Monday, November 30, 2020

Case Study #92 - Ted Practicing Law

"Ted Practicing Law" Oil on Canvas. 2021

Theodore W. (Ted) Goodman, lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with his wife, Kelly, and son Will. Ted has Neurofibromatosis (Type I) and scoliosis (curvature of the spine) that is often associated with NF. Ted wore a back brace from the age of 14 until he was 20. Though Ted had several Neurofibroma tumors removed as a child, he was not formally diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis until he was 25 years old when it was discovered in the course a military physical. 

As a law-student at the University of Tennessee, Ted received offers of commission as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer from the Army and the Airforce. However, those offers were contingent upon receiving a satisfactory medical examination. During a follow up military physical in April, the doctor detected symptoms of spinal cord compression and ordered an MRI. The MRI revealed two Neurofibroma tumors located at C1 and C2 (the top of the spinal cord, near the base of the brain). Later that week, with just two weeks remaining before law school graduation, and only 12 weeks before the bar exam, Ted consulted with a neurosurgeon who informed Ted that he would have to cancel his plans to take the bar exam because he would be recuperating from a major neurosurgery to remove the tumors. The doctors informed Ted that he would never be able to serve in the military. In the matter of just a few days, Ted’s military career evaporated and he learned he would be undergoing major surgery. However, Ted was very fortunate because his spinal cord compression was discovered mere weeks before doctors believed he would have likely experienced permanent partial or total paralysis. Without the military commission and subsequent medical exams, Ted’s condition would not have been discovered in time.

While recovering from his surgery, Ted studied for the bar exam. Ted returned to his native Murfreesboro, married Kelly (who stuck by his side through the entire ordeal), opened his law practice, and eventually became a partner at Murfree & Goodman, PLLC, focusing his practice in estate planning, probate, business, and real estate law.

Prep Sketch
Ted’s neurologist, Dr. Paul Moots, envisioned founding a non-profit corporation to provide support for NF patients, their families, and public awareness initiatives. Dr. Moots’ vision came to life with the creation of NF Tennessee, Inc. Ted volunteered his time to perform the legal work necessary to establish the organization, and has served on its board since its inception. NF Tennessee has provided support (including laptop computers) directly to NF patients, has sent children with NF to summer camps for NF children, and has advocated for the interests of NF patients at the local, state, and federal government levels.

Ted also serves on Board of Directors of the Lascassas Volunteer Fire Department, the Tennessee Bar Association House of Delegates, The Webb School Alumni Board, the Board of Directors of Oaklands Mansion Historic House Museum, and has served in many other organizations. Ted enjoys spending time on his family’s farm with his wife and son.

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