Hello, let me introduce myself…
I was born in Hopeulikit, Georgia and raised just outside of Middleground, about eight miles north of Statesboro. Mama was a bank teller. Daddy and his brother founded and operated one of the first quail hunting preserves in Georgia. They worked hard every day. We were not financially rich, but my sister and I never went hungry. We never belonged to a country club or went on fancy vacations, but it didn’t matter. We had what we needed.
Growing up on a quail hunting preserve in south Georgia in the 1960s and 1970s, I learned how to live and interact, communicate, and coexist, with people from polar opposite extremes of the socio-economic scale. On one end were the day laborers, the cooks, bird cleaners, bird packers, housekeepers, and others, mostly uneducated black men and women from the community. On the opposite end were the wealthy, powerful members of his exclusive hunting club, mostly middle-aged and older white men, who paid royally for the privilege of hunting bobwhite quail on a manicured plantation. For years, I watched my daddy talk to both groups in a variety of settings, and what struck me the hardest was the fact that daddy treated every person the same, with respect and dignity. If you only heard his side of the conversation, you would not have known which end of the spectrum the other person came from.
And it wasn’t just the way he talked to people. He treated them with equal dignity and equal respect. If someone truly needed help, he would help them. It didn’t matter the person’s name, race, national origin, ethnicity, or other immutable trait, because those things don’t matter. What matters, and the lesson I learned, is that we are all human beings, and we can either treat each other with respect and dignity, some may call it love, and have a pleasant, peaceful existence, or we can treat each other like something less than human and have a miserable, unhappy time. The best part is that God gave each of us the power to choose how we treat each other. I try hard every day to choose respect and dignity, things I consider to be expressions of love.
Even with the strong, positive example set by my parents and the Christian values instilled in me, my path to success was not easy. Like many others, I battled and overcame mighty obstacles along the way. In early childhood, by the grace of God I survived a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury. Hospitalized for days in ICU, I vividly remember the pain of countless morphine injections throughout the days and nights, the terrifying hallucinations that followed, and the overwhelming fear of death. Surviving a near death experience, even at such a young age, left me knowing that grit and determination will get you through the toughest challenges.
A few years later, a bitter legal battle destroyed my daddy’s family. I was old enough to witness my family’s pain and suffering but too young to understand the impact it was having on me. When it was over, I was left with a feeling of emptiness, like part of me had been taken against my will. For years, I struggled to name that emptiness. I felt that if I named it, I could fill it. It wasn’t until my late teenage years that God showed me the way to fill the void. Even after I knew, I didn’t want to believe it. No one in my immediate family was a lawyer. I didn’t know any lawyers. What would make me think that I, a nobody, could go to law school and become a lawyer? So, I quashed the idea, until I couldn’t.
In 1990, three years out of college, married, living in a home that daddy and I built, with no debt, and no children, I yielded to the calling and began studying for the law school admission test (LSAT). I was focused. Failure was not an option. In fact, I never thought about failure. The voice inside my head spoke loud and clear. I knew my destiny. The LSAT and law school were mere formalities. My LSAT score garnered a partial scholarship for the first year of law school, and my grades secured additional, full tuition, scholarships for years two and three. As I completed law school, I could literally feel my emptiness subsiding, and what a satisfying feeling it was. All the pieces were coming together, in the right order, at the right time, and I knew it.
Four years into my career, my wife and I were eagerly awaiting the birth of our second child. Suddenly and unexpectedly, just after Christmas, with my unemployed wife in her seventh month of pregnancy, the partners announced that the firm was being dismantled due to budget constraints. The two partners, along with few staff members, would remain, while the senior associate and I, together with the rest of the staff, were without a job. It was the first time in my life that my employment had been involuntarily terminated.
