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  • Writer's pictureDavid A. Harak

DAVID HARAK - Recognized by The National Trial Lawyers Top 100

I grew up in Easton Pennsylvania. I was fortunate to be raised by the best mother and father that any child could hope for. During my four years of college, I honed my ability to think on my feet as a parliamentary debater. These acquired skills have been vital to my successes in the courtroom as a trial lawyer. As my skills increased in college, I won the University of Virginia debate tournament and was judged to be the first speaker at debate tournaments at Cornell and Georgetown. I was fortunate enough to achieve a seventh place finish at the North American Debate Championships. I also represented my alma mater at the National Debate Championship and World Debate Championship. I graduated from the Honors Program at Randolph-Macon College Cum Laude with a Major in Political Science and a minor in Asian Studies in 1994. Upon my graduation I decided to go to law school.

I chose to attend the University of Maryland because of its nationally ranked clinical program, which allows law students under the supervision of faculty to represent clients while still in law school. I knew that I wanted to become a trial lawyer who dedicated himself to representing victims of negligence. During my first year of law school, my family and I went through the same experience that many of my clients are in the midst of dealing with when they come to me for help today. My family was victimized by a doctor, whose carelessness and negligence caused my father to suffer a serious and life threatening illness. Not knowing any better, our family completely trusted and believed this doctor. When this doctor told our family that nothing else could be done to treat my father, we believed him. We watched in horror as each of us witnessed my dad wither away for the next two years of his life. When this physician retired, necessity finally caused our family to seek out a second opinion. Fortunately, the doctor that we found to treat my dad filled us with hope by telling us that he believed that my father had a chance of recovering from his illness. This doctor’s only regret was that we had not brought my father to him two years earlier. After meeting my father's new physician, we came to the realization that the previous two years that we had watched my father waste away into a shell of the man he was once was could have been avoided. It simply never occurred to us that our father had been the victim of malpractice. We had complete faith and trust in what his previous doctor had been telling us. Going through this experience myself has given me a unique ability to empathize with what my clients and their families are going through. One of the most difficult things a client must endure when trying to achieve justice is having to listen to the lawyers for the negligent provider try to blame the client and their family for what has happened to them. When defense lawyers make this argument, they are simply blaming my client and their family for trusting and following the advise of their physician. When I encounter this defense argument during my medical negligence trials, it chafes me to my core. Shouldn't each of my clients be entitled to trust the advice of their doctor? After all, that is the basis upon which the entire medical system is founded.  

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