Life as a Catastrophic and Brain Injury Lawyer – Tina Odjaghian – S4E7

This week on the Legally Speaking Podcast, Robert Hanna speaks to Tina Odjaghian.

Tina is a US-based attorney who runs Odjaghian Law Group, which specialises in workers’ compensation litigation, with an emphasis on brain injury related litigation and industrial catastrophic injuries. The firm has seen strong recent growth, and now employs a robust team of 4 attorneys.

Tina is not just any attorney, she’s been named as a ‘Super Lawyer’ by the Super Lawyers Magazine in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021! During her career she’s won a total $200 million dollars in settlement claims for her clients. One such settlement was the largest in California worker compensation history.

Alongside running her firm, she also sits on the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery Board, and is Chairman of the Brain Society of California. 

In this episode she discusses:

  • Why she founded her successful practice
  • Why she enjoys being a workers’ compensation attorney
  • What needs to be done to reduce gender bias in the law
  • Some of her most memorable cases, including winning a $7 million settlement for a single client
  • Her experience on the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery Board and its pioneering work


Rob Hanna (00:00):

Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast. I’m your host, Rob Hanna this week. I’m delighted to be joined by Tina Odjaghian. Tina is the founder and managing partner at Odjaghian law group, a Los Angeles based law firm that specializes in brain injury litigation with an emphasis on industrial catastrophic injuries. Tina has prior experience at the LMU center for mediation and disability rights, where she earned her certification in mediation. Tina also serves as the chair of the board of the brain society of California and a member of the board advisors at the university of California department of neurosurgery. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Tina has been selected as a super lawyer by super lawyers magazines in 2016, 17, 18, 19,20 and 2021. So a very, very big welcome Tina.

Tina Odjaghian (00:52):

Thank you so much, Rob, for having me. It’s an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. And before we dive into all your amazing achievements and everything you’ve done to date, we do have a customary icebreaker question here on the show which is on the scale of one to 10, 10 being very real. How real would you rate the reality hit series suits? Well, I may be your only guest that hasn’t seen it, but I’ve never seen it so I can’t say, but I’ve got two little ones and a full-blown practice so I don’t watch very much television. Although I have binge watched some shows on Netflix recently since Covid has us couped up at home, but I’ve never seen suits.

Tina Odjaghian (01:36):

I don’t know if you will, because of the, as a proper as a proper lawyer i’m not one hundred percent sure you’ll be that convinced. And we have had a few people before who practice law that haven’t been on, so we will move swiftly on. So let’s start at the beginning. Tell our listeners a little bit about your family background and upbringing. My family background is extremely diverse. My mom is Portuguese, Lebanese, Indian, Roman Catholic, and my dad is Armenian, Russian Armenian. So I grew up in a household speaking, four different languages around the time of the revolution. After which we migrated and moved here to the United States. I was actually born in London though, and I had an accent a lot like yours at the age of 11. This is when he moved to the States at 11. Kids are cool at that age. And accents are cool I really wish I hadn’t lost it though because listening I remember just how cool it is, yeah, I’d love to say people in England feel the same, but they don’t. So I’m glad it’s a novelty in the U S okay. So in 2012, I believe after helping settle, one of the largest cases in California, workers’ compensation history, you set up your own law firm. So why did you decide to do that and tell us a bit about that journey?

Tina Odjaghian (03:00):

Sure. So I started out at a time. I graduated law school at a time where there was a recession and I was competing for jobs with attorneys 10, 15 years, my senior. And so I ended up taking a job at a defense firm, uh, you know, defending insurance companies and employers who’ve been sued by their employees. And although I gained really invaluable experience, I didn’t really find it particularly fulfilling, you know, and I had a hard time sleeping at night sometimes when I would settle some of the more catastrophic cases. And I really thought I wanted to be on the right side of things. And I’ve always been very entrepreneurial. So I wonder how my own practice. So when I went off on my own, I had one or two defense accounts at the time. I, um, handled a lot of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s Southern California claims.

