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In the attorney-client relationship, partner Ann Ochsner labels herself a teacher. “I want my clients to understand the issues involved with their case so that they can make informed decisions,” says Ann, who was drawn to personal injury law to assist clients in fighting against powerful insurance companies. “I found the ability to help people to be very rewarding and I wanted to play a more meaningful role in that process,” she says. Part of being an advocate is teaching clients the most important tenants of legal defense: To always tell the truth. Even if you think the truth is harmful to your case. “Maintaining one’s credibility in a situation where you are asking for monetary compensation is very important,” she says. Versed in civil litigation and appellate advocacy, Ann concentrates in automobile collisions, slip and fall cases, dog bites and general negligence. She took one case for the Whitley Law Firm all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court, forcing an insurance company to settle a large claim for a driver injured by a utility-truck trailer. As in every case Ann builds, whether it’s settled or tried, she follows an exhaustive approach to preparation: researching the law that applies to specific issues, and identifying and gathering as much persuasive evidence as possible. While her impressive record makes her a standout, Ann’s hands-on approach to each case makes her an invaluable part of the Whitley team. She says, “Our clients are real people, not just files that sit on shelves.”