For personal injury attorney Glenn Warren, faith and work can be difficult to balance. He says that’s exactly why the Catholic Lawyers Guild is important to him.
“It’s more or less a group where lawyers with the same spiritual beliefs can come together and have a common group to share with,” said Warren. “I think people would be surprised how taking one hour for the luncheon can help them feel a bit less off-center.”
Warren is president of the roughly 75-member guild started by his boss, attorney Dennis Guidi, more than 15 years ago. Warren said he’s enjoyed managing the group’s monthly meetings and masses and sharing a common bond with attorneys of similar beliefs.
“The Catholic Church tells us we’re against the death penalty,” he said, giving an example of dilemmas Catholic attorneys may face. “Well, if you’re a judge, you have to follow the law ... How do you balance your faith with your job?”
Warren also steers those who ask for Catholic attorneys to the right people. He noted that some Catholic clients prefer someone who understands certain rules of the Catholic faith, especially in a divorce case. The Church has specific requirements for annulments that the law doesn’t account for.
In general, Warren said his faith has played a large role in his life. It helped him persevere through three years of nighttime law classes when he had wife Lori and young daughter Katherine at home, he said. Faith also helped him press through his first year of practice while Lori was in Boston attending the Cambridge Culinary Institute.
“I was Mr. Mom for a year,” said Warren, smiling. “You have to have strong enough convictions that you can stay together. We knew that we were working for a bigger goal.”
Warren said the Catholic Lawyers Guild has given him a network of friendly attorneys to work with, as well. Even when a fellow member is opposite him on a case, Warren said they stay on good terms.
“We’re working together to try to figure this out,” he said. “This (case) could have been a lot more contentious.
“I know he’s coming in trying to do the right thing,” added Warren. “Shouldn’t our ultimate goal as lawyers be trying to get to the truth?”
When Warren isn’t working, he’s an avid sports fan. He’s been playing racquetball for about 20 years, and he’s placed in the top five at national competitions. He also coaches 13-year-old Katherine’s softball team, golfs and sits on the Gator Bowl Association board.
“I just think lawyers are competitive in nature,” said Warren. “If you go all the way to court, it’s win or lose.”
He said the Catholic Lawyers Guild isn’t a volunteer organization, but most of the members are involved in community activities. Warren has volunteered as a guardian ad litem, but he said he’s made spending time with his family a priority recently.
“I was taught as a kid, faith, family and everything else will take care of itself, ” said Warren. “I don’t need the big, signature things. I just hope that I leave a positive influence.
“Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t mind the fortunes,” he said. “But I’m blessed.”
Catholic Lawyers Guild
Who: A group of about 75 Catholic lawyers
What: Regular meetings and mass to share profession and religion
Next big event: Red Mass, an annual gathering intended to bring spiritual guidance to North Florida attorneys, law enforcement and city officials. To be held 5:30 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Oct. 19.
Contact: President Glenn Warren, attorney with Harris, Guidi, Rosner, Dunlap, Rudolph, Catlin & Bethea, at 398-9002.