Tina Odjaghian (03:48):

I came across a lady in court who had her husband injured, really bad on the job and he’d fallen off the roof. And their attorney at the time, I think was trying to force them into some subpar settlement, like under a hundred thousand dollars, which wouldn’t have been enough even for his medicine for a month. And he might’ve ended up on the street and she approached me and was crying and asked if I was an attorney. And I really wasn’t able to sleep at night. It was quite affected by it. And I thought, you know, I can help this woman. I know the system inside and out. And, um, you know, they’re definitely getting, uh, getting screwed for lack of a better word. And so I spoke to my then partner. I had a partner for a minute and I convinced him to take this case on.

Tina Odjaghian (04:31):

And so we took it on and we worked it up. We already litigated it for three years and it ended up settling in the mid seven figures. And since then, I’ve sort of gotten this word of mouth referral from others who are familiar with my work in the medical industry and the legal industry. A lot of my rules come from my colleagues who are familiar with the work I’ve done in brain injury litigation. So, you know, it was just kind of fortuitous. I think I sort of fell into it. It was fate, perhaps that I bumped into that lady that day, but law school isn’t like med school. We don’t specialize in, you know, the way that the doctors do. And so oftentimes you just sort of have a good portion of falling into what your meant to do. And for me, I just love brain injury litigation because I’m a nerd at heart. I love the medicine and I love helping people. And I get to do that. I get to do that. Um, there’s some people who were really badly hurt, so it’s a privilege all around.

Rob Hanna (05:23):

Yeah, no, and I love that story. Thank you so much for sharing it. And the firm specializes in personalized and aggressive prosecution of catastrophic claims on behalf of injured workers, suffering from brain injuries. You mentioned spinal cord injury, stroke, and severe PTSD. How have you found working in this area of law, particularly rewarding? You touched on it there, but tell us more.

Tina Odjaghian (05:47):

I absolutely love it because we get to draft creative arguments. And oftentimes the result a client can have is the difference between an attorney’s skillset, willingness to really learn the medicine and do their clients justice. So there are some cases that stick out in my mind, I represented a gentleman for example, who was in a facility that you go to on entitlements. If you’ve go no other reports and they were getting ready to send him to a hospice, his family was told that he was going to die. He had a bump on the head at work, and it was a rather bad bump, but he recovered from it. And his employer was providing all the benefits and all the medical treatments for the year after. But a year after that, he had a massive stroke and then they wash their hands with him altogether, no longer provided home health care.

Tina Odjaghian (06:43):

No longer provided medical benefits. And his attorney was just, you know, poor guy didn’t know what to do with it. And didn’t realize that his subsequent stoke might have been tied to the original injury. And so when I took that case, I was his family’s really last resort because they were being told that their loved one was going to die. And I did some research. I contacted all my experts and we learned that all bill it’s really difficult to prove a causal link when that much time had elapsed between the head injury and the stroke, there are increases in his cardiovascular risk factor, which resulted in the stroke. Such as, he was sedentary after his original injury, he was hospitalized. He had gained weight. His metabolism was not the same. He had developed diabetes and other pituitary gland dysfunction as a result of his brain injury.

Tina Odjaghian (07:38):

And so once we started to pull all of the pieces of the puzzle together, we were able to convince the experts and the judge in the case that the subsequent stroke was in fact tied to the original brain injury and almost overnight, Rob he got all of his benefits that were owed to him and the readers. They put them in, in a world class facility and started to rehabilitate and back to health, we settled this case for a high seven figure. And he’s now living with his family and doing a lot better. So, you know, those are the kinds of things where you feel really privileged as a human being to get to do what it is that you do. And I’ve got the good fortune to do that. And the fact that I happened to make a good living and be able to support my family as a first-generation immigrant is just the cherry on top. So I couldn’t be happier and feel more blessed.

Rob Hanna (08:28):

And what a wonderful story about making that positive change on, on people’s lives and everything that you’re doing. And I know how hard you’ve worked to build up the reputation that you rightly rightly deserve. Is it probably a tough question? What do you most enjoy about your current role? What’s that one thing that you particularly most, most enjoyable to pin it down to? One thing

Tina Odjaghian (08:50):

I love helping people. That’s my number one priority. And I think if that’s your motivation, you’re going to succeed no matter what you do. So I feel like a superhero really warms my heart to feel as though I can have the privilege of being the silver lining in someone else’s tragedy. It’s really a humbling sort of role to be in. I love helping people. The second thing I always say is, you know, I love setting a good example for my boys. I think that, you know, uh, they’re really proud of me and, uh, you know, they get to watch me do this and, uh, they’re my biggest fans and they’re along for the ride and for the journey, I want to set an example for them and raise good humans. And thirdly, i’d probably say, you know, um, I certainly hope that I can be a source of motivation, inspiration to other young women.

