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Personal Injury Attorney Brett A. Burlison is Fighting for Justice, One Client at a Time

published September 12, 2012

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( 16 votes, average: 4.1 out of 5)
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Personal Injury Attorney Brett A. Burlison
Brett A. Burlison is an attorney who practices personal injury, product liability, workplace injury and wrongful death cases. He specializes in traumatic brain injury and mild traumatic brain injury cases (MTBI) and has his own practice in two states-California and Texas. He was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Brett enjoys mountain bike riding, hiking, and watching his dogs chase tennis balls. When he isn't working on a case, Brett roots for the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.

The trial lawyer's favorite restaurant is Rose's Café in San Francisco. Brett loves the quiet atmosphere and said they have “the best chicken in town.” He's a frequent visitor because there are not many tourists where he lives and if you like to be surrounded by people of all ages, this is an excellent spot to indulge in great food and take in the excellent scenery provided by the San Francisco Marina District.

Brett's Law Career

Brett attended the University of Texas at Austin and majored in government and history. He earned his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 2001. When asked about his most memorable law school experience, Brett stated, “At the end of my first year of law school, and based upon my grades and class rank, I was invited to join law review, and I scored the highest grade in my section for Contracts. I received the news of both on the same day.” The attorney admitted he felt great and would never forget his most memorable law school experience.

The personal injury attorney acknowledged that he worked as an intern in Washington D.C. during college and also worked for attorneys during one summer. So why did Brett decide to become an attorney? The outspoken lawyer said, “I decided to become an attorney because I wanted to help people who otherwise would not be able to afford an attorney. After working in D.C., the inequalities in our society were very real to me. Those with money and power had their interests protected and those without did not. I wanted to change that, one client at a time.”

The trial lawyer continued to say that while growing up in Northeast Texas; he saw a lot of social, economical, and racial inequalities. Brett wanted to level “the playing field, one plaintiff at a time” and he believed he could assist people and impact their lives. He compared practicing personal injury to mud wrestling and asserted he had the best skills for clients who have never been represented by an attorney before.

After practicing law for 11 years, Brett can honestly say the best part of his job “is helping people who come to me at one of the most stressful moments of their life. I try and make things a little easier for them. And sometimes, not very often, but sometimes, I actually get to see justice take place.” The attorney emphasized he was motivated to help individuals who have been seriously injured “due to no fault of their own, ensuring representation for those who cannot afford it, producing quality work and being part of our civil justice system.”

When asked what he is known for professionally, the trial lawyer revealed he has a knack for his use of technology “and my commitment to my clients and the practice in general. I would like to think that I am respected as saying what I mean and keeping my word and producing a high quality of work product. I have been ranked by my peers since 2010 as a Super Lawyer and Rising Star, endorsed by my colleagues and have a 9.9 Avvo rating.”

Learn the 10 Factors That Matter to Big Firms More Than Where You Went to Law School

Although Brett was named a 2010, 2011, 2012 Super Lawyer and Rising Star in Northern California, rated 9.9 by Avvo, and named a life member in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the down to earth trial lawyer described his strengths and weakness. The Super Lawyer and Rising Star said his strengths are empathy, a strong work ethic, and paying attention to detail. He listed worrying too much as his weakness.

The honest Texan said if he wasn't a lawyer he would probably be writing or teaching. He wants to be remembered as a professional who was thoughtful, ethical, prepared, hard working and an advocate.

Pro Bono Work and Non-Profit Organizations

Does Brett handle pro bono work? The top-notch attorney responded by saying, “While I do not handle pro bono work per se, much of my practice is providing services for clients and potential clients for which I am not paid.”

Brett is also involved with non-profit organizations. “I am involved in my local bar association. I have served as the vice president of the Palo Alto Area Bar Association and I am active in other bar associations and trial lawyer organizations as well.”

What Would Brett Change about the Industry today?

What does Brett think about the field today and what would he change about it? The attorney made it clear that the field today is influenced by several factors. According to Brett, the first aspect; “was while the nation has grown dramatically and the rest of government has grown proportionately the judiciary and the court system has remained basically the same since the 1960s. We need more courts and judges and clerks and court reporters etc. both at the state and federal level.”

The second aspect Brett discussed was that “Law schools have continued to grow and increase their numbers despite the realities of the market. There simply are not enough jobs for the number of graduates and that is not going to change anytime soon. But because of the positive cash flow that law schools generate for universities, they continue to grow and expand despite a lack of need.”

The attorney called law schools “cash cows” because they charge high fees and they know they can get away with it since students borrow most of the money to pay their tuitions. The University of Houston Law Center graduate mentioned a New York Times article; which states that fifty percent of law students who graduate today would not have a job one year from now. The attorney also said most law students go to law school not realizing what lawyers do. Brett would like to see more internships.

The Super Lawyer and Rising Star emphasized that law schools cater to one percent of the class. “If you are smart and frugal, you can pay the tuition back, but eight-nine percent of law students will not pay back the tuition.” Brett believes students will most likely default or have to refinance. He said, that “...these factors combine to increase student debt and, I believe, decrease the quality of representation and the commitment of attorneys to the practice.”

Another problem faced by most attorneys was the lack of mentors. Brett proclaimed, “There are not enough of them. Most of my peers do not have a mentor they can turn to for advice or guidance. In fact, I have not had a true mentor for most of my career. I try and be aware of this fact when younger attorneys turn to me for help or advice. But the practice lacks a coherent system of providing mentors for younger attorneys.”

The trial lawyer thinks that although there is a lack of mentors for attorneys, it's extremely important to have a mentor to be a successful attorney. Brett realized it's rare to work at a big firm and to be assigned a mentor. He said “it will not work out, depending on the interest.”

Traumatic Brain Injury and MTBI

The UT graduate declares that he is passionate about traumatic brain injury and MTBI or concussion cases and would like to handle more of these types of injuries. Brett is interested and focuses on this particular area of the law because he's been “always fascinated at how the brain functions.” The Super Lawyer and Rising Star also concentrates on brain injuries since they are invisible injures. CT Scan results can come back negative from individuals who suffered whiplash or were in car accidents, but that doesn't mean the victims shouldn't be diagnosed with traumatic brain injury or MTBI. Brett pointed out that individuals don't have to receive a hard blow to the head to be diagnosed with head traumatic brain injury or MTBI and the injured need so much care because they will never be the same person again.

Another reason why Brett would like to handle more traumatic brain injury or MTBI cases is because his mom suffered a massive stroke. He witnessed the heart ache his beloved mother and family had to endure from a traumatic brain injury and understands and has compassion for individuals who are inflicted with a brain injury. The attorney added that he sees athletes with these types of head injuries and expects to see more athletes because awareness is being raised for head injuries and MTBI.

The trial lawyer plans to continue building his practice both in California and Texas. He will also continue to represent plaintiffs in personal injury, product liability, workplace injury and wrongful death cases, while seeing “my practice becoming more and more specialized in the area of traumatic brain injury cases.”

published September 12, 2012

By Follow Me on
( 16 votes, average: 4.1 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.