Alex Alexander: Welcome to another episode of Ask the Attorney. I’m your host, Alex Alexander with Client Focused Media Today. I’m really excited to bring you, Matt Turner, with Sommers Schwartz. Your future, Our fight. They can be found on the web at sommerspc.com. Welcome, Matt. How are you today?
Matthew Turner: I’m great Alex, thank you, how are you today?
Alex Alexander: I’m incredible. Thank you for asking, Sir, and I appreciate you being on the show. You and I were talking a little bit beforehand and I found out that that you have, I guess litigation in your blood.
Talk to me a little bit about how you grew up and what brought you into the field of law?
Matthew Turner: Well, that’s an interesting question Alex, thank you.
We did talk about this briefly, but I grew up in a family of trial lawyers. My dad was a trial lawyer. My uncle was a trial lawyer. They were partners. They practiced law together.
So you know, my childhood was sitting around the table talking to my dad about his cases and the fights he had and what was happening and not happening, and I can remember back even when I was in high school, you know, being the kid who was carrying my dad’s briefcases to trial and sitting in the back of a courtroom and listening to the trials.
And it was fascinating to me. So that’s how I got interested in the law. And you know, when I was also an athlete growing up, I played a number of sports in high school. I love to compete and to me, being a trial lawyer is in a lot of ways like being a competitive athlete.
It’s not a physical competition, but it’s a competition with your brain and with your wits and your ability to put together an argument. And at the end of a trial, like the end of a football game or hockey game, somebody wins and somebody loses.
And while of course, the facts of your case are the most important thing in determining who wins or who loses, a lot of it is the skill of the lawyer that’s handling the case and how they put that case together.
And I just always found that process fascinating, and I still find that process fascinating and I enjoy doing that for my clients and trying to give them the best opportunity to be successful. People come to me because they have something bad happen to them. No one comes to me because something good happened to them. And they want to do whatever they can to try and make that bad thing that happened to them not as bad as it is and my ability to do that gives me great pleasure.
Alex Alexander: So obviously you know, like you said, you’re being a person that is driven, right?
Because anybody that’s in sports is obviously driven and you’ve taken that same philosophy when you go into the courtroom. That makes sense because you’re going to use everything in your power to win and that’s what you really want. You want to win it. Everybody wants to be a winner, but unfortunately, not everyone is so to know somebody who has that kind of built in; I think that’s almost in your DNA.
I know if I were in Michigan, I would reach out and say, “Hey, I want this guy to represent me right?”
That’s what you want. I want to know somebody that’s a winner and I feel that’s kind of what you are putting off here.
Real quick, let’s talk about Sommers Schwartz. This is the firm that you work with. What are the things that you handle there?
Matthew Turner: The cases that I handle are primarily, I would say about maybe 60% of my practice, is medical malpractice cases you know, representing people who’ve been injured by doctors or hospitals who made mistakes that shouldn’t have been made.
Probably 20 to 25% of my practice is Fair Labor Standards Act, wage and hour litigation, class action and collective action litigation against big companies who don’t pay their employees all of the money that they should be paid for overtime that they work.
It could be people who are misclassified, you know the company calls them independent contractors because they don’t want to have to pay overtime so they don’t pay any overtime or they don’t count all of the time that they worked.
It might be something like people who have to work in a factory and wear a bunch of personal protective equipment and it takes some minutes you know to put on and take off all that personal protective equipment that they have to wear to do their job and the company doesn’t pay them for that time and that’s compensable time that they’re supposed to be paid for.
Then the rest of my practice is pretty much any other type of litigation where someone has been damaged. Pretty much everything I do is on a contingent fee.
So I handle a fair amount of legal malpractice cases against lawyers and then general personal injury cases.
You know auto accident cases, product liability, premises liability. You know any type of case where someone has been injured and they’re entitled to be compensated for what’s happened to them.
Alex Alexander: I’ve been to the website, sommerspc.com, and I noticed that you guys represent people in more areas than just Michigan.
Matthew Turner: I’m licensed to practice in the state of Michigan and I am also admitted to many different federal courts around the country that you can get admitted to without being a member of that State Bar.
I have been admitted pro hoc vice, which means you’re admitted for that particular case in a number of different States and jurisdictions.
My wage and hour practice my FLSA practice is all over the country.
I’ve handled malpractice cases in different states. I’ve tried malpractice cases in different states. Other lawyers here do that as well.
We have a fairly large firm we have about 30 lawyers here, and so we do have in some respects a national practice.
Alex Alexander: Excellent well I want to thank you for being on the show today and every out there for tuning into this episode of Ask the Attorney. If you’re in the State of Michigan and suffer from medical malpractice, if you have questions, I want you to first go to sommerspc.com and you can also find more information about Matt.
Matthew Turner: Thank you very much.
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