Tina Odjaghian (09:42):

In a professional field, and in a legal field to know that you can succeed at having your own business very successful on a lucrative one, where you can feel like you’re making a difference in people’s lives and that, you know, your personal life doesn’t have to suffer. You can be an awesome mom and a wife and have a wonderful fulfilling home life as well, and you can do it all. And just because society tells you, you can’t, I want to encourage people to limit the limiting beliefs and really just get one life feel for everything you want. And you can have it and you can do it

Rob Hanna (10:13):

What an inspiration. Thank you, Tina, for sharing that, I completely agree with it. You said you, you really are doing such amazing work and tying in and just allowing people to hear that, you know, everything is possible so good for you. And what I want to talk more about is your firm, because you’ve represented clients on both sides. Do you feel that makes your firm unique and if so, why?

Tina Odjaghian (10:37):

Well I don’t know if I feel it make it unique. But I definitely feel it makes it better. And stronger When I started out, I was defending claims for an insurance company called Kern and Forster. And then I was able to miraculously land a Bloomingdale’s account, which was really a rarity because oftentimes it was big corporations like to go with big firms, and big resources, but they gave me a chance, and I was on their defense council, probably about 12 years until I contacted them and voluntarily asked to be taken off because really my heart was in the plaintiff’s work. And I wanted to do that exclusively. It was just hard for me to do that because I’d become so attached to the adjusters, um, on the defense side. But I think that it makes me a stronger plaintiff’s lawyer because I know what the defense is thinking. Cause I was in those shoes and I know how they’re approaching these claims, how they’re assessing them, what the weaknesses and strengths are. And so I think anytime you can anticipate your opponent’s game plan certainly puts you in a better position to do a better job on behalf of your clients. So certainly that was really valuable experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m very happy to not have to be doing that anymore.

Tina Odjaghian (11:49):

And this is where I feel like it made the most difference really are. 

Rob Hanna (11:54):

You know, again, I commend you for everything that you’ve done and you continue to do. Um, I really admire all the work that you’re doing and on that, I’m sure a lot of people are going to be inspired listening to your story. What advice would you give to other lawyers or attorneys who might be thinking of setting up their own law firm? One day

Tina Odjaghian (12:11):

I say do it. Um, you know, I speak a lot of times through my Instagram account. I’ll have a lot of young attorneys and lawyers in the profession, reach out to me with questions with a lot of fear. And I can certainly relate, um, as a first generation immigrant, you feel like, you know, just wait until I get married and then I’ll do this. I’ll wait until I have a child and I’ll do this. And I just kind of want to say, look, there’s no real right time to do it. And for me, ignorance is bliss. I didn’t know any better. And so I pulled the umbilical cord and did it early. And it’s the best thing I ever did now with the caveat that if you’re a firm where you see yourself having a future, you see the opportunity for growth and you want to be a part of something bigger. I wouldn’t discourage that. But if you’re in a situation where you feel like you’re not going to be given the opportunities to really use your talents, then take a chance on yourself, invest in yourself. It’s really the best investment you can ever make. And there’s never really a right time. If you’re always waiting for the right time to execute, then it will unfortunately never happen. So I encourage you to take the leap.

Rob Hanna (13:11):

Yeah, yeah. Really good advice. I always say to people the best time is now. So I love that. And as I mentioned in my introduction, you’ve been selected as a super lawyer by the super lawyers magazines from 2016, right? The way through to 2021, you’ve previously been selected as a rising star by the super lawyers magazine. And you’re the founder and managing partner of your own firm. What do you put down to all your success thus far?

Tina Odjaghian (13:37):

Oh, well, I wish I could tell you it comes from a good place, but as a first-generation immigrant moving to the States, at a really young age and going through some really tough times and watching my parents make some serious sacrifices . There are periods in my past where I wouldn’t see my dad for days at a time because he was working overseas to provide for us. And my mom was working long hours in the flower shop and my brother and I were kind of left to take care of ourselves. And I just wanted to make sure that I can create a life and have a future where I never have to worry about those things again. And I would really avail myself of the American dream and the opportunities my parents had sacrificed so much for me to have access to and to make sure that my kids would never have to go through the types of dark days and difficult times that I went through.

