Terrell Hogan Law: 50 Years of Excellence and Still Going Strong

Terrell Hogan Law: 50 Years of Excellence and Still Going Strong

In the realm of personal injury law, Terrell Hogan Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law stands as a testament to unwavering commitment, now celebrating an impressive milestone of 50 years of continuous, rigorous, and successful representation. What sets this law firm apart is not only its legal prowess but also the remarkable family-like culture that permeates every aspect of its operation.

Founded five decades ago, Terrell Hogan has consistently demonstrated an unparalleled dedication to securing justice for its clients. The firm’s track record of success in personal injury cases speaks volumes about its commitment to advocacy and the pursuit of fairness. Over the years, Terrell Hogan has become synonymous with reliability and excellence in the legal field.

Trite though it might sound, the truth is we are like one, big family. That extends to our clients.”

Standing: Wayne Hogan and James Terrell. Seated: Christopher Burns, Alan Pickert and Matthew Sowell

The Staff of Terrell Hogan

A Family

Alan Pickert, an award-winning senior member of the firm, has been practicing law for 34 years. Dedicated to handling a diverse range of cases, Pickert’s expertise extends to mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, medical malpractice, product and premises liability, auto/semi-truck accidents, dog attacks and vaccine cases. Notably, he has achieved significant success, having successfully handled over 3,830 asbestos cases, recovering over $231   million. In addition to managing over 400 wrongful death lawsuits, he secured one of the most substantial awards in the history of Vaccine Court for a child injured by the DTaP vaccine.

As a vital member of the Terrell Hogan team, Pickert has been keenly observing the day-to-day intricacies of the firm’s operations, interactions, and implementations, making him an excellent witness to the robust familial culture for which Terrell Hogan has become renowned.

“Trite though it might sound, the truth is we are like one, big family,” he says. “That extends to our clients. Unlike many other firms, we have open communication and frequent dialog with our clients.  You hear many clients who have lawsuits with other firms say they have only spoken to their lawyer once or twice. We are virtually in constant contact with our clients, I even give out my cell number. It’s imperative that they have all their questions answered when they ask. When my clients call, I take that call. If I’m in court, I will get back to them within 24 hours.”

Terrell Hogan is not just a place of work; it’s a community where cooperation thrives. The collaborative spirit within the firm extends not only to the attorneys but to every member of the staff. This symbiotic atmosphere fosters an environment where everyone is invested in the success of the firm and the well-being of its clients. 

Personalized Service

Matthew Sowell stands among the exclusive group of 15 Florida lawyers nationally certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys for their proficiency in medical malpractice law. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being board certified in civil trial law by The Florida Bar, a credential attained by only 5% of Florida attorneys. Leveraging his rare expertise in both civil trial and medical malpractice law, Sowell dedicates his practice exclusively to representing victims of medical malpractice. He praises the firm for how each client and case is handled and how supportive the senior staff are to younger attorneys.

“We are not a legal mill,” says Sowell. “Because most of our cases involve unique issues, there is at least one lawyer assigned to each case from intake through trial. We take our work very seriously, recognizing that each case represents an empty seat at the dinner table, a wage earner who can no longer work, or someone who has been crippled. We all have enjoyed the privilege of having been mentored by really great lawyers who spent their entire careers helping others and, we are committed individually and collectively to providing our clients with elite legal representation.”

Adding a special familial touch to his professional journey, the firm recently welcomed his daughter, Megan Sowell, formerly an assistant state attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

“We are delighted to have recently brought my daughter Megan to TH after being a prosecutor in town for three years,” he says. “I have watched her try numerous cases and she is impressive in the courtroom. I look forward to sitting with her at the counsel table.”

Senior member of the firm and seasoned Florida bicycle accident attorney Chris Burns brings over 35 years of successful experience in handling numerous bicycle-related cases. With a passion for cycling and advocacy, Burns empathizes with the difficulties faced by injured cyclists, having personally endured three significant bicycle crashes. His observations about the firm’s culture are similar to that of his colleagues.

Standing: Fadi Chakour, Alan Pickert, Bruce Maxwell, Bradley Bodiford, Megan Sowell, Matthew Sowell, Christine Michel, Christopher Burns, Leslie Jean-Bart and Christopher Shakib. Seated: Wayne Hogan and James Terrell

“We offer very personal attention to our clients,” he says. “Our clients become our professional friends. They communicate directly and regularly with our attorneys – not staff as in many big personal injury law firms. Our culture is warm, friendly, collegial, ethical, modest, and diligent.”

Another indication of the supportive and collegiate culture of this firm is the longevity of its team members. It is a rarity for anyone on the staff to leave, with people building and sustaining their careers here for 40-plus years. This dedication is a testament to the firm’s commitment to nurturing talent, fostering professional growth, and creating an environment where individuals find fulfillment and purpose.

Evan J. Yegelwel serves as a senior member at the firm contributing 40 years of experience. As a Florida board certified civil trial lawyer, he concentrates his practice on personal injury, product liability and mass torts.

“A law firm is only as good as its people,” he says. “We have many of the brightest legal minds, with top educations and deep experience, and our lawyers all share a sense of compassion for, and dedication to, our clients. Clients are valued here. We feel a great responsibility to them; they entrust their cases to us. We are devoted to proving their cases.”

