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New Office In Arlington, Virginia

Powell Law Group announces the opening of our satellite office in Arlington, Virginia.

Located at 4250 Fairfax Drive, 22203, we look forward to further supporting our clients in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. With a metro stop located outside the building, clients will have easy access by train from points in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia, and will not have to worry about navigating the complicated streets of D.C.  

Over the past three decades, Powell Law Group has provided representation to clients with catastrophic injuries all over the Commonwealth of Virginia and in Washington D.C.  Opening an office in Northern Virginia offers a convenient location to meet with clients from that area of the state, as well as extend our reach to new clients with diverse backgrounds dealing with injuries from catastrophic accidents of all types (car accidents, motorcycle accidents, small and large machinery accidents, etc.). The Powell Law Group specializes in helping multi-cultural clients needing bi-lingual services, Spanish/English and French/ English. 

As always, the Powell Law Group is available to clients, existing and potential clients, 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling our office number, (804) 794.4030.  No matter where you live in Virginia, we can attend to your legal needs within the areas of our practice concentrations, namely personal injury cases, workers comp cases, and criminal and traffic cases. (Please note our firm only handles the criminal and traffic cases in the Richmond Metropolitan area.)  

Tuesday TED Talk: "The Power Of Diversity Within Yourself" by Rebeca Hwang

This weeks TED Talk Tuesday is brought to you by Rebeca Hwang, an inventor, entrepreneur, social innovator, investor, teacher, and a female leader in technology. Currently Mrs. Hwang serves as the co-founder and managing director of Rivet Ventures, a company helping female decision makers, creators, and investors get involved in women-led markets. Rebeca’s TED Talk is about embracing the many elements of your identity to make diversity a characteristic of your success.  

 Some quotes from Rebeca Hwang:

  • “I felt as though I could be either Korean or Argentinian, but not both. It felt like a zero-sum game, where I had to give up my old identity to be able to gain or earn a new one.”

  • “Perhaps this could be an advantage. It was easy for me to stand out, which couldn't hurt in a world that was rapidly changing.”

  • “Now, today my identity quest is no longer to find my tribe. It's more about allowing myself to embrace all of the possible permutations of myself and cultivating diversity within me and not just around me.”

  • “I hope that instead of feeling anxious and worried that they don't fit in that one box or that their identity will become irrelevant someday, that they can feel free to experiment and to take control of their personal narrative and identity.”

In a world continuing to adapt and change with globalization, embracing diversity in your background is not only personal beneficial, but pride in that diversity combats racism, discrimination, and prejudice. Our communities and our country are made up of people with complex identities, where those complexities should be viewed as a strength rather than used as a platform to alienate others.
— Wayne Powell
Wayne Powell | Army Award.jpeg

Wayne Powell believes the best way to incorporate diversity in your life is to embrace new culture and to travel. As a member of the International Association of Lawyers, and during his time in the United States Army, Wayne traveled and lived abroad, developing respect and appreciation for cultures, languages, and customs around the work that have influenced his professional and personal beliefs.

Para nuestras lectores bilingües y hispanohablantes, por favor visite https://www.ted.com/talks/rebeca_hwang_el_valor_de_nuestra_diversidad_interna para ver esta conversación como fue originalmente escrito en español.

TED Talk Tuesday: "The Human Stories Behind Mass Incarceration" by Eve Abrams
I’ve been working in the justice system for a long time, but it will still take my breath. I’ll walk into a courtroom struck by the fact that there are a disproportionate amount of people of color.
— Eve Abrams

In this TED talk, Eve Abrams talks about mass incarceration and discusses her research about convictions in the United States of innocent people based on faulty eyewitness testimony and without forensic evidence. Mrs. Abrams biggest piece of advice is to not just assume that your criminal justice system is working, but to take on the responsibility to question and challenge those assumptions for a just society.

