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Oklahoma Legal Oral History

Interviews with Oklahoma Legal Professionals

Biography

Howard K. Berry, Jr. is a personal injury attorney in the Oklahoma City area. He received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1958 and taught evidence and trial practice part-time at Oklahoma City University School of Law in the mid-sixties. After graduating from law school, Mr. Berry practiced law at the Berry Law firm with his father, Howard K. Berry , Sr. and his uncle, James W. (Bill) Berry. He was later joined at the Berry Law Firm by his son, Howard K. Berry III. 

If a researcher wishes to use the information gathered in this interview for uses other than educational or scholarly uses, they may do so without further permission from the interview subject. 

Transcript

Below is an excerpt from Howard Berry's interview and a link to download the full transcript.

KEK: So, you, the three of you practiced law together and you said that you focused mostly on personal injury cases. How did, how did you decide on handling personal injury cases?


HB: Well, it’s just inherited, you just learn how to handle that, just like my son is doing the same thing. It’s a trade, a skill, it’s a niche. And from my father handling medical negligence cases which at that time, very few lawyers took those cases because you could never get a doctor to testify against another doctor. And, uh, the law developed, the law could see what was going on, and was starting to make erosions in the strict requirements that um, the judges would require. Then as that became larger, then experts from other states were permitted to testify. And, it’s gotten to where it now is almost pretty much my specialty when I was practicing and I think my son is doing a lot of medical negligence cases.


KEK: What do you think an attorney who wants to go into this area of the law, what do you suggest or what do you think are the most, the most important skills that someone possess?


HB: Well, you’d have to have the skill to be a trial lawyer, that would be required. You can’t say I’m going to be an office lawyer and handle malpractice cases because the physicians are insured and they’re heavily insured and they will take you to the very limit which means you’re going to trial and you want to hear the knock on the jury door that they’ve got a verdict you’ve got to be able to go that far. And if you’ve got a reputation for never being down at the courthouse, so that’d the first thing you have to know, is learn how to try lawsuits.

Catalog Record

800 N. Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.208.5271