Travis Black - April 2020

BLACK & D E PAOLI, PC THE LAW OFFICE OF Be Heard

APRIL 2020

916.962.2896 | BDLAWTEAM.COM

A PASSION FOR CIVIL LITIGATION

STANDING AGAINST GREEDY CORPORATIONS

When I decided I wanted to become a lawyer, it was because I had found a way to stand up for people. I’ve always been the type of person to stick up and cheer for the underdog, and my path to becoming an attorney was filled with moments like that. In college, I was a criminal justice major and was bouncing back and forth, trying to decide if I wanted to be a nurse or a cop. Then, I took a class about civil rights and civil liberties, and I changed directions. One day, my professor and I were talking after class about my future plans, and he told me, “Well, you know, you’ve got a lot going on, and you seem really interested in the legal sides of things. Why not go to law school?” After thinking about it a bit longer, I did. Thinking back, I realize that a lot of what I was doing in my life at the time pointed me in that direction. Helping people has always been my passion. I worked to help people who were underrepresented or taken advantage of by the justice system. I helped foster children and those with mentally disabilities because I wanted to give people a voice when no one was listening. When I initially left law school, my focus was in dependency court, where CPS handles situations where a child is taken from their home due to certain circumstances. It was up to me to represent these kids and, at times, the parents. I loved working there because it made my heart burst, but it was also incredibly difficult and often very sad.

As I continued my work in the law field, I eventually met Travis through a mutual friend. At the time, I knew very little about civil litigation, having focused only on other areas of the law. Civil litigation seemed to have a bad reputation in my eyes, but when I started working with Travis, I realized pretty quickly that it was all speculation. The people Travis was representing were injured — many severely so — or had family members who had died in accidents, but the insurance companies refused to help them. These individuals thought that if they paid their insurance premiums every month, if something horrible happened, the insurance companies involved would help them. Despite being legitimately hurt, they couldn’t rely on these multibillion-dollar companies that were essentially bullying these people who were diligently paying their dues. After being involved in a few cases where I witnessed these companies

trying to vilify our clients and saw how injuries had changed our clients’ lives, my entire outlook on personal injury shifted. I couldn’t stand idly by and do nothing, and it kindled a burning passion. When I started working with Travis, this door opened for me, and he has been a wonderful mentor. He is very passionate about the law and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Travis always encouraged me to try things on my own and come to him if I had any questions. Today, we work side by side as a team, giving our clients a voice and fighting the injustice of these bully corporations. I am very fortunate to be a partner here at the firm, and I am excited about where our path will continue to lead from here. –Kelsey Depaoli

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