Tina Odjaghian (14:26):

And so that’s always been my motivating factor. And if I’m being honest, it’s been a little bit of fear as well. The fear of reverting to those difficult times and not ever wanting to be there always striving, um, and working really hard and, uh, overachieving and, um, you know, it’s a combination of first-generation hustle and a genetic predisposition, I think, but at the end of the day, it’s hard work hard work is talent. Every time talent isn’t working hard. And so I really ascribed to that. I tried, I tried to emphasize that to my boys and I certainly hope that even though they’ve got an easier life and they’ve got, you know, um, more sort of means and family time and nurturing and, you know, um, the ease that comes with being second generation immigrants, I hope that I instill some of the work ethic in them. Nonetheless, it’s definitely a daily struggle and a challenge, but I hope that I can, I can instill in them some of the, uh, good work ethic and values that my parents instilled in me.

Rob Hanna (15:31):

Yeah. Well, really well said. And I’m sure you will. And I’m so glad that you mentioned hard work there because people, you know, even people say work smart, even people who work smart work hard. Right. I think that’s the point, you know, I’ve not met anyone who’s been successful today. Who’s not worked hard in some capacities.

Tina Odjaghian (15:52):

I want to add to that. Robert, you know, I’ve got some colleagues and friends that will sort of minimize the effort and minimize the fear and minimize the self doubt and say, you know, things like, you know, I’ve never felt that way. I’ve always known that I’m going to succeed and I’ve always known it’s going to be. And I have to just kind of, for the purpose of being completely transparent, and honest with your audience, who will hopefully get something out of this, you know, I, I don’t believe that to be true. I think we all have self doubt. I think we all have insecurities. I think it’s human to and it’s inhuman, not to. And so, um, I think the tough part the challenge is to do it in spite of those fears and in spite of those doubts, and once you do it, you become more confident and, and it sort of has a domino effect from there. Everything started and the success avalanches, if you will. And so do it in spite of the doubt, in spite. That’s certainly been my motto and it’s served me well

Rob Hanna (16:50):

Really well. So yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Okay. So you have also been active on Clubhouse recently where we got to connect. How do you think lawyers can make best use of that particular platform?

Tina Odjaghian (17:03):

Well, I’m not a marketing expert, Robert, so I don’t know I started my own rooms, but I’m so bad. I haven’t hosted anything in my own rooms, just because of my other commitments. You know, I’ve got the talk show it’s Oh, I’ve got my brain. So Cal medical, legal, nonprofit conference that I put on every year, you know? And so I’ve been busy speaking in my other friend’s rooms cause I get invited a few times a week and between that. And my obligations at the firm , I really haven’t had a chance to get my own rooms off the ground. And I don’t really know if I ever will. So I am not sure how others are using it for, for me, I’m really taking it as an opportunity, like anything that I do to meet people and to make good relationships and to network and to people, to meet people like yourself and build genuine connections with people, if that ends up being, you know, a source of a referral down the road, then so be it wonderful. But that’s not my primary focus. My primary focus is to meet other people, to learn new things, to be in these chat rooms and put myself in uncomfortable positions where I assert myself and sometimes it’s intimidating to do so. And so, you know, it’s a growth opportunity more than anything else. And if it results in more business then wonderful, but that’s not my primary focus. What do you think?

Rob Hanna (18:19):

Yeah, I, I echo absolutely everything that you you’re saying. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to get access, to network with people and learn and share knowledge. And there’s a real community forming, particularly in the legal space on there so soon. So yeah, I’m, I’m a big advocate of the platform, but we have to talk about other social media platforms because you have a large presence and do a lot of work on Instagram. So again, tell us a bit more about that. And do you think lawyers should look to embrace social media as part of growing their personal brands?

