Attorney Spotlight – Jeff Barnes

Attorney Spotlight website

Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman’s very first Attorney Spotlight is William J. G. Barnes.  Jeff has been at Harman Claytor for 18 years focusing mainly on personal injury defense.  He will be retiring at the end of 2023 (or as he says, “becoming a recovering lawyer”) after practicing law for 37 years total.  Before going to law school, Jeff worked for a congressman for two years. After the congressman lost, Jeff had no job prospects, so off to law school he went.

1. Where are you from originally? — The bustling metropolis of Tazewell, VA, deep in the heart of God’s country.

2. How would your best friend describe you in three words? — He married up.

3. What advice would you give your younger self? — Don’t wait so long to write that novel. 

4. What’s something surprising/fun that not many people know about you? — Jon Stewart was a fraternity brother.

5. When have you felt the proudest? — Walking my daughter, Carly, down the aisle in July 2022. 

6. Describe an experience that has had a lasting impact on you. — My brother and I were staying at a YMCA in New Delhi, India, on Easter Sunday in 1983, and attended Easter services.  Despite the fact that only about 1-2% of the population was Christian, we witnessed a hundred or more worshippers who had traveled for miles and at great expense to practice their faith in a country that didn’t look favorably on their religion.  It has served as a reminder to be true to yourself and your beliefs.      

7. What has been your most meaningful accomplishment so far? — Helping my wife, Tamera, raise two wonderful daughters.

8. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years? — It’s never too late to pursue your passion.

9. Do you have any pets? We have a dog, which is our second Wheaten terrier. For reasons that remain unknowable, we have been adopted by an outdoor cat – who now fancies himself an indoor one — left behind when neighbors moved several years ago.  Despite never having owned, nor wanting to own, a cat, I’ve been dubbed “Cat Dad” by my daughters.    

10. If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring? — A motorboat, someone who knows how to operate it, and enough Gin to get me back to the mainland. 

11. What’s the best trip you’ve ever been on and why? — In 1983, my brother and I bought Pan Am (that was an airline for you younger folks!) around-the-world tickets.  Starting in Hawaii, we also visited the Philippines, Singapore, Bali, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, India, and Nepal before stops in Europe.  In addition to being a great bonding experience with my brother, it was a trip full of wonder, beauty, and cultural experiences that we could never have imagined.     

12. If you could attend any concert, who would it be? — Stevie Ray Vaughan (one more time). 

13. What do you enjoy doing outside of work? — Tennis, reading, writing.    

14. What would your perfect weekend look like? — Cabin in the mountains, drinking coffee in the mornings on the deck, long afternoon hikes with my wife and Cotter, and sipping bourbon by the fire at night. 

15. Do you have any creative outlets or interests? — Writing historical fiction.  I have one novel under my belt (“Mingo”), with plans to write more in retirement. 

16. What’s a cause that you are passionate about? — Elk Hill, a non-profit that provides educational, residential, and community services to at-risk kids in Virginia. 

17. What’s something that you’ve always wanted to try or learn? — Harmonica.

18. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? — Another around-the-world ticket.  Make that two.  Tamera will want to join me this go-round. 

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