Aaron Gartlan – My Story

My faith has taught me that the challenges of life prepare us for our future destiny.  I also know that being a successful or great lawyer has more to do with having a strong heart, drive, determination, dedication, compassion and passion than going to the “best” schools or being from the “right” family or working at the biggest law firm.  I share my story so that you know about the heart that I take with me into the conference rooms and courtrooms of Alabama to help injured people in an effort to prove and demonstrate liability and damages, add value to the case and maximize recovery, because I know that the lessons and values I have gained from my life experiences have shaped me into the man and lawyer that I am today.

I have devoted my life’s work to helping people that have been injured.  As a young boy, my favorite Biblical story was, and still is, David and Goliath.  I take great pride in representing people against big powerful corporations like insurance companies.  I believe that the driving force behind a successful resolution of an injury and accident case is through thorough and early trial preparation, with the utilization of investigators, legal, medical, psychological, financial and other experts as necessary and in an effort to prove and demonstrate liability and damages, add value to the case and maximize recovery for the injured person.  I know from experience that companies do not just write checks to pay injured people out of the goodness of their heart.  Liability and injuries and damages have to be demonstrated and proven.

My deep faith in God, as well as unique life experiences, and the life lessons and values these experiences have taught me have prepared me to be a successful personal injury and accident lawyer in Dothan, Alabama.  It was in the fifth grade at Grandview Elementary School in Dothan that I began to notice that people were not always treated the same.  My passion and drive to become a lawyer really started when I was in the seventh grade at Beverlye Middle School in Dothan.  It was there that I started to get a sense that people were not always treated fairly and sometimes even taken advantage of or bullied.  This became even more apparent when I attended Dothan High School where I played football and baseball and experienced the politics there.  While I was not a stand out on either team, I developed a work ethic and drive that serves me and my clients well.  I attribute this to the life lessons and values instilled into me and the examples set forth by the educators, both teachers and coaches, which helped to mold me into the man and lawyer that I am today.  It was during this time, that I really learned how to properly exercise and weight train, even though I had been doing both for years with my older brother Patrick, and friends. I began to learn about the importance of diet and nutrition during my years at Dothan High School primarily from my mother, Brenda, as well as my brother and coaches.  During the summers, I worked several manual labor type jobs and other part-time jobs such as cutting grass, which enforced those values and lessons.   I developed lasting friendships that I value to this day, some of which date back to Grandview Elementary School, Beverlye Middle School and Dothan High School, including my lovely and amazing wife Suzanne who I met while in the sixth grade together at Beverlye Middle School and a friend from the fifth grade that named one of his son’s Aaron.  I am very proud of the fact that I was voted a class favorite and best personality by my classmates at Dothan High School.

After graduating from Dothan High School in 1991 and determined to go to law school, I attended and graduated from Troy University with honors.  While attending Troy University I was a member of the Pi Gamma Mu, which is an international honor society in social science.  In order to help pay for the costs of college and law school, I joined the Alabama National Guard and was assigned to a field artillery unit.  I completed basic training, a cannon fire detection specialist course, and a primary leadership and development course for non-commissioned officers and annual training.  College and the National Guard enforced and further developed the importance of strong heart, dedication, determination, work ethic, time management, goals, diet, nutrition, fitness and training that had been impressed upon me by my mother as well as the educators and coaches in the Dothan City School System years ago.  I also worked various other jobs during college including assisting a military recruiter and private investigator which served to further enforce those lessons and values.

My father, Robert suffered a heart attack after I graduated from high school and before I attended Troy University.  Robert was unable to return to work at Breathing Care Associates in Dothan.  This made me even more determined to become a lawyer, as I witnessed first hand how it hurt my father to be unable to work and experienced the financial reality of that.

After graduating from Troy University, I attended and graduated with honors from Thomas Goode Jones Law School in Montgomery, Alabama.  In fact, law school enforced those life lessons and values even more.  I applied those lessons and values and became a member of the law review and also received eleven academic awards.  Seven of those awards were for achieving the highest grade in that particular class, including Criminal Law, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Torts and Trial Advocacy, which I am most proud of.  I continued to be a member of The Alabama National Guard and also worked with a group of lawyers during law school, which continued to enforce those life lessons and values.

My father died while I was in his first year of law school after a second heart attack.  Robert died in Flowers Hospital in Dothan after several weeks of treatment there.  This made me even more determined to become a lawyer to help those that need it most.

Something that I will never forget about my father was the way he treated people with respect no matter who they were, where they were from, or what they looked like.  He was also empathetic to the suffering of people.  I can certainly say my mother was and still is that way.  They both made a lasting impression on me in that manner.

After graduating from law school, I sat for the Alabama Bar Exam and passed.  Applying those life lessons and values, my score on the multi-state portion of the bar exam was in the top percentile of the nation, and I was named as an honorary public service commissioner.

I have been practicing law since 2000 and still recognize the importance of education.  I have attended the National Criminal Defense College and the National College for DUI Defense, as well as many other continuing legal education seminars related to personal injury and accident law.  I was given an Alabama State Bar Continuing Legal Education Award in 2002 in recognition of my efforts to enhance professional competence.  Further, I have had affiliations with the National College for DUI Defense, the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, The Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, The Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, The Dale County Bar Association, The Henry County Bar Association and The American Bar Association.  I realize the importance of education and the role that all of the many educators have played in shaping me into the lawyer and man that I am today. Therefore, I have been an adjunct instructor for Business Law at the Troy University Sorell College of Business, a Jones School of Law Mentor, a Jones School of Law Moot Court Competition Judge, and have spoken to students at career day at Kelley Springs Elementary School in Dothan.  I am devoted to enhancing my skills professionally and currently belong to the Houston County Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Alabama Association for Justice, the National Trial Lawyers and I am a member of the Alabama State Bar.  I believe in caring for myself spiritually and physically as well.  I am a member of Unity of Dothan, where I have served as a board member and have studied at the Spiritual Enrichment Center of Dothan on a journey to establish and maintain a deeper connection with God.  I visit Carnes Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Dothan regularly and continue weight training and exercising which I started at age fourteen.  I train at Flex’s Personal Training in Dothan, Alabama and enjoy walking at Westgate Park in Dothan.

While my life’s work is being a personal injury and accident lawyer, my greatest accomplishment in life is marrying and being a husband to my beautiful wife and soul mate, Suzanne.  This has given me the opportunity to be a part of the lives of her three wonderful children; Carlton, Ashton, and Alexa Grace, as well as her family and many close friends.  It has also strengthened the relationship that I have with my family, many close friends, colleagues and clients.  Suzanne is such a special person.  She is a great wife, mother and friend and example for her children.

Faith in God, these unique life experiences, lessons and values, as well as the fact that I grew up in a mobile homes, trailer parks, apartments and lived in a neighborhood that is predominantly African-American gives me the ability to connect with people, including my clients, and to recognize when someone is being taken advantage of, particularly by big companies.  I apply the lessons and values of my life and my heart to my life’s work as a personal injury and accident lawyer, and I take great pride in devoting my time, energy, and effort and resources including investigators, legal, medical, psychological, accident, financial and other experts as necessary in an effort to prove and demonstrate liability and damages, add value to the case, and maximize recovery for injured people.

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Do connect with Aaron to receive your free consultation by calling him at 334-699-4625. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.