December 31, 2020
Dysart Taylor Cotter McMonigle & Montemore, P.C. is proud of the long and distinguished career of attorney George P. Coughlin, who has announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2020.
George, who first joined the firm as a partner in 2000 and moved into his current role in 2016, focused on areas of product liability, casualty insurance defense and commercial litigation in his career. He is an experienced defense attorney who defends large and medium-sized corporations, particularly the manufacturers of cranes, construction and lifting equipment, pollution-control and industrial equipment; and commercial cabinetry, to ensure the future of their business.
Learn more about George’s upcoming retirement in his Retirement Spotlight:
What do you remember about the day you took the bar exam?
“I was clerking for a federal judge at the time. I took only one day off and I drove down to Jefferson City. That evening took the bar exam and I remember that I stopped for a McDonald’s hamburger. I just went back to work the next day. And then I think I got a letter in the mail in November that I passed the bar.
“One of the more interesting things that I noticed was that after the lunch break, there were actually some people who didn’t show up for the second session, which I found kind of odd. I don’t know why you would spend the time and money to go and take the morning session and then not show up for the afternoon session. It was just unbelievable. I remember there were two or three, there were two or three empty seats in the, in that conference room. I was just flabbergasted; I’ll never forget it.”
What was the first “big case” you worked on alone/as the lead?
“I remember it well. The first jury trial I had was in 1978 in Clay County, Missouri. I was defending a large car company and after a plaintiff verdict, I won on appeal. It’s really significant because it had only been five years after I was admitted to practice and I was filing a brief at the Supreme Court.”
What’s your best memory of working at Dysart Taylor?
“I’ve won several jury trials and that’s probably the most significant thing because getting good results for clients always makes you feel good.”
If you could give advice to law students, what would it be?
“I would recommend that all law students spend time with a lawyer in his/her daily activities to see if it’s something that you would like to do, before committing to law school. Many people go to law school and then realize they don’t want to even be lawyers; that’s a waste of time and money. But, if you spend time with a mentor, you can see if that’s really what you want to do.”
“I’d encourage any young lawyers to find a quiet spot. Mine was the UMKC law library; I didn’t go to school there, but I made good use of their library. I’ve never been able to get ready for trial at home or in my office. You have to find a quiet space where you can just focus intensely on one thing without any distractions because it takes incredible concentration. And you really have to just get away from your office and get away from your phone and get away from your computer.”
What, if anything, will you miss most from practicing law?
“I came to Dysart Taylor from a larger firm that just got too large and I wanted a smaller, more friendly firm. I will miss working with the many lawyers I respect, many of whom are at Dysart Taylor.”
What are you looking forward to most in retirement?
“I want to spend more time with my wife, friends and our five grandkids. I’m also looking forward to being able to travel more. Hopefully this COVID thing will get over and then we can travel again. We’ve been to France twice and we’d like to get back. We’ve been to Ireland twice; but we need to get back to Ireland. But most importantly, we want to travel and see our grandkids – they’re in St. Louis, Cleveland and Chicago.”