You may know attorney Robert White from a television commercial in which he stands on an 18-wheel truck and invites you to call him if you have been injured by such a truck.
That’s one side of the 63-year-old Texarkana native who grew up in Hobbs, New Mexico, and Odessa, but like everyone else, the bigger picture is much more complex.
White attended Reagan Elementary, Bonham Junior High School, and Permian High School before graduating with degrees in accounting and law from the University of Texas at Austin and the South Texas College of Law, Houston.
Then he learned the Personal Injury Act from the late Jerry Childs and Clyde Bishop, who used him in employee compensation cases and whose names are still in his company.
Regarding the late flamboyant Odessa PI lawyer, White said, “I would ride my bike and see John Watts in his big caddy, smoke a cigar, read the newspaper and walk down my street at about 5 miles an hour.
“I always had a lot of empathy for people. I’m more of an inclusive guy. The form of the company never suited me. I like helping people. I worked for a defense company in Houston and saw Joe Jamail win a million dollar verdict on a rotator cuff case in Bay City. It could have done it for me there.
“I’ve never been idle. There is always something going on. “
With the help of his wife Lori, office manager and litigator Greta Braker, White has 265 cases pending and won hundreds of million settlements during his career, he said. He spends over $ 100,000 on advertising annually. The whites have a son.
In cases involving vehicles, oilfield accidents, medical or pharmaceutical misconduct, and other harmful events, he often uses a focus group to facilitate judge selection, and sometimes calls the Dallas judge selection advisor Kellye Raymond , at.
“It would be nice if I could write them a letter and they wrote me a check, but it doesn’t work that way,” said White, explaining that it usually takes six months to two years to resolve a case.
Working in his office at 230 W. Third St., the office the legendary Warren Burnett used from the 1950s to the 90s, he said, “We’re looking at whose fault it was, what type of insurance was available could and what kind of injuries are there.
“People can get to a point in their treatment where no amount of medication will make them better. Then they have to see a life specialist and live with it, and the only thing I can do is sue for money and work on contingency. I’m not filing a lawsuit just to make a statement because I could get in trouble over a frivolous plea. “
If an agreement is reached, White receives 33 percent of the award or 40 to 45 percent if the case is brought to court.
In the meantime, it can be costly for a plaintiff’s attorney to prosecute a case, with a doctor’s deposit between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000, a medical illustration between $ 15,000 and $ 25,000, and an accident reconstruction between $ 50,000 and $ 300,000 Dollar lies.
“Sometimes people call from a motel and say, ‘I just got hit by an 18-wheeler’ and want us to send a big paycheck,” White said. “The funniest thing was during my workers ‘compensation days when a man came in and hired us and said,’ I’m losing everything! Can you lend me $ 100 ‘He went to 10 other lawyers and got $ 100 each. “
White’s father, Billy Bob, was a sales representative for Humble, Enco, and Exxon, supplying gas stations and convenience stores. His mother, Phyllis Ann, was a secretary for the Federal Aviation Administration. He’s just a kid.
“I was asked how to avoid wrongdoing, but that’s backwards,” said White. “You have to be open and honest with your customers. As long as you do what you’re supposed to do and treat her properly, it all fits together.
“Develop the case, work it out, and tell them all the pros and cons so they can make all the important decisions. Always do your homework and be prepared. “
With chiropractor Mark Mehaffey, Dr. John Molland, United Fleet Sales owner Shan Johnson, and District Attorney Bobby Bland, White at the Odessa County Club often plays golf in games that the men say are as cheerful companionship as they are sport.
“Everyone sees the guy standing on the truck screaming into the TV, if you’re injured give him a call,” Bland said. “But when you meet him one on one, you know that he has a good heart and is a really good guy. He likes to laugh and is very funny.
“We just enjoy hanging out together. We don’t talk a lot about politics because he’s a Democrat and I’m a Republican, but otherwise we get along well. Robert is one of those who is dedicated to what he does. He looks after his clients and is a passionate personal injury attorney.
“He’s an upbeat guy who has a positive attitude towards his work, family and everything he does,” said Bland. “He’s kind and generous, and he and Lori have great little dinner parties. My wife, Heather, and I are fortunate enough to consider them friends. “
Johnson said, White “is a wonderful guy with good morals who loves the Texas Longhorns.
“If Robert could buy burnt orange underwear, he would have it,” said Johnson. “I would honestly say he is bleeding burnt orange.”
Johnson also avoided political discussions with White, saying he was “a great father and husband and a caring, compassionate friend.
“I didn’t know his father, but his mother was a very sweet woman,” said Johnson. “His wife has had the most positive influence of all people in his life. They are very grounded and have always had a great marriage. They love each other just as much as they did the first day they met. “
The whites had just returned from a vacation in Vail, Colorado, skiing in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Ruidoso, New Mexico, going to shows in Las Vegas, surfing Lake LBJ, and biking around Lady Bird Lake in Austin. “When I was learning to ski in Ruidoso, they gave me half a day of lessons and got me to the top of a mountain,” White said with a laugh.
“We were in Italy two years ago, but I would just as quickly be staying in the US and seeing everything.”
His recreational readings include Brad Thor and James Patterson, and he and Lori listen to novels in their car. “We heard ’28 Summers’, a love story from Elin Hilderbrand,” he said.