'It was my father who inspired me to be a lawyer.'
Casey Arnold recently joined Fisher, Tousey, Leas & Ball in the nearly 40-year-old law firm’s commercial litigation department. He began his career as an assistant state attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit and has been in private practice since 2009.
Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer? As much as he tried to steer me in another direction, it was my father who inspired me to be a lawyer. From a young age, I can recall going to my dad’s office and listening to his stories about big cases he was working on. Everything I saw and was exposed to intrigued me and I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.
One person other than my spouse who inspires me: My baseball coach, Chris Blaquiere. I didn’t know it at the time, but over the years and during the thousands of hours I must have spent with him in the batting cage, he was instilling in me the fundamentals, characteristics and traits that I would ultimately need to be a husband, father, lawyer and in any other role I will play in life.
How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law? Whether my clients are businesses or individuals, and regardless of the area of law, most of my cases tend to have a business-related component to them. My undergraduate degree is in finance and everything I learned through those studies allows me to better advise and service my clients’ needs.
How did you decide your practice area? And why have you chosen that? I always knew that I wanted to be a litigator because I enjoy the strategic aspect of the field and the variety of practice areas litigation offers. Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with some amazing attorneys and practicing in a range of areas. I focus my practice on trust and estate and guardianship litigation, real property litigation and commercial/business litigation. For me, these practice areas are intellectually stimulating areas of the law that also give me the ability to interact with and counsel my clients in a meaningful way. I’m also able to complement my partners on the transactional side of the Bar and provide litigation support for our clients.
What has been the biggest change in your practice area since you passed the Bar? One thing I am seeing is a willingness for lawyers to pick up the phone early in a case, discuss the real issues and find if there is a way to resolve a dispute. I think clients are more litigation savvy, and the effects of mandatory mediation are causing a willingness to compromise early.
If I could change anything in the legal system, I would: I know there have been countless books and articles written on the subject, but hopefully one day someone will develop a plan to streamline the discovery process in civil cases.
What community service have you pursued and why that? Both my wife and I are active with charitable organizations in St. Johns County, where we live. I recently became involved with Learn to Read of St. Johns County and I’m honored to be one of their newest board members. This is one of the few organizations in our area that focuses its efforts on adult education. I’m also active with my Rotary Club and regularly assist my wife, who works for the United Way of St. Johns County.
What’s your advice for new lawyers? One of the few things you are able to control throughout your career is your integrity. Advocate for your clients, but don’t sacrifice your integrity.