Recently, Wayne Powell has been involved in a case that included partnering with the Innocence Project at the University of Virginia School of Law. This client was convicted and sentenced to 40 years over a crime with no forensic evidence, no testimony from witnesses, and was referred the representation of a fraudulent attorney. Cases like these are why Wayne Powell is a dedicated member of the legal community, striving to represent justice in his community and in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Powerful Abrams Quotes:

“Estimates of how many innocent people are locked up range between one and four percent, which maybe doesn't sound like a lot, except that it amounts to around 87,000 people. That's not even counting the roughly half a million people who have been convicted of nothing -- those presumed innocent, but who are too poor to bail out of jail and therefore sit behind bars for weeks upon months, waiting for their case to come to trial -- or much more likely, waiting to take a plea just to get out.”

“We elect the district attorneys, the judges and the legislators who operate these systems for we the people. As a society, we are more willing to risk locking up innocent people than we are to let guilty people go free. We elect politicians who fear being labeled "soft on crime," encouraging them to pass harsh legislation and allocate enormous resources toward locking people up.”

Thanks for checking out our latest TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

TED Talk Tuesday: "How teachers can help kids find their political voices" by Sydney Chaffee

This weeks TED Talk is by Sydney Chaffee, the 2017 National Teacher of the Year who has spent the past year traveling the country to talk to educators and social justice leaders about the power of education. Sydney takes a look at education in America, and how the classroom environment can make or break the path for social justice in our country. Education is an important issue to Wayne Powell, the product of a public school education that gave him the opportunities that lead him to a career in the military, public service, and running a small business.

Education can be a tool for social justice.
— Sydney Chaffee

One of Wayne’s most notable contributions to education in the Commonwealth of Virginia was during his time as President of the Richmond Association of Phi Beta Kappa. Founded in 1776, The Phi Beta Kappa Society advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Its campus chapters invite for induction the most outstanding liberal arts and sciences students at America’s leading colleges and universities.

When our students walk into our classrooms, they bring their identities with them. Everything they experience in our rooms is bound up in historical context, and so if we insist that education happens in a vacuum, we do our students a disservice. We teach them that education doesn’t really matter, because it’s not relevant to what’s happening all around them
— Sydney Chaffee

The Powell Law Group is dedicated to creating a positive impact for education in our community. This year, we are sponsoring the classrooms of two teachers in the Chesterfield County Public School system. Check out their classrooms, their wish lists, and updates here.

Whether you want to help us in this mission or begin your own, remember as Chaffe said, "Teaching will always be a political act. We can't be afraid of our students' power. Their power will help them make tomorrow better." May we work together to give each student their chance.

Thanks for joining us for our TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

TED Talk Tuesday: The Mothers Who Found Forgiveness, Friendship

Welcome to our next TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

In remembrance of the lives lost on this date 17 years ago, today’s TED Talk is a collaborative speech by Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi at TEDWomen 2010.  Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi have a powerful friendship born of unthinkable loss. Rodriguez' son was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001; el-Wafi's son Zacarias Moussaoui was convicted of a role in those attacks and is serving a life sentence. In hoping to find peace, these two moms have come to understand and respect one another. Their friendship has become a powerful symbol for forgiveness and their story has become a platform for the dialogue about national resilience.

You have to be generous, and your hearts must be generous, your mind must be generous. You must be tolerant. You have to fight against violence. And I hope that someday we’ll all live together in peace and respecting each other.
— Aicha el-Wafi

911 | Powell Law Group.png

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. The National September 11 Memorial Museum serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring the continuing significance of September 11, 2001. Please visit their website for more information and donation page.

Tuesday TED Talk: How jails extort the poor

We hope you've been enjoying our weekly Tuesday TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration curated by Wayne Powell.

In this talk, Salil Dudani discusses the problems created in our country by a bail-based jailing system. As an investigator with civil rights lawyers, Dudani reflects in his experience with racial profiling, debtors prisons, and how the justice system disproportionately affects poor and marginalized communities. Salil Dudani works as a legal activist for Civil Rights Corps, a nonprofit dedicated to researching and representing those affected by poverty jailing and systemic injustice in the legal system.

