Scott Jones was small for his age growing up in Anderson Township. He was the kid all the others grabbed to test the bike ramp and make sure it was safe for them.
Around the third grade, Scott had a growth spurt, one that continued until college. Along the way, he developed athletic skills. As a senior offensive tackle at St. Xavier High School, he was named to the Ohio high school all-state team. The University of Virginia was the No. 1 team in the country when it recruited him the following year.
He played a season, then decided he was done with football. He felt no real kinship with his teammates. Leaving the team was the right thing to do. Then the shock hit. He had been “Scott Jones the football player” for so long. Now that piece of his identity was gone. He went through his own version of the phantom limb syndrome amputees sometimes experience, when they feel pain in a part of their body that no longer exists.
He drifted for a few years. He’d grown up in a household where, if you didn’t get straight A’s, you weren’t allowed to be involved in athletics. For the first time in his life, he let his grades slide. It took time, and a lot of looking inside, to get back on track.
“It was a major turning point. The whole experience taught me to be a bit more internal, to avoid relying on external sources for my sense of who I am. I realized when I graduated from college that I was really fortunate – and if I wanted to make something of my life, I’d better get my act together.”
His father is an attorney. Scott says he has never met anyone who works so hard. And yet he somehow managed to make it to all of Scott’s games and quite a few practices. In the Jones household, it was always “yes, ma’am” or “yes, sir.” There was no talking back. He describes his childhood as idyllic. Without question, Scott says, his father is his hero. He’s the reason Scott became an attorney. He likes the idea of helping people.
Scott likes to take his four-year-old daughter, Mary Elizabeth, golfing. Before she was born, someone suggested he read a book out loud next to her mother’s stomach every night, so he did. Moments after she was born, the nurse invited him to the warming table to meet his baby girl. She was crying and kicking something awful. He was petrified. He put his mouth to her ear and whispered, “Hi, Sweetheart.” At that very moment, she stopped crying and kicking, grabbed hold of his finger and looked him straight in the eye. He says she has had him in her pocket ever since.
He has a big, robust, unrestrained way of laughing. He can be intimidating if he thinks someone is trying to take advantage of him – or worse, take advantage of a client.
“As a litigator, I think I’m thoughtful. I don’t do the knee-jerk response, the first impulse. We use the analogy that litigation is like a chess match; you want to be thinking six moves ahead. Too many times, litigators confuse motion with action. We don’t. And while most cases are resolved short of a trial, the leverage you have in getting a good settlement for your client is the attitude of not being afraid to try a case. I most certainly am not afraid, and I think it shows.”