Age: 48, which must be wrong based on the (relatively recent) photo accompanying this article. I am far too busy to bother with getting a new photograph each decade, but much about this photo is still accurate.
Family: My wife, Julie, who is a writer; son Buddy, who is a junior at the University of North Florida; daughter, Maia, a freshman at Case Western Reserve; and son Carter, a freshman at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.
Pets: A very sweet but pretty dumb pound dog we call Birdie. (We believe her name in dog-speak is "Zazastro, brave defender of clueless humans from imminent squirrel attack.")
Education: Triple Gator – B.A., M.A. and J.D. from the University of Florida.
Admitted to the Bar: 1991
Employed by: Delegal Law Offices, P.A. My tenure may be shortened by recent conflicts with the boss.
Field of practice: Employment and administrative law
Professional organizations: Board of Governors, Jacksonville Bar Association; Labor and Employment Law Section, executive council; past chair, Labor and Employment Certification Committee; past chair, Florida Bar Grievance Committee 4D; and Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association.
Community involvement: Board chair emeritus (after 10 years) of the Jericho School for Children with Autism, past senior warden for All Saints Episcopal Church and charter member of Rotary Club of San Marco.
How did you get involved?
You just see things that need to be done and you try to figure out ways to help.
How can someone else get involved?
With Bar activities, it's easy to jump in and serve on a committee. Local organizations need dedicated people to serve on boards and you can find organizations that are focused on issues that concern you. Each of these groups will ask you to do things and if you are not careful enough to mess up the projects assigned to you, they will ask you to do more.
What have you learned/achieved through the experience?
I love the practice of law and dedicate a lot of time and energy to my clients. Working hard for a specific outcome or in developing an area of law, however, can be isolating. Working with other members of the Bar and in the community emphasizes the social and personal aspects of our jobs. You can work to be the best technical lawyer, but if you cannot communicate and relate to your clients, opposing counsel and the court, you are not fully performing your job. At the heart of all of our legal concepts and standards are human nature, fairness and decency. Orienting ourselves by doing things for others ultimately helps us connect with the essence of our profession. (Also, getting a few drinks into opposing counsel at a Bar social event sometimes moves a case closer to settlement, especially if you take pictures.)
What was the last book you read or are reading?
"In the Garden of Beasts," by Erik Larson; "The Unstoppable Golfer," (my copy of the book is apparently defective), by Bob Rotella; and "The Sandcastle Girls," by Chris Bohjalian.