Tina Odjaghian (18:50):

I am. I’m really glad you asked that question. You know, if you’d asked it or three years ago, it was quite controversial. I started my Instagram page probably five or six years ago. I was one of the first attorneys to do so. And I, you see my page rather. I think the purpose of it was to just kind of motivate and inspire and so got all sorts of motivational content and quotes and then it kind of evolved to, to mirror my life. And I used it as a platform to live my life out loud. Um, you’ll see photos of my family or family activities. You’ll see personnel, some big results. My firm has hit some case law that we’ve made that has helped the industry. And then you’ll also see some fun and goofy, funny fashion videos that you wouldn’t perhaps expect from a professional lawyer.

Tina Odjaghian (19:36):

But, you know, it’s just a really authentic, honest display of who I am. And I got a lot of flack for it. Initially, I’ll tell you because it’s perhaps un lawyer like a little bit, you know, I’m kind of stuck with my gut on it. I just felt like I was being authentic. I was getting positive feedback from people who were following me in the city, all that mattered. And I’m really happy to see my critics jump on the bandwagon now and start their own pages because it’s a really great platform if I’m being honest, but again, like clubhouse, like anything else, I cheated a bit differently than perhaps some of the other lawyers, you know, my page, you’ll see, does it look like generic law firm advertising page? Because I really feel like, you know, people are tired of that. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

Tina Odjaghian (20:23):

There’s a narrative. They don’t say anything. They don’t speak to you. Anything about you and people want to connect with the person or the persona. They find relatable. You know, they want to see all aspects of your life. They want to be able to trust you. So my philosophy on social media is, and needs to be honest and used to be authentic. You know, if you’re going to talk about results, make sure there your own results. There’s a lot of the stuff going on, where people are talking about results that they themselves, perhaps they referred it to another attorney that attorney hit a result. And so they’re advertising it as their own, um, you know, to learn people are advertising my results on their website and get to make call and have that taken down overnight. So, so long as it’s honest, so that you’re clear with the state bar first and foremost, because it can be construed as advertisement, right?

Tina Odjaghian (21:06):

And second it’s authentic. It’s a reflection of who you are. If you’ve got a hobby or something you’re passionate about, it should be on your social media page. There’s no reason for it to not be, you know what I mean? And I think so long as you follow those guidelines, then you know, you will be successful anytime you’re doing something you’re passionate about and sharing something you’re passionate about, the audience will pick up on that and it will resonate with them. And so that’s kind of been my motto and I, you know, developed a decent following. I’ve been verified and I love it. It’s been such a resourceful tool in my life. People ask me does it get you leads does it get you referrals, not directly sometimes, but you know, it’s been such a great resource. I do my hiring off my Instagram page. You know, um, if I’ve got a question or want to gather information, I use my social media page. And so for me, it’s been a wonderful platform and a tool in my life altogether in my practice as well.

Rob Hanna (22:03):

I love everything you’re doing, people want to know, you know, human first, then the lawyer and, and you’ve just nailed it there. So absolutely. Okay. But you do keep very busy. You are also the chairman of the board of the brain society of California. So can you tell us a little bit more about what that role involves?

Tina Odjaghian (22:20):

Sure. So look in the legal community here in Southern California, I noticed that there was a huge disparity between the results, my colleagues who were getting on relatively similar cases now with the caveat that no two brain injuries are alike. Oftentimes you can look at it and it would boil down to the resources and the skillset of the attorney involved or the experts involved. And so I really wanted to start a Southern California based resource, right, where I can bring together all of the brilliant minds who practiced catastrophic injury litigation, brain injury litigation, put them on my board have them be invested in my organization and have them speak on educational webinars and seminars to help educate our colleagues, particularly the young lawyers coming up in the profession so that they would feel supported and educated and empowered to go out and get great results as well because when they get great results, it raises the bar for us industry-wide and insurance companies get used to the idea that, you know, we’re not going to sell our clients out.

Tina Odjaghian (23:23):

You know, the ones who are really catastrophically injured, are going to get every penny that they deserve. And so that was the motivation for starting brain So Cal we had over 800 people attend our first conference two years ago. We took a hiatus during COVID and did some webinars, but now we’re going to be in back in full force, October of 2021. We booked for Marriott LA live and I’m really looking forward to that conference. But you know, I sit on a lot of non-profit boards in the brain injury community, just because, you know, I love giving back philanthropy is a big part of my life and my practice. And so brain council is a part of that.

