What kind of Law do you practice?
June 10, 2020
This firm focuses on the three areas of law because I have years of experience on both sides of criminal defense, bankruptcy, and personal injury. Each area of law practice has its own story of how I gained the experience and knowledge from which a client can benefit.
I have practiced criminal defense since my first year out of law school in 2002. In six of the years from 2011 to 2018 I switched to the prosecution side of criminal law as the Hillsborough County Attorney. In that office, I was the Chief Law Enforcement agent in the county. Since 2019 I have returned to criminal defense. As County Attorney, I read a case worried about the mistakes made by the police and how the mistakes created challenges in proving the case. Now I see the same things and think of how I can use them to my client’s advantage.
My clients benefit from my knowledge of the difficulties the police and prosecution have in proving the state’s case and getting a stiff sentence even if they do prove the state’s case. I have had many successes for my clients. I have had a felony case dismissed at the probable cause hearing. I had numerous felony-level cases pled to lesser misdemeanor offenses by showing the prosecutors they do not have the elements to convict for a felony offense.
The nine attorney law firm Jordan, Maynard and Parodi hired me straight out of law school. They had a decent practice of collections for defaulted credit card debt from some of the large department stores and large New York City banks. I learned that making that a sound profitable practice required staying on the right side of collections regulations and creating a steady stream of money from the debtors.
Most of my bankruptcy clients were once in the same situation as these debtors, with a law firm poised to file suit if they don’t send money. These clients wonder what will happen to them if they fail to make a payment. I am able to explain in detail what happens. Each case is different depending on the circumstances. The creditor must file suit, have a hearing scheduled, prove their case at a hearing on the merits, wait for an order with judgment if successful, wait for payment, file for a payment hearing if the judgment is not paid, go to a payments hearing, get an order for payments, wait for the payments as ordered, and file a motion for contempt of the payments are not paid as ordered. Sometimes the whole process stops because the debtor no longer has the ability to pay so there can be no payment order. It is a long process that will be “stayed” (in other words stopped) if a bankruptcy petition is filed.
Whether a potential client files bankruptcy or not they are always happy to learn what I know about the debtor-creditor relations and court proceedings.
I first settled a personal injury case as an insurance adjuster in 1987. The injured party (“claimant”) had no treatment but had felt sore for about a day. I agreed with the claimant to pay for about the value of a night out to dinner and a movie. Over the course of twelve years as an adjuster, I investigated, evaluated, and settled thousands of cases from almost no injury to horrible facial scars from a dog bite.
As a new lawyer, seasoned lawyers were happy to employ me for my knowledge of how to get what we need from the insurance companies. My knowledge of insurance policies and the claims process has always helped me, and therefore my clients. Sometimes it means knowing who to call, when to call, when to expect results, when to complain that nothing is happening, and when to be patient and wait for the right time. Imagine the time you can waste fighting a “battle” you are already going to win just by waiting. That is the advantage of understanding what is going on in an insurance claims office.
All three of these types of law are not something a person wants to go through. If you find yourself in one of these situations you will not be happy that it has happened. However, a consistent comment that my clients make is that at least they enjoyed dealing with me."