In the Beginning

The Terrell Hogan Attorneys in 1996

Founder Jim Terrell recalls the genesis of this thriving firm. “I started the firm, with Tom Brown, one of my law school classmates, in 1974. From the beginning, we were blessed with clients. We quickly realized we would have to work weekends, turn clients away, or hire more lawyers … so we hired more lawyers. Wayne Hogan, then Tim Ellis, and later Evan Yegelwel and Ed McClamma joined the firm. We have continued to grow in order to meet the needs of the many clients we have represented over the years. Brown retired from the firm some years ago, but the nucleus remains and is going strong.”

Established on the principles that diligent preparation and hard work are crucial for ensuring each case receives its rightful justice, the firm has continued to grow into the Terrell Hogan of today. Despite the expansion, these core principles have remained steadfast, with Terrell leading by example for the past 50 years. As an active and engaged attorney, he continues to fulfill his mission spearheading many significant cases that have brought justice for victims and positive change for the community.

It’s quickly apparent both from their longevity and passionate dedication that the firm is somehow very special to every member of the Terrell Hogan team. President and senior member of the firm that carries his name, Wayne Hogan has consistently battled against injustices causing death and injury, with a focus on holding accountable those who benefit from faulty and hazardous products. His work over the last 37 years has resulted in not just favorable outcomes for his clients, but with widespread, often historic ramifications for entire sectors of the population. 

Hogan is best known for his representation since the 1970s of those affected by asbestos diseases as well as being teamed with other leading trial attorneys to prosecute the State of Florida’s racketeering and product liability case against the cigarette industry in the mid-1990s. He was recently named the ABOTA Champion of Justice and has received almost every award possible in the legal community.

“The firm is special to me because it grew, not from a business plan, but because our work as trial lawyers drew a vast number of clients, often referred by other lawyers,” he says. “Professional, dedicated service to our clients is always the focus. For five decades, our efforts – in the courtroom and across the community – have made a difference that matters. It remains true that what we do is a professional obligation.

“This is not a business, and we’re not in an industry,” Hogan adds. “We engage in this profession to help people.”

Evan Yegelwel, Jim Terrell and Wayne Hogan

Something Special

At the heart of this firm’s enduring success is its unique and cherished family-like culture. The firm has cultivated an atmosphere that goes beyond the traditional attorney-client relationship. Attorneys, staff, and clients alike become part of a close-knit community where mutual support and shared values create an environment conducive to excellence. 

“The reality is you spend more waking hours at work than you do with your actual family,” notes attorney Bruce Maxwell, “so it’s extremely important to be surrounded by those you respect and like.

Fadi Chakour, a retired medical doctor who left the practice of medicine for the practice of law representing victims of medical malpractice, emphasizes how important it is for him to practice in a firm with highly specialized lawyers who understand the value of providing legal services customized to each client’s unique goals and objectives.

“As dedicated as they are to their work, these individuals are not only colleagues but also friends who know how to unwind and have a good time. The holiday parties they organize are grand affairs filled with vibrant participation and joyful camaraderie. Building and fostering such a unique and special environment is a priority, and protecting it is equally crucial. While new additions must undoubtedly meet rigorous professional standards, it’s just as vital that they blend seamlessly with the personality and esprit de corps of the group. They also turn out en masse for charitable events and volunteer projects the firm endorses.”

“What is amazing about the firm is in my 10 years with the firm how successful, kind, and caring everyone is to each other and the clients,” says attorney Leslie Jean Bart.

Chris Shakib, who has been practicing in the firm for almost 20 years, says, “The firm gets it and notes that sometimes you have to leave early for a school function or run errands, it’s not the end of the world. We’re not going to micromanage. We do everything we can to win the case for the client, and we’ve been ultra-successful in doing so, but not at the expense of people’s private lives.”

Alan Pickert, a Florida ABA Delegate at the recent ABA House of Delegates Meeting in Louisville Kentucky

Attorneys Christine Michel, Fadi Chakour and Bradley Bodiford

Standing: Wayne Hogan, Matthew Sowell and Christopher Shakib. Seated: Bruce Maxwell and Leslie Scott Jean-Bart

Fighting to Win

Terrell Hogan has a 50-year history of fighting to win, a trait each of its lawyers share, but best exemplified by Pickert’s recent battle with cancer.  During the COVID years, Pickert rarely missed a day at the office working for his clients even though he was undergoing the rigors and unpleasant side-effects of treatment and losing over 40 pounds as a result of chemotherapy.  When asked how he managed to maintain such an upbeat demeanor Pickert is both modest and philosophical expressing what could very well be a motto for the firm – “Do not wake up to be mediocre or average—no matter what you do, do it to the best of your ability.”

This is the caliber, passion, and dedication emblematic of the people who comprise the highly respected firm of Terrell Hogan, and why at 50 years they’re still going strong.

At a Glance

Terrell Hogan Personal Injury
& Wrongful Death
233 East Bay Street, Ste. 804
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 632-2424

Specialties Areas

Founded in 1974

Select Firm Honors

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