About Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson Articles written 7

Articles written by Jessica Thompson

Five Days in Thailand

What Mike Gruber learned about life and law from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

It all caught up with Mike Gruber on the last day. He’d been working nonstop from 7 a.m. to dark for four days straight, building homes in Chiang Mai, Thailand as part of a Habitat for Humanity initiative. On that fifth 95-degree day, he spent seven hours on top of a house, helping lift into place a 400-pound frame and then bolting down shingles to create a roof. Gruber was severely exhausted, dehydrated and sunburned—but he got the job done. A poor Thai family had a new home. With …

Keep Manhattan, Just Give Her That Countryside

Brittany Ogden couldn't resist the pull of the family farm

Yes, Brittany Ogden was the prom queen, and, yes, she married her high school sweetheart (the prom king—who else?), and, yes, the couple left New York to return to Ogden's family farm in southwestern Wisconsin. But please don't call her hokey. The 34-year-old Murphy Desmond shareholder is one of the top young business and commercial litigators in Madison. She credits her childhood on a farm near Mineral Point for her success. "It instills a great work ethic when you are growing up and you …

Q&A with Lonnie Williams, Quarles & Brady, Phoenix

Labor and employment trial lawyer Lonnie Williams talks to Super Lawyers about his struggle to be taken seriously, the art of trying a case and what it's like hosting a cooking show.

What do you know today that you didn't know coming out of law school? That once you get to [trial], the law is relevant but is not a deciding factor. Because you don't know what necessarily is going to move that group of people and it then becomes much more psychological, much more gamesmanship. In law school you tend to think that the real key is: what is the law? And applying the law to the facts. And it's just not that simple.   What was your biggest obstacle? Being accepted and …

Jarrod Cofrancesco's Three-day Approach to Barbecue

Jarrod Cofrancesco’s three-day approach to barbecue

It’s brazen, to be sure, maybe even downright foolhardy. But there’s no talking Jarrod Cofrancesco out of it. Next year this Italian lawyer from north Jersey is going to the barbecue capital of the world to beat the South at its own game.   Sure, he’s been behind a barbecue pit for only two years. And yes, he’ll be up against more than 90,000 pitmasters from around the world to whom the Memphis in May festival is akin to a pilgrimage to Mecca. But next spring, Cofrancesco is determined …

Trial and Error

A desperate career move led Denis Crawford to switch sides

Denise Crawford never thought she would work for the “bad guys,” which is how she thought of lawyers who defended criminals. Fresh out of law school, she’d already clocked two years at the Attorney General’s office and had a job lined up at the Orange County District Attorney’s office — and that’s where she was going to stay.   That was the plan, at least.   “On my first day, [my supervisor] said, ‘There’s good news and there’s bad news,’” Crawford recalls. “‘The …

The Blog is Mightier Than the Sword

When he isn’t taking on powerful interests as a commercial litigator, John Hinderaker takes them down with his conservative blog Power Line

Most people around town know John Hinderaker from his 15 minutes of fame. After all, it’s not every day that a guy from Minneapolis topples a network giant and a television icon over the course of just 12 hours, all from the comfort of his desk. Between the time he woke, on Sept. 9, 2004, to the time he went to bed, Hinderaker and his two partners on the now-famous Power Line Web log managed to debunk a 60 Minutes report critical of President Bush’s service in the National …

Nothing Plain About His Plaintiffs

Kevin Boyle sides with the little guy — and he’s darn proud of it

Attorneys are sometimes surprised when they first meet 32-year-old Kevin Boyle. At an age when many attorneys are barely out of law school, Boyle has already clerked for a U.S. Supreme Court justice, worked for one of the top defense firms in California and is now fighting some of the largest and most sensitive plaintiff ’s cases in the country. Thankfully, he still has a sense of humor. “I’ve walked into depositions where the opposing lawyer’s a senior partner and when they see …

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