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I am an attorney representing clients with asbestos and mesothelioma. Ronald J. Shingler, Asbestos and Mesothelioma lawyer in Antioch, Northern California.

Working with Paralegals to Serve Our Clients

     I am Ron Shingler and, in 1998, I formed what is now known as SHINGLER LAW. I was admitted to the California State Bar in 1989. In the 26 years since, I have worked with a great many paralegals. We represent people in asbestos cases. Most of our clients have mesothelioma and all of them die from this dread disease. It takes a certain type of lawyer to perform this difficult work. It takes a certain type of paralegal, as well.

     My paralegals are Superstars. We are 7 professionals, 3 of whom are paralegals. Erika is a recent graduate of the CSUEB Paralegal Studies program. She is quickly learning her craft. Rahul, also a graduate of CSUEB, has become a formidable talent over the past three years while working with us. Pat has been with me since I started practicing law. She is exceedingly talented and extremely loyal. In many respects, she is our moral center. I am grateful that these three decided to bring their talents to SHINGLER LAW.

     I work in a collaborative manner with my paralegals. As I have a law degree and I am a member of the state bar, and have 26 years of experience practicing law, I have abilities and training not shared by our paralegals. With that said, when it comes to dedication, insight, native intelligence, compassion, and a willingness to work hard, my paralegals are my equal. I admire them, appreciate their hard work, and more than anything else, I trust them.

     Over the course of my career, some 15 paralegal students have interned in our office. We welcome the interns and do everything we can to ensure a well-rounded, positive experience for them. We enlist our current paralegals to take on the responsibility of training the interns. First, we believe that experienced paralegals are well-suited to teach the interns the practical aspects of paralegal work. Second, we believe that our paralegals become better paralegals when they are given the opportunity to teach interns. If you can teach a subject, then you know the subject.

     As mentioned above, we handle cases for people who are dying from mesothelioma. These men and women place their trust in us as they approach the end of their lives. Their families turn to us to guide them through the dark passage of asbestos litigation. In many respects, we become something of an extended family to our clients. They may not know how brilliant my argument was in court a few days ago, or how we took down an expert witness at deposition. The nuances of the law escape their notice.

     What they do know, however, is that as their world is crumbling around them due to a terrible diagnosis, there is always a kind and caring voice on phone whenever they call our office. That voice, more often than not, is the voice of one our paralegals. Sorrow is met with compassion.

     Our clients do not weep alone.

THAT IS WHAT WE DO

“Despite the conduct of a few misguided attorneys, the practice of law is still an august and noble profession.  All too often lawyers look upon the tragedy of others as an opportunity to generate wealth for themselves.  To my way of thinking, this is blood money.  In my firm, the focus is on being of service to the man, or woman, who is suffering, and to be of service to their families.  Our goal is to fight the good fight, run the good race, and keep the faith.  Their cause becomes our own.  If we do a good job for the people we represent and their families, we will in turn do a good job for ourselves and our families.  That’s the way we see it.  That is what we do.”

What Motivates Us Defines Us.

     I love listening to Ted Talks.  Their motto is, “Ideas worth sharing.”  The talk I listened to this morning as I drove to work inspired me to write this post.  The speaker asked why the Wright Brothers were first in flight when others who were more educated and better financed ended up being followers, and not leaders, in aviation innovation.  His answer was simple.  Some people sought to reach the skies for their own fame or fortune; military leaders saw flight as a decided strategic advantage.  

     The Wright Brothers, on the other hand, were motivated simply by a passion to take flight.  These humble bicycle shop owners wanted to do something that everyone had long-dreamed of doing, but no one had ever done:  take flight in a motorized plane.  And on a blustery day in 1903 in a place called Kitty Hawk, they did just that, and in doing so they changed the world. 

    Motivation.  I believe that what motivates us, defines us.  What we do at SHINGLER LAW is what every other plaintiffs’ asbestos law firm does, which is represent people with dread asbestos diseases.  How we do this work is not dissimilar from the way other good firms do this work.  What sets us apart, however, is why we do what we do.  I am not talking about profit or earning a fee here; everyone in a capitalistic economy is motivated to some degree to generate an income so that they may live their lives, and support their families, with some measure of dignity and comfort.  We are as motivated as the next guy to keep our practice alive, and thriving.  

    But the why of what we do is what gets us up in the morning and in the office early; it is what gets us here on a Saturday and compels us to travel throughout the country on behalf of the people we represent.

    The why of SHINGLER LAW, is love and compassion.  We know that the diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer strikes fear in the heart of a man, and brings sadness to his family.  We know that being diagnosed with a terminal disease will bring despair to a woman, who will worry more for her family than herself.  We have witnessed the sorrow, and the pain, and the loneliness that come with the disease, and we want to help.  We want to wipe away every tear.  We want to do our part, as lawyers and as fellow travelers on this planet, to bring comfort to those who turn to us, and to provide a good measure of financial security to their families.  For us, it is about making a promise to a person who is up against it, and then keeping that promise.  

    Who are we?  We are SHINGLER LAW.  We work hard and we care much.  That is what defines us.

That Is What We Do

“Despite the conduct of a few misguided attorneys, the practice of law is still an august and noble profession.  All too often lawyers look upon the tragedy of others as an opportunity to generate wealth for themselves.  To my way of thinking, this is blood money.  In my firm, the focus is on being of service to the man, or woman, who is suffering, and to be of service to their families.  Our goal is to fight the good fight, run the good race, and keep the faith.  Their cause becomes our own.  If we do a good job for the people we represent and their families, we will in turn do a good job for ourselves and our families.  That’s the way we see it.  That is what we do.”