Brody H. Reid
James Madison University,
University of Richmond School of Law
Best known for:
Workers’ compensation and personal injury.
Years ago, one of my first clients was injured on the job due to horseplay by two co-workers. I took the matter to hearing before the commission but lost due to the (then) new Hilton v. Martin decision from the Virginia Supreme Court holding horseplay did not arise out of employment. Because I believed in my client and wanted a remedy for his injury, we brought a civil case for his personal injury successfully alleging vicarious liability for the assault against the employer. The jury verdict was set aside by the trial judge, but after a successful appeal to our Supreme Court the verdict was reinstated. The case was full of highs and lows through the various proceedings as a young attorney. Ultimately, it taught me that belief in a client, hard work, creative thinking, and staying the course through adversity can result in your client’s success.
I most enjoy the people I get to interact with in the practice of law. From meeting my clients and their families, to fellow members of the Bar, to the court and commission personnel – it is enjoyable to hear their stories, meeting them, and satisfying to work toward the best possible result under the law.
Working with clients:
My approach with clients is a comprehensive one that tries to fully inform the client of their options, likely outcomes, and alternatives. I try to spend time advising the clients on the benefits available under workers’ comp, those that are not available, and the requirements under the law to have a covered injury. There are a good number of common misconceptions on these issues when I first speak with an injured worker. I have found it better to be up front on what can be won or lost at the end of the case, so the clients know what the law can do for them.
Best career advice:
“Civility goes a long way.” While we all know enough lawyer jokes, fortunately I find our bar in Virginia to be professional, courteous, and civil. The advice though, and I try to take it to heart, extends to opposing parties, witnesses, law enforcement, court personnel and beyond.
The pandemic accelerated the use of technology. This has and will continue to impact the practice of law, how the commission holds hearings and mediations, as well as redefine the scope and location of the “workplace.”