“Clients have a story to tell. The tragedies and hardships in their lives are not just facts and figures. I find a deep connection with my clients because it’s an essential element of making a connection with juries. The client is a person who is hurting and his or her personal story is important to a jury. We work hard to establish a different connection because that helps attorneys make a deeper connection with the jury as they’re telling their clients’ stories in real human terms,” says Pat Salcido Montes, founder of Montes Law, PLLC.
Montes practices personal injury law with an emphasis on trucking accidents, wrongful death, auto accidents with catastrophic injuries. In addition, she has carved out a niche and built a considerable reputation in trial consulting and trial strategy in the local and national legal arenas.
“I help attorneys find their client’s true story – the deeper level that they often hold back for any number of reasons. In doing so, we learn the influences in their life, what their life was like before the incident, and how dramatically that life has changed since. I help put those facts and figures into flesh and blood and human emotion,” she says.
She has done consulting and strategy work for attorneys and legal firms in Los Angeles, Chicago, and different parts of the U.S. She has also consulted in such faraway locales as Chiapas, Mexico and in Panama. She is bilingual—English and Spanish—but says that speaking another language isn’t enough.
“I know and understand the culture and therefore am fully prepared to relate those personal stories in very real and powerful terms that relate directly to specific clients,” she says.
Her consulting has helped attorneys earn million-dollar verdicts and settlements. Recently she was involved in a West Texas case that was awarded more than $100 million verdict. She says her “digging deeper” approach often uncovers information that others have failed to detect.
“It’s a simple matter of treating clients as people who are suffering not only from accidents and injury, but from the abuse of large corporations and legal firms dedicated to protecting a corporate bottom line,” she says.
Montes was drawn to personal injury law based in large part on her experiences as a social worker in a cancer center where she saw first-hand the impact negative policies and people had on patients who didn’t have a voice. “I soon realized how many people out there are powerless and who need someone to speak for them forcefully and in such a powerful way that juries would understand,” she says.
Montes graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1985 and earned her J.D. from Texas Tech University in 1988. She is a board certified personal injury trial lawyer. She is a frequent conference speaker and has received numerous industry awards from her legal peers.
Her ability to help clients and their attorneys connect on an emotional level has proven a great asset to her own clients and to the clients of those attorneys and firms bringing her in for consultation on important and high-profile cases. “Attorneys have to make the effort, to invest the time and energy to get to know their clients’ battles. We need to get to the deeper meaning of their struggles so we can tell their real story and get the results they deserve,” she says.