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I’ve been a lawyer for 34 or 35 years now. I was licensed in 1984 in Arizona and 1985 in Hawaii. I have practiced, as I mentioned, defense work, and then for the last 20 or more years I’ve done exclusively plaintiff work, representing the victims of other people’s negligence. At this point, I’ve tried more cases than I can recall and feel comfortable in a courtroom and feel comfortable that the balance of having worked at a defense law firm as well as a plaintiff law firm help me to evaluate cases reasonably and responsibly.
I’ve wanted to become a lawyer since I was in junior high school. It was something that I planned on through high school. My college choices were designed around the hope that I would be able to become a lawyer. I think at the base for most lawyers is that you have a desire to help people. You have a desire to do something that will make a client’s life better in some fashion, whether you’re doing corporate work or personal injury work, and I’ve found that I enjoy the medical side of things. I enjoy medicine, and I enjoy the challenges that come with personal injury work, so that’s where I ended up.
It probably takes two things more than anything else to be successful in the courtroom. One of them is experience, having done it before, and having done it a lot. And the other is preparation. You have to go into court already prepared for whatever might take place. And again, experience helps you to deal with the surprises of court, because all sorts of things can happen during trial. But if you’re not prepared, your case is not going to be successful, so we spend a lot of time in the preparation of our cases to make sure that if trial is necessary we’re prepared and ready to go.
I think the most rewarding part of our practice is actually seeing people who have achieved justice for something that has been done to them through the negligence of others. These are people, who, because our system is as it is, cannot help themselves through the process, and we can provide them information that they don’t already know, and we can help achieve justice for them. We can help bring their lives back to something approaching what happened before.
The way the law is now, it’s a very complicated process to bring litigation, and in certain areas like medical malpractice, it’s virtually impossible without the help of a lawyer.
Phoenix, AZ personal injury attorney Jeffrey B. Miller talks about why he decided to go into law, his background and his perspective on what makes an effective attorney.