Nepotism and small-town law practice have gone hand in hand since the invention of the shingle. Our country’s fine judicial system is littered with dynamic duos of father and son lawyers, fighting injustice one personal injury at a time.
One firm out in Ohio, however, has taken the family business concept to a whole new level. Meet Murray & Murray Co., L.P.A., where nine — count ’em, nine — members of the Murray family are partners… in a 14-lawyer firm.
Sandusky, Ohio, known for little more than being the home of Cedar Point and sharing a name with the most prominent pedophile in the last decade, is the home turf of the Murray clan. Together, the family handles an array of personal injury matters, from auto and truck accidents to fatal auto and truck accidents.
But just what fate lies in wait for non-Murrays who dare to join the firm?
Lest you forget that we’re dealing with a family affair, the firm’s website makes repeated reference to its “nine Murray partners” and the fact that the firm is a family:
Murray & Murray Co., L.P.A., is large enough to provide you with comprehensive legal assistance, but because we are a family, we operate more like a small firm would – we eliminate the intimidation factor and provide a caring and comfortable environment in which to discuss your case.
Yet, because we are a family owned and operated law firm, we represent a single mindset when it comes to you, our client.
Because, you know, families never disagree or have differing opinions. And meeting someone’s extended Irish family for the first time is never intimidating. Got it.
A review of the Murray & Murray roster reveals the names of 12 Murrays and five non-Murrays. While this at first seems to contradict the constant reminders that the firm has “nine Murray partners,” all becomes clear when you realize that Murrays who make the website never, ever leave. Whether they simply retire or tragically pass away, once a part of Murray & Murray, always a part of Murray & Murray.
Nonetheless, there are indeed nine Murray family members currently practicing at the firm, my favorite being Dennis E. Murray, Sr., entirely because of his jaunty hat. While all nine of their profiles might not say partner, there seems to be no other role befitting a Murray at the firm — even the two who graduated in 2005. Being law firm partners is what Murrays are born to do. You can’t spit in the face of destiny.
What about non-Murrays? Well, it appears that they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of making partner at the firm. The firm’s other five attorneys — who, suffering the cruel blows of karma for misdeeds in previous lives, were not worthy of being born into this world bearing the Murray moniker — are forever relegated to the associate ranks. Even if they graduated from law school in 1975. Because, obviously, even 37 years of legal practice cannot begin to approximate the God-given legal talent that being born a Murray inherently gives you.
As far as actual law is concerned, the Murray & Murray website offers an overly-nuanced list of practice areas that could mostly be encompassed simply by saying “personal injury law.” For example, the Murrays make it clear that they handle auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents. None of these, of course, should be confused with fatal car and truck accidents. Given the website’s description of a standard car trip, however, it’s somewhat surprising that all accidents aren’t fatal:
While driving home from work, an evening out, or after a long road trip, your mind is most likely miles away from any question about your safety.
Right. Thankfully the days when I had a risk of having to drive through the vast highway wasteland that is Ohio are long past.
If you are unfortunate enough to have to drive in Ohio, the website twice gives you a useful list of northern Ohio highways that you might want to avoid (especially if you care about truck accidents, it seems), which I’m pretty sure is most of them.
Branching out (kind of) from run-of-the-mill auto accidents, the Murrays also offer expertise in sudden unintended acceleration cases. In case you’re unfamiliar with what such cases entail, the website provides a useful explanation:
What is sudden acceleration? It is, by definition, both sudden and accelerating.
Sticking to the time-honored tradition of defining things using the words being defined, we get further illumination:
Sudden acceleration can occur in two scenarios…. There are three common facts to both scenarios. First, the scenario necessarily involves sudden unintended acceleration….
Good, just as long as we’re clear. Apparently this is a common problem in Toyota and Lexus models — so beware, Texas readers. Sandusky is a long ways from Texas, so you’ll have to find a local lawyer to tell you that sudden means sudden and acceleration involves accelerating.
And just a friendly word of advice to any recent law school grads still looking for employment in Ohio: Try changing your last name to Murray. You’ll be partner in a year.