Hello World. This is Our Story.
Updated: Sep 2, 2020
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
This concept is really at the center of what led Coughlan & Vinel to be and drives the way that we want to care for our clients in the future.
2020 has been a wild year, with big events happening in the world and our own lives. It started with wildfires, the passing of superstars, and of course now, the COVID 19 pandemic that we’re still grappling with. It’s hard to imagine anyone who would have expected the incredible changes that we’d be faced with.
Personally, we’ve celebrated the birth of Ben’s little girl, Mackenzie, (well, a couple of days shy of 2020, technically) and the joy of expecting Kacie’s first little one next month. The ups and downs we’ve faced – mostly at home with our families – led us to reflect on our lives, our professional goals, our futures and how we could best impact the lives of others.
In our lives, we wanted to feel fulfilled, proud, and able to share all of the moments that matter most with our loved ones. For as much sorrow and devastation that COVID 19 has brought, it has forced us both to really put things in perspective. It allowed us the opportunity to focus on the little things – Ben cooking dinners with his son, Jack. Kacie going for walks with her husband, Nico. Simple, joyful memories that may not have felt the same or happened at all without the global slowing of pace forced upon all of us.
Long ago, both of us decided to go to law school with the goal of doing something for a living that would allow us to help people, to make a difference. We both were drawn to representing personal injury victims because it was a unique area of law that would allow us to do just that. We get to go to work every day knowing that we represent real people who have suffered, and that every little thing we do is dedicated to making a positive difference in their lives at the end of the day. When that happens – when we get to make a phone call to a client that their case has resolved, that their pain is being acknowledged – there is nothing like it.
One moment like that stands out. Our client had spent the last year and a half picking up the pieces of his life after getting rear-ended, severe concussion symptoms and constant neck pain. He was someone we’d spent long hours with, getting to know him, his family, his life. We were at a legal event when we got the news that after years denying his injuries were as bad as we knew they were, the defense caved, and finally agreed to pay him what he deserved. We called him together to tell him – hearing the relief and happiness in his voice is something we will never forget. A huge part of why it was so special was because we had truly gotten to know him, and love him, and understood what this would mean for his family’s future. We’ve been spending the last several months thinking – how can we best accomplish more of that in the future?
We are incredibly fortunate to have spent the last several years – a decade for Ben, five years for Kacie – at Gomez Trial Attorneys, a firm that valued interactions with clients just like this. It is a firm committed to encouraging the growth of its lawyers and fierce advocacy for its clients. We would not be the same lawyers or people we are today if not for the opportunities, mentorship, and friendship we had the privilege of experiencing there for so long.
Upon reflection, however, we realized that the best way we could continue doing what we love, being able to do the little things to make the biggest difference, would be to build a firm in our own image. We want to create a new way of practicing law – where compassion comes first, second and third. Our core belief is that the largest monetary results, whether by trials or settlements, come when there is a mutual relationship between client and attorneys built on understanding, support and drive for what is right.
Our vision for this firm and our future is that we will be small but mighty. With a smaller caseload, we can ensure each client gets the same level of attention, passion and care that we would give to our own family members. We will be on the frontlines every step of the way – big or small.
Our focus will be on developing close relationships with our clients so we can truly put ourselves in their shoes, tell their stories. We can develop unique strategies for our cases to achieve the best results possible. We will have the flexibility to take on complexities or challenges that others might not.
Our reputation from past results will still strike fear in insurance companies and defendants, but it is our love for our clients and what we do that will ultimately drive us to unparalleled results.