For­mer pro­fes­sional bull rider’s in­juries prompt le­gal ca­reer

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - NEWS - BY LAMA AGHA Staff Writer lagha@ok­la­homan.com

The im­por­tance of good health care in­spired a for­mer pro­fes­sional bull rider to be­come a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion and per­sonal in­jury lawyer.

It was a bull-rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence gone wrong that led Joseph C. Bis­cone to a ca­reer in law. Bis­cone, a na­tive of New York, was in­jured as a rodeo per­former. The ex­tent of his in­juries led to months of re­cov­ery and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“Dur­ing Joe’s rodeo days, he suf­fered three bro­ken noses, a split lip, bro­ken wrist and torn shoul­der,” Bis­cone’s ex­ec­u­tive le­gal as­sis­tant Ja­nis Mont­gomery said. “He took a break from com­pet­ing when he started law school and picked up bull rid­ing again when he was in his 30s.”

He called it quits when a bull stepped on him re­peat­edly, caus­ing 13 rib frac­tures and a bro­ken foot.

Bis­cone has been prac­tic­ing law for more than 40 years and is now a man­ag­ing part­ner of John­son & Bis­cone in down­town Ok­la­homa City.

“He ap­plied to law schools across the coun­try, in­clud­ing Ok­la­homa City Univer­sity, be­cause the na­tional rodeo fi­nals were in Ok­la­homa,” Mont­gomery said. “He stopped bull rid­ing when he started law school and quit for good af­ter a ma­jor in­jury when he was 40 years old.”

He has be­come a re­spected work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion and per­sonal in­juries at­tor­ney in Ok­la­homa, fo­cused on help­ing peo­ple who have had in­juries sim­i­lar to his own.

“We re­cently helped a young man who was par­a­lyzed af­ter a stack of hay bales col­lapsed on him, sev­er­ing his spine,” Bis­cone said. “The case took four years of hard work, but it was such a joy to help our client get the com­pen­sa­tion needed to make his life eas­ier.”

Aside from as­sist­ing his client from a le­gal stand­point, Bis­cone helped him re­model his home.

“We helped him get his house re­done, in­clud­ing in­stalling wheel­chair ramps, re­mod­el­ing the bath­rooms and widen­ing hall­ways,” Bis­cone said. “We were also able to help the young man get a wheel­chair-ac­ces­si­ble van so he can get to the doc­tor’s of­fice eas­ily.”

Bis­cone is known among friends and col­leagues as the “cow­boy at­tor­ney,” said Mont­gomery, who has worked with him for 30 years. She said Bis­cone got the en­dear­ing la­bel be­cause he al­ways wears a cow­boy hat and boots to work with his suit.

“In the court­room, judges and his peers have re­served a spe­cial cor­ner for his hat,” Mont­gomery said.

Bis­cone’s son and daugh­ter now work side by side with him. His daugh­ter, Emily Bis­cone, has worked for 15 years as a part­ner at her fa­ther’s down­town firm.

Her pri­mary fo­cus is on work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion and so­cial se­cu­rity dis­abil­ity cases.

Emily Bis­cone has fol­lowed in her fa­ther’s foot­steps and said she has de­vel­oped a strong rep­uta- tion as a lit­i­ga­tor and ad­vo­cate for in­jured work­ers.

Her brother, Joseph J. Bis­cone, is also a worker’s com­pen­sa­tion and per­sonal in­jury at­tor­ney at their fa­ther’s firm. He joined the team af­ter he grad­u­ated law school at Ok­la­homa City Univer­sity in 2015.

“Joseph is highly in­volved in com­mu­nity ser­vice and serves as a board mem­ber with the Ok­la­homa County Bar As­so­ci­a­tion’s Young Lawyer Di­vi­sion,” Mont­gomery said.

De­spite re­cently cel­e­brat­ing his 67th birth­day, the el­dest Bis­cone has no im­me­di­ate plans to re­tire.

“Don’t let his age fool you ... his tenac­ity and ad­vo­cacy grows for the in­jured work­ers of Ok­la­homa,” Mont­gomery said.

For Bis­cone, it’s his work out­side the court­room — such as help­ing the young par­a­lyzed client get a wheelchairac­ces­si­ble van — that gives him the most sat­is­fac­tion.

“When I saw the van parked out­side our of­fice, I thought, ‘Wow, we fi­nally got this ac­com­plished; we did it,’” Bis­cone said. “This is why I do what I do: we get peo­ple who are se­ri­ously hurt the help they need, and this is why I wake up ev­ery morn­ing.”

We re­cently helped a young man who was par­a­lyzed af­ter a stack of hay bales col­lapsed on him, sev­er­ing his spine. The case took four years of hard work, but it was such a joy to help our client get the com­pen­sa­tion needed to make his life eas­ier.” At­tor­ney Joe Bis­cone

Joseph is highly in­volved in com­mu­nity ser­vice and serves as a board mem­ber with the Ok­la­homa County Bar As­so­ci­a­tion’s Young Lawyer Di­vi­sion.” Ja­nis Mont­gomery,

Bis­cone’s ex­ec­u­tive le­gal as­sis­tant

[PHO­TOS BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

At­tor­ney Joe Bis­cone, cen­ter, with his son and daugh­ter, at­tor­neys James and Emily Bis­cone, are shown in their law of­fice in down­town Ok­la­homa City.

At­tor­ney Joe Bis­cone sits in his down­town law of­fice in Ok­la­homa City.

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