My primary area of practice has been plaintiff’s personal injury and worker’s compensation for 25 of the last 36 years of practice.
How has your practice evolved in the last few years?
My practice has evolved in the respect of forming a partnership/LLC with my former associate, Alice Sackett; as well as adding an associate, Margie Komes. I am concerned about the future of personal injury law and worker’s compensation: there may not be much of a place in the future for lawyers who appear in court and try cases on behalf of injured parties in the future with the changes in the claims systems that may take place; and there is a major effort on a national basis to reduce the presence of lawyers in the administration of worker’s compensation claims and these are both trends that may continue in the future.
If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?
Do not try to hang a shingle on your own; mentor with someone who will teach you; it is very difficult in today’s environment to open a solo or small firm. We all can learn from a seasoned practitioner’s personal experience in the profession.
What’s one technological device, application or tool you could not function without?
We could not function without a viable file management system; that and mobile platforms (smart phones and iPads/tablets). Efficiency and responsiveness are expected now by clients, adjusters, opposing counsel and the courts. Without technology it would be very difficult to keep up with the demands of our clients.
How has civility made a difference in your practice of law?
Fortunately, for the most part, the personal injury bar and worker’s comp bar are relatively tight groups in terms of the respect, and really the camaraderie we share; so from that standpoint it has made what is always a very demanding and stressful profession somewhat easier to handle when the going gets rough, which it will on occasion. There really is no one particular incident that comes to mind, in that several times a month we ask each other on opposite sides of the bar for a professional courtesy in the form of either an extension of time, or a stipulation to evidence, or the like, and provided the client consents, it is almost always granted. I feel fortunate for the most part.
What do you do for fun?
Triathlons and running races; coaching and watching rugby football, which I played for 27 years; reading, both fiction and nonfiction.
Richard Turner, Jr., Principal in Turner & Sackett, LLC, has offices in Geneva and Sycamore, Illinois.