Rob Hanna (24:01):

Yeah. And you, you’re just such an inspiring person. That’s doing so much for the legal community and it was recently and you sort of touched a bit on it there, but it was recently international women’s day. Do you believe that unconscious bias is still a huge barrier to gender equality in the profession? And if so, what positive steps can firms and organizations take to tackle this?

Tina Odjaghian (24:24):

I honestly feel that all conscious and unconscious biases exist, unfortunately, it’s kind of a double-edged sword because there is a school of thought that says, if you’re a strong woman, you don’t talk about being strong and when you just do it, but then the truth of the matter is if you don’t talk about the elephant in the room, how’s that ever going to disappear, right? So I have to say, I’ve been a victim of it myself and I still continue to be, even after achieving this level of success, I do feel like there is a gender bias and double standards and, um, it’s really disheartening and unfortunate. And so I am very vocal about it. Um, you know, I do women’s panels and my main programming. I, uh, I have women’s panels on my webinars and on my podcast, I host a room on clubhouse.

Tina Odjaghian (25:12):

Co-host the room on clubhouse. I actually was going to start my own. And then I said, you know what? My friend’s got a wonderful one going, I’ll just join forces with her. It’s called law and stilettos every Tuesday night. And I listened to some of the stories these women have to tell Rob, and I have to tell you, it makes me cringe. I feel so bad for them, but there have been situations in the past where I reflect upon it now. And I say, gosh, if I knew then what I know now, this is how I would have handled it differently. Um, but unfortunately that doesn’t come until you’ve had a good amount of experience and competence that she builds off. So to answer your original question, I think the first step is recognizing that they exist and the staff and staff is taking affirmative actions to make sure that they’re not tolerated within your institution.

Tina Odjaghian (25:57):

And so for me, I got my own institution. I got my own firm, thankfully. And you would think that that somehow it makes it so that I’m immune, but unfortunately it doesn’t. A lot of my colleagues are still not accustomed to seeing a woman in my position, heading a firm that gets the kind of results that we get that has the kind of respect that we have. And so I, unfortunately I encounter, um, some of this kind of bias myself and criticism myself, you know, I’m criticized for posting some of the results that I have, whereas my male counterparts are celebrated for it. Um, but look, some of it, you just have to let roll off your back, but you certainly have to have the conversation. I want to encourage my female colleagues to stand up for themselves and assert themselves because if they don’t, no one else will.

Tina Odjaghian (26:47):

And I want to encourage my male colleagues to give female colleagues within their firms and institutions, the opportunities that they deserve because judges and jurors have been clear that they want to hear from us, we have a unique way of telling our story and it certainly needs to be reflected in the courtroom. We’re graduating over 50% women, but only about 25% of them are making their way to the courtroom trying these cases. And so the first way that the bias is going to change and disappear is if women assert themselves and men in position of power, give those women an opportunity and a platform to do so.

Rob Hanna (27:25):

Yeah. Great advice. Great advice. Completely agree. And let’s hope, you know, change continues. So we mentioned in the introduction, you are one of the advisors to the university of California department of neurosurgery. Tell us a bit more about that and what your role involves there.

Tina Odjaghian (27:42):

Sure. So that has been, um, a really great experience. I have to tell you, Rob, I know a whole lot about brain injury, you know, uh, certainly compared to some of my other legal colleagues, but I sit in these board meetings and a good amount of what they’re talking about, goes over my head. Uh, the UCLA department of neurosurgery and neurosciences is really an industry leader in, you know, treatment, cutting edge methods and surgery VR. We have some of our doctors from UCLA department of neurosurgery, believe it or not zoom in via VR goggles, uh, to assist other doctors around the world in London in third world countries and some complicated brain surgeries. They’re just amazing. But my role as an, in an advisory capacity on their board has a lot to do with getting the word out about the amazing work that they do and raising funds and philanthropy, because, you know, they offer a lot of treatment life-saving treatment, you know, for stroke victims and so forth who can’t otherwise afford it. And the fundraising that we do for the department goes to providing life-saving services to folks whose life has been turned upside down by sudden brain injury. So it’s a real privilege to serve on that board. I’m the only attorney that serves on that board alongside other colleagues, board members who are neurosurgeons and fortune 500 CEOs and so forth. So it’s been a real humbling experience and I’ve learned so much from those folks. It’s really a pleasure to serve on that board.

