What legal training do I have? To start out, I did graduate from Dunedin High School. (We won’t tell you how long ago that was.) I then went on to St. Petersburg Junior College for one year; It’s now St. Pete College. Then I went on to Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, and graduated with a B.S. in Accounting. From there, I went to Mercer University to the Walter F. George School of Law and graduated with my JD degree (that stands for Juris Doctorate). So don’t call me “Doctor”, just call me “Lawyer”. And from there, I started practicing law in New Port Richey, Florida on Main Street with James J. Altman; He was a great mentor. I stayed with Jim Altman for about six years before I opened up my own law firm across the street. I can’t say enough good things about him.
From there, I stayed across the street for a while and then I took on a partner by the name of Stanley R. Mills who is now Circuit Court Judge. He got on the bench in 1989. I then moved to my present location at 5332 Main Street in New Port Richey. And that covers about 40 years of practicing law, so I guess a lot of my experience is just being here. As Woody Allen would say, 80 percent of success is just showing up every day! So I have been showing up every day for 40 years. I also am a Board Certified Real Estate Attorney (and have been for I don’t know how many years). So, that is the extent of my legal education and it takes a lot of experience, having gone through the process, to come up with a good answer. So if you need some good answers, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.
What areas of law do I practice? I try and help individuals in small businesses as well as representing as many banks as I can in West Pasco, where I have my office. There are a few large corporate clients that are available, so I try to represent people in their various problems. I don’t cover all areas of practice, so if you have a problem I cannot address, I’ll try and direct you to an attorney who would handle it properly.
I am a Board Certified Real Estate Attorney, and I certainly can handle most of your real estate needs, if not all of those — and that’s something I truly enjoy doing. I have also been involved in Estate Planning for my entire legal career and try to stay current with that, as well as Estate Administration and Trust Administration. We do Commercial Litigation. Right now we are doing quite a bit of Foreclosure Defense, as well as representing investors and one or two banks as far as handling foreclosures are concerned.
One of the areas that I don’t practice in is bankruptcy. I refer many of my cases to the local bankruptcy attorneys. I also refer criminal law to different attorneys. The law has become so specialized that there are any number of questions that come up and so I refer whoever contacts me to someone who I am confident will be able to do a good job for them. So, if you have a question, give me a call and I would be glad to talk to you about it and see if it’s something I can handle for you, if not, I’ll head you in the right direction. (727) 847-2288.
Why do I like being a lawyer? Well, I love to put a deal together – especially when I deal with the buyer and the seller of a business or a real estate transaction. We try and put the deal together if we have a willing buyer and a willing seller. We’ll figure out ways to make it work and then negotiate the transaction. I truly love doing transactional work where we put deals together when it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
I also like solving problems. And many times people come in with problems with the intention of heading off to court. But I often tell folks that a bad settlement is better than a good lawsuit. Whenever you deal with attorneys, the cost of dealing with the legal system is very expensive, so I like to try to think of non-legal ways of solving problems. Now, that doesn’t always work and therefore I defend a lot of people who have been sued when we don’t have the opportunity to come up with a non-legal method of solving the problem. It always takes two people to come up with a solution.
I guess, the best way of saying why I like being a lawyer is: I like helping folks and that comes as far as putting transactions together as well as helping them solve problems. So if you like for me to try and help you or solve some of your problems or put a deal together, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.
I think the first highlight of my career would be serving as the Chairman of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar. It had some 8-9,000 members when I was the Chairman. I served in that capacity for a year however, I have been involved with the Real Property Section for about 38 or 39 years and continue to work with the Section. I have also received the Annual Service Award and the Robert Scott Award for outstanding service to the Section. It has been a labor of love and probably the highlight was being the Chairman.
Another highlight was being admitted to the United States Supreme Court and going to United States Supreme Court and watching oral argument. In order to be admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, you need to be nominated and then you can be sworn in. You have to, of course, be a member of good standing with the Florida Bar. It was quite impressive to go through the ceremony and sit on the front row to watch the oral argument with the Justices 10 or 15 feet in front of you.. That was quite an experience and thrill!
I have recently been elected to the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and that is quite an honor. As a fellow, you are selected by your peers and there are less than fifty lawyers from Florida that are in the ACREL.
Of course, one of the things that probably attributes to my practice is completing the Iron Man in Hawaii – 13 hours and 54 minutes and that’s a part of my personality- not ever giving up! It’s just getting one foot in front of the other. I certainly didn’t beat a whole lot of people, but I did finish it and that’s the thing about our team – we don’t ever give up and we usually complete what we start. And so, that’s pretty much the highlights. If you like to talk to me about any of your legal problems or putting together a deal, please give me a call at (727) 847-2288. Thank you.