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Personal injury lawyer, Butler Tobin

Jeb Butler was inspired to become a lawyer by the story of champion racehorse Seabiscuit. He listened to “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” by Lauren Hillenbrand on audiotape during a cross-country road trip after graduating from college in 2004. “He was an underdog just sticking it to the establishment,” says Butler, now a personal injury lawyer with Butler Tobin in Atlanta. After graduating from Vanderbilt University with degrees in English and communications, Butler packed a pickup truck with a camper attached to the back and just drove around, he says. “I had no idea what I wanted to do. All I knew is whatever it is, I was not going into the practice of law,” he says. With plans to meet a friend in Haines, Alaska, Butler left his hometown of Columbus, Georgia, and tackled the 3,757-mile trek in just five days. As the son of James Butler, who has made a habit of winning seven-, eight- and even nine-figure verdicts for his clients, Jeb Butler says he was at first hesitant to follow in his father’s large footsteps. “He casts a long, long shadow,” Butler says. However, motivated by his desire to represent the little guy against powerful companies, and his love of writing and public speaking, Butler decided to attend law school in 2005, and he has loved practicing law ever since graduating from the University of Georgia School of Law. “I don’t need to know how many hours I spend here,” he jokes about his office. “I like to work; it’s fun.” Butler worked as a federal law clerk in Brunswick in 2009 and then volunteered as a prosecutor for the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office in 2010, before going to work at his father’s firm for a few years. In June 2014, he opened up his own practice, Butler Tobin, with Darren Tobin. “I love it,” Butler says of having his own practice. “If I had known how much fun this was going to be, I would have done this long before I was ready.” With his father, Butler recently won a $150 million verdict in a wrongful death suit against Chrysler. They represented parents of a 4-year-old boy killed in a 2012 accident, when the boy was in the back seat of a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee that burst into flames after a rear-end collision. Butler participates in the Saturday Lawyer Program, where he answers legal questions—and sometimes takes cases pro bono—for people who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, traveling, exercising and reading military history books, a source of strategy ideas for practicing law, he says. “Lately what I really like to do is sit on the porch with a glass of whiskey and listen to the Braves game on the radio,” he says. Butler proposed to his fiancée, Anne Wyrsch, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, her hometown, in July. He says he would have proposed on the Jumbotron, but he knew she would find it tacky.

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