Jamie Johnson is celebrating practicing law in Hudson for 30 years. He is an attorney with Lommen Abdo, PA, a firm that provides a wide range of legal services, including litigation, business, estate planning and family law. During his time as a litigator and mediator, he’s always tried to treat his clients like family members.
Over the years, he has litigated over a thousand personal injury cases; real estate, construction and business disputes; and defended clients against criminal and traffic charges.
“Usually, legal problems cause financial and emotional insecurity,” he says. “My first job is to listen and understand the concerns of my client and then help the client understand the legal issues at stake and potential outcomes, which reduces stress and anxiety, and, in turn, allows them to make better decisions.”
He always avoids using legalese with clients, so they better understand their options. As an active member of Hudson Daybreak Rotary for 13 years, Jamie keeps this in mind when he’s mediating a dispute or advocating for a client: “I apply the Rotary four-way test,” he says. “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
He’s learned how important being honest, genuine and realistic are. “Juries and judges can tell when you’re taking positions you don’t fully believe or can support,” he says. “Similarly, if you take an extreme position, the jury will sense you are not being reasonable.”
Because it’s difficult to predict how judges or juries will see a case, he works hard to cost-effectively settle many of them before they reach a courtroom.
He really enjoys being a trained mediator, and especially likes resolving complicated disputes with multiple parties. “There is no doubt that many parties can benefit from mediation because it gives them an opportunity to tell their story and then hear how the other side views the same scenario,” he says. “The best preparation for mediation is attempting to view the case from the other side’s point of view and try your best to strip the emotion away from how you view the dispute.”
He says the primary qualifications for a better mediator is litigation experience and maintaining neutrality. “Experience helps you to recognize facts, situations or patterns in a dispute, which then will help both parties understand the potential outcome of their mediation,” he adds.
In Jamie’s case, his 30 years of practice and experience has extended beyond the courtroom and into the community. In addition to serving in Rotary, he has been a leader and volunteer at Bethel Lutheran Church for 25 years. In 2013, he was elected to the Hudson School District Board of Education and has served as president for the last six years. “I enjoy community service and providing legal services very much because they have the common theme of helping others to improve their situation,” he says.
Jamie’s advice to younger lawyers: “Develop your work ethic and reputation early in your career—in your legal practice and in serving the community. Set a high standard for ethics and honesty and work every day to protect that reputation.”
This article appeared in the March 2020 Hudson Neighbors magazine.