Aaron: Hi, I am Aaron and one of the attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard. This is Lynn, my wonderful assistant. I typically start everyday by meeting with Lynn to talk about the fires that came in the last few hours, or to talk about what we’re going to do that day. And we tend to coordinate with each other multiple times a day, and then every night before we leave to make sure we’re set for the next day. Every week, we make sure we’re ready for the next week.
Lynn: That’s right. Matt Williams had phoned, and he was like us to start working with our law firm, Jennifer, next week, getting ready to prepare a draft complaint on the [inaudible 00:00:49] case. So, I’m going to have her sit down with you next Tuesday, and start working on that.
Aaron: That’s Jeff, he’s a goofball.
Lynn: So, I’ll talk to Jennifer about that, and coordinate a time for the two of you to sit down and start doing reviewing that.
Aaron: And then, throughout the day, we’ll trade emails, trade calls, talking about things that come up, because everyday something new is happening. Every hour there’s a new client, or referring attorney, or defense attorney that needs something from us. So, the work day is fun and fulfilling, but it is also chaotic, and sometimes we just have to sit back and take a breath. But we love our work, and we have a good time doing it.
Lynn: We do. We do. Chaotic is a good way to put it.[00:01:39] [SILENCE] [00:01:47]
Aaron: This is my office, and I usually have reviewed a lot of emails, and things either the night before on my phone, or in the morning. My wife works, I work, and we have a young daughter so we’re constantly balancing who is taking her to daycare, or how we’re going to meet all the expectations of our day, but it works out pretty well. So, we work at night, or we work in the mornings, or we alternate things just to make sure, as a family, we can get everything done we need to get done, and most importantly to take care of our daughter.
So, once I get to the office, I check on any emails that may have come in. I’m old in the sense of, I keep a paper calendar to keep myself organized, even though everything pops up on my iPhone. And I just make sure that I’ve got everything covered for the next couple days, because we live in a world of deadlines, lots of deadlines. We have to file complaints by a certain time. We have to respond to defense motions by a certain time. We have to update our clients, update referring attorney’s. There’s a lot of information that people need, and given what we do, where people are hurt, it’s intensely personal to them, and every case is very important to us. But for each person, their case is super important to them, because it relates to their ability to take care of themselves, or take care of their family. It’s always on their mind, so we want to try to be as responsive as possible. Although, we’re all also very busy. We have a number of cases. We do try to check in on a regular basis with our clients.
So, I just finished reviewing a new medical malpractice case, that was referred to me from a lawyer at Central Illinois. It’s a tragic case, and I believe it’s a very strong one. So last week, I spoke with a Cardiology expert, in order to determine whether or not this gentleman’s heart attack could have been prevented, and he was supportive of the case, but the case really revolves around emergency room care. So, he said, “You need to talk to an ER doctor, but I believe it’s a meritorious case”. So, I have a call scheduled with an ER doctor, later this afternoon. So, I just finished reviewing some of the medical records, so they’re fresh in my mind, because our experts, they don’t have a lot of time, they’re all very brilliant people, but they’re also very busy doctors or engineers. So, I need to know the facts very well before I talk to that expert later in the day.
But now that I know pretty well, I’m going to…I need some records and imaging films to be ordered, so I’m going to go down to our paralegal Joella, and make sure she’s ordering those things, and I’ll kind of give you a tour along the way. So basically, the attorneys are generally in offices around the perimeter of our space, and we have paralegals assistants and law clerks that kind of have the cubicles in between. But our assistants typically sit in this area, and they are so important to everything we do. They keep us organized, they make sure we do everything that we need to do. They’re key in follow-up, and all the little things that come up, that we can’t always think about. Because of the dynamic nature of our practice, people are coming and going at all hours. That’s Caesar, he’s our IT guy.
Aaron: He makes sure all the infrastructure works, and he is key at trial to assisting us with graphic presentations of the evidence. We’ve really worked hard, and Caesars key part of this, to change how we present information to juries, because, people want to see things visually. They want to see models, they want to see records, and that’s something we’ve really worked on. They just don’t want to see paper. They want to grasp the information in very short form, typically with audio/visual, if we can. So that’s something we’ve been working on, it’s very effective at our last few trials.
