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Personal Injury Attorney Chandler Gregg is Fighting for Justice One Client at a Time

published February 03, 2014

By Follow Me on
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( 51 votes, average: 4 out of 5)
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Professional Overview

Personal Injury Attorney Chandler Gregg
Chandler Gregg is a partner at Missouri's Strong, Garner & Bauer, P.C. For the past ten years, he has specialized in personal injury, products liability, wrongful death, insurance law, and commercial litigation. When I asked Chandler about any interesting cases currently in his file, he mentioned a nationwide class action in which he is representing over 100,000 class members, and how a piece of defective industrial equipment paralyzed his client.

Chandler was born and raised in Nixa, Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he studied political science and English. Chandler was a Roberts Scholar and he graduated with honors. He also earned his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, where he earned Order of the Coif membership, which is awarded to the top ten percent of students at recognized law schools. Chandler graduated in the top five percent of his class. He is the recipient of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Student Advocacy Award and the Deacy Award in Advocacy. Chandler was also a member of the Regional Moot Court Team and Missouri Law Review. He published at 70 Mo. L. Rev. 307, "The Medical Malpractice Crisis: A Problem with no Answer?"

I asked Chandler about his most memorable law school experience, and he remarked:
"Arguing in front of the Missouri Supreme Court. Every law student is required to make an oral argument for a grade. The school has a program in which the top six oralists in moot court make their appellate arguments to a 3-judge panel at the MO Supreme Court. First of all, its just a tremendous honor and an incredible program that the law school, and the judges, provide. On mine, I'll never forget the comments from the Judges. Two judges were very complimentary, let me just say that. The third judge looked over at the other two and said, 'Some may have liked your style….' Then, he looked back at me, and said, 'I did not.' I can laugh about it now, but at the time I felt like I was about to puke on the only suit I owned."
After clerking with Strong, Garner & Bauer, Chandler joined the firm in 2004. He has tried several lawsuits to juries. Chandler has received many honors since joining the firm, which include Missouri Lawyers' Weekly UP & COMING Lawyers; the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40; the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers; Super Lawyers' Rising Star; and Super Lawyer. He has also been listed in Who's Who in America since 2012.

When the fearless attorney isn't working, Chandler enjoys mountain biking on single track, doing yoga, and running. He says the mountain biking gives him the needed rush and physical workout, while the yoga helps to keep him centered. When I asked what sports team he likes, he said:
"I like sports, but I wouldn't all myself a big sports fan, in terms of watching all of any specific team's games. I keep up to speed on Mizzou's football and basketball teams. And then, I'm more a fan of the end of the sports season than I am of any single team. I like watching March Madness. And I really like watching the NBA and NFL play-offs, because you're watching the best athletes - the best at what they do -- and you're about to see who among them can really dial it in when it counts. It's like watching an ESPN Classic Game; it doesn't really matter what the sport is, you know you're about to see something great go down."
Chandler recently read Stieg Larsson's Millennium series, which includes The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He is a big fan of the stoic philosopher Epictetus. From time to time, Chandler will refer to The Art of Living, where the philosopher compiled his thoughts, which Chandler said he thinks are generally pretty goods ones to live by.

Chandler's Motivations

Why did he decide to become an attorney? Chandler explained:
"As a kid, I looked up to lawyers and had respect for them as communicators. I've always been a pretty logical thinker - and not so good at some other things -- so the law appeals to my skill set. If I had to rely on my abilities as a mechanic or carpenter, I'd probably be destitute."
Chandler specializes in personal injury, products liability, wrongful death, commercial litigation and insurance law. Why did he decide to focus on these areas? "I knew I wanted to litigate and have the opportunity to be in court. I also wanted to represent individuals."

So what is the best part of his job? Chandler asserted:
"The best part of the job is helping people, making a difference in their lives. I try to keep in mind how important each client's case is to him or her. While I tell every client to live his life like there is no lawsuit, I also try to think of each client's case, at least in terms of the way I handle myself, as if it's the most important thing in my client's life. If I remember that, I feel I'll fulfill my obligations to them. It's a great honor to have folks put these things in your hands and believe in you - but it's also a great responsibility."
If Chandler could change any laws concerning wrongful death, what would it be? He stated:
"If I could change wrongful death law in our state, I'd eliminate caps in medical cases. Generally, the caps disproportionately affect those who are most in need of protection; they make it difficult to bring a case for the old, young and poor. They're expensive cases to bring, and they're difficult, because people give Drs the benefit of the doubt, which oftentimes they deserve, but sometimes they don't. Given the expense and difficulty, if you have caps on non-economic damages, you can't bring a case and make it come out for a low wage earner, even if there is clear malpractice, because once you pay fees and the large amount of expenses, there's nothing left. It isn't the justice that people deserve, particularly the poor. "
What are his strengths and one weakness as an attorney? "My strength is probably my determination. I'm determined to see that justice is done for my clients; determined to be the best I can at writing; determined to be the best I can be at arguing a case; determined to be the best at talking to a jury." As for his weakness, Chandler admitted, "One weakness I have is impatience. I recognize it, and I'm working on it. And another is probably wanting to help everyone."

If he were not a lawyer, what would he most probably be doing? "I'd probably be a coach, maybe a teacher. My wife would like me to be a politician, though I've not completely reconciled that one in my mind yet. There are parts of it that make sense, but I guess I'd be the guy who just always says whatever he thinks --- which in politics seems to offend people."

