Disability Appeals in North Carolina  -   33 Years Experience
David R. Paletta
Disability Attorney

Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Boone
North Carolina

(919) 491-5643

Why I became a lawyer

Published by David Paletta

I was born in 1954 into a white, upper class family in the suburbs of St. Louis.  My father was born into poverty, the child of Italian immigrants who never learned to speak English.  He grew up during the Great Depression, and as a young man experienced the horrors of WWII as a doctor in General Patton's army.

My childhood was a sheltered one. My father wanted to give his children the safety and security he did not have when he was young. I attended private schools. I spent my summers at the Country Club. There was no crime in my neighborhood. There were no poor people in my neighborhood. Like the young Siddhartha, I was unaware there was another world out there.

During my junior year in high school, an unexpected life changing experience occurred. I wrote a research paper on the Vietnam war. My intent was to defend my country's military involvement in Southeast Asia. Growing up in a conservative Republican home, the truth about this war seemed self evident.

To my surprise, the more I researched this topic, the more I discovered my understanding of the war was not accurate.  Over and over again I found that information provided by the Government about the Vietnam war was false. 

As this research assignment progressed, I discovered . . .  suffering.  Six million Vietnamese killed, injured or made homeless due to the actions of the US military.  Six million human beings. 

This high school research assignment opened my eyes.  I became aware that there were millions of people on this planet who did not enjoy the benefits and privileges that were part of my every day life.  Once my eyes were opened, I could not close them.  This new awareness of suffering burrowed deep into my psyche. 

A fire within was born.  I could not close my eyes to what was going on in the world, or what was going on in my country.  I could not sit on the sidelines and do nothing, and live with the awareness that so many people were hurting and needed help.

It was this fire that drew me to the legal profession, and compelled me to become a lawyer.  Becoming a lawyer was a calling, and the call was loud and clear.

. . .

I have now been practicing law for more than 31 years.  Looking back, I believe my decision to become a lawyer was one of the best decisions of my life.  I love being a lawyer.  I love interacting with my clients in a deeply personal way.  I love trying to solve problems. 

However, the practice of law has been, and remains, . . . complicated.  It seems nothing is black and white.  Truly helping people is more complicated than I ever imagined.  Almost every case presents an ethical issue to which I see no clear answer.

Therefore, this Blog is going to be about Law and Ethics.  I plan to discuss ethical issues that have arisen in my law practice as I have tried to follow a calling that began long ago.  I hope to solicit comments and articles from others who are interested in this topic.