Malpractice Attorney Spotlight: James R. Howell
Partner of PHP Law Firm
Personal Injury Attorney – Specializes in medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death, construction accidents, and motor vehicle accidents
Mediator – Mediation – serves as a mediator in civil cases involving all aspects of personal injury with a primary focus in cases involving injuries or death from medical malpractice.
Butler County Community College – Associate of Arts – Business Administration
Wichita State University – Bachelor of Arts – Business Administration/Economics
Washburn University of Topeka, School of Law – Juris Doctor (law degree)
Admissions, Associations and Memberships
Wichita Bar Association
- Medical/Legal Committee – past Chair and long-standing member
- Civil Practice Committee – past Chair and long-standing member
Kansas Bar Association
- Fellow and long-standing member
Kansas Association for Justice
- Chairman of the Board of Editors – Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers
- Past Chairman and long-standing member of the Amicus Curiae Committee
- Member of Executive Committee
- Member of Board of Governors
American Bar Association
- Long-standing member
American Trial Lawyers Association
- Long-standing member
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Long-standing member
Admissions To Practice
Publications and Seminars
I have always had an interest in education. I started by teaching classes as an adjunct professor at a local community college when I graduated from law school and continued my interests by educating my law colleagues in all aspects of the practice of law, having written and published over 30 Trial Practice articles and coordinated and presented at over 40 Continuing Legal Education Seminars. Today, I still seize every opportunity to carry out my commitment to education, including presentations to middle school and high school classes to introduce our children to the legal system and how it works.
My love for education and desire to give back to the community is reflected by my continued service on the Board of Trustees at Butler Community College (2013 to present) where I and my fellow Trustees work hard to ensure the College provides a quality, accessible and affordable education to everyone from high school students taking dual credit classes to folks looking to enhance or change their careers.
How long have you worked at PHP Law Firm?
After working with several of the state’s most prominent trial lawyers handling everything from construction to products liability cases, I began to focus strictly on personal injury cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. I joined the Prochaska firm as a partner in 2005 to continue to focus my practice on serious injuries, primarily injuries that were caused by medical mistakes. Whether the case involves a lapse of judgment in the emergency room or a birth injury from a medical mistake, I work tirelessly to obtain a just reward for my clients at PHP – mentally, physically and financially.
What is your typical day like?
I am up early and usually in the office between 6:30 and 7:00 am. I am not much of a “piddler”. I get right to work until staff arrives and then I set time aside to visit with them over coffee to see what they have been up to, how their evening went and if there is anything I can do to help – work-wise or personally. The rest of the day is spent working on my clients’ cases and looking at new cases to better answer potential new client’s questions about what happened and what went wrong – answers they don’t always get from those responsible for their injuries. Some days are spent in other offices formally asking questions to work up a case for trial or are spent in the courtroom making formal argument on legal issues or trying cases to juries.
In the evenings after work, I spend time with my family and often work on “office stuff” needing my undivided, uninterrupted attention or writing articles and working on legal seminar materials. Family still comes first, but they understand my commitment to my practice and allow me to “steal” some of their time!
What are you proud of?
I am proud of my children for obtaining formal education and their commitment to do doing well and helping others in need. I am proud of myself for dedicating my time to my family while still zealously representing my clients. I am proud of myself for also setting my personal time aside in efforts to educate my colleagues and help the College and the public to have the best educational opportunities available in our community. Finally, I am proud of the fact that I have had a distinguished career and have been able to help my clients through really tough times and obtaining justice for them all.
What is something many people do not know?
Most people who meet me for the first time think I am the typical lawyer who always wanted to be an attorney and went to school to be one. Nope. I grew up with a lot of diverse interests. I restore muscle cars and build custom cars, raced pro-stock cars, participated in quick draw competitions, raced boats, did motocross racing, played in a rock band, was a licensed building contractor, judged national car shows and love to landscape and garden. I went to school because my dad, a retired air force officer, insisted. I never wanted to be a lawyer, just thought law school would be interesting.