Something Positive from Something Bad

How Personal Injury Law Hooked Don Corson

Published in 2014 Oregon Super Lawyers — August 2014

Even after 29 years of practice, Don Corson grows modest at the mention of how he graduated first in his class at University of Oregon School of Law.

“Why don’t you start out by embarrassing me?” he says with a laugh.

The co-founder of The Corson & Johnson Law Firm in Eugene has racked up victories for personal injury clients across the state.

One of his successfully resolved cases was for a 6-year-old who was injured on the sidelines at his sister’s soccer game in 2011.

“A soccer goal post fell over on his head,” says Corson, “causing head injury, brain injury; it also caused optic nerve injury.” The boy became blind in one eye.

After a confidential settlement with the nonprofit organization that had placed the goal posts improperly, Corson worked with the organization to bring in another nonprofit to provide safety training for youth sports coaches in the area. “That’s the kind of thing we like to see happen: something positive come out from something bad,” he says.

He has also represented clients hurt by trucking collisions, professional negligence, defective products and other catastrophes.

“We tend to have the same opponents over and over again,” he says. “We also have a statewide practice, so in a sense the whole state of Oregon is a small town.”

Eugene is home, ever since he moved from Illinois to earn his undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon. He pauses as he considers what made him stay.

It wasn’t the weather. “It’s hard to explain,” he says. “You just, kind of, fall in love with the place.”

Corson says his passion for the environment inspired him to pursue law, but adds, “I didn’t have the engineering background. So what could I do that would make more of a difference?”

He found the answer in PI law. “I was hooked after I started doing it. I had no idea how challenging and fascinating and satisfying it could be.”

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