A new fall not only marks the beginning of football season, it also marks the beginning of the The Jacksonville Bar Association Litigation Section’s calendar year.
This year I’ve been asked to be the head coach of a squad filled with some wily veterans, precocious young talent and dependable contributors.
Being a University of Florida Law School alum, my coaching philosophy is more patterned after Steve Spurrier than Will Muschamp. This year’s team will play some tough competition (opposing counsels), score a lot of points (argue strong arguments) and win a lot of games (trials).
Maybe we’ll help our school (The JBA) increase its enrollment and campus activity in the process. We’ll work smarter than our opposition and needle our adversaries with a few fun-loving barbs. You can’t spell jab without JBA.
Hopefully this year I can draw up a few plays that work for the team and we’ll be able to accomplish some things that the JBA Litigation Section has never accomplished. With this article, I’d like to introduce my offense and tell you a little bit about how they fit in to our game plan.
Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator (Litigation Section Vice Chair Alan Wachs): Anyone who knows Gator football knew that Spurrier could not get over the hump without the help of a strong defensive mind. Alan Wachs, a commercial litigator at Adams & Reese LLP, is that presence on our team. He’s got incredible big-game (trial) experience, is skilled with X’s and O’s (best procedural mind I know), knows the conference (legal landscape) inside and out, and is well groomed to take the reins in the event the Ole Ball Coach wants to blow off practice for a round of golf.
Quarterback and backup quarterback (ADR Section Chair Bob Cole and Vice Chair Dave Brecher): Because of the fickle nature of the coach, this team will be a rotating quarterback squad. Thankfully, that is the strength of our team. Bob Cole, a mediator at Upchurch Watson White & Max, is our “starter.” His physical, mental, emotional and instinctive traits go well beyond the mere ability to pass a football (mediate a case). His “backup” is Dave Brecher of Brecher Mediation. He’s a talented freshman known for his strong arm. Clearly, the future of the program. Both men want to remind you that compromise is still the best and cheapest lawyer.
Tackles (Labor and Employment Law Section Chair Mark Alexander and Vice Chair Scott Fortune): In this offense our tackles need strength and agility. Mark Alexander of Alexander, Degance & Barnett has a reputation of protecting an employer’s blindside. On the other side of the line, Scott Fortune of Fortune Law Offices, is the agile and tenacious plaintiff’s lawyer who we can run behind.
Interior line (Admiralty and Maritime Law Section Chair Tim Boyd and Vice Chair Ryan Eslinger): This team needs to be solid up the middle and who better to protect us than two stout salty dogs like Tim Boyd of Boyd & Sutter and Ryan Eslinger of Milton, Leach, Whitman, D’Andrea & Eslinger? Tough and bellicose, these men are craftsman of a forgotten but no less vital craft.
Tight ends: We have none. Remember, this is a Spurrier offense. We’re going to line up four and five wide and throw it around, baby. We’ll use sticks to diagram plays in the sand.
Running backs (Construction Law Chair Bryan Rendzio and Vice Chair Brent Zimmerman): A true “thunder and lightning” combination reminiscent of Fred Taylor and Eli Williams, we’ll rely on Brent Zimmerman of Jimerson & Cobb to be a short yardage back and devastating blocker for our baby-faced and durable feature back Bryan Rendzio of Franson, Iseley & Rendzio. Being construction litigators, they’ll have no problem carrying a heavy workload when times get tough. Having worked at firms with these two fine men, I also know they can take some tough coaching. They’re team players who won’t get upset when we throw all game.
Wide receivers (Commercial Litigation Chair David Burns and Vice Chair Josh Roberts, Appellate Law Chair Cristine Russell and Vice Chair Craig Feiser): On one side of the formation we’ll have our talented young playmakers David Burns of Ferrelle Burns and Josh Roberts of Holland & Knight. Both lawyers are high in pedigree, having trained in some of the best programs (firms) in the state. Former five-star recruits out of UF Law, they are both ready for the spotlight. On the other side, we have Cristine Russell of Rogers Towers and Craig Feiser of the Office of General Counsel for Jacksonville. These two are fifth-year seniors who are able to step up in big games when we are arguing District Court of Appeals on the road. Reliable, focused and coaches on the field (a.k.a. appellate lawyers).
Let’s hope this all-star squad of mine doesn’t have me throwing my visor this year.
Charles B. Jimerson is an A-V Rated and board-certified construction lawyer who serves as the managing partner at Jimerson & Cobb, P.A.