With almost four decades of experience as a practicing attorney, Wayne Powell knows the barriers that exist for individuals living in poverty, and the impact that a debtors based legal system plays in undermining justice. As an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division in the 1980’s, Wayne worked as an advocate against pre-trial detention that is designed to punish poor and marginalized members of communities in the Commonwealth.

Here are some of the quotes and concepts from Mr. Dudani’s TEDTalk that Mr. Powell found especially powerful and worth emphasizing:

“It is easy to forget how demeaning and coercive it is to cease control over another person’s body when your society has normalized the images of arrests and handcuffs.”

“Illegal extortion schemes aren’t being run in the shadows, they’re being run out in the open, as a matter of public policy”.

“Poverty jailing plays a very visible, central role in our justice system. In our bail system, whether you’re detained or free pending trial is not a matter of how dangerous you are or how much of a flight risk you pose, it’s a matter of whether you can post your bail amount.”

"We are told that jails are for criminals, but in reality, that’s not the case. 3 of every 5 people in jail in the U.S. are there pre-trial; they haven’t been convicted or plead guilty to any offense.”

TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series. Powell Law Group in Virginia hopes you have been enjoying our Tuesday TED Talk Series. You can CLICK HERE to see others we have shared. 

Separated Border Families: Wayne Powell & International Association of Lawyers

Viewpoints Aligned

As a United States representative of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA – International Association of Lawyers), Wayne Powell attended the June conference in New York where the separation of border families was a hot topic. Below is the intro to a joint statement, followed by aligned thoughts from Wayne Powell.

New York, June 30, 2018


UIA | Wayne Powell | Separated Families.png

Upon the occasion of the Governing Board meeting of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA – International Association of Lawyers), convened in New York, NY, USA, on June 30, the undersigned signatories note with grave concern the recently imposed United States policy, as implemented by President Donald J. Trump, ordering the inhumane separation of immigrant children from their parents at the United States borders. While we note that the Executive Order recently issued by President Trump revoked the policy for future child detainees, the Executive Order did not address a plan with respect to the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated in the wake of the implementation of President Trump’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.

Click to continue reading the joint statement on the International Association of Lawyer's website.

As a member of the UIA, I stand in support of the statement issued urging that all children affected by President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy be reunited with parents within 30 days, 14 days if the children are younger than 5 years. We must insist that these authorities help the parents and children establish communication with one another, and make a continued effort to reunite these families.

We must put an end to sending young children in court without legal representation and without their legal guardians. I, along with many of my fellow lawyers from the UIA, are here to assist in reuniting these children and their families, and ensuring they have an advocate for them in court, and that they understand their rights.

Almost 20 years ago, I represented a Hispanic family whose children had been taken from them by an American family while in their home country handling the legality of their formal immigration to the United States. My clients, a modest, humble, religious couple returned to their home country to visit the American Consulate and retrieve their immigration papers. The couple left their children in the temporary custody of the father's employer. After they obtained their papers and came back to the U.S. "legally" and anxiously awaited their reunion with their children, the American couple simply responded that they would be taking the children permanently and not returning them to the parents.

I petitioned the juvenile relations court at that time in a predominantly Caucasian, suburban county to retrieve the children for their parents. I incorrectly assumed that this would be a straightforward process seeing as there was no reason why the birth parents of these children were undeserving of their custody rights, and the law would be on their side. Neither father nor mother had any criminal background, no prior legal troubles, and were involved members of their Protestant church and their community. Much to my shock, when I attended the hearing before the substitute judge, the ruling stated that the children were "better off" with the Caucasian, American couple. The motivation was clear. Without reference to the integrity of the biological parents and without evidence to suggest that they were anything other than loving parents, a family was ripped apart. U.S. citizenship was equated to good character or parenting competency in this case, a superiority complex rooted in prejudice. This process was grueling for my clients both emotionally and financially. They were unable to pay me for my representation after our initial appearance in juvenile and domestic relations court. I was unwilling to leave them without representing in the pursuit of an appeal. During the appeal in the Circuit court, the judge immediately granted custody to the natural parents, my clients. I instructed the American couple to deliver the children to the parents’ house within a half an hour of leaving the courthouse.

