A Legal Focus – Los Angeles Business Journal

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At 87, lawyer John McNicholas There is no retirement plan.

Founder of Westwood-based plaintiff law firm McNicholas & McNicholas, a longtime personal injury and employment law attorney with over 200 jury and appellate victories. After building his career as a nominal partner in another firm, McNicholas founded his current firm in 1993 with his son. Patrick McNicholas.

In addition to his court work, John McNicholas worked as a corrections professor. Loyola Law School In the year where he earned his law degree in 1962 – and currently serves as a volunteer judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court system.

Please tell us about your profession. For example, what kinds of jobs have you held before and how did they lead you to this job? What are your current job duties and how long have you held them?

I passed the bar in 1962. And at that time, I had already married my childhood sweetheart, had four children and was working in insurance defense at a small law firm. In 1965, I joined an organization that bears my name. Morgan, Wenzel and McNicholasAnd he began trying more sophisticated and complex jury trials, including medical malpractice and product liability cases.

In the year In 1993, my son Patrick was practicing law and we had the idea of ​​starting a contingency fee plaintiff law firm together. We were established in December 1993 McNicholas & McNicholasAnd later, my daughter Courtney and my son Matthew joined the organization.

To date, I have over 174 jury verdicts, 38 appellate decisions, and have worked with many high-profile clients, including the Vatican. Ronald Easley The Isley Brothers are a former US congressman Andrew J. Hinshaw, Lindsey Buckingham Former LA Dodger Peter of Fleetwood Mac Carlos Lopezthe late movie mogul King Vidor and more.

Today, I serve as a volunteer judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court. In the year By 2022, I had over 150 jobs, and I’ll surpass that number by 2023. My last court date was at the Court of Appeal in July 2023. My client and we will be back in court.

Most people are still working well past retirement age. why?

I love law. As cliché as it may sound, that’s the truth. As a legal professional, I feel great satisfaction when helping a client. You can’t buy such moments.

Please describe the joy or satisfaction you get from working.

Being an interim judge allows me to be in the courtroom, which is where I belong. I still work on complex issues, research and write opinions. There isn’t much demand for 87-year-old trial lawyers, so it’s very satisfying to still be doing what I love.

What’s the best part about working in the 80s? And the worst?

The best part about working in the 80s is that I get to work in the 80s. Nothing bad, but if I had to choose one, it would be because I don’t have a previous client.

Do you think you will ever retire? If so, how old are you?

No, only if I’m out of my mind or hurt, otherwise they should kick me out of court. I personally don’t like the term retired, I like to call it evolved.

If you were to retire, what would you do with your time?

I’d rather argue in court than volunteer in a boardroom. For now, I enjoy my husband’s company, sitting pro tem, playing bridge, reading, making doctor’s appointments, and watching UCLA, Rams, and Dodgers games.

What advice would you give to someone considering continuing to work past retirement age?

I don’t recommend retiring if you don’t have anything else you love to do. If you don’t have alternative love, you’re in big trouble.

Knowing what you know now, if you could do it over again, what would you do differently in your career?

I’ve thought about this question not only in my career but in my life, and the answer is no matter how much we struggle. I worked hard and went to night school. We had six children in seven years and a total of seven children. Life is full of problems, but it’s how you deal with them. I have been incredibly blessed in my life and have no regrets.

What is one of your biggest lessons? Did you learn from your time on the job?

Humility. Sometimes you lose the case that you should win. You can’t win them all over, and you’ll disappoint some of your customers. This is what keeps you humble. Secondly, work hard and have a good book of business. Experimental work is not for the faint of heart.

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