When I was young, my friend’s father was killed in a logging accident
through no fault of his own. I’ve never forgotten the affect his
death had upon my friend and his family. They lost not only a loved one,
but were left financially destitute and were forced to move to a different
state to live with family. A family was destroyed through no fault of
their own, yet no one stepped forward to help them. Saying goodbye to
my friend on his last day at school is something I have never forgotten,
nor do I believe I ever will.
It is likely because of what happened to my friend that the idea of stepping
forward to help those who no longer could help themselves became a personal
goal. Perhaps this is what triggered my fascination with becoming a trial
lawyer after learning about a legendary trial lawyer in Portland named,
I first heard about Frank when I read a newspaper article about a case
that he tried for a fisherman who was killed in an accident. The facts
reminded me of what happened to my friend’s father and it made me
realize how a dedicated trial lawyer can help families make the most of
a tragedy. I decided after reading the article that even though I was
still in high school, I wanted to become a trial lawyer like Frank Pozzi.
What’s more, I knew that I wanted to work for Frank Pozzi.
My first year of law school, I applied to work at Frank’s firm Pozzi,
Wilson & Atchison but was turned down. I kept applying and eventually
was accepted. To this day, receiving the call that I had a job at Pozzi,
Wilson & Atchison, a legendary firm for training and creating great
trial lawyers, was one of the highlights of my legal career.
I became an
Oregon trial lawyer after graduating law school and began representing individuals and families
who were in need. I had the privilege of having my office right next to
Frank’s. He used to call the corner where our offices were located
“Little Italy,” although Frank’s office was three times
the size of mine. It was a dream come true.
Sadly, Frank passed away within a few years of my becoming a trial lawyer
but I still remember the discussions we had about the importance of representing
people and how to become a good lawyer.
After trying a number of cases, I eventually was hired by two of my personal
heroes, Chuck Paulson and Jan Baisch. I went to work for Paulson and Baisch,
which ultimately led to the creation of Paulson Coletti. I’m very
proud of my firm and my partners. I’m also proud that more than
19 years after being hired by Frank Pozzi, I continue to strive everyday
to be the best trial lawyer I can be to help individuals and families
who are facing life’s greatest tragedies. Being a trial lawyer is
more than a job, it is my passion and I’m grateful for the many
people over my career who have trusted me to help them in their darkest
days. It is a true honor.