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April ’15 Our Featured Attorney – Michael Snyder
Meshbesher & Spence’s April Attorney Profile belongs to Michael Snyder. Mike has been practicing law at Meshbesher & Spence for over thirty years.
Watch his video and read his attorney profile to learn more about him.
What’s your most memorable experience as an attorney?
Mike: I represented a ten year old boy in Kansas who lost both legs above the knee when an emergency room physician failed to diagnose and treat Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. He could not get his wheelchair down the hallway to the bathroom so he would pull himself along the floor.
After the injury verdict his mother purchased a new home with wheelchair accessibility and took him on a trip to Disney World in Florida. He saw the Atlantic Ocean and his older brother took him body surfing. He sent me a photo-postcard of himself going down a roller coaster with his arms in the air in triumph. My heart soared with him.
What is most rewarding about being an attorney.
Mike: If I can make a small difference in the future for my client, then I did my job. It is rewarding to know someone’s life will be better because I helped them, especially in cases involving significant and life altering injury.
What would you be doing if you weren’t practicing law?
Mike: If the study of law and being a lawyer had not been my fancy, I would have loved to teach Hemingway or literature at a small liberal arts college. Of course, that assumes they would have hired me.
We think Mike would make an excellent professor!
What would say to someone who is unsure about hiring an attorney?
Mike: It is those possible clients who are unsure about hiring an attorney who, I think, need one the most. Personal injury cases are not necessarily rocket science, but they have a host of possible pitfalls, especially for those not trained in the law. The so-called “simple” car accident case can involve significant issues of liability and comparative fault. I have had cases where the wrongdoer admitted fault and those case went to trial because an insurance company did not believe my clients about the nature and extent of their injuries or damages. I believe lawyers have a much better idea about verdict values. Clients should remember the lawyer advances the costs of presenting the case and those costs can be significant. And a lawyer is only paid a fee upon a recovery.
If you or someone you know has been “on the fence” about hiring attorney, give the lawyers at Meshbesher & Spence a call to discuss your case. The consultation is completely free. Call today at (888)728-9866.
What keeps you interested in the law?
Mike: I come from a family of social workers, but somehow I ended up in law school. I must still have a caretaking mentality because I still enjoy lending a helping hand. When I was a young lawyer I represented a woman whose husband died in a bad car crash. She had three young boys. In 2006 she sent me an email that I saved because it was so sincere. It reads:
‘A voice from the past here!
I was talking with a friend whose husband just died last night and I found myself telling her how incredible you were to me after my husband died. I know that I never really told you how much I appreciate all you did for me legally, but most importantly for me emotionally.
So “Thank you”. I hope all is going well for you; my sons (if you remember 3 of them) are doing exceptionally well, so much so that I find it hard to believe that I raised them!
Once again Mike, thank you for all that you did for me, and I am sorry that it has taken me 22 years to getting around to saying it.’
It’s the sincerity of clients who feel I helped them that keeps me interested in the law. Of course, I enjoy the camaraderie of my law partners and working with our staff.
What advice would you give to a young lawyer or someone how is considering law school?
The advice I would give to a young lawyer is to tell him or her that there are no shortcuts. The law is a demanding career and there are no easy pathways. I never thought I would go to law school to learn so much medicine. A patent lawyer needs to be an engineer. The business lawyer needs to be a corporate officer or certified public accountant. The law is a constant learning process because the law is a “moving target”. I would tell young lawyers to roll up their sleeves and be prepared to do the heavy lifting. If had I known that before law school, I may have chosen to get the graduate degree in English Literature and tried to write the great American novel. Just joking. I truly have no regrets.
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