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Updated May 29, 2019
Bill Winingham has helped persons harmed by others during his entire 30-year-legal career. Whether assisting crime victims as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and state court prosecutor or representing those seriously injured due to negligence or dangerous products, he has always been on the side of those who have suffered from others’ misconduct. His emphasis in civil litigation has evolved to include vehicle accidents, fires and explosions, products liability, and cases against insurance companies for their lack of good faith in settling claims.
Q: If a movie was made about your life, what famous actor would play Bill Winingham?
A: Any lawyer who could get Jack Nicholson to admit the truth in A Few Good Men is as good as you can get in my book. That would be Tom Cruise. Besides that, he would make me look as good as possible!
Q: In your opinion, what’s the public perception of lawyers?
A: I doubt that it’s very good, since the times you read or hear about lawyers are usually when a lawyer has done something wrong. That is really a shame, because most lawyers I know are good people who are honest and really try to do their best to solve problems for their clients.
Q: What motivates you?
A: When I was a young lawyer, I was just worried that I would screw up in court, so I was motivated to learn the rules of evidence and procedure to avoid being humiliated in front of a jury! I guess that is a pretty low standard, just to avoid humiliation. After that, I actually began to get a lot of enjoyment out of winning. I have always been competitive, and being a trial lawyer brings out that competitive aspect of my personality.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a lawyer?
A: It’s funny how life’s path can take you in certain directions. My college roommate was applying to law school and took the LSAT his senior year. I had no idea what I was going to do, so I decided that I may as well take the LSAT, and I did well enough that I went ahead and applied to law school and was accepted. My father had been a lawyer, so it was something in the back of my mind that I had considered, but if my roommate had not applied to law school I am not sure I would have really taken that step. I now really love what I do. Law is a people business in many ways, and I really enjoy interacting with clients, lawyers, and judges every day. Law might sound boring to some, but every day is a new adventure trying to help somebody work out a difficult problem.
Q: If you had a time machine, where would you travel and why?
A: To the future. Our world is changing so quickly and dramatically, I cannot imagine what it will look like in one hundred years or so. When you look back a few years and think of a world without laptops and iPads and cell phones, and think of that same pace of change continuing or even accelerating, it is a little frightening—but also exciting—to think what the future will hold.
Q: My wife and I are going on vacation. Where would you recommend?
A: You may laugh at this, but one of the best vacations we ever took was to a dude ranch in Arizona. It was not just horseback riding, but had golf, swimming, cookouts, singing around a campfire at night, and great food. Just watch out for the snakes!
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