Join Paul Deloughery as he tells a very personal story that made he channel his focus on his family and law firm.

“Experience is making mistakes and learning from them.” – Bill Ackman

A few weeks ago, Magellan Law, PLC received a negative review on Google. I take these reviews very seriously because my law firm means a lot to me. The review was a nasty comment from someone that neither I, nor my staff, have any recollection of, which made me feel even worse. If the comment had been based on someone’s actual experience with me or my law firm, I could take ownership of that. However, it was from someone who didn’t even seem to have any direct contact with us. My first response was to refute the review and ask for more information from the reviewer so I could address the perceived concerns. My second reaction was to report the comment because it violated Google’s review policy. However, I made a third response that did not help the situation.

The Google comment made me emotional. It’s hard not to be upset when someone leaves negative feedback about the business that you worked hard to build. I decided that I needed a weekend getaway so my wife and I went out of town to the Grand Canyon. (Monday was Martin Luther King Day, and our office was closed.) On Sunday night, we went to a nice restaurant in a town about an hour away, and I booked a hotel nearby. Around 11 p.m., after dinner and drinks, I realized that the hotel never sent me contact information or a confirmation email, so my wife and I had nowhere to stay. I then had the brilliant idea to drive back to our other hotel at the Grand Canyon (which was an hour away). Shortly after our drive began, I careened into a boulder in a roundabout going 70 MPH. I shattered one of my vertebrae and broke my heel and nose. My wife was thankfully ok. The spinal surgeon told me that I was a fingernail width away from being paralyzed from the waist down. I’m dealing with a back brace for three months. But I’m alive. My brain was not hurt. I’ll be able to walk. I feel very grateful.


So why am I writing a blog to tell the world about a poor decision I made? Because this accident made me realize I need to make a change. I feel that it would be irresponsible for me to of gone through this experience without making some personal changes. Therefore I’ve decided to stop drinking and focus on what gives my life meaning (including family and my law firm).

We all make mistakes, and that’s ok. What’s important is making a change after those mistakes are made. Mistakes are our life’s best teachers. We all deal with life struggles differently, and I wish I would have handled this situation differently. But now I am making the most of my mistake. My wife, children, family and my law firm, are the most important things to me and I know that my focus needs to be on that.

Paul Deloughery is an estate and probate litigation, and law insurance dispute consultant in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit his website to read more of his blogs or follow him on Twitter!