Like most, Boyd Gentry did not grow up with aspirations of being in the credit and collection business. But he also likely wouldn’t trade his 16 years in the business for anything else, especially since it led him all the way to the Supreme Court. Read on to learn more about Boyd and why he can’t in to a band that practices in his own garage.
Name: Boyd W. Gentry
Company: Law Office of Boyd W Gentry
Length of time at current company: 8 years
Length of time in industry: 16 years
How did you get your start in the industry?
I was working at an insurance defense firm, and we started to get FDCPA defense cases. I got to know some of the clients and consumer attorneys and developed a niche practice of defending against consumer claims. Since I don’t do any collection work that has opened doors for defending creditor’s rights firms and their clients.
What is your career highlight so far?
Sitting at counsel table at SCOTUS in Sheriff v. Gillie, 578 U.S. ___ (2016). I was chosen to represent two of the defendants from trial through our successful appeal to the SCOTUS. It was a humbling experience to work with a great team of lawyers.
When or how are you most productive?
Definitely mornings. I get my workout done by 6am and then start on emails.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Yale Levy of Levy & Associates: really smart and humble.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
I like to think that I’m good at aligning with some really bright colleagues. I have learned so much from smart attorneys (and clients).
What do you like most about this industry?
I work daily with a group of clients (debt buyers, law firms) who get the human side of debt. They understand consumers and frequently show much greater compassion than outsiders (consumers bar and regulators) realize.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
I’m one of several attorneys pushing for FDCPA exemption for the practice of law (particularly “in court” arguments and claims). Excellent attorneys like Manny Newburger, Yale Levy, and Michael Slodov have paved the way for Congress and the courts to right this wrong. Creditor’s rights attorneys should not be treated differently than any other attorney in court. I have enlisted the help of a constitutional law professor for this issue, and we watch for cases to challenge the status quo.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Working for International Justice Mission in India or Ghana. Their legal work in bonded labor cases is inspiring.
Describe a typical work day.
Emails and briefs before lunch and calls in the afternoon. Since my cases are spread around the Midwest, I rack up the miles for hearings and depositions.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Playing the blues with my 18-year-old son. We take turns on different instruments, but he still won’t let me be an official member of his garage band.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
For practicing law: “Know what questions NOT to ask on cross examination.” For the rest of life: “Hold loosely to things that are fleeting.”
What are you currently reading?
“The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He had the guts to stand up to Hitler.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I’m training for a 5k Mud Run called The Gauntlet with my 13 year old daughter. We like competing for the most improvements.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Chad Silverstein of Choice Recovery in Columbus