Rob Hanna (29:10):

Thank you so much, Tina. Thanks for sharing that. That’s super interesting. And you’ve mentioned briefly, but you are the host of the Tina O show. So tell us a bit more about it and what, what you discuss and yeah. Types of guests you have on?

Tina Odjaghian (29:23):

Yeah, no. So that’s just sort of a silly side project. I talk about the importance of having a creative outlet and jobs as serious and as stressful as ours, right. And part of my creative outlet is my Instagram account and the fun fashion videos that you see me do. And part of it is the talk show. You know, it’s meant to be light. It’s meant to be, you know, equivalent to like a a morning show, you’d see on noon programming. And it came from the fact that it was born out of the COVID era, where there were so many educational webinars brain council mine included that everyone was going to, and it was, you know, educational webinar overload. And maybe we just want to talk about a whole lot of nothing and curse and laugh and shoot your and we should have a platform to do that. And so that’s how the talk show, you know, came about the first episode, which was last month was me and three of my favorite female colleagues talking about making light of the. We have to deal with this email. I’m sorry. I apologize. I know that this is a proper British podcast. I probably should have asked you at first, but the second episode is going to be where a couple of my colleagues, one of them was a serious gentleman trial lawyer. Who’s going to be playing guitar and singing some Taylor Swift acoustically.

Tina Odjaghian (30:45):

And the other one is going to be doing a full blown techno DJ set. And it’s going to be on the importance of having a talent and a creative social outlet. And it’s going to be a happy hour of sorts. And you’re welcome to join us this coming Thursday. But yeah, it’s, it’s just, it’s meant to be fun and, um, light programming for an audience of attorneys, but we had some others attend as well last time who just want to blow off some steam and perhaps not take themselves as seriously, enjoy a cocktail or two and watch some, watch some light stuff.

Rob Hanna (31:18):

I’ll be there. Sounds great. I’m sold. I’ll definitely be there. I really, really like the sound of that. Okay. Um, and finally, you’ve touched on a few cases. So you may have already mentioned, but what has been your most rewarding case you’ve worked on during your career?

Tina Odjaghian (31:32):

You know, that’s a tough one Rob, there’ve been so many. I love my clients and I’m personally invested in their stories. I turn away 95% of the cases that come through my door because I recognize that my human resources are limited and I want to do my clients justice. And I feel like that’s really important. I want to have the time and the resources of myself to give to every single one of those case. So as you can imagine, I’m very involved and invested in the case and in the outcome of those cases. And so, you know, oftentimes there’ll be like family. I had this one case where I settled it maybe eight years ago and the family follows me on Instagram. And I saw that, you know, they’d made a big purchase a few days ago and I timed in on their posts and they responded back, you know, thank you.

Tina Odjaghian (32:23):

This is all due to your hard work, your family, we love you changed our lives. You restored some normalcy. So it’s those kinds of stories. Honestly, that I live for the injured folks I’ve represented who have young children always strike a chord with me because I can relate to that to having a young child. And I can’t even imagine going through something that traumatizing in your life while you’re trying to be a good parent and provide for them. And so those are always ones that really hit close to home for me, but I love all my clients i’m equally invested. I spend time with them, I get to know them so that I can do them justice. I can tell their story and I can really bring their case to fruition. Uh, the one case I shared with you about the gentleman who was on hospice and we were able to get him in to some serious care.

Tina Odjaghian (33:14):

And settle his case for some serious value. That’s definitely one that sticks out to me. There are a few like back that are very similar. There was another gentleman who, um, worked for a very wealthy institution. And so there’s a confidentiality clause and see only results on my website that is listed as a DOE plaintiff and a doe defendant because of the confidentiality clause. But this is one of the toughest cases I had. And so I’m particularly proud of it. He was a gentleman in his seventies who had a small bump on the head, um, nothing serious, nothing that would have hurt you or me. Um, but in his case, he was missing his pituitary gland because he had pituitary cancer previously. And so no one wanted to touch his case cause he was on Coumadin blood thinners, uh, which was more prone to stroke.

