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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 24, 201905:00 AM EST

In the Law ... Earl Googe Jr., Smith Hulsey & Busey

Earl Googe Jr. joined the Smith Hulsey & Busey law firm after he graduated from law school at the University of Florida. He recently celebrated his 30th anniversary with the firm.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Earl Googe Jr. recently celebrated his 30th anniversary with Smith Hulsey & Busey.

Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer? As a member of the baby boomer generation that grew up on impactful television shows, I was inspired by Perry Mason. He always was able to identify the true cause, even when something else seemed to be the obvious answer. Mason defended dozens of falsely accused people and managed to clear each and every one of them, usually by drawing out the real facts and circumstances through investigation and examination. 

How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law? I studied public policy at Duke University. An integral part of public policy involves “decision analysis,” which I often have to employ. By its very nature, decision analysis comprises the philosophy, methodology and professional practice necessary to address important decisions, a core element of the law.

How did you decide your practice area? And why have you chosen that? Medical malpractice defense challenges me to put facts together in an interesting way that helps provide a compelling argument for my clients. The successful defense of professional malpractice claims requires experience, intuition and attention to detail, which I employ in all matters of my defense work.

What has been the biggest change in your practice area since you passed the Bar? The intricate and elaborate ways medical malpractice litigation is regulated.

What do you think will be the next biggest change in your area of law? Daubert – the standard used by a trial judge to assess whether an expert witness’s scientific testimony is based on scientifically valid reasoning that can properly be applied to the facts at issue. Now that the court has adopted the standard to screen invalid opinions out of cases, Daubert will be an important component of the medical malpractice landscape.

What community service have you pursued and why that? I am a board member of Volunteers in Medicine, which provides free primary and specialty medical care for the working uninsured. The organization helps those who are trying, working and need a hand up.

What’s your advice for new lawyers? Get involved in groups that your clients are members of and support those groups. You won’t be able to meet the needs of your clients without knowing what those needs are.


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