Monday Profile: John Bredell

By Jo Mathis
Legal News
 
John Bredell started his career in 1984 as a trial lawyer at the then defense firm of Davis and Fajen. He conducted about 15 trials in two years—once, giving two closing arguments in one day—and loved it.
In 1989, he began representing plaintiffs, and in 1991, he and his wife, Lynn Marie, started their own firm, Bredell & Bredell, with offices in Ypsilanti and Jackson. They focus on personal injury.
The Bredells will celebrate their 30 year anniversary in August. They are the parents of two adult sons and live half the time in York Township and the other half on Portage Lake in Pinckney. 
 
Currently reading … “Damages” by David Ball and “Basket Case” by Carl Hiaasen.
 
Favorite local hangouts: Comerica Park, Knight’s Steak House and The Quarter Bistro.
 
Favorite websites: Amazon. 
 
What is your most treasured material possession? There are very few things I own that cannot be replaced. Two “things” that I cannot replace are my picture ID badge from the six years I worked on the GM assembly line, and my great great grandfather’s parchment Medical School diploma. The diploma is pretty cool and I will give it to my younger son when he graduates from medical school. The GM badge reminds me that most people have to work much harder than I do and that I am indeed fortunate in my chosen profession. 
 
Was it scary to start your own firm? I was terrified that my wife, who had worked at Plunket and Cooney, and I were no longer receiving paychecks, but it was the best career decision I have ever made. 
 
Which things do you not like to do? Keep track of my legal time and 8 a.m. court appearances. 
 
What would surprise people about your job? I have never caught an ambulance. 
 
What do you wish someone would invent? The beam me up Scotty device they used in Star Trek. 
 
What has been your favorite year so far? 1984. I graduated from law school, got my first job as a lawyer, married my wife, became a future father on our honeymoon, won my first trial, the Tigers won the World Series and my wife and I passed the Bar . These events are in chronological order. 
 
Does your job ever make you pessimistic? No. I have assumed the worst about most people for years and every now and then, people I meet make me optimistic and hopeful. 
 
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? Brad Ausmus. 
 
What’s the most awe-inspiring place you have visited? Steamboat Springs on New Year’s Eve in 1999. There was a huge crowd at the base of the mountain and the Ski Patrol skied down the mountain with torches and changed the formation from 1999 to 2000 at midnight. As a bonus, the world did not end due to the Y2K scare. We were cozy with our children on a condo balcony watching the events. 
 
If you could have one super power, what would it be? Mind reading. 
What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Nothing. I would not want to risk changing my future. I believe I am the product of all of my prior mistakes and mis-steps. 
 
What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? It is always the same moment. Having a jury return a verdict favorable to my client. Several of those verdicts have forever altered the life of my client. 
 
Must-see TV: “House of Cards” and “Breaking Bad.” 
 
What is something most people don’t know about you? I actually do write some of my own briefs. I won the writing competition in my law school and was a published member of the Law Review. And no, my wife did not write it for me. 
 
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Jesus, James Madison and a court reporter. I would love to set the record straight for centuries of misquotes. If the court reporter did not count as the third, I would add Abe Lincoln because he was the most badass lawyer ever. 
 
Can’t-live-without technology: Android phone. 
 
What was the greatest compliment someone ever paid you? I can get superficial compliments from some people because I can convince them that I am charming, nice whatever. However, the greatest compliments have come from my wife and children because they truly know me. The compliments are private but I treasure them. 
 
What do you drive? An Audi A8. 
 
What would you drive if money were no object? An Audi 8 with a driver. 
 
Favorite place to spend money: Anywhere warm in the winter. 
 

What would you like carved onto your tombstone? I don’t plan on having a tombstone. Shelly’s Ozymandias convinced me of the futility of a shrine to oneself.  

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