family is our priority

The Indefinable Value of a Father

Robin A. Jabour

With Father’s Day quickly approaching, we are inundated with media advertisements reminding us of what our fathers mean to us.  While everyone seemingly knows the importance of a father, it is often difficult to describe in words.

As attorneys who routinely represent clients in cases involving serious injuries and wrongful deaths, we often struggle with being able to express, in a clear and thoughtful way, the value of a loss of a father to his children. The law provides us with little guidance.  Determining the extent of financial loss is typically the easy part. Articulating the extent of intangible harm or loss, however, can be quite challenging.

One suggestion might be to change our focus.  Instead of thinking about the extent of the loss, we should think about a father’s contributions to his children. As young children, our fathers are our first superheroes, our teachers, and our biggest cheerleaders.  As we age, they become our confidantes, our golf partners, and our friends.  And as they age, they transform into our most treasured and respected sources of wisdom.  We know these things because each of our clients has a story about their fathers and these stories often impart these thoughts, albeit, not in exact words. If we ask our clients to describe the loss of their father in terms of their contributions to each of them, the task may be less daunting, and more effective.

This Father’s Day, let us pay tribute to the fathers we have lost. But also, let us honor the fathers we are so fortunate to have with us still. To each of the amazing fathers in our Firm; to each of the remarkable fathers of our children; and to each of our own incredible fathers, thank you!