be rewarding and fun,and I am so grateful I’ve ended up where I am.

How long is a typical work day for you?
There’s no such thing as a typical work day, and that’s what I love about it! Every day is different. Some days I am diving deep
into legislative history or researching some seemingly arcane issue, others I’m arguing in front of the judge or meeting with
clients. Some days are 18 hours long, most are not, but there is always more to do and generally, even the longest days go by
pretty quickly.

What about being an attorney excites you?
See above!

What are the toughest problems and decisions you handle?
Deciding on a litigation strategy can be tough because you don’t always know how it’s going to play out, but you have to pick a
lane. Also, you want to help every person that walks in the door, but you have to decide whether the case is viable and whether
you can give it the attention it needs in light of your other workload. That can be really tough because the issue the potential
client has could be one of (if not the) most important and devastating issue in their life at the moment, and you have to try to be
objective in terms of whether you can really help them without taking away from your other clients and business partners.
Another tough problem involves settling cases. It’s difficult to put a value on a case as it is. Most times, my clients have no idea
what a fair settlement is and rely on my judgment 100%. I can give my best advice, from my experience, and what I think a jury
would do, which is ultimately the only way to value a case, but juries really are the Wild West, and nothing is certain.
Ultimately, it requires a candid conversation about the client’s immediate needs, and the possible upsides and downsides of
putting the decision in the hands of a jury. I guess what all of these “problems” have in common is that so much of our job is working in the unknown. That makes experience, attention to detail, and creativity extremely valuable.

Are there particular areas of law you specialize in?
Yes! Insurance bad faith. I love suing insurance companies for screwing over their insureds, and it happens more often than you
might think. I also do all kinds of injury and accident litigation – from minor slip and falls to catastrophic products liability.
I have been fortunate to be involved in a wide variety of injury cases, and have learned a whole lot about some very obscure things.
Including how hydraulic scissor lifts work, the role fetal heart monitor strips play in labor and delivery, how a granite distributor
loads granite slabs for distribution, how companies often retaliate or discriminate against their own employees in a way that
seems legal, but really isn’t. That happens more often than you might think, too.

Laura, I can’t help but hear the excitement and passion in your tone; sounds like you definitely chose the right career! Now that we spokeabout the professional side of your life, I want to ask some questions about life outside of the courtroom and office.

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of the office?
I enjoy running and it helps me relax and shake off any lingering anxieties I might be feeling. If I miss a few days in a row, I can
really tell the difference in my mood. I also like hiking and kayaking. I like to be outside (at least when its not 100 degrees out
there). I also like to travel when I can. No specific place, just anywhere new where you can see things from a little different
perspective.

If you could choose any song to be your anthem, what would it be?
I Want to Break Free by Queen. But the unofficial anthem of this summer is Juice by Lizzo.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I tried to refile a case that I had already filed and settled. I was going through a related file and thought, wow,
there’s another case here. I spent some time going through it and getting excited about it just to call the client and get told,
yes, it does sound like a good case. So good, in fact, we already filed it and recovered on it!

You’re walking down the street, see an unscratched lottery ticket, and decide to pick it up.  You get home, scratch the ticket
and reveal you just won 10 million dollars.  What would you do?
Figure out how much I have to give the IRS. Then I’d probably put most into retirement savings, but I’d probably take a few pretty excellent trips to new places too.

You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
If I can’t give her to a preserve, I guess she’d have to be my pet, and I’d have to move somewhere that could accommodate her.
 
Last question:
Do you have any advice, personal or professional, for those reading this?
Make your own road and don’t get boxed in by what you think your career or your relationship is supposed to look like. Do what works for you. Everything else will figure itself out.

On that note… until next time…
Thank you Laura!

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