In the Premier Issue of Attorney at Law Magazine of Mississippi the Giddens Law Firm was honored as law firm of the month.
The text of the article written by Lalaena Gonzales-Figueroa is below.
From the onset, conversation with attorney John Giddens is an easy exchange that winds at a comfortable pace. An accomplished professional whose personal injury practice eschews the new trend of high-volume and impersonal firms, Giddens reveals that his approach is one that consistently yields results – both inside and outside of courtrooms.
“Our small staff facilitates clear and concise communication, and I maintain a personal presence in each case I represent,” he reveals. “I’m hands-on. My clients know that when they work with my firm, they will receive vigilant and professional care that is tailored to their cases and their needs.”
Giddens, who earned an undergraduate degree in business management from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, had the makings of a successful attorney at an early age. “My brother, who was in law school, suggested I’d make a good candidate. I became interested in understanding what the practice of law was all about,” he recalls. “I was fortunate to test well on the LSAT and went on from there.”
His humility is unwavering as Giddens details his success in law school. “It became evident to me that I was able to easily grasp the concepts that drove our courses,” he says. “I enjoyed law school and felt that it was a natural fit for me.”
Upon graduation, that natural skillset caught the attention of a number of regional firms. Giddens became a highly recruited candidate and went on to clerk at large firms in New Orleans, Memphis, and Jackson.
His early trial experiences could be torn from the pages of a feel-good novel. A young attorney with a notable courtroom presence, Giddens was offered the enviable opportunity to act as lead counsel with the financial support and resources of an established and accomplished firm. “My first trial was held
at a federal courthouse,” he recalls. “I was introduced to the information and given the liberty to spend what I needed in order to build my client’s case.” With an uncommon level of control over his cases, Giddens thrived. “I started to really take pleasure in the process of establishing a case and presenting it –and my clients– to juries,” he says. He facilitated consistently successful outcomes thanks to his dogged perseverance and his empathetic courtroom approach.
Those accomplishments were earned, though Giddens often defers to a sort of luckiness in his professional endeavors. Trying malpractice cases against seasoned attorneys and established medical professionals might be a daunting prospect for some, but Giddens handled each case with a sense of urgency and dignity, as well as an innate desire to excel. “There were times when I was arguing cases against attorneys, discussing procedures that I had never seen,” he says. “Conquering some
of those early cases was like climbing Mount Everest.” And he earned a spot at the summit of his profession, garnering some of the largest medical malpractice verdicts of their times in cases along the Mississippi Coastal region.
Giddens refined his professional focus when he launched his boutique firm, which today primarily handles personal injury and mass tort cases. Representing individuals and families impacted by untimely death and catastrophic injury requires exceptional knowledge and solid casework, along with an ability to effectively connect with and share his clients’ stories. Giddens excels in this arena, and his commitment to doing so has driven the way his business is run.
Giddens explains, “My practice limits legal representation to a small number of serious personal injury and death claims each year. This allows us to better focus on each client’s unique needs, to provide those clients with immediate attention and to ensure that each case is attended to with a sense of urgency and purpose.” When cases have been completed the firm solicits a rated response from each client, and strives to incorporate feedback into their practice procedures. “As many of our clients
come to us through attorney referrals, we understand the critical nature of providing them with a positive, professional experience,” Giddens remarks. “Our ratings show that clients are consistently pleased with the service and representation that we provide.”
John D. Giddens Law Firm is known for its exceptional case preparedness as well as the utilization of cutting-edge technology. The investment in time and resources, states Giddens, is a must when handling high-stakes personal injury cases. During the course of one notable medical malpractice trial, his plaintiff’s brain injury was being questioned by the opposing counsel, whose surveillance video seemed to show a plaintiff with all facilities intact. Giddens was resolute in his efforts to prove the plaintiff ’s very real physical damage.
In addition to garnering expert witness testimonials from neuropsychologists from New Orleans and Texas, Giddens also provided the jury with an animated –but very lifelike– video craniotomy. “The process was incredibly intricate,” he recalls.
“Jurors witnessed firsthand the process of the craniotomy, including hair removal, the opening of the skull to expose dura and then brain matter, and the removal of pieces of the brain.” The animation, he asserts, helped the jury to truly grasp the magnitude of the plaintiff ’s situation. And the virtual reality made a tremendous impact. Giddens notes, “One juror actually raised his hand and asked to be excused, because he was going to be physically sick from observing the simulated craniotomy.”
In addition to personal injury cases, Giddens and his associate attorney, Baskin L. Jones, have also become involved in select mass tort cases. The firm continues to represent oyster fisherman in cases against BP, and is working with former players of the National Football League as they embark upon
litigation against the NFL for issues pertaining to head trauma and brain injury. Though these will become part of a mass tort, Giddens explains that his clients will benefit from his firm’s ongoing and attentive care. “We will continue to partner with larger firms, while maintaining direct communication with our clients,” he says. “Our relationships with clients are cultivated and respected, and we ensure that they maintain a connection with the firm they hired.” This commitment to personalized representation is critical, explains Giddens, because while clients may opt to become part of a larger case, they remain individuals with very distinct stories. “Each player I’ve met is dealing with a unique spectrum of problems related to head injuries,” he asserts. “We view everyone as his own person with his own needs.”
Managing a sense of client individuality within the parameters of the mass tort process requires diligence and purpose; Giddens and his firm maintain direct communication with the appropriate steering committee or subcommittee members if they aren’t involved on those boards themselves. Giddens, who is an active member of the American Association for Justice, has established solid collegial relationships with leading attorneys across the country. These connections become invaluable threads in the fabric of complex consumer litigations, ensuring that his clients are not set adrift in a sea of anonymity throughout the process.
John D. Giddens Law Firm’s dedication to the long-term well-being of clients is highly evident in the firm’s commitment to coordinating structured settlements. “Time and again, we see clients come into cash amounts that are quickly spent,” Giddens observes. “This is money that should last them the
rest of their lives, to help them overcome often debilitating injuries and events. While they make their own decisions on how to manage their money, we try to work with them to ensure that their best interests are driving their financial plans.”
Understanding clients’ needs comes from a deeper knowledge of who each individual is. Giddens and his associate make home visits, a critical component, he says, of establishing a case. “Before every trial, whether it’s a small matter or the largest case you’ve handled, an attorney must spend a few days with his or her client, looking at photos and learning how they live. Then you can talk to a jury and say with confidence, ‘This is who my client is.’”
Giddens, at once enigmatic and unassuming, looks forward to continuing to work with individuals in need. “I appreciate the opportunity to assist people who have been harmed, who require assistance in achieving resolution,” he says. “Every case, every trial is a chance to make a positive impact on an individual’s life.” It’s a challenging profession, but Giddens faces each impasse with polish and determination, consistently offering skillful and knowledgeable representation.