VOL. 126 | NO. 131 | Thursday, July 7, 2011
Memphis Law Talk
Helping People Drives Campbell to Law Success
By Houston Cofield
After growing up in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Memphis, Christopher Campbell now works as a partner for Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC, one of the most respected law firms in the region.
(Photo: Lance Murphey)
“I would say and my mom would probably say that I knew I was going to be an attorney when I was about 5 years old,” Campbell said.
Campbell attributes his aspiration of being an attorney in large part to his tough background. He said growing up in those areas of Memphis he realized that he wanted to be able to help the people he was around every day.
“It’s one of those professions where you not only have the opportunity to improve upon yourself, but you are able to reach out to others as well,” Campbell said.
Along with the encouragement from Campbell’s mother, he also came into contact with Carl Langschmidt, a well-known attorney in the Memphis area.
“Through basketball, I came in contact with Carl, and he sort of nurtured that interest in law as well,” Campbell said.
After graduating from Central High School in 1990, Campbell left Memphis for Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas, where he completed his Bachelor of Art degree and competed on a four-year basketball scholarship. Then, in 1997, Campbell graduated from law school at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Campbell’s main areas of practice are insurance, hospital and municipal defense. A lot of Campbell’s work deals with the Baptist Memorial Hospital system as well as other hospitals in the area. He works with many cases of arbitration as well.
Many of the trends that Campbell has seen in his practice over the years are that people are tending to use arbitration to settle disputes outside of the courts. In this case, a third party reviews both parties’ arguments and enforces a decision that is legally binding for each person involved.
“As a litigator, you must shift your practices sometimes to be mindful of your client,” Campbell said. “Using the alternative dispute method allows you to save your client revenue, and solve their issues as quick as possible.”
Campbell said that business has remained steady despite the poor economy. He said there have been some clients who have had economic hardships, but as far as his work with Memphis hospitals they have not seen much change.
“It’s one of those professions where you not only have the opportunity to improve upon yourself, but you are able to reach out to others as well.”
Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC
“There wasn’t much change this year with the hospitals except the fact that they might have changed their legislation, and maybe there weren’t as many cases filed,” Campbell said.
When Campbell is not sharpening his skills as an attorney, he is either coaching his son’s basketball team, the Memphis Sonics, or teeing up for a round of golf. Campbell and his wife founded the Memphis Sonics basketball team, and he enjoys being able to coach kids.
“What I try to teach kids is that if you can focus on being a better ‘you’ then you don’t have to worry about meeting someone else’s standard,” Campbell said.
Campbell also serves on the board of directors at the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis to help answer any legal issues that they might have.
In 2008, Campbell was recognized as a “Rising Star” in Mid-South Super Lawyers. Then in September 2009, Campbell was appointed to serve on Tennessee’s first Judicial Nominating Commission.
“It’s an honor to be recognized like that, and when your peers elect you for something like that you can do nothing but be honored by it,” Campbell said. “It also just makes me want to work harder.”
Campbell said that most of his inspiration to be invested in kids’ lives as well as his clients’ lives is a result of how his mother raised him.
“My mom always told me to whom much is given much is required, so since God has bestowed these things to me, then I need to help others as well,” Campbell said. “I know for me, I would not be in a position to help the children that I help if I didn’t have the career that I have.”