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John J. Gilligan: Why did I choose to practice Family Law?

Video Transcript: John Gilligan

My name is Dan Couvrette. I’m the publisher of Family Lawyer Magazine and and it’s my pleasure today to be speaking with one of the top family lawyers in California, John Gilligan who I’ve had the pleasure to know for several years.
So, it’s a real treat for me to be talking with John. John is a Long Beach, California family lawyer, and I don’t have time to go through all of John’s credentials and accolades and John, as I said, it’s a pleasure to be speaking with you today.

John Gilligan: Thanks for having me, Dan.

Why did you choose to practice family law?

John Gilligan: I’m the oldest of eight children and when I was in high school, my parents went through a bitter divorce, which I was stuck right in the middle of, and I saw the effect that it had not only on me but my siblings. So, I saw what divorce does to a family and I sort of was drawn to the field based upon that background.

John has a special focus on children.

It’s a very difficult process for children and I try to inform the parents of this right at the very outset that my goal is going to try to get this family through this transition period, a difficult transition period with a minimum impact on the children.

John is committed to the practice of family law.

I just live and breathe family law, Dan. It’s just part of my life. From the time I wake up until the time I go to bed, I’m thinking about it. I work on the weekends. I donate my time to abuse women’s shelters.

I am also a mediator where I donate my time to the court system to try to settle cases. I sit as a judge pro tem at least once a month in family law court. Every part of my life has something to do with family law.

What types of cases do you prefer?

I like to take on the cases that are difficult, that are high conflict. My personality is such that I think I’m able to calm people down. Just listening to people and not trying to tell them what to do.

Having them get off with what they have on their chest is just a good way of settling things down and calming things because when people are calm, that’s when we can get to work and try to get it settled because that’s my goal is to settle as quickly as possible, as cheaply as possible, and get them on with their lives.

What is the value of experience?

Well, it’s invaluable to have that experience because even though I charge probably on the higher end of the hourly rates of family law lawyers in my legal community, I don’t need to look things up because I already know them.

There’s not a situation that I have not seen either in handling it as a lawyer or seen when I sit as a judge pro tem or in my mediations. So, I could pretty much tell the parties when they first come into the office what’s going to happen in their case.

What clients say about John Gilligan.

I’m going to read a couple of the testimonials from your clients. Interested in your comments if you want to add anything to it. It says,

“If you want a warm and fuzzy attorney to cuddle your emotions John is not your guy. If that is what you’re looking for I suggest you seek that out in a therapist.”

“The court system is ugly, heartbreaking, and ridiculous at times, John is the logical and reasonable lawyer to hire to get you through the ugly system.”

John Gilligan: So yeah, I’m not wishy-washy. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything. I’m going to tell them directly what I think should be done. It’s up to them whether they want to take my advice. But at the end of the day, I think most times they realize that advice was correct.

“John Gilligan represented me in my divorce. It was a very difficult case and we needed to go to trial. John did an incredible job in representing me against a very worthy opponent. Not only is John a superb advocate, he had what I was looking for and which most lawyers do not possess kindness and wisdom.” That’s a pretty nice thing to say about you, John.

Yeah, that might have been my brother or somebody who said that.

I doubt that that’s true. John, I want to thank you for your time today. It’s always a pleasure.

Thanks, Dan. Have a great day.

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