In my case, justice was done, but it's significant to know that the same racist, intolerant attitude, and superiority expressed by the judge and the Caucasian couple remains strong in our society. These opinions are even articulated among the highest officials in the land. An intolerant justice and immigration system should not be considered a new "normal" by a nation whose foundation is built on immigrants. Crime does not have a skin color, an ethnicity, a language, or a religion. Officials, citizens, migrants alike should be held to the same standard of due process.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an injustice,

call Powell Law Group today. (804) 794.4030

TED Talk Tuesday: Four ways to fix a broken legal system

We’re continuing our posts for TED Talk Tuesday, a series where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

In this video, Philip K. Howard talks about how certain professions in America are limited because of complexity of the laws that govern them and the fear of being sued, particularly in areas like business, education, and healthcare. Attorney Philip K. Howard founded the nonpartisan group The Common Good to combat this culture and reform several key areas of our legal system.

Wayne Powell understands how similar business, healthcare, and law are, mainly because of how difficult these areas of our society are to navigate.

In Powell Law Group's line of work, we're not only tasked with helping our clients navigate the legal system, but in workers compensation and personal injury.  We’re also constantly working with physicians, providers, and insurance companies. The healthcare system, the judicial system, the business world are full of defensiveness and therefore can lead to mistrust.

Bout Philip K. Howard | TED Talk Tuesday with Wayne Powell of Powell Law Group

Some quotes from Mr. Stevenson's TED Talk that are particularly powerful and worth highlighting:   

“The law is a powerful driver of human behavior”.

“For law to be the platform for freedom, people have to trust it."

“We’ve been told that we can judge any dispute against the standard of a perfect society where everyone agrees to what is fair. That just isn’t realistic.”

I appreciate Mr. Howard’s point of view that the biggest hurdle for success in our legal system is the trust of the American people.
— Wayne Powell
Powell Law Group Sponsors a School Supply Drive
Ms. Wyatt

Ms. Wyatt

Did you know that most teachers spend an average of $479 of their own income on supplies for their students and classroom?

The Powell Law Group is excited to announce that this year, we’ll be sponsoring a classroom in the Chesterfield County Public School system!  We will be sponsoring Ms. Madeline Wyatt, a second year Latin teacher at Robious Middle School! Ms. Wyatt graduated from Randolph-Macon College with majors in both Latin and Classics and minors in Secondary Education and Archeology.

How can you help?

1. Donate supplies from the comfort of your own home through our Amazon Wish List

2. Drop off unused loose-leaf paper, colored construction paper, dry erase markers and erasers, pens, and pencils to our office at 14407 Justice Road Midlothian VA 23113 and drop them in our donation box in the lobby.

3. Mail or drop off gift cards from the following places: Kroger, Office Max, Walmart, Target, Amazon.

We wanted to sponsor a classroom because we understand that parents and teachers alike are required to buy lots of supplies for their classes, and the cost adds up. I am a product of a public-school education, and I’m a father and grandfather. My staff is made up of moms and dads too, and we all agree that the only thing a teacher should have to worry about is being a great educator and a great role model. We see it as a small investment in a classroom for a big investment in the future of education and the future of our Chesterfield County Public Schools
— Wayne Powell

Powell School Supply Drive

Educators dedicate their lives to helping children and young adults grow, learn, and reach their full potential as thinkers and as people. At the Powell Law Group, we want the teachers in our community to know that the time and money they spend giving our students the best education, the best activities, and the best support to help them succeed, matters to us. Setting up a teacher for a year of success is helping set up a child for a lifetime of success.

Our school supply drive is only the beginning- we’ll be sharing updates from Ms. Wyatt’s classroom and activities throughout the school year, so there will be additional opportunities to donate again. We understand that teacher and student needs change as the year goes on- so we’re here to help all year!

