To paraphrase Mark Twain, “The reports of my retirement are greatly exaggerated.” They are, in fact, totally false.
The truth is that, having devoted the last 28 years of my professional life to Hoey & Farina, and having made this—the firm that bears my name—one of the most preeminent personal-injury firms in the nation that is exclusively focused on representing injured railroad employees and their families, I’m not ready to retire.
So as I write this from my desk in my office at Hoey & Farina—the big corner office with good views that I inherited from my beloved mentor, Dillon Hoey—I am contemplating the extremes to which some malicious gossips (including railroads and their attorneys, some wishfully thinking competitors, and even a disgruntled former employee or two) will go in spreading self-serving misinformation about my status with Hoey & Farina.
Here are some of the wild fabrications I’ve heard being spread by malicious gossips: I supposedly bought a villa in Italy and am moving there to live with my wife, Rita; I supposedly resigned from Hoey & Farina last year and will never practice law again; I supposedly have ceased to be union designated legal counsel. To combat these lies, I’m using our appropriately named publication —“Straight Track”— to set the record straight.
As for the false rumor that I retired last year, that would be a surprise to the Canadian National/Illinois Central Railroad against whom I won a $1,818,446 verdict on behalf of James Niemann on April 17, 2014, after a hard fought trial on Jim’s cumulative–trauma claim. It would also be a surprise to CSX Transportation, Inc., against whom I won summary judgment on April 23, 2014, in the Chance Kelham case.
Also, the closest thing to a “villa” that Rita and I own is our house in Elmwood Park, Illinois. Although Elmwood Park has a healthy number of Italian–Americans, and Cortland Street, where we live, periodically floods, that could not be confused with a villa on the Mediterranean.
Next, it is easy to verify—by checking the websites of the United Transportation Union and the Transportation Communications Union—that I continue to have the honor of being union–designated legal counsel. Similarly, for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, I am a member of the Board of Managers for the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys—which is the BLET’s officially designated legal counsel—and I recently returned from ARLA’s annual board meeting in Alberta, Canada.
What, then, could have possibly been the seed for all these crazy rumors? Last October, after more than 16 years as the late, great Dillon Hoey’s partner—followed by another 11 years as sole owner, manager and chief trial lawyer at Hoey & Farina—I finally, belatedly decided to bring in, as equity partners, five of our long-term, seasoned attorneys, each of whom has distinguished himself by the hard work and dedication to clients that has resulted in this law firm’s success. For my part, I agreed, in writing, to stay on as a trial lawyer until at least June 2024, when I will turn 70. The primary change in my trial practice is that I intend to selectively limit my work to those catastrophically injured persons who deserve the extra time and attention that I can now provide.
Finally, on my 60th birthday, I accompanied much of my family to Sicily, where we rented a home for three weeks, the longest vacation I have ever had. And I would like to return to Italy for three weeks every year—but who in their right mind wouldn’t? If the news that I intend to take a three–week vacation every year is considered a major victory by railroads, so be it.
That's all there is folks. There’s nothing more to the story. If you would like to talk to me about all this, just give me a call here at Hoey & Farina. I’ll be at my desk, continuing to work for our clients.