October, 1983 
Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 04:09 PM
Posted by Administrator
I was admitted to the Florida Bar in October of 1983. A fellow employee administered the oath in a conference room of the Palm Beach law firm I was working for. I was working at that firm as a "litigation associate" but, I left after a few months because I didn't get along with my boss (once I left, we got along fine). I got a job with the Public Defender's Office (really, someone at the Palm Beach firm probably got me the job). This gave me the opportunity to learn how to try a case (how to present evidence, what to say after the word "objection", what "the rule" is, how to unpick a jury....things like that).

Most of what new Public Defenders did was DUIs. I was there when Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) started putting volunteers in the courtrooms in a successful effort to stop prosecutors from offering DUI defendants a plea deal to Reckless Driving. DUI trials quickly became the bread and butter of defense lawyers in county court.

I had my first divorce client a few days before I left the Public Defender's Office. I think her kids are in their 30s now. I filed my first bankruptcy during my first year in private practice. I continued to do criminal defense, including DUIs.

Though I was a long-time partner in a firm that did a lot of real estate closings, title insurance, wills and probate, I only know about transactional real estate from the litigation standpoint. In other words, I know about suing when there are problems with land deals and land title......I don't know much about making "HUDs" balance.
I am not authorized to write title insurance. I write Wills only for friends. I don't particularly believe in Trusts.

I walked probate filings through court for years (I brought my daughter with me when she was pre-school). It was relaxing compared to going to court on contested matters.

I've done my share of injury cases......but, these days, injured people go to lawyers who advertise on TV or the backs of buses. Even though we've had the other business for years, I still find myself in court once or twice a week....on average.

Oral contracts for the sale of land-----done that.
Misidentification of a child molester.....done that.
Bankruptcies.....couple hundred?
Custody of kids to the father in the 1980s.....several times and many times since.
Insurance company refusing to pay for a car burned up in a canefield...more than once.
Probate in Florida of Mexican resident's assets.....don't ask.
"No File" in shooting.....who hasn't?
Directed verdict in wrongful death jury trial having spent only an hour in court in a week-long trial....yup.


Of course, for me, in 32 years of this, not everything has always gone well. I don't do well with clients who ignore what I tell them (and I hope I don't ignore what they tell me). I don't think that very many people involved in car accidents really get injured. I find most divorce lawyers to be dumb and obnoxious (which, is not a bad thing for their clients....it is just annoying to deal with). (Note: I find most other lawyers to be pleasant. Something about divorce brings out the worst in most people...myself included) I find the post-dissolution procedures in this Circuit to be stupid and inefficient.

Today, I was in the coffee shop across the street. One of the employees was talking to me about folding bicycles. I told her the four or five best brands. We had previously talked about South Americans, the meaning of "Occident", marijuana being legal in Paraguay, the ancestry of Argentinians, rural vs. metropolitan Columbia. She said to me "How do you know so much?" which I interpreted to mean "You are impossibly boring." I said "I'm old." Because, after all, the older you are, the more stuff has wandered into your brain.''

I guess that is a good thing.


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