It’s always a bit awkward to talk about yourself but I think it’s very important for you to know who is behind this little labor of love– aka my blog. At the risk of alienating some of you, here’s the short version of my story.
I have spent most of his adult life practicing law, trying cases, and studying the art of communication. My interest in helping others and learning how to effectively communicate began at an early age while growing up at The Saddle and Surrey Guest Ranch, an internationally known resort destination owned by my parents.
At the ranch, my family entertained guests from around the globe which included famous authors, politicians, athletes and a few celebrities like, Walt Disney and John Wayne. I had the chance to observe how my parents communicated and interacted with their guests. I also got to watch our guests interact with each other. You could say that from an early age, I was tossed head first into the fire and had to quickly learn how to comfortably participate in the conversation.
My family was active in promoting tourism in Arizona. My mother was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine and my father served the community by being involved with numerous local and national organizations such as Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and most of the major Travel Associations. I grew up watching my folks doing commercials and being interviewed for one thing or another (my dad was even one of the cowboys in the old Winston cigarette ads).
As for personal interests and passions, I grew up riding horses, hunting and fishing. My friends and I would spend our weekends hiking and backpacking throughout Arizona and exploring old mine shafts deep beneath Old Tombstone and the surrounding area. It wasn’t unusual to find unique treasures during their adventures which included old oar carts and 100 year old boxes of dynamite.
In high school my interest gravitated to motocross, scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez, playing football, a little baseball, and competing as a ranked Arizona tennis player throughout Arizona and California. I also began hang gliding.
After high school, I attended the University of Arizona and studied civil engineering for two years. My passion for business and marketing eventually led to me to transfer over to the business school and graduate with a degree in business administration. During college, I paid the bills by waiting tables and tending bar at the ranch. To this day I believe one of the reasons I’ve been able to achieve a bit of success trying cases is because of my experiences as a waiter and bartender. You had to learn how to think quickly and communicate on the fly. In any case, on the weekends, I continued to fly hang gliders and eventually earned my Hang 4 expert rating.
After graduating in 1980, I immediately took a front desk management position at Caesars in Lake Tahoe, California. My summers were spent sailboarding on the lake and the beautiful winters up on the ski slopes. While skiing, I was able to get to know several local lawyers and after hearing their stories, my interest began to change and soon law school became my calling.
I attended and for the most part, put myself through Western State School of Law in Fullerton, California. During this time, I clerked for many different lawyers and firms. While working as a law clerk for a personal injury lawyer, I quickly discovered that I wanted use the law to help and protect injured consumers and their families who have been harmed by another person or company’s wrongdoing. As things turned out, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing ever since.
The litigation and trial work aspect of practicing law is what originally captured my attention. To this day I still enjoy protecting the rights of my clients and trying cases. It’s challenging, exciting, and keeps me on my toes. I can’t think of living life any differently.
I was admitted to the California Bar in 1986 and immediately opened up my own practice representing victims of personal injury and wrongful death. I met my wife Lisa in law school and we combined forces and got married in 1988. We practice together and our firm is “Jackson & Wilson, Inc.”. Almost 3 decades later, we have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of people and their families.
In 2009 Mitch was named an Orange County “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA provided the video). In 2011 and 2013, Mitch was again nominated for OCTLA “Trial Lawyer of the Year” and in 2011, nominated for the Consumer Attorneys of California for the “CAOC Street Fighter of the Year” award.
In 2013 Mitch received the prestigious California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award for litigation. According to California Lawyer Magazine, the CLAY Award recognizes attorneys who have changed the law, substantially influenced public policy or the profession, or achieved a remarkable victory for a client or for the public and have made a profound impact on the law.
Mitch’s firm is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, an exclusive listing reserved for less than 5% of all distinguished law practices in the United States. Several earlier recognitions include Mitch being named as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” and an ability rating of 10.0 or Superb by the AVVO lawyer rating system.
Mitch enjoys helping people (read testimonials from clients and other lawyers) and that’s why he became a trial lawyer. Since 1986 he has obtained numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. He is also a multiple time member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (membership limited to those attorneys having obtained million dollar plus verdicts and settlements). In his spare time, he has served as a Judge Pro Tem, and arbitrator with the Orange County Superior Court and attorneys fee mediator with the Orange County Bar Association.
When not trying cases, Mitch enjoys sharing trial practice and communication tips and ethics with younger lawyers across the U.S. He is active with the local and national legal community including the Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, and National Trial Lawyers Association. His video trial tips blog is popular among trial lawyers and he invites you to connect with him on social media via http://www.About.me/MitchJackson
Outside of the courtroom, Mitch enjoys family, friends, and youth sports. As a fourth generation Rotarian, Mitch also serves his community through Rotary International (Past Club President 94-95; Past Assist District Governor).
Mitch has been married to his wife and law partner, Lisa Wilson, for 25 years and together they have two wonderful and energetic children.
Past and present activities, organizations, and recognitions include the following:
- Orange County Trial Lawyer of the Year (2009)
- 2013 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY Award for Litigation)
- Southern California Super Lawyer (annually)
- “AV” Rated by Martindale-Hubbell (top rating in ethics and ability)
- Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (less than 5% of all firms)
- AVVO “Superb” 10.0/10 rating
- Recently selected at one of the “Top Lawyers in California”
- Nominated: Consumer Attorneys of California for the “CAOC Street Fighter of the Year” award (2011)
- Nominated: California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award (2012)
- Nominated: Recorder Trial Lawyer of the Year
- Law Dragon- “Top Rating”
- Judge Pro Tempore- Orange County Superior Court
- Appointed Arbitrator- Orange County Bar Association
- Appointed Arbitrator- Orange County Superior Court
- Private Arbitrator and Mediator
- Orange County Bar Association
- Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
- American Association for Justice
- The National Trial Lawyers (composed of The Top 100 Trial Lawyers from each state)
- California State Bar Association (Business, Tort and Litigation)
- American Bar Association (Business, Tort, Criminal, Litigation, Real
- Property, Probate and Trust Law- Asset Protection Planning Sections)
- Consumer Attorneys of California
- Multiple time member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (obtained multiple verdicts and settlements in excess of $1,000,000)
- Successfully passed written exam offered by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) for Trial Attorney Certification (qualifications- extensive trial experience, formal recommendation by numerous opposing trial counsel and trial judges)
- Past President of Monarch Beach Rotary Club and Paul Harris Fellow. Mitch has also served as an Assistant District Rotary Governor for Rotary District 5320. In 2010, he was nominated by his club for the award of “Business Rotarian of the Year”
- Daily Journal Profile- Mr. Jackson’s litigation talents, techniques and wrongful death trial verdict profiled in the July 28, 1995, edition of the California Daily Journal
- Admitted to the California and U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit and U.S. District Court and Central District of California.
One of my favorite quotes… “…trial by jury…the only anchor ever yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution….” –Thomas Jefferson