My father would always say I debated “just like Perry Mason.”
Christene Ertl, senior partner at Ansbacher Law, was recently board certified by The Florida Bar in condominium and planned development law.
Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer? Watching multiple episodes of Perry Mason reruns with my father when I was growing up inspired me to become a lawyer. My father would always say I debated “just like Perry Mason.” Being an attorney or judge and a teacher was on my list of “what do you want to be when you grow up” since I can remember. I taught business law as an adjunct professor at Flagler College and teach community members regarding service on community association boards.
How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law? My degree is in pre-law, a small major in the communication school at Florida State University that included not only coursework on communications styles (which is very relevant for attorneys) but also on legal argument and debate.
How did you decide your practice area? I began my career interested in being a business/entertainment attorney. In that endeavor I ended up working with law firms in their business and intellectual property departments. As time and economies evolved, my business law practice turned to more and more real property law issues, which led to the perfect marriage of the two practice areas, community association law.
What has been the biggest change in your practice area since you passed the Bar? The number of community associations in Florida, especially HOAs.
What do you think will be the next biggest change in your area of law? The merger of the COA and HOA statutes.
What community service have you pursued and why that? I work with two local non-profits as a volunteer. One is related to my love of music and the promotion of arts and artists. The other is related to assisting those most in need, the impoverished and homeless in St. Augustine.
What’s your advice for new lawyers? Find a mentor and always remain courteous and respectful.