Where does Chandler see himself in five years time? "Still a trial lawyer."

What motivates him to be an attorney everyday? "Helping people. And my competitiveness and intolerance for losing. And by losing, to an extent I mean the case - or getting less than I should get for my client. But, facts are facts, and they typically control the case. So mostly, I mean that I can't stand the thought of my opponent providing better representation for his client than I do for mine."

How does Chandler want to be remembered? "As a good person who helped people. And hopefully, as a dude who is a good time to be around. A person who made things better, and easier, for other people. And made them smile."

Chandler's Mentor and Mentoring Others, Pro Bono Work and Non-Profit Organizations

Does Chandler have a mentor? Is he a mentor? Chandler responded:
"Yeah, my boss Steve Garner. He's the best trial lawyer I've ever seen. And quite honestly, he continues to amaze me even after I've seen him in action for the past 12 years - as a law student, as his associate, and as his partner. He's taught me most of what I know in the law and has had an incredible influence on the way I practice. I think he does things the right way and for the right reasons, and I really appreciate that influence on me."
It seemed to me that Chandler appreciates the opportunities he's had, so I asked him what exactly does he mean. He said:
"Nobody does it all on their own. I've been given a lot of great opportunities professionally to succeed. Even back to when I was in law school, Steve took me to Florida on a products liability case for a month and let me watch. And paid me to do it. In the end, it was part of his training program for me. Its just an example of the opportunities he's given me, so I develop to be the best lawyer I can be."
I asked Chandler what has led to so many good results for his clients, and he said, "I've been given opportunities to succeed, so that's probably foremost. And as importantly, good facts make good lawyering. I've been fortunate to get a lot of good facts to work with. "

Does he handle pro bono work? Chandler noted that he has handled several criminal defense cases for indigent clients as part of a local bar effort to take some of the strain off of the public defenders. He also mentioned taking cases through a local Legal Aid program, also for needy clients. Then, he remarked, "Most of what I consider to be pro bono is waiving my fees, which everyone at my firm does, probably too often. But, the cases are for the clients and when there's insufficient money given the injuries, the lawyer is the one who should take the haircut."

He continued:
"I've also had defense lawyers who've asked me to speak to their clients and I've spoken to companies about safety issues in their industry and the holes in safety that I look for when analyzing a case - hopefully, to make the companies operate in a safer manner. Its probably not good for business, but I've never met a client who would choose the money over their health; so if I can help make a company safer, which eliminates events that injure people, I think that's part of my job."
Is Chandler involved with any non-profit organizations? "Yeah, I'm on the board of directors of the Doula Foundation, which is a charitable organization that helps at-risk pregnant women receive birthing services. I am also on the advisory board for Lost & Found, a charity that provides free counseling services to children who have lost a loved one."

Trying Cases in Front of Juries, Winning Awards and Chandler's Goals

Chandler has tried a number of lawsuits to juries. I asked him if any of them stood out to him. He mentioned a couple different cases. In one, he represented a chiropractor against the Board of Healing arts. The burden was high - gross negligence - but in the end, his legal team proved that the Board's recklessness financially devastated their client. Chandler mentioned:
"It was an odd case, not one you typically see. The standard to win was high - basically, proving reckless, near-punitive conduct, but fortunately, we were able to help our client and get a good result - one that has changed his life. He and his wife were good people, who deserved it, too. When he came to us, he was practicing in another state. He said he had contacted over 200 lawyers who had turned his case down, before he got to us. Which, honestly, made me think, 'we must be crazy for taking this on'. But, the doctor was persistent. And, he was right, and the facts were on his side. In the end, we recovered $9.9 million for him."
Another case that Chandler said he will never forget involved a woman he had gone to school with, from Kindergarten through 12th grade. She suffered a terrible neurologic injury, CRPS, as a result of two relatively minor collisions. The carrier rejected a policy limits demand, and at trial, the jury returned a verdict for over 20 times the policy limit, then collected from the carrier in a bad faith case. Chandler said that while he's had a lot of cases for more money, this one stays with him, because he knew this girl for so many years before she came to him for legal help.

Chandler has received several honors since joining Strong, Garner & Bauer, which include the following: The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers; the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40; Missouri Lawyers' Weekly UP & COMING Lawyers; Super Lawyers' Rising Star; and Super Lawyer. He has also been listed in Who's Who in America since 2012. What do these awards mean to Chandler? He acknowledged:
"Its nice to be recognized. But the honors aren't as important as the client letters with thanks for helping make their lives better. I think I've always been more interested in achievement than accolades; and more interested in influence than income. I feel that if I take care of my clients, try to achieve for them the best results possible, and do what I need to do, the other stuff comes as a result."
Does the trial lawyer have goals? Chandler stated:
"Personally, I want to provide for my family. I want my wife and family to be proud of me and what I do. I want my girls to look at me and know that I was there to encourage them and provide them the opportunities to fulfill all their dreams. I want my family to look at me and know I always tried to do what's right; that I stood up for people who couldn't stand up for themselves; that I was an ethical and just person; and hopefully, that I was fun to be around."

Please see this article to find out if litigation is right for you: Why Most Attorneys Have No Business Being Litigators: Fifteen Reasons Why You Should Not Be a Litigator

published February 03, 2014

By Follow Me on
( 51 votes, average: 4 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.