Yeargan & Kert - May 2019

THE DEFENSE REPORT

MAY 2019

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LESSONS FROM MY MOTHER AN INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN With Mother’s Day on the horizon, I have no doubt many of us are casting about for ways to show our moms the appreciation they deserve. It’s not easy to find the right way to thank someone who has given you so much. For me, it helps to reflect on the lessons my mother taught me when I was growing up. Without question, I owe my work ethic to my mother. Before I was born, she took what she thought would be a temporary position at the Emory University School of Medicine and built a 33-year career in the largest medical program in the country. And here’s the kicker: She did it for the joy of working. My dad was a retired airline pilot, meaning my mother could have settled into a comfortable home life. But that’s just not her style. Organization and problem-solving skills define my mother, and she thrived on the demanding work of hospital administration. Growing up with a role model who threw herself into her work with such gusto definitely left a lasting impact on me. Honestly, my mother should have been the first lawyer in the family. Whenever I approach a difficult case, I remember the ways she would relentlessly handle challenges — methodically examining every angle until she understood exactly how to move forward. Not even early computer programs like MS-DOS and Logo could keep her stumped for long. But it was the way my mother stood up for herself that I found most inspiring. Working for some of the most renowned doctors in the country, my mother was no stranger to dealing with strong personalities. It can be hard to administrate for MDs, but she found the right way to approach them. She developed a professional toughness that was both forceful and kind. My mother used the same approach to go to bat for me when I was young. Being diagnosed with diabetes when I was 4 years old, I faced challenges other kids in my class didn’t have to worry about. Not every school back in those days was as accommodating of these needs, however. At such a young age, I couldn’t perform many of the self-care tasks that come with monitoring insulin levels, but my mother kept fighting until better school policies were put in place. In many ways, she taught me to be tough.

In fact, throughout my childhood, my mother treated me as an adult. There were no excuses for bad grades or missed chores. I had to be accountable for my own performance, no matter what. To this day, I have a deeply rooted sense of personal accountability I can trace directly back to her. Needless to say, I’m lucky to have been raised by such a caring, driven woman. Whether I’m sticking up for my clients in the courtroom or tackling a complex legal question, I remember the example she set for me from the very beginning. Here’s to all the moms that act as an inspiration to their children.

Happy Mother’s Day,

–Jim Yeargan

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