City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Norman attorneys David Teasdale (left) and Jake Aldridge share a light moment.

Featured Article

Norman Attorneys Put 'Counselor' Back on the Placard

“I have had a few experiences in my career that changed me. Absolute epiphanies.”

Jake Aldridge has been practicing law for 15 years, but his journey hasn’t been a straight line. After passing the bar in early 2008, Jake worked as a public defender and then as a litigator for insurance companies before opening his own firm with his friend, David Teasdale, to practice personal injury law.

“At the turn of the century, when Oklahoma was being formed, there were—generally—three highly educated people in each town: the clergy, the doctor and the lawyer. Attorneys and counselors at law. You could talk to your lawyer, and it would remain privileged, just like it would with your doctor or your clergy.

“Somehow we got lost as a profession. The word ‘counselor’ is not on our placard anymore. That is why David and I ended up practicing law together. Because he is the only guy I know who practices law the way I do.”

Although Jake and David both graduated law school from Oklahoma City University, they didn’t meet until a little later.

Jake explains: “After I had been in the Public Defender’s office a few years, David became an intern of mine in the summer of 2008. He continued on in law school and went to work in a plaintiff’s firm, which is what we currently are. We represent clients who might have been in a car wreck, or suffered medical malpractice, or pernicious liability.

“In 2014, I had an epiphany during a case that I actually litigated against David and another lawyer,” he added. “I tried a case against a woman who was traumatically hurt, and I followed the guidelines of the insurance company, and I got the jury to give a number that was not in the best interest of that hurt woman. And when the jury came back with the number, I had a sinking feeling. The woman was crying, with her head in her hands, and I had fought for a multi-national, multi-billion-dollar company, and this woman was stuck with the bill. It forever changed my ability to take those cases.

“That year,” Jake said, “I moved to the plaintiff’s side. If you get hurt, I’m going to take your case. If you don’t win, you owe me nothing. If you do win, you owe me a portion of the settlement that we decide on the front end.”

Six years later, on Jan. 1, 2021, David and Jake joined together as a firm, working out of Jake’s home for the first five months.

Their new office building at 324 W. Main St. in downtown Norman is also home to the Tom S. & Marye Kate Aldridge Charitable and Educational Trust, which has given away over $5 million over the past 25 years in lieu of a Florida beach camp for patients at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health, scholarships at all major universities in Oklahoma (among other beneficiaries) started by Jake’s great-grandfather.

Jake asserts that most of their business is a residual business—coming from referrals of referrals of referrals.

“We try to deal with everyone kindly: our clients, doctors, insurance companies, accountants. We represented them five or six years ago and we try to take care of them. Five or six years later, people come back. When they recommend their friends and families to us, that means the world to us. Good service begets good service; these relationships matter.”

  • Norman attorneys David Teasdale (left) and Jake Aldridge share a light moment.