Tina Odjaghian (34:04):

And so that little bunk, he suffered on the head resulted in a massive stroke later on that night. And the insurance company washed their hands of him. And so we had to work really hard to get that case accepted and ultimately settle this case for a lot of money, made all the difference in the lives for him and his family and his grandkids and his wife. And so that’s sort of the type, um, cases that I got for the most part. But that one in particular I’m really proud of because it was a tough case and it was difficult. And a lot of people that turned it down and oftentimes in our profession, one man’s garbage is another one’s treasure. And so I specialize in these difficult cases because representing brain-injured folks is a privilege, but it’s also difficult because a lot of my clients have invisible injuries.

Tina Odjaghian (34:52):

If you see them, if you talk to them, they look and sound perfectly fine. Oftentimes, you know, especially the mild traumatic brain injuries at all internally, you can’t see it, it’s invisible. And so it’s my job as their attorney and their advocate to do everything I can to bring that injury to life. And that’s part of the challenge that I absolutely enjoy. And I welcome. And that’s also part of the part that makes it really rewarding for me because I’m giving a voice to someone who’s otherwise voiceless and I’m getting justice for someone whose injury is super invisible. There’s one gentleman who had a mild traumatic brain injury. And he was referred to me two years after his injury. And it didn’t show up on radio graph anymore. It was by and large invisible, but his family, you know, talking about how he just isn’t, who used to be anymore, he was on the couch all the time, wanted to watch television all day.

Tina Odjaghian (35:44):

So really irritable. They couldn’t figure out what’s going on with him. And his attorney had made a demand to settle his case for $150,000. And that would have been a nightmare because this guy needed rehab. He needed to get motivated. He was having suicidal ideations that no one knew about. And so we took the case on, we litigated it. We gave it some TLC and by some miracle we were able to turn that ship around and ultimately settle this case for $7 million. So that’s sort of one where I feel like we made a huge impact and it could have been the difference between someone ending up on the street and someone being able to put the pieces of their lives together and move on. And so that one result where we always stuck out with me as being, um, you know, the biggest before and after change, but there are so many where that came from, it’s been a privilege to represent them. So there isn’t just one, you know, there’s so many,

Rob Hanna (36:42):

I think you gave a very comprehensive answer there. So thank you so much for sharing that. And it’s just very clear that you always strive to do your absolute best for your clients and go above and beyond. So yeah, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. Tina, if people want to follow you or get in touch about anything we’ve discussed today, what’s the best way for them to do that. Feel free to shout out any web links or any social media handles. And we’ll also share them with this episode for you as well.

Tina Odjaghian (37:08):

I really appreciate that. So you can go to my website, it’s ODJAGHIAN.COM And be good or a results page. And it’ll show you your body of work a little bit about what it is that we do. Um, and if you’d like to follow me on Instagram, I’d love to connect with you on Instagram. And my handle is Tina Odjaghian. Uh, it’s my first and last name, which a lot of pronouncing it. And I so appreciate him for that. But, um, yeah, but her phone number also is (818) 227-4848. If you go to our website, there’s a toll free number as well. Um, feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to connect with your audience.

Rob Hanna (37:54):

Thank you so so much, Tina, it has been once again, a real pleasure having you on our legally speaking podcast. So from all of us on the show, we want to wish you lots of continued success with your career, but from all of us over and out,

Tina Odjaghian (38:07):

I just want to thank you so much for inviting me to be on your show. It’s been such a pleasure. You are so delightful every time I see you in a clubhouse room, I made sure to come in and say hello, because I learned so much from you and you’re just so kind and down to earth and awesome. It’s been a privilege. Thank you so much for, including me in your program.

Rob Hanna (38:27):

This week’s review comes from Amber Booth. Amber says I really enjoy listening to this podcast and would highly recommend to anyone looking to get into the legal profession. Thank you so much for your kind words, Amber. We really appreciate your support for the show. It means a lot to all of us on the team. Make sure you leave a review on Apple podcasts, if you want the chance to be given a shout out next week.

Rob Hanna (38:53):

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Legally speaking podcast. If you enjoyed the show and want to help support us, remember to leave us a rating and review on Apple iTunes, you can also support the show and gain exclusive benefits, bonus content, and much more by signing up to our Patreon page, which is Thanks for listening.

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