Discovery with Ricardo Woods

The Alabama attorney wakes, prays, shaves his head and breaks out the Sam Cooke

Published in 2016 Mid-South Super Lawyers — December 2016

My nickname is … Danger, because of the types of cases I handle in high-exposure jurisdictions. 

I can’t go a day without … exercise: spiritual, mental and physical. 

If you were in my office, you’d … probably get ignored for the first 30 seconds because I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. It’s not something I do on purpose.

My colleagues would be surprised to know that … I was extremely shy when I was younger. 

When I was a newbie lawyer I … was able to try cases on a regular basis. I still use the trial skills I developed in the courtroom. 

My trial routine is … wake up early, pray, work out, eat dry toast for breakfast, shave my head while listening to “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke and focus solely on my case. 

The quality I most like in a lawyer is … integrity. Grit is a close second. 

The lawyer I most admire is … Carlos Williams from the Federal Public Defender’s office. 

When I started, I wish I knew … how to be comfortable not knowing the answer right away. Great lawyers know how to find the best answers to hard questions. It is not always easy, and it takes time.

My career high point (so far) has been … serving the citizens of Mobile as Mayor William S. Stimpson’s city attorney. 

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … a travel writer. 

The SCOTUS justice I’d most like to meet is … Thurgood Marshall. As a lawyer, he helped change our country in a way that matters in my everyday life.

A different practice area that intrigues me is … white-collar criminal defense work.

I can’t believe more people haven’t read … David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.

I can do a pretty good impersonation of … several of our local circuit court judges, but none of them seems to think it is funny.

My fictional hero is … Batman.

My real-life hero is … my father.

I get angry when … I see people being mistreated by people in positions of authority. 

On my best day I … am a vertically challenged, strong-willed guy with a good sense of humor.

On my worst day I … am a short, stubborn guy with a good sense of humor.

The craziest thing I witnessed in a courtroom is … a judge chasing a fleeing criminal defendant out of the courthouse and actually capturing him.

My favorite song lyric is … “Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week.” Jay Z, “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix).”

The movie line I quote most often is … “Get busy living or get busy dying,” from The Shawshank Redemption.

If I had a morning show, my co-host would be … Dave Chappelle.

The last TV show I binge-watched was … The Walking Dead.

Nothing cheers me up like … being greeted by my daughters when I get home.

My guilty pleasure is … chocolate-covered cashews.

My favorite word is … focus. 

My least favorite word is … quit.

My motto is … Don’t quit.

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