My journey into law began when I was about 14 or 15 years old. I saw the legal profession as a way to contribute to society. I also thought it would be intellectually satisfying to deal with principles that had an aspect of government.
My father was a political science professor and department chair at WVU, so I grew up with influence and interest in the social sciences. To this day, I still have an interest in topics like history, politics and geography.
With this mindset, I started law school in 1975. Eventually, I was a summer law clerk for Judge DePond and later interned with the prosecutor’s office at the courthouse.
While working there, I rekindled an acquaintance with attorney Dick Hamstead who knew my parents. He was looking for an associate and remembered that I was about to graduate. After graduation in the summer of 1978, I started working with Dick. By the 1990s, our main practice areas had evolved into personal injury claims, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. Those continue to be my primary areas of practice.
Dick eventually retired and a few years later I met Alex Shook while he was still in law school. Alex and I have practiced law together for more than 18 years and I am proud to have him for a partner.
Looking back on nearly 40 years of practice, I have no regrets about the vocation I set my sights on as a teenager. If anything, I now appreciate more fully the positive impact that lawyers can have on society. That fact keeps me satisfied with the career path I struck as a young man.
I have been blessed to make a good living while helping people with their problems. Having been privileged to practice law in my hometown, for the community I care about, has been particularly rewarding.