Law office of Craig Wilkerson - March/April 2020

ROCK HILL 1050 College Avenue Extension Rock Hill, SC 29732 Phone: 803-324-7200 FORT MILL 852 Gold Hill Rd. Suite 102 Fort Mill, SC 29708 Phone: 803-396-5200

LANCASTER 103B South Catawba St. P.O. Box 477 Lancaster, SC 29721 Phone: 803-289-7202 UNION 209-B N. Duncan By-Pass Union, SC 29379 Phone: 864-466-5170

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The Carolina Advocate

March/April 2020

What It Means to Be Part of a Team That’s Big Enough to Fight And Small Enough to Care

In this edition, we’re handing the reins to one of the other incredible attorneys on our team, Justin Jones. After completing his law degree at the University of South Carolina, Justin worked in the public defender’s office before joining our firm. Here’s Justin to share more in his own words. As simple as it sounds, I chose to go into law because I liked the idea of a job where you get to interact with the public and help people. My dad was a pastor, and while I knew that wasn’t my calling, I was inspired by the way he got up to speak in front of his congregation every week. I’ve always been fascinated by jury trials and arguing a case in front of a jury, and when I thought about speaking in front of a courtroom, I felt motivated. The idea that I could do this to help people and advocate for them through some of the toughest times of their lives made a career in law perfect for me. Working in the public defender’s office was an ideal way to get my start. It afforded a young attorney many opportunities to get into the courtroom and try cases. I got a lot of practical experience speaking to judges, and I really appreciated the chance to interact with people on a daily basis.

Craig and my team here at F. Craig Wilkerson brought everything together for me.

I know it’s our slogan, but “Big enough to fight, small enough to care” truly embodies this firm. We are big enough that we can go to bat for a case and set it up for trial without getting bullied around by an insurance company. Yet we’re small enough that we get to truly connect with each of our clients. I appreciate that about our firm. That personal connection is important because we’re here to help our clients navigate what can often be a confusing and complex system, one that can feel like it’s working against them. I remember one case resulting from a multicar pileup that involved minors. It was a mess. Insurance companies can’t speak to minors, so they had to go through the teens’ parents. The fight about who should pay what and who was responsible for the damages dragged on, and by the time I got the case, my client was frustrated with the lack of progress that had been made. Putting myself in his shoes, I can understand why. He’d been getting the runaround from everyone, and the process just to get closure on the whole event was proving to be extremely difficult. When you’re not dealing with this kind of thing every day, it can get to you. Fortunately,

in about eight months, we were able to bring everything together and find a positive outcome that our client and his kids were happy with. Outside of work, I like to unwind by watching sports (Go Gamecocks!) and getting outside as much as I can. I like to go kayaking with friends, usually starting near Fort Mill at the dam on Catawba River. It’s close by and convenient. Recently, I went hiking with Craig on the Appalachian Trail. It was a workout! Some of the trails are marked and some aren’t, so it’s good to go with someone who has a good sense of navigation. Every couple weeks, I also get together with some other local attorneys to play basketball. I find it’s a healthy outlet for stress. At the end of the day, I’m motivated by getting positive results for my clients so they can get back to their lives. I’m glad to be part of a team that shares this passion and to give our clients the excellent representation they deserve.

My time there also helped me realize that my heart lies in personal injury law, and meeting

–Justin Jones

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