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VOL. 122 | NO. 48 | Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dinner Table, Grandmother's Home Provide Good Start for Memphis Attorney

By Amy O. Williams

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"Lawyers are given a unique opportunity to shape and interpret our laws, and, in effect, to substantially contribute to the social, moral and legal values which will ultimately guide our society."
- David Siegel
Name: David Siegel
Position: Attorney
Company: Nahon Saharovich & Trotz PLC
Basics: Siegel represents Jack and Casey He in the battle over their 8-year-old daughter, Anna Mae.

Attorney David Siegel plays the drums in a local band and even lived in Japan for a few years while growing up. But his musical talents and international background aren't what is front and center for him these days.

Siegel represents Jack and Casey He in their battle to regain custody of their 8-year-old daughter, Anna Mae, from foster parents Jerry and Louise Baker of Cordova. Anna Mae has lived with the Bakers since she was just a few months old.

Currently, Siegel is working to help the Hes reunite with their daughter. A ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court earlier this year determined Anna Mae should be reunited with her biological parents. Siegel has represented the Hes since 2002.

Siegel has a strong interest in family law. He works at Nahon Saharovich & Trotz PLC. In addition to civil litigation, Siegel also practices in medical negligence and personal injury.

He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1982 with a degree in psychology. He received his law degree in 1985 from the UT College of Law.

Q: What made you want to study law?

A: My family life as a youngster played a major role in my ultimate decision to become a lawyer. Even back in the elementary school days, I still have fond memories of the sometimes spirited discussions at our dinner table and at my grandmother's home. We were always debating and discussing a wide range of topics from politics to religion to various social issues. Everyone in my family, including me, had an opinion. In my family, things really mattered. My grandmother would often tell me that I should become a lawyer.

Q: Was it something you always wanted to do?

A: I knew that I wanted to become a lawyer in the seventh grade. In fact, I probably thought I was a lawyer in the seventh grade.

Q: What brought you to Memphis?

A: I was born in Memphis, but one year later moved to Chicago where my father, a physician, did his residency at the University of Chicago. My father then joined the U.S. Air Force, and every three years we were living in a different place. During those Air Force days, the most interesting place I lived was Tachikawa, Japan, which is just outside of Tokyo. We lived in Japan for three years, where my father treated many of the wounded soldiers from Vietnam. The hospital in Japan where my father was stationed was the largest military hospital closest to Vietnam. We then returned to Memphis by the time I reached the fifth grade and my father entered private practice.

Q: What attracted you to the practice area you work in?

A: I enjoy being a personal injury attorney because I am able to make a difference in people's lives. Lawyers are given a unique opportunity to shape and interpret our laws, and, in effect, to substantially contribute to the social, moral and legal values which will ultimately guide our society. The lawyer not only affects the outcome of future cases and controversies, he or she also plays a major role in changing the future behavior, hopefully for the better, of major corporations and social institutions. Fewer people die in car accidents, not necessarily because our auto manufacturers are inherently concerned about auto safety, but because our legal system, propelled by the work and ingenuity of attorneys everywhere, has made it less profitable for big business to ignore safety.

Q: What is the best part about your job?

A: I enjoy working in our firm, where there is a great camaraderie. It is really nice to practice in a law firm where there are many experienced trial lawyers. I enjoy being able to collaborate with these experienced lawyers on a daily basis. Creating a level playing field for the disadvantaged is perhaps the most rewarding part of being a lawyer.

Q: What are you most proud of, personally and professionally?

A: Personally, I am proudest of my role as a father and husband. Professionally, I am proudest of the challenge and satisfaction in handling often difficult, complex and challenging personal injury cases.

Q: What are your goals for the future?

A: I enjoy practicing in the group in which I currently practice and I hope to continue making a difference in our clients' lives.

Q: What do you do when you are not working?

A: I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. I am also a musician and play in a band as a hobby.

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