5 Trial Tips I Learned from my Years as a Deputy Commissioner at the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission
Wayne Powell

Wayne Powell

I spent from March 1985 until March of 1991 as a Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission (VWCC).  I was selected for this judicial post by the three commissioners of the VWCC who were elected by the legislature of Virginia. I left the Commission in 1991 to pursue opportunities in the private sector.  

1. Objectivity

Before my appointment to the VWCC, I had been practicing for approximately five years, three years of which as an Assistant Attorney General. During that time, I was fortunate to learn from a series of challenging trials in state and federal courts.  As an advocate for state defendants, I would become so focused on my clients’ side of the case, that I would fail to adequately consider for the weaknesses that created in my own case. This affected my perspective on the case which sometimes created obstacles for me at trial. As a Deputy Commissioner, I was required to approach every worker’s compensation case objectively without any sort of bias. I had to remain open to consider the evidence from both sides of every claim. This included weighing the evidence and considering the credibility of the testimony as well as the arguments of opposing lawyers in order to give a fair hearing to the litigants. During my time as a Deputy Commissioner, I attended the National Judicial College in Nevada where I took courses to further develop my skills in areas such as judicial writing. This helped me better express my objective reasoning in deciding cases. By opening my mind to both the claimant and defense perspectives, the cases were much easier to resolve. It also became easier to evaluate all the documentation submitted as evidence in each case as well as the oral testimony. I would say that applying objectivity as a judge for six years is a skill that I have carried from the VWCC.  In fact, in my subsequent practice as a defense lawyer and as a plaintiff lawyer, it was easier to place myself in the position of either party in order to better my case. Objectivity is a valuable asset for any trial lawyer in order to more adequately represent his or her client.

2. Thoroughness

During my five years of trial experience before beginning work as a Deputy Commissioner at the VWCC, I had several paralegals and secretaries assigned to assist me in preparing for depositions, motions practice, and trial. At the Commission I had one secretary and was also assigned a bailiff to drive to jurisdictions. and I was expected to issue my opinion where I presided in my circuit within eight weeks of the hearing date. On average, I presided over cases for several days in different jurisdictions, so there was a limited time within which to prepare and formulate my opinion. My territory spanned from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Winchester, on to Harrisburg, Staunton, Charlottesville, and sometimes to Clifton Forge. Essentially, I was on the bench 11 days of a 20-workday month. This required that I needed to be very thorough in how I ruled on evidentiary issues at the hearings, and I needed to be thorough in reviewing all the records submitted by both sides. After a hearing, I would have to review the medical reports submitted by both sides in the hearing and I would have to consider opinions rendered by the opposing doctors and healthcare practitioners as well as the doctor’s treatment notes taken in the emergency room.

I developed a technique to preserve the significant evidence presented at the hearings. While everything that I had heard was fresh I dictated a summary of the evidence presented at the hearing and some of the conclusions that were reached. This included a summary of the medical documents cited in the hearing as well as a summary of the various testimonies of the witnesses. If the issue was straightforward and easily resolvable by this summary, then I'd sometimes sketch my findings, but they were always subject to my review. If the cases were complex, I would review a typed transcript of the testimony that I "recalled" after the hearing. In the late 1980s and early 1990s when I served at the Commission, it was not routine to request a transcript of the hearing, although all hearings were on the record. So, requesting a transcript was unusual, hence the taking of thorough and copious notes was essential as a Deputy Commissioner. 

3. Respect

Since I began practicing law in 1980, I have consistently felt that respecting your opponents, their counsel, and the presiding judicial officer, as well as the process itself, was essential to obtain justice. My experience at the VWCC confirmed my belief in the basic need for respect for the process, the rule of law, and the judicial system. As a Deputy Commissioner, regardless of how a lawyer acted, I never engaged in emotional exchanges with lawyers, parties, or witnesses, or in any other behavior which might express my dissatisfaction in the conduct of a lawyer or witness. I maintained a calm and professional demeanor, regardless of what my ruling might be for any particular motion or for any litigant while in court. In a trial context, there is a certain solemnity and a natural tendency for restraint and respect. However, in my experience, as a judge, one realizes that both sides are looking at the person who is supposed to be making independent judgments based on the facts and evidence without emotion in the case. That respect for not only the litigants, their representatives, and the process, is something that has reinforced my prior belief and has helped me maintain a high level of dedication to the rule of law and the respect that I have for other lawyers. With few exceptions, I found the respect to be reciprocal. 