I should have been terrified. But, again, I wasn’t. Sure, I was anxious and nervous, but God filled me with confidence in myself and in Him, that I would not only survive, I would thrive. Knowing that the partners wanted to change their practice area from insurance defense to representing only plaintiffs, I offered to open my own firm and take full responsibility for all insurance defense cases. We reached an agreement, and within two weeks, I was up and running in Statesboro. That was January, 1998. Since then, my life, my career, and my faith have had ups and downs, but through it all, I have stayed true to God and his calling, and that has made all the difference.
My marriage of 31 years is strong. My family is strong. My faith is unwavering. My career is no more and no less than a manifestation of my being. It’s who I am. It sounds cliché, but I truly don’t feel like I have worked in 29 years. It’s the human connection, the satisfaction of helping a fellow person, that fills the void. Nothing else can do it.
I truly believe that the only way to real happiness is by following the teachings of Jesus Christ, my savior and my redeemer. Jesus said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 At the end of my life, my prayer is that I can look back and say that something I did or something I said made someone’s life a little better. Then, I will consider mine a life well lived.
Hire me because I will do a good job for you, because I care, and because your case matters. You matter.
Hire me because I want to exceed your expectations. If you expect “A” work, I will work hard to deliver A++++++. I do not like to disappoint. I work very hard not to disappoint.
Hire me because I won’t pass you off to a junior associate. I don’t even have a junior associate to pass you off to. You will always know who your lawyer is. It will be me. Even if I associate another lawyer (because of her/his particular expertise on a specific issue at no additional cost to you), I will still be your lawyer, and you still talk to me.
Hire me because I choose not to make or appear in sleazy TV commercials that show people dancing around and acting like a legal matter is a party or a game. I despise those lawyers and their commercials. I believe they are deceptive and misleading, at least, and false, at worst. I believe they have done more to harm the the legal profession than anything else over the last 20 years. As long as the 1st Amendment protects tasteless advertising, it will be very difficult to reign in the hucksters and their trashy advertisements.
Hire me because I know what I’m doing in wrongful death, injury, and criminal cases. If, after getting into the case, I discover an issue that I don’t feel competent to handle, which by the way happens to every lawyer from time to time, I will take whatever action is necessary. I will not simply ignore it, keep it a secret from you, or pretend. I will not “wing it.” If we need the help of a brilliant lawyer in New York, we will associate her services – at no extra cost to you of course!
Whether it’s a fractured pinkie or the wrongful death of a child, you should feel confident that I can handle the case. I know you may have questions like, “If he’s the only lawyer in the firm, can he really handle a high-stakes case like mine?”, “Where is his back-up?”, “What if he gets sick – who’s going to make sure nothing goes wrong in my case?”. Just because I’m the only lawyer in my firm doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m the only lawyer that will work on your case. Being a sole practitioner allows me to consult and, if necessary, associate lawyers that have specialized knowledge or recent experience in a similar case without you, the client, having to pay any additional fee. In other words, I participate in and contribute to groups that bring together thousands of lawyers who ask questions, share ideas and experiences, and regularly work on cases together via joint representation agreements.
Here’s an example:
Suppose a prospective client’s car rolled over, and due to a defective design the roof caved in, causing massive brain injuries. Such a case involves a multitude of legal and medical issues that require a team of highly qualified and experienced lawyers to handle. It would be irresponsible for one lawyer to take on such a case and try to handle it on his own. However, the reason that I am best suited to handle such a case is that I have the freedom to hand-pick the best of the best lawyer for each major issue in the case.
Let’s suppose the car was a 2013 Widget Trashmobile. Through my contact with thousands of other lawyers, I know that Lawyer Smith, a partner in the firm Smith, Doe, and Doe, recently sued the Widget company in a similar case and won a jury verdict in the millions. Through the discovery process, Lawyer Smith likely has valuable information about the Widget company that might benefit the client. Suppose that the brain injury actually involves a specific area of the brain called the Wernicke area, just beneath the parietal lobe, and I know that Lawyer Tibbs, a partner in the firm Tibbs, Mann, and Rock, recently tried a case that involved a similar injury to the Wernicke area of the brain. Lawyer Tibbs likely has valuable information about the anatomy and purpose of the Wernicke area. Finally, suppose that the part of the roof that failed was manufactured by a foreign company and sold to Widget for use in the Trashmobile. I know that Lawyer Janis, a partner in the firm Janis, Joffrey, and Jinkies, recently sued that foreign company and likely has valuable information about the company’s organization hierarchy and other matters.
