September 7, 2011
Our featured attorney this week lives a life full of adventure. Attorney Jim Holland took fly fishing to the next level when he caught a record setting 202 pound tarpon. He has a passion for practicing personal injury law, and a love for Westlaw Next. Check out more about his Small Law Lifestyle.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PRACTICING LAW?
I like adventurous things. My dad was a pilot and I was pretty intent on flying in the military, because I also love to fly. When the pilot thing did not work out, I became interested in law school. Trial law is a pretty competitive and exciting profession – fighting corporations and working for the little guy. While in law school I spent two summers in Africa as a safari guide. After that, most of the law sounded pretty boring, so I got a job at a big law firm which was prestigious and paid a lot of money, but it was not for me. So, I went to a smaller firm. I like working for smaller clients, going to court, and going to trial. I like bringing truth and accountability to people who have been wronged and are devastated.
YOU ARE AN AVID FLY FISHERMAN, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT?
I go fly fishing out in Oregon and Montana, and it is fun. But the real adrenalin rush is fishing for tarpon. Tarpon are the migratory fish that live in saltwater and they swim in really shallow water and they love flies. They are perfect for fly fishing. While fishing you are actually looking at them as they come in. It’s crazy to see a several hundred pound fish coming from several hundred yards away. They put up a fight, and it’s really an adrenalin rush to try and get one of those on a fly rod, standing on a small skiff (15 ft. boat). They have a mouth that is several feet wide, so when they open up to eat your fly, you see it all right before you. It’s an incredible spectacle.
YOU HOLD THE WORLD RECORD FOR THE LARGEST TARPON CAUGHT ON A FLY ROD, CAN YOU SHARE THAT STORY?
Yes, that was a life changing experience for me. We had gone to an area where we knew there was potential to catch a large tarpon. I remember on the way out we thought,”Can you imagine what it would be like if anyone ever caught that fish?” It was the holy grail of fish, a 200 pound tarpon. They had tried to catch that tarpon for nearly 100 years, but it was just too big, and it was just “impossible.” And so we went out there, and it was one of the toughest things I have ever done physically, I hurt for a week afterwards. It took me two hours of pulling it as hard as I possibly could, my shoulders were strained and my arms were numb. I fought the fish for about two hours. It was pretty close and personal, and once it ate my fly she launched herself out of the water a couple of times and went on screaming blistering runs. And then for about two hours it was about 30-40 feet away from me. She dragged the boat for about 4 miles from where we originally hooked her. It took two of us to get her into the boat. By the time we got her up we realized we had a once in a lifetime fish.
HOW DO YOU USE WESTLAWNEXT?
When it first came out I thought this is the product I have been waiting for since Westlaw has been in existence. WestlawNext is just a complete game changer. It’s amazing. Finally, legal research is user friendly and the time savings are amazing. I think many of the fears that lawyers have is that they cannot leave the office because they are afraid they won’t be able to save their work or get back to where they were and WestlawNext changes that. Being able to highlight text within a document, add a note about its relevance, and then save it in an appropriate folder for later retrieval has finally enabled me to avoid re-researching topics. And if I need to find something I can find it in a tenth of the time that it used to take me. It really frees me up to leave the office when I leave. It’s amazing actually.
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