TJ: Hi Aaron, keep up the great work, you really do fantastic work.
Aaron: This is TJ, our COO. He runs the firm day-to-day.
TJ: Thank you. Thank you. Keep holding my hand, that’s great.
Aaron: It’s a beautiful hand. He runs the business and is integral to everything that we do. I can’t even make it 50 feet without seeing three people. So, Joella and Sheila are our two most experienced paralegals here in Chicago, we’ve another paralegal in Waukegan, named Susan. And they take the reins on getting records in, helping us with the discovery, working with medical billing companies and lien holders, so that we can make sure we have all the paperwork in order. So, I might be…I asked Joella, please order these records, and I rely upon her. She does a great job, and a few days later, we get them.
So, a lot of my practice is meeting with attorneys around the city, and looking at their potential MedMal cases, and catastrophic injury cases, because most people, they don’t know what a particular lawyer does. A lawyer made do car accidents, or he may do insurance defense, or patent. all these different specialties. Very few lawyers to exactly what we do, which it which is catastrophic injury cases.
So, a person may go to their neighbor, or their friend that know who’s a lawyer and say, “my parent was injured in the situation, or my child is injured”, and then typically what happens is they think of our firm, or other firms like us. And then they call us and say, “Aaron, we have a case we’d like you to look at”. So, a lot of the cases that I have are referred to us, directly by other lawyers, from around the city, and we spend a lot of time meeting with those people, talking to their clients and then determine if it’s a case we can take. It’s something I really enjoy, and it’s a big part of our practice, and we work with those lawyers to represent the person to the best of both of our firm’s abilities.
So, a deposition occurs usually in a conference room, or boardroom, and it’s used for three purposes. One, to establish what a person knows about a situation. Two, for each side to get to know, would this be a good witness a trial? Because everything we’re doing is preparing for trial. And three, most importantly, it’s used at trial, in order to be the basis of a person’s testimony, or if a person changes their answer, deposition testimony can be used to what we call, “impeach”, or try to show that that person is lying, or changing their story. So, the deposition today may make a difference in a couple years we get to trial.
I work mostly with Mr. Salvi and Patrick Salvi Jr., and Jeff Kroll down here in Chicago, and they’re all wonderful lawyers, and great mentors, and each has its own…each has a different approach to things, and each has given me a lot of skills, and things to think about as a lawyer. Mr. Salvi, and David, and Mr. Schostok built this wonderful firm based on excellence, and everything we do, excellent people, excellent work, excellent results. So, what I love most about working here, is we work on the very, very best cases, and we are very selective in the cases that we pursue. So that gives us a lot of pride in what we do, both in working on the cases and the results for our clients and for ourselves.
The best part about being a lawyer is, meeting people who are usually wonderful people, and getting to advocate for those people that we believe have been wronged by someone else. or some other Institution. Because, rarely does anyone stick up for the little guy, especially in our system. It’s heavily weighted towards those that have money, and those that have power.
To people who are considering being a lawyer, I would say that Law School is expensive. Law School takes a long time, but once you accept that you’re going to incur…usually incur some sort of large student loans, and you’re going to have three years of very intense studying, and very intense examinations, once you finally finish school and take the bar exam, and you’re a license lawyer, the advice would be, you have to do this only because you want to help, either people like we do, or you’re really interested in a specific area, and you want to work in that area and be expert in that area.
Being a lawyer, just to be a lawyer, to have a job. This is a very high demand, high-stress, high stakes career, and you have to want to do this for a long, long time, because you’re investing so much time, and so much money to become a lawyer. If you want to do this, just to, you know, punch a clock or a to make a certain salary that’s…you’re not going to succeed. You have to really love what you’re doing, throw yourself into it, be an expert in it, and then it’s extremely rewarding.
If you’re thinking truly of becoming a lawyer, I highly recommend you talk to lawyers you know, or try to get an internship at a law firm, prior to going to law school, to see what the day to day is like. And if it’s something you’re interested in, throw yourself into it. Immerse yourself in it, decide that this is what I want to do.[00:11:45] [SILENCE] [00:11:56]
At some point, usually around 5 or 6:00, I head out for the night. I go home, spend an hour or two with my family, and if necessary work on other stuff, or watch TV and then start again the next day.[00:12:11] [SILENCE]