As my first blog, please allow me to introduce myself to those of you who do not know me and update those of you who do. I am blogging to educate from my perspective and to also contribute to the ongoing public debates. As one of the founding partner and senior litigator at Means Gills Law, PC, my goal has always been to improve the lives of others and have a positive effect on my community. As a law firm, our ultimate goal is to successfully resolve our client’s cases, while maintaining a high degree of professionalism and integrity. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to reach this point in my life, and my career.
I was born and raised in Chicago, attended public schools there. I was admitted to Morehouse after completing my junior year of high school. I earned my Bachelor’s at the age of nineteen in 1974 and went on to obtain my Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas in 1976. I am licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Alabama, Georgia and Kansas. I am also licensed to practice in the United States Supreme Court.
During the course of my legal career, I have had many rewarding opportunities to serve. I have served as General Counsel to the Washington D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation, Inc. from its inception in 1996. I was also the first elected black president of any statewide bar organization in the State of Alabama, that being the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association. I served as National General Counsel to the nation’s largest and oldest black collegiate fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (founded in 1906). All represent a tremendous honor.
I have been blessed to be recognized more times than I can count for my hard work and acumen in the legal community. In 2004, I was named a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation Fellowship for outstanding dedication to the legal profession and the community. Since 2008 and in each year thereafter, I have also been recognized, each year, by my peers in the legal profession as an Alabama Super Lawyer. The National Trial Lawyers Association has recognized me as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Alabama. I have held the highest rating of AV plus selected and recognized as a member of the Bar of Preeminent Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell, the oldest and most revered directory of outstanding lawyers in the country.
I have been blessed, as well, with much success in my law practice, securing more than one hundred million dollar and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for clients of the firm. One of those verdicts, I was privileged to secure in 1996 in a landmark automobile product liability case, was the nation’s 6th largest jury verdict. I was an early invitee and a multiyear member of the prestigious Million Dollar Forum an invitation only circle of attorneys.
Among my most significant blessings recently, though, has been my recovery from a devastating MRSA infection, from which I nearly died. Shortly after undergoing major surgery, I contracted a MRSA infection from the hospital, as a result of the facility’s cleanliness policies and procedures falling far below standard.
Many are aware that I suffered a near death experience. I suffered from a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics most commonly used to treat an ordinary staph infection. MRSA infections often not affected or cured by many common antibiotics, which makes them more difficult to treat. This can allow the infection to spread and become life-threatening as it did in my case. At one point, I was placed in a medically-induced coma, from which I awoke in December of last year. This very near death experience creates a new understanding. I truly know that God is able. Following and as a result of the prayers of many, I can now say I am back.
I know I have a gift and a calling. I am a work in progress and nevertheless up to speed, physically and professionally. My current practice, at Means Gillis Law, PC, continues to focus on helping those who have suffered personal injury and wrongful death cases. And you can take my word at it, I am good at what I do. I work to see that victims of collisions involving automobiles, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, big trucks and 18-wheelers are justly compensated under the law. We also handle product liability, premises liability and other types of personal injury claims. If you have questions or concerns regarding any personal injury or wrongful death matter, contact us online or by calling (334) 270-1033.