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Jax Daily Record Monday, Nov. 4, 200212:00 PM EST

Profile: Slott & Barker

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Slott & Barker is a law firm comprised of two partners, Arnold Slott and Earl Barker, and one associate attorney, Terence Vane, who joined the practice in May. It has been in existence since 1987.

WHAT TYPE OF LAW DOes the firm PRACTICE?

Business law and litigation, probate and estate planning, civil litigation, real estate, corporate law and banking law.

WHY SELECT THIS SPECIALTY?

“The idea is to provide the legal services that are required by businesses and those that operate businesses,” said Barker. “It’s what we like to do. I enjoy dealing with these kinds of issues.”

“My practice started out in those areas, so that’s what I’m comfortable with,” said Slott.

CLIENTELE?

“The bulk of our practice is made up of corporate types, but we also deal with individuals in connection with estate planning and probate and some other transactional matters,” said Slott. “When we talk about businesses, we make no distinction between businesses owned by individuals and businesses owned by corporations.”

“Civil litigation involves individuals such personal injury claims, landlord/tenant matters, all civil issues,” added Barker.

WHY FORM THE PARTNERSHIP?

“I left Marks Gray and came over here, essentially sharing space, until we formed Slott & Barker,” said Barker. “I wanted a smaller situation to do what I wanted to do. I’ve practiced in small and large firms. We’re better able to serve our clients and enjoy the practice.”

WHAT’S MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR WORK?

“I like, in our particular practice, the variety of problems and issues we work on,” said Slott. “Because businesses have a variety of problems and issues, we’re always studying and learning. That’s what intrigues me.”

WHAT’S MOST CHALLENGING?

“Keeping up with the constant change in the regulatory environment,” said Vane.

“To me, it’s keeping up with the evolution of the business of our clients and the way they do business impacts the legal system and how the legal system impacts them,” said Barker. “We have to understand how a client’s business operates in order to represent them. The world today is evolving so rapidly in terms of how they can operate and how they should operate. It’s a rather multi-faceted challenge.”

“It’s a challenge, not only to stay current, but to stay cutting edge,” added Slott. ”We’re highly computerized.”

ANY PLANS TO EXPAND?

“It’s possible to add one more lawyer in this building, should the right lawyer come along,” said Barker. “One of our assistants is a student at Florida Coastal School of Law. She possibly may be that fourth lawyer. Other than that, I have no intention for the firm to be larger.”

“We can’t accommodate any more than five,” added Slott. “There’s no space for support staff.”

CURRENT STAFF?

“Presently, we have three: two paralegals and an office business manager,” said Slott.

EDUCATION

Both partners are 1968 graduates from the University of Florida’s law school. Slott also has a degree in pharmacy. Vane graduated from Indiana University.

WHY GO INTO LAW?

“As an undergraduate, I studied political science,” said Barker. “I took a course in international law and became fascinated with the legal process. I decided because of that to go on to law school.”

WHAT KIND OF BACKGROUND DO THE ATTORNEYS HAVE?

Barker was a partner with Marks Gray until 1985. He began his practice as an associate with Ulmer, Murchison, Ashby and Ball, followed by a two-year stint as an assistant state attorney. Barker is a retired captain of the Naval Reserves where he served on active duty as a JAG officer.

Slott has operated out of the same office since 1979, previously known as Block & Slott. He formed that partnership after his former partners at Glickstein, Crenshaw, Glickstein, Block & Slott for 12 years dissolved.

Vane’s served as in-house counsel for Alliance Capital Partners Group, EquiCredit Corporation, Barclays American Corporation and, for 21 years, with Associates Corporation of North America. He ran his own practice in Charlotte, focusing on real estate, corporate law, finance, insurance and personal bankruptcy.

— by Monica Chamness

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