4. Professionalism

Professionalism is the foundation of any career. My prior experience as a military officer before going to law school prepared me for the type of conduct which I felt was appropriate in my legal career; this was further buttressed by my experience as a judicial officer. The professionalism of a judge has to permeate the court and the location where the hearing is held. The judge must establish that atmosphere of professionalism that inspires not only fellow deputy judges to act professionally themselves, but the attorneys, parties, and the witnesses.  This is based on the solemnity of the occasion when parties are in court, and the way in which the litigants are expected to act when they are present. In the now 38 years I have been practicing, I have noticed in recent years a lack of professionalism on the part of some of the younger members of the bar. Perhaps my view of this is the result of my own experience in the military. Regardless of the reason, my experience led me to conclude that professionalism is essential to exhibit not only to the judge when you're in court, but the lawyers, witnesses, and other litigants when you're out of court as well. It has often been said that a person’s ethics can be judged by how one conducts himself when no one is looking. I've always remembered that adage, and I've always tried to act that way whether I was in court or simply on a telephone call with an opposing counsel. Professionalism will permit a more objective consideration of all the evidence adduced at the hearing over which I presided. 

It is essential that all participants show themselves to be professional at all times in the litigation process. 

5. Curiosity and Creativity

Creativity is closely aligned with curiosity. In my profession, one has to be curious about the law and take a creative approach to obtain justice. Curiosity and creativity are essential to properly consider how the facts lend themselves to interpretation by certain precedent, and how they fit into a legal context.  One of the things that I was always fascinated by as a Deputy Commissioner was the fact that every case that you thought had a certain fact pattern which would fit in a certain case precedent, did not always fit in that precedent.  In fact, there are always unique aspects of every case -- either by medical report, or by a factual anomaly that would make the case not fit into one category, but perhaps fit in another category.  In order to determine which category a case would fall into, it would take research skills, and it would take thinking of or defining the issues such that you could look up other precedents, which might change the way you viewed a certain case or a certain fact pattern.  Because of curiosity and the creativity that comes with it, frequently when I was faced with a certain fact pattern that appeared to fall into a certain category of cases, but by the time I considered all the facts, medical records, and the law, I came up with a different decision than I started out with.  This frequently happens in appellate cases as well. I participated by designation in a few appeals at the WCC when a Commissioner was unavailable, and I have been in various continuing legal education seminars in which the appellate judges frequently will talk about how a case comes in and appears to fall into a certain category, but after due consideration, the disposition of the case changes. I also have found that in the many appeals I’ve filed anticipation of adverse ruling have helped preserve unlikely issues at final that we effective in everything adverse rulings below on appeal. 

Curiosity and creativity apply in active practice. I have engaged in cases which other lawyers have refused to take on. In one case, I received more than $1M in settlement brought about by an inexplicable exploding multi-part wheel of a commercial vehicle. My curiosity led me to research multi-part wheels developed for commercial vehicles. The average driver is only familiar with the one-piece wheels on their vehicle. As it turned out in that case, not only did I find out that there were multi-part wheels still in the market from the early 20th century, but I was able to find a lawyer who won a settlement when an identical wheel exploded in a similar accident in Tennessee.  He gave me the name of the experts I needed in order to develop a large liability case while representing my brain-injured client in the claim related to the defective multi-part wheel which exploded under high pressure.  In that case, curiosity was a very valuable asset, to the client and his family, but also to my legal expertise and my firm. I opened a new specialty area in my current firm and I continue to win cases such as these based on the skills that I have developed from years of applying curiosity and creativity to problems or obstacles that come up in cases.