Armed with this knowledge, I would associate Lawyer Smith, Lawyer Tibbs, and Lawyer Janis to be my client’s “Dream Team.” Instead of having one lone lawyer, my client has the best-of-the-best working for her. The question then arises, “Why not just hire Lawyer Smith or Lawyer Tibbs or Lawyer Janis and forget about this sole practitioner in Statesboro, Georgia?” “Why do I even need Troy Marsh?”
This is where the real benefit in hiring me becomes clear.
Pretend the client hires Lawyer Smith instead of me. Lawyer Smith agrees to represent the client on a contingent fee basis, i.e. Lawyer Smith receives a fraction, or percentage, of any money recovered. Lawyer Smith’s partners want and expect that fee to be paid, in full, to the firm. Suppose that Lawyer Smith knows that Lawyer Tibbs recently tried the case involving a similar injury to the Wernicke area of the brain. Suppose that Lawyer Smith knows that no lawyer in his own firm has ever handled a case involving a similar injury. Lawyer Smith knows that, if he associates Lawyer Tibbs, Lawyer Smith will have to split his fee with Lawyer Tibbs. However, if Lawyer Smith keeps the case in his own firm and learns about the injury the best he can, Lawyer Smith keeps the entire fee. What do you think Lawyer Smith will do?
Beyond the financial incentive to keep a case in-house, lawyers do not like to admit that an outside lawyer is more qualified to handle a particular legal issue. Lawyers, especially partners, are always trying to cultivate new referral sources, and current clients are one of the best referral sources. If Lawyer Smith associates Lawyer Tibbs, the client will discover that Lawyer Tibbs is more qualified that Lawyer Smith, and the client might, in the future, refer a case to Lawyer Tibbs instead of Lawyer Smith. Lawyer Smith does not want that to happen. Lawyer Smith’s partners do not want that to happen.
I, on the other hand, owe no duty to a partner to keep a case to myself. The only duty I owe is to you – my client. I owe you a duty to provide the best possible representation, whether that comes from me, solely, or from a “Dream Team” hand-picked by me to fit the specifics of your case.
I do not have to answer to anyone if I split my fee with a lawyer in another firm. I do not have to justify to a partner the reason that I associated Lawyer Tibbs. I owe it to you, my client, to associate the most qualified talent out there, and that is what I do.
So, do you want a Dream-Team, or do you want a firm that might resist associating outside attorneys?
Troy is respected by the judges and lawyers in the area. His reputation as a tireless and knowledgeable advocate for his clients is widely known….Troy is always thoroughly prepared to present each case and achieves winning results for his clients.
– Endorsement from Kirk Gilliard, fellow attorney in Augusta, GA
Trial attorney and owner of THE MARSH LAW FIRM, since 1998
Part-time instructor at Georgia Southern University, since 2013
Mercer University School of Law, 1994 – Juris Doctor, cum laude
University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, 1987 – Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources
Georgia Southern College, 1982-1985 (Pre-Forestry and Pre-Law)
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
All State and Superior Courts in Georgia
Court of Appeals of Georgia
Supreme Court of Georgia
Juris Doctor, cum laude, 1994
Ryals Foundation Scholar
Frances Wood Wilson Scholar
Office Phone: (912) 764-7388
Cell Phone: (912) 536-2334
THE MARSH LAW FIRM
Post Office Box 1897
Statesboro, Georgia 30459
NEXT DAY AIR DELIVERY:
34 Courtland Street
Statesboro, Georgia 30458