Robert L. Rode

Oklahoma City Accident Attorney Robert L. RodeFirm founder Robert L. Rode believes that the key to success as a trial lawyer is frequently a matter of making the extra effort. Over more than 20 years, Mr. Rode has built his own practice based on that guiding principle, which he believes characterizes the firm today.

“I don’t think most plaintiffs’ lawyers put in the kind of time that we put into cases,” he says, speaking for himself and the firm’s other three attorneys. “We spend several weekends here in the office when we know we’ve got a trial coming up. Trial work is not for lazy lawyers,” says Mr. Rode.

“Unlike many firms that are too willing to settle cases, the Rode Law Firm is not afraid to go to court,” Mr. Rode says.

“We have a reputation for taking cases where the insurance company has offered really low dollars, and going down to the courthouse and trying the case and winning,” he says. “It’s really strange, but the biggest verdicts are the ones where the defendant’s insurance company has refused to pay almost anything.”

Mr. Rode holds the record for obtaining the biggest jury verdict for a premises-liability case in Oklahoma history. In 2002, Mr. Rode’s client received a $500,000 verdict from a Tulsa County jury as the result of injuries she received in a grocery store from slipping on a wet floor caused by a leaking freezer. At trial, Mr. Rode showed that the freezer had leaked and posed a safety threat known by the defendant’s company for years.

The Rode Law Firm has a special focus on trucking accidents, and here, too, Mr. Rode has had big wins representing injured persons. He recently tried a case before an Oklahoma City jury, representing a trucker who was injured when his partner was at the wheel and fell asleep, slamming into four other semis that were stopped for a train. Mr. Rode argued that the defendant trucking company knew that the driver had driven more than the maximum number of hours allowed under the Motor Carrier Act but ordered him to continue driving. The case was settled on the second day of trial for a confidential sum.

In preparing for a personal-injury trial, Mr. Rode says, nothing is more important than an exhaustive review of medical information.

“I believe that sometimes we have an advantage over the doctors because if a client has taken an ambulance ride, been to the emergency room, been to his family doctor or a chiropractor, gotten an MRI and is now referred to the surgeon, we get all that information that we can. I can then sit here and analyze all that and create a timeline. Sometimes I can look at the case and have a better understanding of what the client is going through and where his or her treatment is heading.”

Mr. Rode has been honing his skills in Oklahoma since 1990, when he returned to the Sooner State. A native of North Dakota, he received his juris doctorate from Tulsa Law School in 1989 and then spent a year and a half practicing law in New York City. After returning to Oklahoma, he worked in other firms for two years before founding his own firm.

When he’s not practicing law, Mr. Rode enjoys bow hunting, four-wheeling, and downhill skiing.