the shrimp tank

Attorney Ken Harrell, the managing partner at Joye Law Firm, has recently assumed additional duties as co-host of The Shrimp Tank, a nationally syndicated podcast featuring discussions with local entrepreneurs.

Eric Elkins of Double E Insurance & Financial Solutions of Charleston, S.C., hosts Charleston editions of The Shrimp Tank and introduced Harrell as his guest and new co-host in Charleston Episode No. 3, which debuted in May.

In their nearly hour-long discussion, the two entrepreneurs talked about Ken Harrell’s background and how he and partner Mark Joye purchased Joye Law Firm from Reese Joye and built it from one office location to four across South Carolina and quadrupled its gross income.

Harrell spoke about the competitive nature of personal injury law and his decision to continue to market the law firm aggressively, but tastefully. Personal injury law is very competitive, and a law firm must make a significant commitment of time and money for marketing if it wants to stand out, Harrell said. Joye Law Firm founder Reese Joye pioneered law firm television advertising in South Carolina in the 1970s.

“Why am I going to sit back, knowing that I can make a difference, especially if somebody has had a catastrophic injury or, God forbid, a family member has been killed,” Harrell said. “Why would I sit back and let somebody else just sort of soak up all the gravy? So, my commitment has been, we are going to market (and) I want to do it in a tasteful way. … I just want it to have the sense of, hey, if you call us, you’re calling a trusted professional.”

How to Choose a S.C. Personal Injury Law Firm

In a short YouTube video promoting the podcast, Harrell said that the nature of a law firm’s advertising may be the first consideration for someone searching for a Charleston personal injury lawyer. Consider the nature of the ads and the message the firm is sending about itself, he said.

If yours is a less serious injury, you can probably find a firm that suits your needs from their advertising, Harrell said. The outcome of a simple claim will not be affected much by the work of one firm versus another.

But in the case of a life-altering, catastrophic injury or a wrongful death, you need to do more research and not simply rely on a 30-second television ad. Look at the law firm’s website, he said, and look at their results from cases, particularly high-value verdicts as opposed to settlements.

“Anybody can settle the case,” Harrell said. But you want to see is there a track record there of this firm being able to take the tough cases and the big cases into a courtroom and get a big result.”

Many firms just want to settle cases rather than going to trial. Insurance companies and their lawyers come to recognize the firms that are ready to settle, and which lawyers will fight them. If an insurance company recognizes that a law firm is one that always settles cases, it will adversely affect an insurance company’s settlement offer.

Harrell said Joye Law Firm had a personal injury client who had received a $15,000 settlement offer from the insurance company on a $50,000 policy. In court, Joye won a $2.2 million verdict for the client. The case has not been fully resolved, he said. Because of the insurer’s bad faith, they can likely be compelled to pay much more than the maximum that would have been allowed.

“I can promise you the next time that insurance company has a significant case with the Joye Law Firm, they will remember that experience and they’re going to value the case differently,” he said.

The Economics of Personal Injury

While the stock market has been robust and economy seems to be doing well, Harrell suggested that the people who turn to Joye Law Firm for help are not experiencing boom times.

“One of the things I love about my line of work, doing the kind of law we do, is we have a pretty blue-collar clientele,” he said. “I don’t know how much of this (economy) is really trickling down to those people, you know, people who are working with their hands, working by the hour.”

Because of the construction boom in Charleston and other South Carolina cities, personal injury law firms like Joye Law Firm are seeing a rise in workers’ compensation claims, he said.

The construction industry is among the most dangerous industries. As activity increases so, too, do construction accidents that leave workers eligible for benefits that they often have to fight to obtain.

Harrell was asked about some of Joye Law Firm’s biggest wins, including a $262.5 million product liability verdict that remains a record for South Carolina and several other seven-figure results. He had a sobering reminder. “I always tell people – when you hear about a big number like that, you do not want to be in that plaintiff’s shoes, because something terrible has happened,” he said.

Interviewing the ‘Brightest and Best Entrepreneurs’ in South Carolina

There’s much more in the podcast as Eric sought to introduce his co-host, including how Ken Harrell became a goal-setter, what he has gained from daily meditation, and how he keeps Joye Law Firm up to date as a business.

The Shrimp Tank podcasts originate from 10 cities around the country and continues to add new locations with local hosts to interview local business owners about the do’s and don’ts of starting and running successful businesses. It is syndicated by iHeartRadio and is available through other standard podcast outlets.

For more details about Joye Law Firm and their legal services, visit their website at www.joyelawfirm.com or contact them through their phone number (843) 554-3100. An interested client can email them at ncerullo@joyelawfirm.com.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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