Provost Umphrey is proud of our hard-working lawyers that continuously fight for our clients year after year. Equity Partner Bryan Blevins has been with the firm for 30 years and has settled and won many cases, helping countless clients get the justice they deserve. We sat down with Bryan and asked him a few things he’s taken away during his tenure here at Provost Umphrey Law Firm.
Q: What made you want to pursue a career in the legal field?
A: Growing up, I had the opportunity through my dad to meet several attorneys - Mr. Umphrey being one of them - who encouraged me to be a lawyer. Something along the lines of “son, you could argue with a rock – you should be a lawyer” comes to mind.
Q: When did you first start working for Provost Umphrey?
A: Technically, I started as a 1st
year law clerk in the summer of 1988. I split my summer clerkship in 1989 between Beaumont and a firm in Dallas and then formally joined the firm in August of 1990 after graduating from Baylor Law School and taking the bar exam.
Q: Why did you decide to take a job with this firm?
A: I had an offer from the Dallas firm, but Mr. Umphrey sold me on coming to a place where “you can try any case and do anything you think you’re big enough to do”. Who could pass that up? Plus, there was the little-known fact that the legal market crashed in the fall of 1989. The law firm in Dallas who offered me a job dissolved along with the job offers accepted by five of my fellow Baylor classmates. This was the first of many returns on the decision to come work for Mr. Umphrey.
Q: What type of law do you practice?
A: That used to be an easier question to answer – personal injury/mass torts like asbestos, silica and bad pharmaceutical drugs. However, tort reform in Texas has severely limited the ability of individuals to protect themselves and their families. Today, my practice includes representing doctors and hospitals who struggle to get paid by insurance companies, royalty owners cheated by oil and gas companies, small businesses fighting for business interruption coverage from COVID-19 closures, human trafficking victims against those who profited from their misery, asbestos, silica and a handful of individual personal injury and business litigation cases.
Q: Why are you interested in this field of law?
A: Mr. Umphrey always said that “we speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.” That is the common theme in my legal career – righting a wrong.
Q: What is the most memorable case and/or moment you’ve experienced at the firm?
A: In some way every case is memorable because you made a difference in someone’s life and/or learned valuable lessons that will benefit future clients. I certainly feel that Walter’s promise has been realized in being able to represent tens of thousands of asbestos and silica victims, 4,000 royalty owners, the State of Texas in the tobacco litigation, and now human trafficking victims. However, my three proudest moments would be my first jury trial, winning the Cimino arbitration for my asbestos clients, and serving as President of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
Q: For someone aspiring to be an attorney, what advice would you give them?
A: Think hard about whether they want to be an attorney with both the educational commitment and the work/life commitment to do the job right.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who needs to seek legal action, but is intimidated by the process?
A: Hiring a good lawyer is the best way to manage the stress, disruption and uncertainty in any litigation.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a lawyer?
A: Seeing the difference you can make in someone’s life while holding those responsible accountable.
Q: Why should people choose our firm to represent them?
A: There are lots of good firms and great lawyers out there. Ultimately, you have to go with who you trust. Pick the firm that has the resources to fight against the biggest and richest defendant companies and insurers. A firm, who has the record of commitment and service in this community.